British & Irish Masters International XC 2022 (12th Nov)
International honours for Dervin and McMullin
The British & Irish Masters International Cross Country took place in Santry Demesne on Saturday 12th November. This is an ideal course for cross country and though it was very windy, the weather was mild and dry, so the underfoot conditions were perfect for running. Contestants from Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales qualified after battling it out for a place on their National teams, in Ireland’s case this was at the Autumn Open Cross Country only a few weeks previously, and among the Irish team was Mullingar’s Maura Dervin and Sean McMullin.
The women’s 6,000m race included women from all the master age categories but Maura Dervin ignored the distraction of younger faster women and kept close attention to those in her own age group. After an excellent race Maura finished a fine fifth place in her category, the first Irishwoman to finish and leading the Irish team to third place in a very close contest with Scotland and England to earn points for the overall team trophy.
The older master men also competed over 6,000m and they ran with the master women. Sean McMullin also faced the challenge of running along with several master men age categories in his race, but he’s very experienced in International competition and remaining focused on his own race, he finished in eighth place in his category and had the signal honour of leading the Irish team to third place, also earning valuable points in the overall contest.
Each country was awarded points for their placings in all the age team categories. Ireland’s women had a narrow one point win over England, Ireland’s men had a more comfortable four point win over England, and in the overall contest for combined men and women, Ireland emerged victorious, the first time Ireland has won the overall trophy, it having been won by England every year since the first event in 1987. Congratulations to Maura and Sean for contributing to Ireland’s historic victory.
There were also Open Races for women and men. Brigid McCabe was delighted with her performance to win her age category in the women’s open race and Nicky McCabe was very satisfied to finish well up in his age category in the men’s open race.