Westmeath AAI XC 2021 – Day 1 (3rd Oct)
Great competition at Athletics Westmeath Cross Country
Heavy overnight rain gave way to a clear dry bright morning with perfect conditions for Day 1 of the Athletics Westmeath Cross Country Championships in Belvedere on Sunday 3rd October. Competition was for boys and girls u/8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 years. In contrast to the recent Westmeath Schools Cross Country, which attracted a larger number of runners and spectators, the Athletics Westmeath cross country was a very much quieter affair though the numbers taking part were up on last year, including some from AIT AC and some guest runners from Longford AC, in fact, numbers were back on a par with the years before Covid-19, which is an encouraging sign. There was great competition in each race and performances were very encouraging in the older age groups in particular, where the focus was on places on Club and County teams at the Leinster Cross Country Championships.
There were a good number of newcomers that had run in the Westmeath Schools Cross Country and if not members of a Club they’re strongly encouraged to join their nearest Club. The boys and girls that ran in the non-Championship under 8 and under 10 races really enjoyed themselves and were delighted with their medals, one for everyone that finished. Moving to the Championships proper, the race distances were longer than in the Westmeath Schools but that was no problem for those that have been training regularly. The course in Belvedere is a great test of cross country endurance and those that train there regularly will have no problem with any course at the Leinsters.
There were some very good individual performances but Championship cross country is also about team running, so everyone was being closely watched by Club officials, particularly the newcomers. The results of both days will be used to select teams to represent the Club and Westmeath in the upcoming Leinster Championships. The results of the men and women races this Sunday will also be used to select Club and County teams for the Leinster Championships, so all adult members that want to run in the Leinster Championships must run this Sunday.
Competition on Day 2 on Sunday 10th October will be for boys and girls u/9, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19 years of age, and for men and women junior, novice, senior and master. The first race will be at 11am so the younger runners should be in Belvedere before 10.30am to get ready and know where they have to run. The Athletics Westmeath Cross Country is an open competition and you don’t have to be a member of a Club to take part, so everyone who took part in the schools cross country is very welcome to compete.
The Leinster Championships take place over two days, with two weeks between each, so juvenile athletes can run in their own age group and can move up an age group to make up teams. Therefore, we expect all juveniles to compete on both days of the Westmeath Championships unless ill or injured or they might be disappointed if not selected.
Thanks to all who helped recording the results and stewarding on the course, to the many parents who came and supported the competitors, and to the Management and staff of Belvedere for the use of the excellent grounds.
The results from day one are HERE.