Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Poor turnout for the National Inter County Cross Country Championships in Galway

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Poor turnout for the National Inter County Cross Country Championships in Galway

The National Inter County Cross Country Championships were held in Tuam, Co.Galway on Sunday the 14th of February 2016. The numbers attending however were pretty poor and were in marked contrast to the National Inter Clubs Cross Country Championships held in Santry last November.

Here is a comparison...
Inter County (Feb 2016) in Green // Inter Club (Nov 2015) in Orange
37 Senior Men...2 County Teams // 160 Senior Men...20 Club teams
18 Senior Women...2 County Teams // 80 Senior Women...9 club teams
13 Junior Men...2 County Teams // 81 Junior Men...10 club teams
11 Junior Women...2 County Teams // 50 Junior Women...7 club teams

As you can see, there were no Bronze team medals awarded in the County competition because there wasn't any third teams........and this was a national competition. There is probably a very good case to just have the inter county and inter clubs all rolled up into one race in November and hold it somewhere near Dublin.

Cork....From a Cork point of view, there was hardly anyone there representing the second largest county in terms of club membership. Donal Coakley of Leevale AC who goes to nearly every cross country race was there and Brian McMahon who is running with a Dublin club but representing Cork was there. That was it...two men from Cork....and six were needed to make up a county team.

There were no representatives from Cork in the Senior Women, Junior Men or Junior Women's races.

County Results...
Senior Men1 Galway 2, 11, 13, 14, 15, 19...74 pts
2 Donegal 7, 16, 18, 22, 30, 37...130 pts

Senior Women
1 Galway 2, 4, 8, 11...25 pts
2 Kerry 1, 5, 7, 14...27 pts

Results....Senior Men......Senior Women.....Junior Men....Junior Women

The highlight was the Championships from a 'local' point of view was the performance of the Kerry team. Shona Heaslip of An Ríocht AC won the senior women's race leading the Kerry team to a Silver medal. 
Shona Heaslip of An Ríocjt AC winning the senior womens race. ...Photo: Andrew Talbot

The other members of the Kerry team were...
5th Karina Tehan St.Finbarrs AC
7th Niamh O'Sullivan An Riocht A.C.
14th Niamh Clifford Star of the Laune A.C.
16th Mary O'Connor An Riocht A.C

Looking at some of the photos, it's obvious that the Galway Athletics County Board went to a lot of effort staging this championships. It's just a pity that most of the other counties couldn't be bothered sending teams. 

Video clip of the mens race from Padraic Burke...


Anonymous said...

I cant believe Cork couldn't find 6 men and 4 women to run for their county. What is wrong with runners these days ? Surely its a chance for top seniors etc to get a competitive race in rather than just another local road race ? ANd potential medals for those in weaker clubs ? If this race is gone its gone and the XC season down to six or seven weeks pre Xmas which is madness from a distance running /endurance viewpoint. The UK XC season is only ramping up now. The whole season needs a revamp and a serious push from AAI and top coaches and clubs.

Also why should Dublin host every National event. People fly overseas on holidays or for work, most places are a 2 hour drive in Ireland, its not that hard if you want to race and target something.

Cork should apply for one this year? . Looks like Galway did a great job on the course. I see Donegal and Kerry travelled .

Anonymous said...

Is cross country dead in the water, or what can be done to revive it ?
is it just a case the season needs to be cut off at December bar the masters? Will we ever see an Irish team run at World cross country again ?

Anonymous said...

What are the prizes at these kind of races? Just curious!

John Desmond said...

Ref prizes....There are none. It's national medals.

Anonymous said...

Judging from the numbers in the junior races here and at other events this year is it simply a case that athletes are not coming through? We are seeing big numbers in the masters races but go back to when these masters were junior we had relatively big fields for county championships let alone munster and all Ireland.
We have a lot of people taking up athletics for health and fitness reasons but very few of these are joining clubs or venture outside the road race scene to give cross country or track a go if they are members of clubs.

Cros country fan said...

People in other codes would go through fire and water to wear a county jersey but nowadays the people in athletics seen to have no pride in their county. There was a time when the aim of cross country runners in Cork was to wear the red singlet!But not any more.
As for the venue that should not be an issue and is not an issue An All-Ireland is an All-lreland,if people are serious about competing they will make any effort to be there.One member of the Kerry womens team runs with a Cork club!
As for holding it in Cork spare us even more embarrisment.How would it look if it was held in Cork with no Cork team in view.
Maby we should take a serious look at "Juvinile Cross Country"where the emphesis is compleatly on winning championship rather than fun and variety. By the time they should be competing in Junior they are bored fed up and burned out. Clubs and Couny Boards will leave no stone unturned geting to the other end of the country with athleats from eleven years upwards competeing in all-Irelands. But when when it comes to junior and senior clubs and county boards seem to opt out and leave athleats to their own devices.
Cross Country Fan

Anonymous said...

The fixture list is crazy... Munster Junior CC., Munster Colleges CC.,All Ireland Inter County Junior CC all in the space of 8 days and I am sure the Inter Varsities Indoors were in that time frame as well, why cannot all these bodies sit down and draw up a fixture list that would be conductive to maximizing the numbers in all competitions, all this and half a million euro cross country course being developed locally it is laughable but to many of us it is so so sad to see the way track and field and cross country has collapsed in this county.

Anonymous said...

People prefer to run as a club team because they know each other and train with each other. Other counties have specific county training sessions for county teams where they get to know each other and run better as a team. Maybe if Cork tried this approach at least at juvenile level there might be an improvement in numbers. As for low junior numbers, its hard to compete with hurling/football etc., because they have a great support structure for their players. Distance running is all about the individual and requires huge amounts of discipline and sacrifice to be competitive. Also most juniors are putting their emphasis on schools xc and indoor track so I'd say its just bad timing to have the inter counties around this time of the year.