North West XC

OAC have had a good turnout for cross country events this year, and some of the newer recruits have really taken to the world of mud and spikes. This event in the hospital grounds at Gransha was 6th of 9 in the NI XC League. With Xmas round the corner it had a bit of a festive slant with a friendly atmosphere, comparatively smooth course and mince pies for after.

Unusually for cross country both men and ladies did the same 3 lap 3.8 mile course. There were 230 athletes competing with large contingents from clubs in the region along with XC regulars Acorns AC and Springwell. OAC had 11 participants with 5 men and 6 ladies making the journey. Weather conditions were a bit unsettled throughout the day and the ground had some softness to it, but the mucky conditions wouldn’t have been severe enough to cause real problems for experienced XC runners.

Among the men Paul Woodman, fresh from his Italian Marathon experience managed a quick time of 22m28s. Chris Downey was next with a time of 25m05s. International XC Veteran Brian Todd was 3rd OAC to finish with a time of 25m42s. Michael O’Donoghue managed to knock 2 minutes off his previous years time, finishing in 26m25s. Eoin Woodman was last of the men at 39m26s.

First OAC lady to finish was Sharon Dickenson with a time of 29m28s, followed by Jill Holland at 30m14s. Liz Leitch and Lisa Fleming finished together at 32m02s. Last of the ladies were Linda Craig (33m01s) and new Membership Secretary Sharon McFarland (33m52s)

An enjoyable day out and more points on the board. Only Enniskillen, Stormont and Lurgan remain in this years XC League, though there are several more non-league XC events to tempt us.