Athletics NewsCross Country

O’Neill king of the park as Britton grabs headlines on mixed day

It was a mixed day at the Phoenix Park for the Autumn Cross Country international with men and women competing in tandem over 5km and 8km last Sunday.

The day turned up a few surprises and talking points including the decision to have the men and women running together – this was further diluted with some of the leading women choosing the 5km as opposed to the 8km race.

What wasn’t in doubt is that Fionnuala Britton grabbed the attention and she has been carrying the public’s interest for the cross country season for the past few years. Nothing changed here. We’ll review all of the action and talking points in the next podcast. Here were a few along with a link to the full results:

Lack of focus

With juniors, masters, men and women all in one race, it led to a lot of confusion as to what was going on. There were too many races going on within one race

Developing women’s running – mixed race doesn’t fit the bill

There was some logic in putting the women in with the men but to me it wasn’t a good spectacle or very developmental. You wouldn’t see the League of Ireland playing women in the men’s league to develop women’s football and giving them more competition. Granted there may have been big gaps but it doesn’t really enhance performance. I would rather have been able to actually see the women run than hidden in with the men. I merit them both equally and would have preferred to see a women’s race.

Brady edges Maunsell for run of the day

Liam Brady just edged Kevin Maunsell for the run of the day. Maunsell surprised with a stellar second place but it was the eye-catching return to form of Brady that shades it. The Tullamore Harrier looked to have gone off the boil with no return in sight. Finishing his civil engineering degree in AIT has given him room to express himself athletically and his training stint in Font Romeu aided by Athletics Ireland has paid dividends. It was also arguably Maunsell’s best performance to date and with only two years training behind him, he has plenty of room for improvement. 

O’Neill is custom made in business and on the country

Brendan O’Neill was another athlete causing a stir as he was first past the post in the open 8km race. The former FSU graduate has been based in the States working for Nike in Oregon but has returned to set up his own business – we have joined up with him for our own customised JTG t-shirts. You can watch his post-race interview below.

Autumn XC Course
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All eyes on Britton as cross country kicks off in the Park

Brendan O'Neill on his way to victory
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XC Season up and running as Marathon Monday looms

Feidhlim Kelly

Feidhlim Kelly

Con Houlihan once told me that tomorrow is now. In taking on this venture I’ve started to try and put his words into action.

I worked for Con from 2007 till his passing in 2012 taking down his copy and a whole lot more. I have a Con Houlihan section which will go in to more depth on that.

I’m a long-time contributor to the Irish Runner magazine and am also working for the Irish Examiner.

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