A total of five Harriers made the long bus journey down to Swansea at the weekend following their inclusion in the Scotland squad to face the other home nations at the British and Irish Masters International Cross Country.
The club were amongst the best represented of the five nations with athletes selected in each of the male age categories ranging from 35 to 60. The trio of Steven Campbell (v40), Paul Monaghan (v45) and Mick McLoone (v55) had featured regularly in the past few years. Current Club Champion Chris Mooney and vets Champion Andrew White would get to wear the national vest for the first time.
The event was held at Singleton Park in Swansea, the same venue that regularly hosts the Welsh National Cross Country Championships. The runners would do four laps of the undulating course at Singleton Park running a total of 8k. The field was packed with the UK and Irelands top masters athletes. The Scottish teams faced strong English and Irish teams meaning they were likely fighting it out between the remaining nations for bronze medals.
It was ideal conditions as each of the races got underway with Andrew and Michael first up in the V50 and V55 races, each keen to take one of the top counting places in their team. The start as predicted was frantic with Andrew and Mick both positioning themselves in the top half of the race. By the 2nd lap Andrew, managed to pick off a few of his teammates and was leading the Scottish contingent. He continued to finish strong finishing in overall 17th position and 1st counter for the V50 team in a time of 29:06. After a very fast start Mick McLoone managed to hold onto his position to be first home for the Scottish V55 team in 30:31 and 10th overall in his age category.
Next up was Mooney, Campbell and Monaghan represented in the mens V35 – 50 race. In the V35 category Chris started strong and packed well with the his Scottish team mates. On the third lap he managed to move himself into a counting position by moving into 4th place. He finished in 27:24 which was good enough for 18th (v35) and 38th in the 90 man field. Steven and Paul formed part of two very strong age categories and had to be at their best to earn a chance of a medal. Steven finished in 28:54 which earned a team bronze medal. Despite an early fall Paul recovered well in the V45 category to finish in 30:16, although just fell short of a team medal position.
The runners would like to thank Greenock Glenpark Harriers for their support in making the trip to Swansea. A special mention also to ex Greenock man Christopher Devine representing the V40 category and finished 35th in 27:11. Greenock can be proud of their representation at this national event and their performances will put them in contention for inclusion in future squads.
Results – British and Irish Masters International Cross Country (Singleton Park, Swansea)
Race 2 – V50 – V59
17th Andrew White (29:06)
41st Michael McLoone (30:31)
Race 3 – V35 – V49
38th Chris Mooney (27:24)
73rd Steven Campbell (28:54)
84th Paul Monaghan (30:16)