Juniors battle in the sun for honours on Millstone
by Phil Hodge
Glorious sunshine greeted the Junior athletes who arrived on Saturday morning to compete in the N.Ireland Junior Mountain Running Championship.
The start followed the first 2 sections of the senior course to the summit of Millstone, then a descent to the 2nd quarry rather than follow the seniors race to Donard’s summit.
Interestingly, the juniors were only 3mins behind the seniors at the summit of Millstone, the fastest senior time being 22min 11sec.
The descent off Millstone, initially rocky, eventually turns into a narrow, occasionally muddy single track. Thankfully for the juniors wearing trainers, the track was dry and didn’t cause too many falls.
Upon reaching the quarry the runners had a brief run on forest road, before descending on a twisty mountain bike track through the trees. They exited this onto forest roads, where those not wearing fell shoes, could pick up their speed again after the cautious run through the forest floor.
A short spell on the cobble path, then tarmac and a final sprint across the playing fields to the finish.
The fastest descenders could make up a couple of places, with the two Brennans, Oisin and Molly showing the rest of the field how it’s done.
Six runners managed to descend back to Donard park in 14 mins or less:-
Oisin Brennan 00:12:04
Tony McCambridge 00:12:40
Tom Magee 00:12:43
Conall McClean 00:12:50
Adam Ferris 00:13:29
Molly Brennan 00:14:00
This rapid descending didn’t change the front positions however, with Tony McCambridge and Conall McClean, both of St Malachy’s College, crossing the line together for the win. Third place was fellow St Malachy’s runner, Adam Ferris. Tom Magee of St Colman’s was fourth and first U19 runner followed by the fastest descender of the day Oisin Brennan of Springwell. Third placed U19 was Jonny Brattle of Willowfield.
Molly made the most of her rapid descent to extend a narrow 7 second advantage over second placed Emma Mulholland at the summit, to more than 17mins by the finish!
A big thank-you must go out to all the marshals – they might have been standing in the sun, but giving of their time and helping to clear the course is greatly appreciated by all the athletes.
|Overall time||Finish position||Name||Race No.||Summit Time||Summit Position||Descent time||Descent rank|