Catherine grabs Glasgow medals

Catherine grabs Glasgow medals

15 November 2023

NORTHERN Ireland’s Masters cross country teams descended on Tollcross Park, Glasgow, for the annual international Masters competition on Saturday. Age groups from 35 up to 70 competed in a number of races with teams from across the UK and Ireland.

Conditions were good — a little bit cool —with a fast grass course around an undulating route.

East Down AC’s Catherine O’Connor was part of the Northern Ireland ladies’ 35-39 age group team. Catherine has had a great year, winning the European Ladies Masters title in Italy,

She was in good form and with very stiff competition she headed to the front of the race where she remained. Catherine finished third overall with team-mates Sarah McNutt and Judith Storm packing well behind her in fourth and fifth places respectively, which meant team gold and a bronze individual medal for Catherine.

East Down’s Neil Curran was racing for Northern Ireland  in the 45-49 age group. All the different age groups are at a very high standard and it is a big step up from the league races.

Neil had a great race and helped the Northern Ireland team to fourth position. Well done to both Catherine and Neil for flying the flag.



Also on Saturday East Down AC’s mountain man, Niall Gibney, took on the IMRA Powerscourt Ridge Race in Wicklow.

This is a very popular race, attracting runners from all over Ireland. The course was 9.5 miles long with 2,800 feet of climbing. Niall completed the distance in 1 hr 40 mins enjoyed the scenery in perfect conditions for a change.



The Tollymore Trail Marathon also took place on Saturday. This included a 40-mile ultra marathon, marathon, half marathon and 10k race in Tollymore Forest Park.

This is a challenging event with many steep climbs and descents. The course followed many of the gravel fire roads and smaller single muddy tracks.

East Down’s Philip Vint, who has run many marathons and ultras, took on the full marathon and coming off the back of the Dublin Marathon knew he was taking on a slightly different challenge.

With clear and dry conditions 73 athletes took on the trail marathon, Philip found the going tough but enjoyed the whole event and the autumn scenery made it worthwhile.

He crossed the finish line in eighth position in a time of 3 hrs 37 mins 04 seconds. A great run and Philip’s 89th marathon ticked off with the century in sight.