Mark’s Blog (National Cross Country Championships 2016)

Last Sunday I competed in the National Cross Country Championships and European Cross Country trials on the new purpose build course in Abbotstown, Dublin. Having not raced in a while and with a big block of Winter training behind me I was looking forward to getting out there.

Perfect weather conditions and just the overall feeling of anticipation meant we all went out a bit eager but the pace eventually settled down.

Rolling mucky hills in the second half of the course were maneuvered fairly easily in the first few laps. On lap three there was a breakaway of a few of us. I felt good so went with pace.

The hills became a little more cumbersome towards the latter half of the race and the eventual winner started to pull away on the last lap. I battled hard to the line and held on for bronze. This also qualifies me for the Irish team in the European Championships that will be held in Chia, Italy in little over a weeks times.

Hoping to build on this race and personally feeling I’ve never performed to what I’m capable of in an Irish vest, I hope I can put down a performance for the team that I will be proud of in Italy.