Weekend Preview: NI & Ulster Novice and Uneven Age Group XC… and more!

NI & Ulster Novice and Uneven Age Group XC set for Scotstown, County Monaghan:

Over 1,000 athletes will descend on Scotstown in County Monaghan for this weekend’s Northern Ireland and Ulster Novice and Uneven Age Group Cross Country Championships (Sunday 11th November 2018).

The Athletics NI hosted event includes an exciting race programme, starting at 11:15am with the Under 11 age category races.  The Uneven Age Group Championship races up to Under 19 will follow, before the Novice Women take on their 4,000m event at 2:05pm; the Novice Men’s 6,000m race will close proceedings at 2:30pm.

The Novice Men’s race will be hotly contested, with a number of athletes capable of securing gold.  North Belfast Harriers’ Joe Malone and Ballydrain Harriers’ Glen Taylor will both be in the mix.  Milford AC’s Marty Lynch, a runner up at the recent Mourne Skyline MTR, will also challenge for a podium place.

Other athletes to look out for include Dave Slater (Enniskillen RC), Eoin Hughes (Letterkenny AC), John McQuade (Derry Track Club) and Wesley McDowell (Dromore AC), who led Paul Pollock’s #DreamRunDublin18 group home at the AAI National Marathon Championships.

In the ladies race, Helen McCready (Rosses AC) and Joanne McNabb (Finn Valley AC), both of whom performed well at last week’s Donegal XC Championships, should place well.  They will face Letterkenny AC’s Monica McGranaghan, Derry Track Club’s Elaine Connor and Willowfield Harriers’ Lois Hagen, amongst others.

In the Age Group races, places at the All Ireland XC will be up for grabs as well as the prestigious junior medals and many of the stars from the recent Even Age Group Championships will be in action.

Mid Ulster AC’s Henry Curley will lead the way in the Under 11 1200m race, with Mark Wilkinson (Finn Valley AC), Bradley Boyle (Letterkenny AC) and Luke McCausland (City of Lisburn AC) all likely to play a part at the front.  In the Girl’s race, Emer McKee (Willowfield Harriers), Cliodha McBride (Cranford AC) and Kari Foster (East Down AC) should challenge for honours.

Anna Gardiner, Lucy Foster and Jodi Foster, all of East Down AC, will be in the mix in the Under 13 Girl’s 2,000m race, but the talented trio will face tough competition in the form of Miah Fletcher (Cranford AC) and Cait O’Reilly (Annalee AC).  Fionn McNamara (Annalee AC), Finlay Mayne (Loughview AC) and Caolan McFadden (Cranford AC) will be frontrunners in the Boy’s race.

Gearoid Lynch of Shercock AC was an impressive winner at the Even Age Group Championships in Antrim and he will race again here, in the Under 15 category (3,000m).  The Shercock AC athlete will line up alongside Jack McCausland (City of Lisburn AC), Oisin Duffy (City of Derry AC) and Odhran O’Reilly (Annalee AC).  Rosses AC athlete Amy Greene, North Down AC’s Tara McDonough and East Down AC’s Lauren Madine will be racing for gold in the Girl’s equivalent age group.

In Antrim two weeks ago, Sean M McGinley (Olympian AC) and Dylan McBride (Willowfield Harriers) enjoyed yet another battle – that day, Sean came out on top.  The exceptionally talented junior athletes will both line up in the Under 17 4,500m race and will have St Malachy’s AC runners Adam Ferris and Callum Morgan for company.  In the Girl’s 4,000m event, Cara Laverty (City of Derry AC), a podium finisher at last week’s McConnell Shield XC, will contest the gold medal position alongside Hannah Gilliland (Willowfield Harriers) and Eimear McBrien (Lagan Valley AC).

Northern Ireland international Grace Carson (Mid Ulster AC) will head the challenge in the Girl’s Under 19 4,500m race.  Omagh Harriers’ Niamh Heaney will also be there or there abouts, while in the Boy’s 6,000m race, St Malachy’s should be well represented at the front with Conall McClean, Tony McCambridge and Miceal McCaul all set to compete.  North Down AC’s Alex Boyd will also place well.

Full details for the NI & Ulster Novice and Uneven Age Group XC Championships 2018 are available HERE.

Other events taking place in Northern Ireland this weekend…

Saturday 10th November 2018:

  • Ballynahinch 5k:  Ballynahinch British Legion Hall – 2pm (Entries AVAILABLE on race day!)
  • Sperrin Harriers Winter League Trail Series (Race 1):  Davagh Forest 10k – Davagh Forest (Davagh Trail Head) – 12pm (Entries AVAILABLE on race day!)
  • 26extreme Tollymore Trail Marathon Events:  Tollymore Forest, County Down – Various Start Times (Full details available HERE).


As always, Northern Ireland’s twenty five parkrun events will take place this weekend, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page.