event :: irish champs


Over the same weekend as the first World Cup series, the best of Irish orienteering gathered on the west coast of Ireland for the Irish Championships.

There were double wins for Andrew Quin and Niamh O’Boyle, who both took middle and classic elite titles.

The short race was held on exceedingly fast open moorland where both senior courses had a massive control pick exercise – only 8 of the 25 legs on the mens course were won in over a minute! Dublin’s Andrew Quin took victory on the men’s course in 22.08, with Finnish runner Jussi Makila 2nd on 22.51, and EPOC’s Niall Bourke 3rd in a time of 24.08. In the women’s race it was Niamh O’Boyle who took her first senior Irish title in a time of 21.55, with Ailbhe Creedon 2nd in 23.33, and Una May 3rd in 24.13. Both winners were runners-up in last year’s event, prevailing in the absence of Bill Edwards and Toni O’Donovan.
The classic distance was on some rather beautiful terrain, rocky ridges covered in moss, with some rather wet patches in between, similar to orienteering in Finland. The men’s elite course was on the short side, with Andrew Quin adding to his short title from the day before in a time of 62.10, which also meant he kept hold of his title which he won last year. Jussi Makila was 2nd again in 66.10, whilst Colm Rothery was 3rd in 69.37. In the women’s elite class it was another win for Niamh O’Boyle in her first year as a senior in a time of 73.50. Una May was runner-up in 74.19, with Petranka Pacheva 3rd in 77.18.

Thanks to Niall Bourke for his views on the races.

Monday mornings 10 o'clock mass relay start had the first leg runners using the fantastic intricate open terrain that the longer classic courses had visited the previous day. An amusing gaffled first control saw many runners unwilling to commit to a straight line, preferring to stick with the pack apart from Seamus O'Boyle who found himself on own for the first 400m. The packs then disappeared out of view on tough legs up the hillside into rather fast undulating moorland.
The strong winds and an odd shower did little to dampen to dampen spirits with spectators having fantastic views of runners coming back over the large hill three quarters of the way around their course, descending into complicated crags. Many runners were being seen to have trouble stopping to read their map or standing on top of the crag they were suppose to be looking for much to the amusement of the next leg runners.
The women’s open saw Una May who had been 2nd in the classic race come home in first place for 3ROC followed a minute later by w21e middle and classic champion Niamh O'Boyle for CNOC. Meanwhile the men’s open found Avelino Pinto of 3ROC coming home 1 minute ahead of AJAX's Brendan O'Brien who had 1 second over of Gerry Brady of Setanta, winner of the M50 middle title. The second leg found Finish runner Jussi Makila storm round the course giving Setanta a 3 minute lead over the rest of the field. Meanwhile quite a few mp's found CNOC with a 13 minute lead over the rest of the field courtesy of newly appointed junior affairs officer Ruth Lynam.
A poor last leg found Setanta drop to 3rd place being beaten by 10 seconds by CorkO who had strong 2nd and 3rd leg runs courtesy of Brian Corbett and Darren Burke. Although AJAXs team of Brendan O’Brien Colm Rothery and John Casey were in a league of their on winning by a massive 21 minute margin. Bernie O'Boyle, mother of first leg runner Niamh brought CNOC home 2 minutes ahead of Setanta allowing Niamh to round of the weekend with wins in the middle, classic and relay.

Relay report courtesy of Paddy

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