Welome to Carnage – or as some imminent person wrote #somme. It was a battle-gound here today in Galway. About 6 blades of grass were counted in the course – and this was before the races started. Mud, mud everywhere – the rhyme of the ancient mariner will take on a new meaning after today’s conditions.

The Juvenile B’s got underway in very tough conditions – with water lodged in much of the course and muck ankle deep, it was difficult for the young athletes to gather momentum.
Issac Carew of St Senans was 7th in the boys u/11 race – his light frame gliding through the underfoot mire. The County team were 6th with Gowran 11th club. Gowran also had a team in the girls u/11 – with many of them competing in the indoors yesterday, and the long trip to Galway they did well to navigate travel and mucky conditions. It is a young team and a good learning curve for them. The club team finished 7th.

The intermediate ladies ran cross country today – though one would be forgiven for thinking it was “hell and back”. Not a centimetre of the course was free from think slimy muck. As one athlete said, she was not even out of breath at the end of the race – so difficult was it to navigate a path and find space to run. It was a trudge. You spent more time navigating that actually pushing ahead.
Kilkenny were 2nd county and St Senans were 4th Club – a meagre 6 points off the 3rd medal.
4th Lauren Dearmody (Castlecomer)
6th Sally Forristal (St Josephs)
11th Bronagh Kearns (St Senans)
20th Aine Kinsella (St Senans)
21st Michelle McDonald (St Senans)
25th Rachel Butler (St Senans)

Lauren was in 2nd place for most of the race and fought really hard to retain this position. Despite gliding and sliding a few times she always made her way back and was so focused. With 500m to go Ashley Ryan passed her and then with 300m Nikkta Burke literally slide past her. A great race in such awful conditions. Sally worked hard all the race and was in the top 6 all the way. It was a difficult race for Sally as the she was isolated during the race, the 5th girl being a gap in front of her and the 7th girl a gap behind her.

James Kelly of Castlecomer ran a great race in the Intermediate mens to finish 9th. It is such a pity that Kilkenny could not field a county team. And we have such a quality and depth of individuals at Intermediate level in the county at the moment.
Maybe next year – Kilkenny as a county should host the Nationals. And win it!!!!!! If facebook would allow text highlighting -this last sentence would show up in red.

Adele Walsh was in the top 8 for the first lap but faded to 19th. All was not lost for Adele – despite not liking the course she did manage to finish 5th in the over 40s category, the same place she finished in the Nationals last year. So not a bad race at all. Michelle Ryan of Gowran ran a good race to finish 32nd in the over 40s. Again with all the athletes we have in the county, it was a shame we could not field a team today.

Sean Caulfield was 5th in the over 50s Masters race. He flew past some old rivals from yesteryear to have what he called a “smashing race”. Sean is a tough cookie and any kind of course suits him. So muck or fine grass – it does not seem to matter. Though he did admit that today was a little bit on the far side.

So all athletes in County Kilkenny, the message is – get your Intermediate and Masters athletes focused on the Leinster and Nationals for next year. We can do it, with a we can do attitude and a bit of co-operation from everyone to focus on one or two main events.

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