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Wednesday, 15th November 2023

Drogheda & District AC go from local triumphs to international glory and beyond!

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Pat O’Grady (6017) with teammates Kevin Griffin (6018), Eddie Newman (6016), and Willie O'Donoghue (6015) after participating in the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International Championships in Tollcross Park, Glasgow.

After last week's exhilarating display of athleticism by the juveniles of Drogheda & District A.C. in the Leinster Uneven XC Championships, and energised by their spirited performances, the senior members of the club have been putting in the hard miles, determined to carry the momentum into the upcoming Louth Senior Cross Country Championships.

As we eagerly await the results of this upcoming event, let's turn our focus to our athletes abroad, whose endeavours on the international stage are bound to captivate and inspire.

DDAC’s Pat O'Grady, in the M60 category, brought the house down at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International Championships on Saturday morning in Tollcross Park, Glasgow.

With a lightning-fast time of 31:26, Pat surged through the challenging terrain, leaving a trail of determination. His stellar performance, coupled with the prowess of teammates Kevin Griffin, Eddie Newman, and Willie O'Donoghue, culminated in a triumphant 3rd place bronze for Ireland in the fiercely contested M60 category.

Tollcross Park, with its undulating landscapes of small hills and tricky turns, served as the ultimate battleground, pushing runners to their limits. The day, tinged with a chill in the air, offered ideal cross-country conditions that played into the hands of these seasoned athletes.

The event, masterfully hosted by the Scottish Masters team, not only showcased top-notch organisation but also created an electrifying atmosphere for competitors. The stakes were high as Ireland sought to defend their coveted overall teams title, having clinched victory the previous year. However, the script took an unexpected twist, with England seizing the crown this time around, relegating the Irish team to a valiant second-place finish.

Drogheda & District AC's pride, Tadhg Donnelly, showcased his athletic prowess on the grand stage of the NCAA Northeast Cross Country Regional Championships at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York, on Friday morning. Currently a sophomore at Iona University, Tadhg, along with his dedicated teammates, spearheaded the Iona Gaels to a remarkable triumph in the men's 10K.

Tadhg Donnelly (445) with fellow Iona Gaels teammates after participating in the NCAA Northeast Cross Country Regional Championships at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York.

The collective effort of the team was nothing short of extraordinary, and Tadhg's individual performance was a standout feature, clocking in at an impressive 30:24. His grit and determination contributed significantly to securing the first-place team finish, marking a memorable achievement for both Tadhg and the Iona Gaels.

Meanwhile, closer to home, DDAC runners made a remarkable impact at the local Parkrun held in Oldbridge on Saturday morning, marking the 402nd organised event and the 11th anniversary of its establishment.

This special occasion was a testament to the enduring success and community spirit fostered by the Parkrun organisers. DDAC proudly had 17 of its athletes participate, contributing to the vibrant atmosphere of the event.

Among the notable results, Dave Gallagher emerged as a standout performer, crossing the finish line in an impressive 18:32, clinching not only 1st place but also his 1st Parkrun.

The enthusiasm continued with strong performances from Paul McDonnell and Paul Reilly, both finishing with a commendable time of 22:53. Linda Bowe showcased her running prowess with a time of 29:06, while Niamh Matthews exhibited determination, completing the run in 32:18.

At DDAC, we express our gratitude to our members for their volunteering efforts and extend heartfelt wishes for the continued success of this beloved event. Here's to many more years of running, community, and celebration at Oldbridge Parkrun!

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