Report by Rachel Collins, Meadow McCauley and Hannah McMullen.
Hannah: "The place was pretty and the weather was fab. The race was challenging but not ridiculous and I was pleased with my run! Dinner was good and breakfast was perfect." Hannah finished a fantastic 18th place-keep up the great work!
Meadow: "I loved the 4:00 wake-up; I found it very… ‘refreshing’… I made a few mistakes but overall had a solid race. The beds were a luxurious upgrade from previous years’ accommodation (the floor) and I was ecstatic to discover we were staying beside the National Stone Centre; an unmissable experience for all fellow stone enthusiasts out there… 10/10!!" Meadow finished 20th place; super progress from last year’s result.
Rachel: "Firstly, I was delighted to discover loads of sheep, on the course. I got off to a shaky start (wading through a lot of interesting foliage en route to no.5…) but after a few clean, quick controls things began to flow and I was very happy to place 8th, especially, as I beat my South West England friend/rival Meg by 5 secs (she got me by 1 sec last year!!)"
It was great to see two full M14/16 teams, alongside Peter Reed running up to M18 with Andrew.
M14s: This was the first JIRC experience for the boys who all put in a great effort, resulting in smiles and 18th position for Ben Cairns, 29th for Zach Murphy, 33rd for Oliver O’Kane and 35th for Dan Murphy. Well done boys!
M16s: A solid run from Daniel Earnshaw delivered him an impressive 23rd. Good clean runs from Matthew Vasey and Daniel Vasey earned them 31st and 39th respectively. Odhran McGoldrick appeared to have a solid race bar his mispuch but not to worry, as Steph pointed out, mispuching is often the result of surplus enthusiasm and pace.
M18s: Enthusiasm remained high for the older boys, perhaps a little too high, as a solid race for Peter Reed was rudely interrupted with another mispunch. A great effort, none the less. Unfortunately, injury hampered Andrew Elwood’s race and we wish him a speedy and full recovery.
The 3 NIOJS girls achieved joint 8th place; Quality, not quantity! The boys placed 12th and overall NIOJS was 12th.
Meadow: "I expected strong competition but I was delighted and very proud of my performance which I felt showcased my capability."
Meadow’s fantastic work earned her 9th position out of 25 competitors on the first leg.
Hannah: "I thought the relay would be difficult and very different from the first day. To summarise, I was terrified. I woke up to discover we had brought the weather with us. 6:00 am was an even more ‘refreshing’ start and we all woke up exhilarated and ready for the day… My start perhaps could have been smoother… had I begun with a dibber. But not to worry, luckily an unknown hero shoved a dibber into my hand and I was good to go… physically, perhaps not mentally! I was glad I didn’t misspunch or mess the whole thing up!" Hannah should be given due credit for successfully completing her first ever relay and no less finishing 18th on her leg.
Rachel: "I expected a fast and exciting race… and cows. I had a predominantly clean run bar a more scenic control 8 and loved the fast and open terrain and managed to secure 16th place for the team."
Two competitive teams entered the relay. The first comprised of Matthew Vasey (M16), Ben Cairns (M14) and Peter Reed (running up M18) and the other: Odhran McGoldrick (M16), Zach Murphy (M14) and Daniel Earnshaw (running up M18). The boys checked their codes and put in super efforts, resulting in no mispunches and a 27th and 30th position respectively- well done! Daniel Vasey, Oliver O’Kane and Dan Murphy had the opportunity to run the ADHOC relay, making up 2 teams with athletes from other regions. A special mention should be given to Oliver O’Kane who won his leg by over 6 minutes!
Hannah: "I came. I saw. I conquered."
Meadow: "I was happy, satisfied and keen to come back and do better than ever next year."
Rachel: "I was happy to have had a successful and enjoyable JIRC but sad to say goodbyes, knowing I wouldn’t see some ‘O’ friends for a while. I left excited for the year ahead and a campaign led by JIRC 2019 hosts Yorkshire for a JIRC ceilidh complimented this."
Overall, thanks to solid relay performances, the 13 strong NIOJS’s final placing rose to 10th; our best performance in 6 years! To say we were delighted is an understatement.
A massive thanks have to be given to Steph, Joanne, Dennis, and Mark. The JIRC is a wonderful competition and showcases the best aspects of our sport; we are all so thankful to have had the opportunity to compete.