Friday, 14 November 2014

Intervarsities 2014 Belfast

 Last weekend, a 13-strong group of DUO runners made the trip up to Belfast for the 2014/15 Irish Student Orienteering Championships which were held on a technically and physically tough sand dune area at Tyrella.
Our team for the Intervarsities this year!

Preparing for the sprint....

Pre-run socialising 

          Despite the miserable conditions and the early morning, the group was in high spirits on departure from Dublin at 8:30 on Saturday morning. A few stops and wrong turns later, everyone had arrived at the army base on which the Tyrella dunes are situated with minutes to spare before the first start.

It's all fun and games...                                    Until you have to get out of the car.....

The courses on the day proved to be very challenging with the intricate contour detail in the dunes catching many out on more than a few occasions.

Jana up at the start.                                                     The terrain...     

In the Mens' Long, Conor Short was the best Trinity runner in a time of 54:51 to take 2nd place, just over 90 seconds behind UCD's Colm Moran. Eoin McCullough was the 2nd Trinity runner in 5th place, with Kyle Heron in 10th and Henrik Pettersson in 12th. Unfortunately, this was not enough to retain the Intervarsity title with UCD proving to be too strong on the day and we were left to rue our mistakes out on the course.

          In the Women's Long class, DUO was represented by Laura and Jana Cox and Rebecca Ni Chonchubhair. The girls, although unaccustomed to courses of this length and difficulty, took one for the team and made the step up to try to gain some valuable points for the team. The girls put in resilient performances to get round the course with Laura and Jana finishing, while unfortunately, Rebecca did not complete the very demanding course.

          In the Men's Short, beginner Tim Ryan was the first Trinity runner home to take a well-earned 6th place in a very strong field dominated by Queen's, with Julien Beuken and Conor Dolan finishing in 8th and 9th positions respectively. 

         Tim Ryan                                                                            Julien Bueken                               Conor Dolan  

    In the women's Short, DUO were represented by Laoise Doyle and Michelle Wong, who put in good performances to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.

 Laoise Doyle (left) and Michelle Wong (above)

          Although results-wise it was a disappointing day, with both the men's and women's teams relinquishing their Intervarsity titles to UCD, that didn't stop us enjoying ourselves that night when all of the colleges went out for dinner and some light refreshments ;)  as a group.

Eibhlin (organiser and captain of QUBOC) with Tim, Conor, Jana, Laoise & Rebecca

          The following day, after a leisurely morning and once everyone had gotten their morning coffee fix, it was time to go to Queen's Elms for a fun sprint around the college accommodation, part of which was used in the sprint when the JK came to Northern Ireland in 2011.

Everybody preparing for the sprint

QUBOC start us all off

The girls getting their games faces on!

Eoin discusses the course with UCCO captain James and last year's captain Kyle

 The courses were very tricky with many uncrossable features and controls on different levels which did their job and caught lots of people out. On the day, it was another UCD runner who took the win on the Long course, this time Cilín Corbett, with Conor Short again DUO's best runner finishing in 3rd, only 28 seconds behind.

  Conor Short - top DUO runner 


As this was just a fun, extra event, courses were simply split between Long and Short. As mentioned already, Conor Short finished an excellent 3rd, with Kyle Heron in 12th, Henrik Pettersson in 19th, Tim Ryan in 25th, Clíona McCullough in 26th (and 4th woman), Julien Beuken in 38th, Conor Dolan in 45th, Rebecca Ni Chonchubhair in 46th and Laoise Doyle in 50th

 Kyle (above) and Henrik (right) proudly representing DUO


Tim (above) and Julien (right) exploring Queens

Rebecca and Conor enjoy their course!
Laoise sprints around
On the Short, Laura Cox finished 3rd, while Michelle Wong finished in 5th position.

Michelle's run shocks Conor!
Laura's accurate run!

          Despite the cold weather, and although some of the results didn't go our way, it was still a very enjoyable weekend for everyone. Congratulations to everyone who ran, especially the beginners who performed excellently in such tough conditions. 
Laoise, Conor and Michelle get their prizes for Saturday!

Post course discussion

Big thanks go to QUBOC for organising the weekend, especially Eibhlin Largey and Katarina Stefkova for all their work in making sure everything ran smoothly. Thanks to the drivers, the committee and to everyone who came! We'll be back next year!!

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