ATHLETICS: Gransha to host North West Cross Country race this weekend

A big entry is expected at this weekend's North West Cross Country race at Gransha.

A big entry is expected at this weekend's North West Cross Country race at Gransha.

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The run in to Christmas is synonymous with the North West cross country races in the Gransha grounds and once again a massive turn out of runners from near and far will line up for action this Saturday morning in a five race programme, with the featured Open 6K scheduled for 12.30pm.

The annual City of Derry Spartans promotion is a popular and must do fixture in the extensive running calendar and in recent years participation has been boosted by the increasing appeal of the thriving ANI Cross Country League.

Road racing of course attracts bigger numbers but many runners are discovering the special appeal of cross country, its team ethos especially, and the North West is a prime example of what its all about.

Saturday’s programme kicks off at 11.30am with the Primary Schools race at 11.40am its the U13’s, the U15’s go at 11.50am and then the U17’s face the starter at 12.05pm.

Finishers in all these races will get a special ribboned medal for their efforts and the entry fee is £1.50 or 2 Euros.

At 12.30pm the U20’s, Seniors and Masters will line up in the featured Open 6k, three laps of the traditional Gransha circuit.

Men and Women will race together and around 300 starters are expected as many clubs will bring good numbers as they battle for individual honours and vital team League points.

The entry fee is £6 or 9 Euros with changing and showers, chip timing plus the usual wide range of individual and team prizes on offer.

With Foyle Valley in serious contention for the ANI Cross Country League honours they will have big numbers out as indeed will keen rivals City of Derry Spartans who will be out to retain their men’s team title and regain the women’s crown after losing to Springwell last year.

Factor in other visiting clubs like Newcastle AC, North Down, North Belfast Harriers, Ballydrain, Lagan Valley, Ballymena Runners, Dromore, Acorns, Willowfield, Orangegrove, Inishowen, Letterkenny and Finn Valley and some hot race action is certain.

Pre-entry can be made up to 6pm on Friday December 18th by sending your Name, Gender, Age on race day and Club if any to nwxcentry@gmail.com.

Entries of course will be taken on the day from 10.30am at race headquarters in the U3A Foyle premises in the Gransha grounds and pre entrants can pay the entry fee as they pick up their race pack on race morning.