None Ireland’s Helena Crossan finished a magnificent second in the inaugural Trail World Challenge in Huntsville National Park, Texas over the weekend. The 50-mile off-road running event, organised by the International Association of Ultrarunners, was held in stifling 30 C degree temperatures on a four-loop course.
UltraRunning Ireland sent one male and female athlete to the championships. Crossan, a former cross-country international, had finished 10th in the World 100km Championships in the Netherlands in September in an Irish record time of 7:52:45. Norimi Sakurai (Japan) claimed victory in Texas with Great Britain’s Adele Salt in third place behind Crossan, the Donegal woman.
In the men’s race, there was a serious health scare for Ireland’s Marty Rea, the 2007 national 100km title-holder. In sixth position with only 400 metres remaining, the Irishman suddenly collapsed from his efforts. Paramedics were immediately on the scene and Rea was rushed to hospital. He was paralysed or some ten hours before making a recovery.
Irish ultra runners have been making remarkable progress on the international scene, particularly in adventure running, with the Irish men’s 100km team also ranked in the top eight in the world. Crossan’s medal represents another milestone in the continuing development of the sport.
Ultrarunning will be introduced to the Commonwealth Championships in 2009, which many see as a first step towards Olympic Games inclusion. Global road championships already occur at the 100km distance and at 24 Hours, the winner of the latter being the person who covers most distance in a 24-hour period.
For more information –
Contact – Richard Donovan, Chairman of UltraRunning Ireland
Email – [email protected]