ATHLETICS: Ireland’s Helena Crossan finished a magnificent second in the inaugural Trail World Challenge in Huntsville National Park, Texas over the weekend.
UltraRunning Ireland sent one male and female athlete to the 50-mile off-road event which took place in stifling 30ºC temperatures on a four-loop course,
Norimi Sakurai (Japan) claimed victories with Great Britain’s Adele Salt in third place behind Crossan, a former cross-country international from Donegal.
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 for some 10 hours before recovering.
Ultrarunning is set for the Commonwealth Championships in 2009, which many see as a first step towards Olympic Games inclusion.