Derry Track Club members scooped a hat-trick of titles at the Irish National Masters’ Track & Field Championships in Tullamore. Cathal McLaughlin moved into a new M50 mage group with dramatic effect lifting both 800m and 1500m titles.
For Marty Cox, it was all new as he made his debut at the championships having only turned 35 earlier in the year. It was also the first time he had competed on the track in any national event.
McLaughlin, nicknamed Vorsprung Durch Technik by his friends on account of a mechanically efficient running action, kicked off the afternoon impressively in the 800m.
The DTC chairman took control at 300m to go before going on for a facile victory in 2:11.85, winning by over a second. He returned to the track later in the afternoon to add the 1500m crown using contrasting tactics. On this occasion, he waited until the final straight before unleashing a strong sprint that saw him home in 4:30.81.
It was a nervous Marty Cox who lined up for the M35 1500m particularly when he carried the weight of favourite. Nevertheless he quickly settled down and kept himself out of trouble during the opening two laps.
The Omagh man found himself at the front of the field soon afterwards but did not panic. A quick glance over his shoulder at 1200m and he was away. Picking up the pace gradually over the final 300m saw him home in 4:11.62, a respectable time after passing 800m in 2:20.