All posts in Half Marathon

Loops, tall chaps and Google maps ! (Den Haag HM 11 .03.2018)

Maurice McCrohan Reports: Declan Power has been extolling the virtues of an away trip spring half for some time. The Den Haag half is a race event that went under the radar for our running community. Kieran, Jer and myself took Declans’ advice and joined him on his return to the event.
Unfortunately ,on arrival in Amsterdam  Schifol airport train station,we did not take Declans advice,that there are three stations in the Hague and the race HQ is close to Centraal station. We jumped off at Den Haag North and were puzzled  not to see a park and HQ Tents in the locality. But,of course you can find your way so easily  these days with google maps..?
30 minutes later  we were still  aimlessly looping around Den Haag desperate for signs of greenery.We then saw the sign for Centraal Station and the penny dropped  in terms of  Declan’s clear directions! The race tents came into view.We got our race numbers without fuss or much queueing. The race T shirt was add on to the race fee. Only one of our group bought the T shirt.
The number on the T shirts 070 caused debate.It  seemed to be  a misprint of race categories? No! Exclaimed a Dutch friend of Declans( in their  stereotypical direct way )when asked about this later! She thought we had been to a “coffee” shop! 070 is the NL dialling code!
From our race gang of four,we were a man down for the race. Jer was on the injury list. But ,he was our  able  mentor,coach,sherpa. A bit of a fixer upper as the song goes ,But also an  occasional winder  upper. On saturday evening , smirking, supping a Dutch local ale ,while we were left to choose between sparking and still water. We spent the afternoon watching and enjoying the Rugby! The Park Hotel was  located in the Centrum,close to identical looking side streets of numerous cafes,bars ,restaurants.There were glorious old church structures and the  main shopping thoroughfare.In summary, the city is  a hidden treasure.
I found the streets all looked the same. So I did not get my bearings until Sunday.
The food range satisfied the dietay requirements of our gang.A vegan,a vegetarian and one who eats any old sh..!
Declans booked an Italian restraurant for the evening.Our google maps locator again went haywire.We had another aimless loop wander until we reached the restaurant .The Fratelli was so popular that our booking was moved to the basement function room.It was actually fine. We could hear ourself talk.
The pasta and pennes were ok ,the waiters  very friendly. The location picturesque ,adjacent to a lake and an old historical building.
We were up bright and early on race day.We did not need to be up too early,race  time was 2.30pm.This gave us the digestion time to fill our boots food wise.Kieran and myself brought our own porridge.But ,porridge is not a regular on the Dutch breakfast menu. They heated my porridge flakes ,but did not realise it tastes better if you add milk or water!
The Den Haag HM is one of a number of races on the day. We arrived at race HQ an hour before to see the tail end of the 10KM. Jer Sherpa  took our gear and we warmed up. Declan was in to the elite field zone.
We lined up feeling  positively Lilliputian among the land of the Dutch  giants. So many tall runners,when smaller seems an advantage for distance races. The MC was fun lots of Dutch songs and chants.And then we were off..
It was a mainly flat course.Roads wide enough for runing space.Early on Dutch runners when undertaking were very polite using the Dutch for excuse me as they passed.It was a mild afernoon,the earlier rain had cleared.
The only real testing area is a couple of KMs on the coast,slight increase in gradient and potential exposure to the wind. Fortunately,there was no headwind ,which was a feature in 2017. Mentor Jer had us very concerned about the potential moderate winds.But as the shipping forecast would say,winds stayed the  light side of moderate.
The course remained flat for the run in to the finish.The race had around 9500 finishers,so there was no overcrowing.There were 4 water stations giving out  cups water and energy drinks were sufficient.
There were good crowds along the route,But the Dutch are more reserved than Americans or Dubs in terms of encouragement. Heading into the finish straight there is around 300m run to the line.Good support and a less reserved crowd  lined the run in area.
I was happy with a 87 finish.My times in something of a contradiction are improving slowly. The bouquets are deserved  elsewhere. Declan got 1st M045 and  a top 100 finish in 73 mins. Kierans 83mins was an impressive 10th in age group and 1st (flying) non Dutchman M050.
The post race area in a field was well organised and  spacious.But,not much in terms of snacky post race food.This is a very well run event. We were all happy and ready for a post race  relaxing evening. But first ,being Holland ,Kieran had to have his post race chips. We found a place with excellent chips that hit the mark.
We then went to the suprisingly busy Hupple bar. The reasons for the crowd soon became clear. The bar manager brought our complimentary soup and bread. Again,this hit the mark. The only condition, the manager imposed made was you had to write a review of the soup and sandwiches in the pub notebook!!We found another bar with a food area attached,which went down well as hunger pains returned. Reggae music addded to the ambiance. We then returned to the Hupple bar ,where the bar man granted  spotify music  requests until we had  had our full of drink…

In summary,we gave the event a  big 4 yesees! An away day spring half is written into our  diaries. Kieran is eyeing up an 055 placing next year and a new phone with a better google maps app. Declan is  eyeing a PB and the Hupple bar food. Jer is just  hoping to be fit to run .Whilst,I am  looking at  incremental improvement and a playlist for the bar man in the Hupple!


Maurice “Mo” McCrohan


Sunday Round up: Halves & Tens!

What better place to start a round up than The Hague, in the Netherlands. Today the Clonliffe version of the Fab Four, not quite John, Paul, George & Ringo, but Declan, Kieran, Maurice and Jeremy took in the Hague Half Marathon. Declan Power had a great run recording an excellent 1.13.54, likewise great run from Kieran Murphy 1.23.14 and Maurice McCrohan 1.27.29. Although injury sidelined Jeremy Chapman he travelled as the support team but you`ll be pleased to learn he still had a great time downing 4 pints a round!

(Pictured, Maurice McCrohan & Kieran Murphy…before or after?)

Also in Half Marathon mode a group took in the Meath Spring Half Marathon in Bohermeen this morning: David Mullen 1.21.47, Matt McGuinness 1.22.21, Mark Dowling 1.24.01, Anthony Doran 1.24.11, Stephen Treacy 1.24.15, Alan Worrall 1.29.23, Mick Bermingham 1.30.02, Andrew Eustace 1.36.19, Anthony O`Brien 1.49.09.

(Pictured, Clonliffe on Mini Tour….Meath Spring Half!)

Over in the Nothwest yesterday Mary Ketterer ran 73.44 in the Bundoran Cara 10 mile, placing 14th woman.

Thanks for info folks, please keep it flowing 0879599888.

Sergiu and Scullion get World Half call up

Clonliffe marathon men Sergiu Ciobanu and Stephen Scullion have been named on the Irish team for the World Half Marathon Championships. The race takes place on March 24th in Valencia, Spain. The rest of the Irish team is Kevin Dooney (Raheny) Kevin Seaward (St. Malachy`s) and Paul Pollock (Annadale).

Big PB for Scullion

Stephen Scullion clocked a World Class 63.17 in the Houston Half Marathon today, a new pb.

The Rooney Review: Running up that Hill, Dublin Half Marathon

Shane Rooney Reports: Saturday 23rd of September saw the final race of the 2017 Dublin Race Series move to Newbridge House and the challenging hills of North County Dublin.

The club members were chomping at the bit and nothing was going to stop the members of Clonliffe Harriers from getting to the start line and giving 100% on a course of two halves. The first half being slow and hill heavy whilst the second half was fast and downhill, meaning that any time lost on the hills could be quickly made up during the 5 miles to the finish line.

The Black & Amber singlets were led home by Karl “On Form” Nolan finishing in 24th place in a time of 1:17:55, he was followed by Matt McGuinness (1:21:48) and rounding off the top 3 men was Conor Delaney (1:22:36).  The top 3 Clonliffe ladies were Emma Cooper (1:31:08), Maura Matthews (1:37:18) and Emer “GAA” Brennan (1:38:27).

Congratulations to Stephen (The PBs Keep Coming) Tracey, Alan Hughes, Alex Eustace, Alan Worrall, Damien Kelly, Mick Gleeson, Colm Leonard, Niall Markey, Alan Curley, Aideen “Skippy” Brady, Ali O’Sullivan, Adrien (Let’s Do an Extra 5 miles) Gerard, Shane Rooney, Declan Murray, Kevin (Where’s My Medal?) Sheehy, Janette Reid, Clare Roche, Declan Grant, Caroline Hynes (who had flown home from Chicago for the race), Yvonne McDonagh, James Dunne, Ciara O’Regan, Niall O’Connor, Susan Kelly, Mel (Honey C) Curran, Joanne McCabe, Anthony O’Brien, Katie (Golden Runner) Hennigan, Jason Blake and Lorraine Sherwood, for doing Clonliffe Harriers proud*.

One of the wonderful outcomes from being a member of Clonliffe Harriers is the friends we make during the training sessions, which was evident by the number of members who ran together. This two-by-two approach proved to be very effective with many members being encouraged by their running friends to dig in and achieve a PB.

As always, an extra special thank you to the volunteers, Pamela, Mr & Mrs Dowling (aka Mark & Aisling), Vivienne, Brid, Emer O’T, Grace, Leah, Sinead, Dave The Smiler, Catherine D, Paddy and Ciara P, you’re welcome smiles at the finish line is wonderful sight.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to add your name to the list of volunteers, please speak to Mark Dowling or email

To Eugene, Jean and Gerry and all the organising crew, thank you for the hard work you put in each year to create the wonderful race series.

As with every race, questions have been raised;

  1. How fast can Karl Nolan go?
  2. How high can Aideen Brady jump?
  3. Is Evelyn Brennan doing a sponsored silence marathon run?
  4. Will Kev Sheehy find his medal?

Congratulations to everyone who ran or raced this weekend, keep digging in.

*apologies if anyone is missing from the list of participants.

Sergiu 1st home for Clonliffe in Rock `n`Roll Half as teams go One, Two (updated)

A bit of confusion on the results of Sunday`s National Half Marathon held in conjunction with the Rock `n`Roll Dublin Half. Results are on the official web site, but appear to be incorrect. The first Clonliffe athlete home was Sergiu Ciobanu in 2nd place, next was Stephen Scullion, the official results record him in 4th place, however, the first two in the race are missing so Scullion was 6th. Likewise the times are a little mixed up. Joe Cooper has the following (unofficially of course): Sergiu Ciobanu 67.02, Stephen Scullion 69.03,  Brian MacMahon 69.27, Mark Kenneally 69.57, Gary O`Hanlon 70.08, James Kevan 70.39, Karl Nolan 77.59 (PB), Matt McGuinness 82.43. Also Alan Worrall 89.22.

In the 10k Ciara Peelo was 6th 42.35.

Looks pretty likely that the Clonliffe men with 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th places are National Half Marathon Champions, however, nothing official. Once results are confirmed by Athletics Ireland posting will be made.

Official results are now available on and these show that the Clonliffe men scored a team 1:2.  The A Team who won the national title was made up of Sergiu Ciobanu (66.43), Stephen Scullion (68.45) and Brian MacMahon (69.07) for a combined team time of 3.24.36.

The B Team was Mark Kenneally – 69.39, James Kevan (70.17) and Karl Nolan (67.59) for a team score of 3.37.59.

Athletics Ireland’s website also shows the official (provisional) individual results but clearly there are errors contained as these results do not show finishing positions for either Brian MacMahon or Mark Kennelly, their finishing positions are in the M/35 group, likewise Gary O’Hanlon’s finishing position is not shown. One would assume that this may affect the overall team results as Gary was home before Karl Nolan.

In any event provisional results are now on for those who wish to try to figure it out!

Clonliffe ready to rock the National Half Marathon

The National Half Marathon takes place on Sunday in conjunction with the Rock and Roll half marathon starting on the Quays and then heading to the Phoenix Park where a full lap of the park is completed before the finish-line in the Phoenix Park.

A very strong Men’s team has been entered that will certainly challenge for national honours. The Men’s team includes: Stephen Scullion, Mark Kenneally, Gary Murray, Sergiu Ciobanu and Brian MacMahon.

There are also a substantial number of club members running in the half marathon. The club captain has booked a meeting room near the start line so athletes can avail of this for changing before the race.  The room is in the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel (formerly Jury’s Hotel) close to the CHQ building.  Joe Cooper has booked a room from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and it is available for any club member to use.

Best of luck to all our athletes on the streets of Dublin this weekend. Rock on!

Mansfield and O`Hanlon finish 2nd and 3rd in Cork Marathon plus round up

David Mansfield had his best ever result on the roads today as he finished an excellent 2nd place in the Cork City Marathon. David recorded a time of 2.29.30, behind US visitor Chris Mocko (2.26.43). 3rd place was, remarkably considering the rumour mill had him down as “finished!”, was the one and only Gary O`Hanlon in 2.30.20, proving that you just can`t keep a good Gary down! Well done also Ollie Power (3.50.52).

In the half marathon Clonliffe were also 2nd with Sergiu Ciobanu 67.48, two seconds down on Dunboyne`s Peter Somba. Paul O`Loughlin ran a fine 87.55.

There was a fine run by David Flynn in the San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon today to a 10th place finish in a pb of 66.31. Interesting to see in 2nd place Juan Luis Barrios, the Morton Games 3000 record holder, with a 61.49 run.

Also over the weekend in England Liam Roarty ran a 3000 pb in the Midland League in Wolverhampton of 9.13.5 taking 9 seconds off his best in coming 3rd.

By way of round up, on June 1st Declan Power was 2nd in the Balbriggan Summerfest 5k (16.26).

Anyother weekend results please text 0879599888.

The Rooney Review: Clonliffe Ladies Hit the Town

Shane Rooney reports: Following on from the success of last year’s Dublin Remembers 1916 5K Athletics Ireland, in partnership with Dublin City Council, hosted the Streets of Dublin race on Sunday 21st May 2017. Clonliffe Harriers ladies were successfully represented in this 5k race which took the participants through the streets of Dublin starting outside the CHQ Building and finishing on City Quay.
Siobhan Devaney was the 3rd lady home in a very impressive time of 20:04 and she was quickly followed by team pacer Ciara Peelo in a time of 20:20 (4th lady home), next home and 5th lady overall was Aideen  “Whoop Whoop” Brady in a time of 20:22. Congratulations also to Anne “the Legend” Lyons (finish time 22:57), Paula Horgan (finish time 24:37) and Caroline Hynes (finish time 24:25). 
In other news, an unnamed source alleges that Aideen Brady may have ran faster had she not attempted to pat the potential new Taoiseach (Leo Varadkar) on the butt as she ran past him shouting “up ya boy ya Leo”!!!.
Also a shout out to the 20 or so Harriers who assisted the Dublin Race Series organisers in trialling the new Half Marathon route. All agreed it’s a course where negative splits can be achieved as the first half of the course is a challenging up hill section but time can be made up during the downhill & flat second half. Run the race smartly and you’ll come home happy.
Congratulations to all who ran over the weekend and of course more questions have been raised, including ;
Will Emma Cooper beat her new Half Marathon PB?
Will Jason Blake ever get the reporter to shut up?
Will Aideen Brady become the new assistant to the Minister for Sport?
Until next time, keep digging in and run safely.

Limerick was a lady to the athletes of Clonliffe Harriers

Shane Rooney reports on last weekend`s Great Limerick Run: With thousands of miles on their feet, hundreds of WhatsApp messages, a few injuries, a couple of team changes and one fun bus, the Black & Amber crew headed to Limerick on Sunday 30th of April to participate in the Great Limerick Run.

First up were the Marathon Relay teams which consisted of Team DFI (Derek, Aideen, Shane (the author) & Ciara “UL Poster Girl” Peelo), Team Chicks & Chaps (Declan, Laura, Mick B & Emer B), Team Clonliffe (Jason, Niall, Ollie & Brid) and Team O’Shea (Fergal & his family).  With Fergal’s handover algorithm in their heads the team members headed to their respected handover points.  Team DFI took an early lead with Aideen O’Connor handing over to the author with a pat on his butt and shouting “Whoop Whoop”.  However the lead was not to last as Mick “No Mercy” Birmingham of Team Chicks & Chaps took the lead at mile 19, a lead which was held onto by Emer B, who brought the team home in a time of 3:04:43. With over 70 relay teams taking part, the Clonliffe Teams put in fantastic efforts and achieved the following results;

Team Chicks & Chaps     7th place              3:04:43

Team DFI                            8th place              3:06:01

Team Clonliffe                  18th place            3:27:53

Team O’Shea                     22nd place            3:36:30

The Marathoners had to be very mindful of the pace of the relay teams to ensure the pace of their own race was on plan. For some, this marathon was an opportunity to put demons to rest, for others it was to support their teammates.  It was a course of two halves; the first being scenic and quiet; the second,   being congested but well supported. With cheers of encouragement from his wife Aisling “where are the keys” Andrews, Mark “Mr Motivator” Dowling was the first Harrier to cross the line in a PB time of 3:06:03. Next up was Dermot “Raver” Faughnan in a time of 3:07:05, followed by Stephen “Legs” Tracey in a PB time of 3:15:27. Birthday boy Alan Curley smashed his previous marathon time with a PB of 3:19:37 and he was followed by Alex “Snowballs” Eustace in a time of 3:45:05.

With temperatures rising and as the Relay teams & Marathoners reached the halfway mark, they were joined by the Half Marathon athletes. Whilst this added some congestion, it also injected energy and pace. Clonliffers completed the challenging, undulating 13.1 miles around Limerick and they were led home by David Mansfield with a 3rd place finishing time of 69.92, followed by Paul O’Laughlin in a time of 89:05, Maura Matthew, the 7th placed female, crossed the line in a PB time of 89:25.  Niall Markey, who also achieved a new personal best time of 91:05 and completing the HM team, Anne Lyons, who was placed 9th in her category, with another PB time of 1:47:50.

The GLR running events came to a close with the 6 mile race. First home for Clonliffe Harriers and in 2nd place overall, was Sergiu Ciobanu in a time of 29.39, he was followed by Emma “EZ” Cooper, who stormed across the line as the 8th female in a time of 39:41.

As some of our teammates headed home on the fun bus, the remainder celebrated the many PBs over a few well earned drinks (according to Maura, Guinness is a recovery drink), as well as some delicious food. As we celebrated into the wee small hours we discovered some hidden talents, such as Aideen’s ability to remember all the words of Rattlin Bog, Dermot’s desire to be the Fresh Prince of Leitrim, Emer’s talent of sniffing out a nightclub and Thomas’ skill for hailing a taxi.

It is during these outings that we realise running can help form a bond and support network between athletes, each wanting their teammates to always come away from a race happy and healthy.

By the end of the weekend we were left with some very important questions;

Will Dermot Faughnan come out to his friends as a raver and not a grunger?

Will Emma Cooper return that €20?

Will Ollie Power return and complete all four legs of the relay?

Will Laura “Huggy Bear” Kernan find her pyjamas?

Will scientists discover a way of bottling Aideen’s endless energy?

Hopefully these and other questions will be answered at the next Clonliffe Harriers Tour.
Finally, a big shout-out to Ciara & Aisling for promoting the relay race, to Pam for sorting the bus and Maura for organising the night out.

Until next time, keep digging in.

Shane Rooney


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