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Club Cross Country Championships/ Irwin cup this Saturday

The 2017 Club Cross Country Championships take place this Saturday November 11th in Santry Demesne in conjunction with the penultimate round of the 2017 Grand Prix Series, the Irwin Cup. Proceedings on Saturday will get underway at 11 a.m. sharp with the first of the Clonliffe Juvenile 2017 Cross Country Championship races.  Juvenile athletes are reminded to meet at the clubhouse at 10.15 a.m.

The race distances for the juvenile championships are as follows:

U/9 – 300m

U/11 – 500m

U/13 – 1000m

U/15 – 1000m

There will be medals for the first three in each of the championships races. Juvenile athletes in these age groups are expected to take part in these club championships (unless agreed otherwise with their coach)

At 12 noon the Irwin Cup/Club Cross Country takes place, this year’s Irwin Cup is sponsored by George Maybury.

The Irwin Cup is one of the club’s historic races with a history going back to 1932. The race itself, however, goes right back to 1910 when the club introduced a six mile cross country handicap race which included jumps and ditches and this became known as ‘the Grand National’.  In 1932 the race was renamed the Irwin Cup in memory of Bertie Irwin.  Bertie Irwin was a Clonliffe Olympian, he ran for Great Britain in the 1920 Olympic Games held in Antwerp where he qualified for the final of the 5000 finishing in 12th position.  Bertie Irwin also won the National Cross Country.

He served in the RNAS (later to become the RAF) in the First World War. Later he became captain of the R101 Airship.  On a test flight in 1930 he recalled in a letter to the then Clonliffe club captain Tommy Burton that the airship had ‘flown over the Finglas fields where I enjoyed so many memorable runs with the Clonliffes’.

Tragically, however, on the R101’s maiden voyage to India it crashed in Northern France on the 5th of October, 1930 killing 48 of the 54 on board including unfortunately Bertie Irwin.

Saturday’s Grand Prix race, the Irwin Cup, will also double as the club Senior Cross Country Championship Race. The race will be held over 6k, the winner of the men`s championship will be presented with the Harry Cooney Cup and the lady`s champion the, newly presented, Fred Connolly trophy.

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