Archive for August, 2012

YouTube Video of Sunday`s 4×400 clincher

Big Joe Gibbons took a great video of Sunday`s National League 4×400 relay. The Clincher. Well worth a look the highlights being not only Brian`s power on the final leg but the reaction of the rest of the relay team on the line, and the other Clonliffe guys, Fitzie`s reaction is a particular highlight. Click on link and enjoy

“Inspiring a web site” Alan Worrall`s Olympic notes

Clonliffe Harrier Alan Worrall in the first of two pieces shares his Olympic diary: ““Inspire a  Generation” this was the motto/ slogan for London  2012 Games held from 27th July 2012 to August 12th 2012. The Irish public saw these games as being a “home games” due to the  close proximity to the host city and a once in  a lifetime  chance to fly over and sample the  Olympics.  Ireland had received  a taster first hand of  the “Olympic Road show” on Wednesday 6th June when for the first time the Olympic Flame came to Ireland and was paraded through the streets of Dublin on a glorious summers day.  I was privileged to see the flame on O’Connell Street with my daughter  and later we saw Sonia O’Sullivan light the Olympic Cauldron in the Stephens Green. Fast forward  to  Monday 6th August and here I am at Dublin airport about to attend my fourth Olympics.  My  anticipation about getting over for the Games  had been wetted the week previously as I watched the  Olympic action down in Kerry in the  rain.  I had become acquainted with so many sports which I would  not normally watch but due to the event time table and the glorious Kerry weather we had become experts in Archery, Canoeing, 3 day eventing, rowing etc. As we awaited our flight  a special passenger was waiting  to board.  Ronne Delaney Olympic Gold medallist from Melbourne 1956 was on our flight could this be a good omen for things to come.  More surprises a club colleague was also on the flight, Noel Guiden and family in tow.   For this Olympics I was travelling with my dad who informed me on the flight that he had very vivid memories of Ronnie Delaney’s win in Melbourne plus that he saw the great man competing in both Lansdowne Road  and Santry.

On arrival in London we caught the Gatwick Express Train to Victoria Station and then a short walk to our hotel which was located off Buckingham Palace Road.  The atmosphere in London was  electric,  the fear about security and congestion  etc had  disappeared rapidly.  The location of the hotel was ideal what with Victoria Station being a central hub for getting a train to Olympic Park and most of the Olympic venues and attractions .  This Games for me  was going to be a little bit different due to the high demand for tickets which resulted in many disappointed people getting none.  With this in mind  I made every effort to get tickets for other sports, having only managed to secure tickets for one athletics session.  I subsequently found out that most regular Irish athletics supporters were in the same boat.  Our Olympic odyssey brought us  to the Olympic Park  to see both Athletics at the Olympic Stadium and Hockey at the Riverbank arena. I would have no hesitation in saying  that these were a well run and planned Olympics, from the volunteers to the access and exit  to and from the sports venues.  Everything was so well laid out and the Park itself catered for all ages and tastes (Mc Donalds, English and Italian cuisine etc . At the  Athletics session  on the Wednesday we got to see the men’s 5 k heat where Mo Farah was roared on by crowd, unfortunately Irelands  Alistar   Cragg did not make it out  of his  heat.  But the highlight of that morning  for sport in general was the female athlete representing  Saudi Arabia competing  in an Athletics  event (800 metres) for the first time.  This  was most definitely a momentous event and even though the athlete did not qualify it was a big step for women’s sport in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

On Thursday 9th August we attended the women’s football final at Wembley which was a most enjoyable evening a walk down Wembley way is one to experience what with both American and Japanese colours in attendance plus the odd union jack.  The match itself was very enjoyable and saw the U.S beat Japan 2 :1.  Prior to heading to the match we watched Katie Taylor win Irelands only Gold medal of the Games in a pub in West Minister enquiries on tickets the previous day were available with a price tag of over 200 sterling so we opted to watch it somewhere less expensive.  Katie won the Gold in a very tightly  fought bout but she produced the good’s and gave the country a great lift it so badly needed.  Tune in to the website next week for more memories of London 2012.”

Next weeks notes: Sightseeing in London,  Our walkers and marathon  man Mark Kennelly take to the streets of London.  Talking to the locals. Roll on Rio.

Clonliffe Men make it a league five in a row

Clonliffe Harriers Men’s Team after a Titanic battle with Crusaders AC prevailed in Tullamore yesterday to win the Woodies DIY National Track and Field League Title for the fifth time in succession. Good news also was the performance of the Senior Women’s Team competing in the premier division for the first time in a long number of years who overcame a litany of withdrawals to put on a spirited display and battled away to finish 7th.

The manner of the men’s win was pure drama. There had been a day long battle with Crusaders going to the proverbial wire, not only to the last event of a long day, the 4 x 400m relay but down to the last leg of the last event. The Crack Crusaders 4 x 400 team were certainties to win, the question was how close to them would Clonliffe be. As the teams lined up it was clear to win Clonliffe needed to finish in the top three. Brian Gregan took the baton for the final leg in eighth place, a task that looked even beyond the big man, however, displaying extraordinary determination and having already delivered a win in the 400 and a second place in the 100 Brian gave it all to the cause as he powered through the field like the proverbial hot knife through butter up to the necessary third spot with 200 to go. Brian, however, is never one to rest on his laurels and drove on to overhaul Raheny and finish in jubilation in 2nd place to deliver the national league title.

Today was a fantastic team performance by all as the lads overcame an early setback in the proceedings when an unfortunate disqualification occurred in the 4 x 100 relay. On the day there were wins delivered by Brian Gregan running very comfortably in the 400 always in control in lane 1 as he ran a time of 47.55. A win also from the always dependable Matt Field in the 110 hurdles in 14.33. The Banker Tomas Rauktys chipped in with two wins, the 56 lb distance 8.26 and discus 51.46. Team captain Dave Donegan delivered once again in the pole vault winning with a best of 4.60m. Second place finishes on the day to add to the points total came from young Ryan Cleary in the 3000 walk (14.04.10), Brian Gregan running in the 100m, Brian ran a cracker of a race pushing Crusaders Steven Colvert all the way to the line recording a time of 10.54, inside the club record mark, however, the wind gage reading of 2.1 rules out any club record. 2nd place also for Martin Hunt in the Hammer (48.79). Kris Valters 2nd in the 800 metres (1.58.07). Third places and more valuable points were chipped in by Tomas Dorina in the triple jump (13.02m), Jayme Rossiter in the 3000 steeplechase (9.45.52), John Fagan running his first race of an injury hit season in the 400 hurdles (55.65), Dave Fitzmaurice running his race of the season today in the 5000m 14.55.74, new Clonliffe Harrier Dimitri “Dermo” 3rd in the 1500 metres in 4.01.22. Andrew Heaney was 3rd in the high jump (1.95m). Young Ryan Whelan scored some good points in the javelin as he was 3rd with a best of 49.21.

Epitomising club spirit on the day was the performances of young Daniel Doran, normally a sprinter but taking part today in the long jump where he acquitted himself very well finishing 4th with a jump of 6.04m and Marcin Klinzow, normally a high jumper or javelin thrower but today throwing the shot putt where he placed 4th with a best of 11.19m.

In the end when the points were totted up with the four worst results being dropped Clonliffe had successfully defended the National League Title to make it five in a row on 122 points with Crusaders AC pushing all the way second with 120 points and Leavale third on 98 points. A great performance from an evolving team – today’s team included half a dozen juniors!

The women’s team were really up against it today competing in the premier league and had done very well to make today’s final. Their cause was not helped by the absence of a lot of athletes with the whole sprinting section being sidelined for various reasons, however, again the spirit displayed by the athletes in action for the club was exceptional: Snezana Bectina, 4th in the 200, 7th in the 400, competing in the pole vault and also running legs in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays. Young Elaine Begley battling away in both the 100m hurdles and 400 hurdles, finishing 7th and 6th respectively, Orna McGinley, normally an 800 metre runner competing for the club in the high jump, Denise Byrne finishing second in the javelin and also competing in the long jump where she was 8th, good points also scored by Eleanor Alexander 2nd in the 1500 metres in 4.35.58 and by Lorna Begley 4th in the 800 in 2.22.34, Becky Woods was also 4th in the 3000 10.27.27 and in the throws Caoimhe Morris chipped in with valuable points, courtesy of 2nd place in the discus 32.69m and 5th in the hammer 35.39. Caoimhe also ran a leg of the 4 x 100 relay. In all a great shift put in by all of the girls on the day many of them competing in unfamiliar events.

Thus the curtain is drawn on another excellent track and field season for Clonliffe Harriers, the women’s team get stronger by the year and does not look out of place in the premier division whilst the men drew deep to successfully defend this title, it was almost wrestled away by Crusaders AC today but in fairness to the black and amber clad Santry warriors they withheld the challenge.

Congratulations to all our athletes and to our club captains and thank you to our coaches. An exceptional team performance. NIL DESPERANDUM.

Meanwhile on the road Michael MacDiarmada continues his build up for the national half marathon and was a winner of a hilly ten miler in Slane in a time of 53.36.

Please see the photos for this event below:

Update: double gold for Ger Reilly, Gold for Philip O`Doherty

Ger Reilly struck gold on the double at the National Master`s track and field in tullamore today winning V3 200 in 29.00 and 400 in 66.37. Gold also for Jean O`Neill in the V7 400 in 88.53. Bernie Byrne continues to make great progess winning gold in V3 800 and silver in the V3 1500 in 5.27.41. Men`s results now to hand: Philip O`Doherty took gold yet again in the 800m V4 in 2.15.58, before injury put him on the sideline for the rest of the meet. George Maybury took V5 800 silver (2.30.7) and was 6th in the 400m (70.92). John Hartnett was 4th in V1 200m (24.42)

Clonliffe Teams for Sunday’s National League Final announced

The Men’s and Ladies captains have confirmed the Clonliffe teams that will take part in the Premier League Final on Sunday in Tullamore.The Men’s team are defending National League champions and on Sunday go for an extraordinary five in a row. The Men’s teams chances of successfully retaining the title have received a considerable boost with confirmation of Brian Gregan’s availability and with the form Brian has been in over the latter end of the season he would be strongly fancied to take maximum points in the 400. As has been the situation in recent years the foundations of the track and field team’s success have to a large degree been laid by the field eventers and with athletes like Tomas Rauktys in the throws, multinational title winner David Donegan in the pole vault to name but two another strong foundation will be laid on Sunday.

The men’s team is:

100m/200m – Paul Whelan

400m – Brian Gregan

800m – Kris Valters

1500m – Aaron Hanlon

5000m – Dave Fitzmaurice

110h – Matt Field

400h – John Fagan

3000 SC – Jayme Rossiter

Race Walk – Ryan Cleary

Discus/56 lb.– Tomas Rauktys

Shot – Marcin Klinzow

Hammer – Martin Hunt

Pole Vault – David Donegan

High Jump – Andrew Heney

Long Jump – Daniel Doran

Triple Jump – Tomas Dirina

Javelin – Ryan Whelan

4 x 100m (from) – Keith Pike, Paul Whelan, Matt Field, Stuart Roche, Israel Ibeanu

4 x 400m (from) – Brian Tobin, Kris Valters, John Fagan, Brian Gregan, Dave Fitzmaurice

The teams competing for the premier title on Sunday are: Clonliffe Harriers A.C., Raheny Shamrocks, Galway City Harriers, Leavale A.C., St. Abbans A.C., DSD, North Down A.C., Crusaders A.C.

The women’s team are of course back in the premier division for the first time in a number of years and have done exceptionally well by making Sunday’s final. As always the girls will give a very strong account of themselves and with athletes of the calibre of sprinters Leah Moore and Sharon Kilduff, Eleanor Alexander, who has been setting PBs for fun in recent times, new club record holder in the throws Caoimhe Morris and the Begley sisters – Lorna and Elaine to call upon the team will give a very good account of themselves.

The team is:

100m/200m – Leah Moore

400m – Snezana Bechtina

800m – Lorna Begley

1500m – Eleanor Alexander

3000m – Becky Woods

100m H – Elaine Begley

400m H – Elaine Begley

Walk – Frances Nic Reamoinn

Long Jump – to be confirmed

High Jump – Orna McGinley

Shot Putt – Denise Byrne

Javelin – Denise Byrne

Hammer/Discus – Caoimhe Morris

Pole Vault – to be confirmed

Triple Jump – to be confirmed

4 x 100 relay (from) – Leah Moore, Sharon Kilduff, Elaine Begley, Snezana Bechtina, Denise Byrne

4 x 400 relay (from) – Eleanor Alexander, Becky Woods, Lorna Begley, Snezana Bechtina and Elaine Begley.

The teams competing for the women’s premier title are: Clonliffe Harriers A.C., Kerry Athletics, Ferrybank A.C., Bandon A.C., Raheny Shamrocks, DSD, Leavale A.C. and City of Lisburn A.C.

The team bus leaves the Morton Stadium Santry on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. sharp. There will be some places available on the bus for any supporters wishing to travel. All support will of course be very much appreciated, particularly with the predictions for the weekend’s weather so it will be a tough day for our athletes.

Round up: James Nolan returns and more…(updated Aug 15th)

A few road races to catch up on over the course of the weekend. Fittingly seen as the week that was in it the big news is the return of two time Olympian James Nolan to action. At the Midlands 5k in Portlaoise today August 12th, James returned with a win in his first race in over four years! His time? A very impressive 16.11. Clearly those behind closed doors sessions have paid off! Great timing as well as club captain Joe Cooper weighs up his options for next weekend`s National league final.

Another Clonliffe man on the come back from Injury, although not after such a lenghty lay off was Sergiu Ciobanu. In yesterday`s (Saturday) GR8KM road race in Mitchelstown, County Cork Sergiu had his first race in several months with a fine win in 25:06. This was a very good performance by Sergiu as he had a winning margin of the best part of two and a half minutes and yet he never let up running a new course record as he bettered the previous mark by over half a minute.

The Focus Ireland Dublin Tunnel Run took place this morning with a huge Clonliffe support team involved in assisting with the running of the event which attracted an entry of some 2,000. Top Clonliffe man on the day was Ernie Ramsey who ran a strong race throughout claiming 3rd spot in 34:33!  Aisling Coppinger was 3rd woman in 41:48.  Also well up was Kieran Murphy, 17th in 38:11.

Finally, news just in, Seanna Reilly had a very good run in her first international at the weekend`s Celtic Games in Aberdeen, Scotland. Seanna ran the first leg of the U/18 4 x 400 relay, running 57.34, as the Irish girls won setting a new Celtic games record. More good news as the Irish took the overall team title.

Mark Kenneally 57th in Olympic Marathon

Mark Kenneally has just finished the Olympic Marathon. After an exceptionally hard race for all the athletes on the streets of London in rising temperatures the Clonliffe man was 57th in 2.21.13. After the race Mark said he was very disappointed with his run: “I felt good for the first 16 or 17 miles and then I just blew up, for whatever reason, “ Kenneally said. “The last seven or eight miles were a struggle to get home. I’ll sit down and review what went wrong and try to put it right for the next time. It’s disappointing because you want to get your best one out in the Olympics With two kilometres to go, I was really dizzy and thought that I was going to have to stop. At that point it was just damage limitation and trying to get to the finish. I was trying to run inside my personal best (2:13.55) and I’m in much better shape when I was when I ran that time. It’s not obvious to me right now what went wrong today. I got all my drinks and I did not go out too fast. I’ll think about it and try to move forward from the disappointment. It’s great to have the Olympic experience and everything but I want to perform on this stage. Hopefully, in four years time I can still be around and make this right.” (Taken from

Seanna Reilly gets first international call up

Young Clonliffe 400m athlete Seanna Reilly wins her first International vest this weekend. Seanna who has been in fine form this season with consistant performances lowering her pb over 200, 300 and 400 received the call for the Irish U/18 4 x 400 team for the Celtic Nations which takes place this weekend in Scotland. This is a great achievement by young Seanna who will still be eligible for selection for next year`s U/18 Celtics.

Meanwhile as the track season winds to a halt Eleanor Alexander sets yet another pb in recent days at the latest BMC  meet in Stretford on Tuesday the 7th lowering her 800 pb to 2.11.

Alistair finishes well down in Olympic 5,000 heats

Clonliffe Harrier Alistair Cragg finished well down in his heat in this morning`s 5,000m in the Olympic Stadium, London. In this his third Olympic games Alistair found the pace in heat number 2 simply too hot to handle, with this race considerably faster than heat 1 he was reeling off laps around the 64/65 second mark however drifted to the back of the pack and out the back door before half way. He worked his way back to the pack a lap later and tried to move around the outside to the front. The pace picked up again and it was not to be his day as he drifted backwards and was dropped. A lowly 17th in a time of 13.47.01 was scant reward as one would assume that brings the curtin down on his international track career. Post race Alister was quoted on as follows:

“When I caught the leader again they did not give me a second to get my feet,” Cragg said. “I was hoping to get in front because sometimes when you’re hurting and you are able to get your nose in front you forget about the hurting.”

No doubt Alistair`s thoughts are already looking towards the roads, where he has enjoyed considerable success in recent years, witness his Irish best in the New York City Half Marathon, and his unfinished business with the Marathon. For now, well done Alistair,. three Olympic Games in something to be proud of.

On the subject of the London Olympic Games an update on the performances of some of the athletes who visited Clonliffe for the Morton Games: both Zoe Buckman (AUS) and Lucy Van Dalen (NZL) went as far as the 1500 semis, Jessica Smith (CAN) went as far as the 800 semi, Emma Coburn (USA) got to the 3,000 sc final where she ran a pb of 9.23.54 in finishing 9th, Matt Centrowitz (USA) finished just a fraction away from an Olympic medal 4th in the 1500 final (3.35.17) and Nick Symmonds (USA) ran a pb of 1.42.95 in finishing 5th in that race of the Olympics the David Rudisha World Record 800 final.

Brian Gregan takes another international 400 win

After his superb win in the 400m at the Morton Games in a new pb Brian Gergan continued his winning ways last night. Gregan was first in an International 400 in Sweden in 46.17. By all accounts an impressive run on what was a tight track and in pretty poor weather conditions leaving the likes of Andrew Steele (GBR), Joseph Wiiseman (SWE) and Brian Murphy (IRL) in his wake. Next up for the big man is the National League final on August 19th followed by races in Copenhagen on the 21st and Berlin on September 3rd.


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