Archive for October, 2012

Teams for Sunday`s Dublin Cross Country Championships

On Sunday Clonliffe Harriers host the 2012 Dublin Cross Country Championships for juveniles (even ages), Juniors and Seniors in Santry Demesne. Proceedings kick off with the Juveniles from 11.30am with the juniors from 1.30pm and seniors from 2.30pm. The Clonliffe teams have been confirmed tonight as follows:

Senior men: John Heneghan, Stephen Scullion, Michael MacDiarmada, Sergiu Ciobanu, Dave Fitzmaurice, Ernie Ramsey, Mark McDonald, Darren Reilly, Ger Kirwan, Tom Sherlock, Tom Frayne, Conor Keane, Anthony Malone.

Senior Women: Emma Cooper, Marie Byrne, Kerri Page, Tara Whyte, Aoife O`Connor.

Junior Men: Fintan Doherty, Aaron Hanlon, Ian Guiden, Liam Ashton, Dmitrijs Serjogins, Johnny Bradley Ward and Cowley.

Juveniles: boys U/14 Joseph Hession. Girls U/14 Aimee McGrath, Sophie Higgins. Boys U/16: Cathal Doyle, Ross Kearney, Brian Flanagan, Philip Keenan, Anthony McMahon, Sean Briody, David O`Hanlon, Paddy O`Hanlon, Adam O`Brien, Sean Carrigg. Girls U/16: Sally Aherne, Stephanie McCaul, Laura Tuite, Ali Deeley, Isobel Flaherty, Hope Saunders. (All juvenile athletes to meet at door of club house at 10.30am SHARP)


11.30 am U/10 girls 1,000m

U/10 boys 1,000m

U/12 girls 2,000m

U/12 boys 2,000m

U/14 girls 3,000m

U/14 boys 3,000m

U/16 girls 4,000m

U/16 boys 4,000m

1.30pm Junior women 3,000m (8 to run 4 to score)

2.00pm Junior men 6,000m (8 to run 4 to score)

2.30pm Senior women 5,000m (8 to run 4 to score)

3.00pm Senior men 10,000m (12 to run 6 to score)

Any club member available to help out on the day please make contact with Jeremy Chapman 0874198718.

Finally also on Sunday the 1st meet and train cross country race of the season takes place in Dunboyne. Clonliffe athletes taking part include: Yvonne McDonagh, Shelia Jones, Carloine Duggan, Caoimhe Cruise, Emma Kelly, Mandy Mc, Muireann O`Keeffe, Daneille Townsend, Eimer Mallon, Cliona Phelan and Ciara O`Keeffe.

Clonliffe Harriers Launch the ERP Christmas Cracker

Clonliffe Harriers have launched the annual ‘Christmas Cracker 5k’. Clonliffe are delighted to announce that the race is once again being run in partnership with European Recycling Platform. The ERP 5k Christmas Cracker is offering the chance for all entrants in the race to win a Samsung LCD TV, a Sony MP3 Player or a portable DVD player. To be in with a chance to win one of these prizes it is simply a matter of bringing along on race day a used battery operated or electrical appliance or ten used batteries. You will then be entered into a draw which will take place immediately after the race.

The 5k Christmas Cracker itself takes place on Sunday December 16th at 11.00am on the roads around the Morton Stadium in Santry and finishes on the track in the Morton Stadium itself. Last years inaugural affair was won by Joe Warne with the women’s race won by Sara Treacy.

There will be prizes for the first six men and first six women, Masters prizes, spot prizes and goodie bags. Superb value for an online entry fee of 15.00 plus booking fee.  See

To enter click here:

Late entry accepted on the day €25.

It is going to be a cracker.



Sergiu first home for Clonliffe on Marathon Monday

Congratulations to all the Clonliffe athletes who took part in today`s Dublin City Marathon. First home was Sergiu Ciobanu in 2.20.44, unfortunately outside of the top 3 in the National Marathon. Sergiu was well up in the early stages with splits of 32.14 for 10k, 1.07.53 at half way and 1.44.48 at 20 miles. Next in was Gary O`Hanlon 2.26.30 (33.23 at 10k, 1.10.14 at half and 1.48.08 at 20 miles). Chris Muldoon had a good one today running a pb of 2.45.45. Ailish Malone on her marathon debut ran 2.50.08, an excellent run. Ivan Eustace was just outside the three hour mark 3.02.04, Fergie Keenan 3.11.30, Hans De Raemeaker 3.13.33, Jacqui Dunphy 3.19. Alan Worrell 3.21.12, Alison O`Sullivan and Emma Harding ran together recording times of 3.27.05 and 3.27.07, Ronan McDermott 3.29.15, Sinead Duffy 3.29.25, Colm McDonnell 3.29.31, Anna Begley 3.33.40, Colm Breen 3.37. Pat Devitt 3.41.54, Marie O`Connell 3.49.58, Jannette Reid 3.54.12, Seamus Greenan 3.57.23, Fiona Hayes 4.04.42, Karen Duggan 4.07.30,  Sinead NiBhrian 4.18.13, Ciara O`Regan 4.36.11, Grainne O`Brien 4.48.13 and of course completing the set of every Dublin City Marathon The Colonel Frank Behan 7.02.37. Well done to all (if I`ve missed anyone please text me with name and time 0879599888)

Top ten finish by Cragg in Great South Run

Alistair Cragg was in action this side of the pond earlier on this morning. Alistair took in the Great South Run, 10 Miler in Portsmounth, last year he had an excellent outing placing 3rd. In today`s race the Clonliffe man finished an encouraging 9th place in 48.25. Top three in a World class field were: 1st Stephen Mokoka (RSA) 46.40, 2nd Ayam Lamdessen (ESP) 46.44, 3rd Tariku Bekele (ETH) 46.45. Alistair also has a web site which is worth a visit:

Also in the UK over the weekend Eoin Pierce ran his first half marathon placing 2nd in a pretty impressive 71.44.

Flynner`s Razorbacks win South Eastern Conference C`ship

Dave Flynn had a good run in today`s big US collegiate cross country race today. Flynner was 24th in 24.36 for the  8,000m race held in a chily and wet Percy Warner Park, Nashville. With Arkansas scorring athletes placing 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 12th and 14th the Razorbacks took their 20th conference title. Click on: for more. See also the official SEC web site which reports as follows:

” Arkansas claimed its third consecutive SEC men’s cross country team title and its 20th in the last 22 years. The Razorbacks placed three runners among the race’s top four and finished with a total team score of 35 points. No. 28 Georgia was second overall with 73 team points, while Missouri and No. 29 Texas A&M each tied for third with 80 team points.

“I am awfully proud of them,” Arkansas head coach Chris Bucknam said. “We wanted to come in here and make a statement. This is the first of three legs in the championship season and this is really the most important one. The SEC Championship means a lot to our school, and when you win an SEC Championship in any sport, I think you’re special. I’m just proud of our guys for the effort that they put in today and all the hard work that they’ve done, and all my assistant coaches too, they’ve really helped prepare this team. I’m really proud of them.”” (

Good luck to our athletes on the streets of Dublin

The very best of luck to all in Monday`s Dublin City Marathon in particular all of the Clonliffe men and women. There will be a sizeable presence of Clonliffe athletes on the streets of our fair city. If you are out and about give them a big cheer. So good luck: Sergiu Ciobanu, Gary O`Hanlon, Chris Muldoon, Hans de Raeynmaeker, Ivan Eustace, Pat Devitt, Frank Behan, Seamus Greenan, Fergie Keenan,  Ailish Malone, Jacqui Dunphy, Anna Begley, Emma Harding, Sinead Duffy, Fiona Hayes , Alison O`Sullivan, Marie O`Connell, Janette Reid, Ciara O`Regan,  Sinead Ni Bhrian and Grainne O`Brien. Good luck also to our club members involved in the organisation of the race and those helping out on the day. Nil desperandum!!


Thomas Frayne places 3rd in ALSAA Mile

Round 1 of the ALSAA Winter track series, organised by Gerry Martin in the ALSAA athletics club, took place in ALSAA last night with a number of Clonliffe athletes taking part. First Clonliffe and 3rd on the night was Thomas Frayne in 5.03. Maurice McCrohan ran 5.37 and Bernie Byrne 5.48. Other races in the series are:

Tuesday 23rd October         7.30pm           1 mile

Tuesday 20th November      7.30pm           3000 metres

Tuesday 11th December      7.30pm           1 mile

Tuesday 22nd January         7.30pm            3000 metres

Tuesday 19th February       7.30pm            1 mile

Tuesday 26th March            7.30pm            3000 metres (Annual Peter Doody Memorial)

Tuesday 16th April              7.30pm            1 mile

Further details click on this link:

“Half measures: Dec in the Dam” (Amsterdam or bust)

Clonliffe`s Declan Power (1st Irishman in Amsterdam) reports: “Since I took up running a few years ago, I’d always wanted to run one of the big city events with tens of thousands of entrants and spectators lining the streets. Myself and a few friends chose Amsterdam. It’s easy to get to, and a lot easier to get a place for, when you compare it to likes of London, NYC and Boston. The course is known to be flat and fast, and our own Olympian clubmate Mark Kenneally had stormed around the course this time last year. My original plan was to do the full marathon, but during the summer my training took a back-seat to other commitments, or “real-life” you could say! And then on top of that, on my first return to the track last month, I managed to tear a calf muscle which disrupted plans to say the least. Fortunately, the Amsterdam event includes a half-marathon option later in the day (as well as an 8k and a kids’ race). I opted for the half-marathon. In the lead-up to the event, I wasn’t sure how it would pan out. I had almost entirely missed out on track-work, with my speed training had been limited to fartleks and some tempo work. Long runs had been out of the question. But the injury had then healed and I felt healthy, so wanted to give it a good shot. If the wheels came off, then better to happen in a half-marathon than the full, especially if coming to a halt in the suburbs of an unfamiliar city!

We arrived in Amsterdam on the Saturday afternoon prior to race-day, and hired bicycles to get around between the hotel and Expo and the main city-sights. Anyone who has travelled to the “Low Countries” will know that there are dedicated bike lanes everywhere, making it a pleasant and relatively inexpensive means of getting from place to place. The fact that Amsterdam is flat makes it all the easier. Fortunately it stayed mostly dry for the weekend – except for during the races themselves (more of which later). Within minutes of getting on the bike, I discovered my place in the Dutch transport food chain…. Whereas cyclists appear to have right of way over pedestrians, I found that motorized scooters and buggys also have use of the bike lanes and don’t take any prisoners! Crossing major junctions involved navigating your way around buses, trams, metro and cars, all fighting for space in what is a dense and busy transport network! Perhaps most dangerous of all are other cyclists themselves, as most of them were taking or making calls on their mobiles, or checking out their i-phones or tablets as they pedalled along. In one case I nearly collided with a cyclist using one arm to clutch her baby to her chest – I’m not sure what would happen if her mobile phone rang! We covered a fair few miles of cycling on the Saturday, which is probably not ideal preparation before a race, but I was determined to see some of the city in the short time I would be there. This also extended to having a sneaky beer or two with the ubiquitous pre-race pasta dinner, but I convinced myself that this was ok, as the Dutch use “half-measures” when it comes to beer, at least compared to the Irish pint. I also felt in holiday mode, so looked forward to sampling the “real” locally-breed Heineken while I was there and it didn’t disappoint.

After the usual bad night’s sleep that I always have in a strange hotel bed, I woke on Sunday to see that it was raining and that the wind had picked up a fair bit. I had a lot of time to kill before making my way to the Half-marathon start area, as my race didn’t start until 1.30pm. The full marathon started at 9.30, so I calculated that I could go and watch the race leaders who would be coming through the city park at or near the 40km marker about 10 minutes stroll from my hotel. I arrived at the marker just in time to see Wilson Chebet, eventual race winner, come flying past. Conditions were damp underfoot and quite windy. Chebet said in a post-race interview that “It was a tough race. In some places I stood almost still due to the wind. Luckily I had good pacers around me.” Well, he didn’t look in too much distress when I saw him, and he posted the win in a course record of 2:05:41. Not too shabby! The women’s course record also fell as Meseret Hailu posted an impressive 2:21:09. After watching the leading runners for a while, I turned to make my way back to the hotel to make last preparations for my own race, but somehow managed to get lost in the maze of winding trails in the park, and ended up walking another 30 – 40 minutes on an unplanned mini-tour of the west side of the city! When I finally got back to the hotel, luckily I had the rental bike to make my way to the start area in plenty of time.

Predictably, the start area was a hive of activity, with around 13,000 people lining up in the various start pens for the Half-marathon. I managed to get myself in the first start-pen, and was more or less confined there for 30mins before the gun went off. It’s the down-side of such a big event where there is little to no space to warm-up properly, only to do a few stretches, although the handful of elite athletes were allowed to warm up in the area ahead of us which is fair enough. With my club singlet on display I lined up with fellow runners from all over the world. I think that well over half the field were from outside the Netherlands with over 60 countries represented. 66% of the field were male according to the MC announcer and he helpfully clarified that 34% were female, in case we were in any doubt! The early morning rain had stopped, the temperature had risen by a couple of degrees. Unfortunately the wind hadn’t died down but you can’t have everything. The gun went, and we were off. My rough plan was to post a time of 75mins or better. A bonus would be to break 73mins. I figured that I had missed too much training to seriously assault my PB of 71:XX and let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger. I was hoping to get into a group of runners for most of the race but it didn’t pan out that way. About 25 runners were ahead of me after the first 800 metres, and their pace was close to 3min/Km. It was also very windy and the course was quite exposed for the most part, so I made the decision not to go with them. Those clubmates that know me best will know that I’m never one to tear off at the start of a race, but prefer to work my way into a rhythm and pick up my pace later on. Let’s say that I would probably not make a good sprinter! Behind the leading pack the field got strung out pretty fast. I ended up running with just one other guy for almost 10 Km, until he gradually fell back, so after that, it was a solo run for the second half. Up ahead of me, I could see that the original large pack of runners had broken up a fair bit, with just clutches of one or two runners strung out on the course. I started focusing on catching one at a time. The 2nd half went by in a blur, in that I can’t remember too much of it, just that the crowds of spectators were getting deeper and noiser and that I was fairly motoring along. I covered some of the last km’s at 3:20/km pace and didn’t seem to show any negative effects from my impromptu sight-seeing tour of the park earlier that day. The race finishes in the old Olympic stadium, which is a nice touch. There’s something about a finish on a running track that makes you sprint harder at the end, and it was a great experience to come into a noisy stadium and see one-self gurning on the big screen TV by the finish line! I crossed the line in 12th place, 3rd Over40 , 1st Irishman (!) in a time of 1:12:55, without anyone passing me in the entire race. I couldn’t have asked for more really. I chatted to a few other runners after the race and all generally agreed that it was a great event, professionally organised and well supported. I would recommend it to anyone considering doing a big city Half- or Full-Marathon. Afterwards, I met up with my friends to conduct usual race post-mortems, and that night enjoyed considerably more than a ‘half-measure’ of beer in the pubs of Amsterdam.”

Clonliffe Harriers nominated once again as Club of the Year

Clonliffe Harriers AC has been nominated once again as the Club of the Year. The Athletics Ireland Awards takes place on the 17th of November. Clonliffe were the first winners of this prestigious award in 2007 and are the only club to have  been nomiated every year since. Brian Gregan has been nomiated in two categories: Track and Field Athlete of the year and Inspirational Performace for his PB in the European Championships. His coach John Shields has been nomination in the Coach of the Year and once again Mark Kenneally in the Endurance Athlete of the Year category.

Clonliffe athletes shine at Gerry Farnan cross country

The cross country season is well and truely underway with the MSB Gerry Farnan cross country races held in lovely Autumn sunshine in the Phoenix Park this afternoon. Some very good performances from Clonliffe athletes: Stephen Scullion on his Clonliffe debut, Sarah McCormack 2nd in the women`s race and Aaron Hanlon winning the dublin U/18 title . First up this afternoon was a superb win by Aaron Hanlon in the boys U/18 Dublin cross country championship. Aaron taking the race by the scruff of the neck at half way to take an excellent win, a good run also by Liam Ashton in 7th, unfortunately due to injury Clonliffe`s 3rd and 4th runners had to pull out mid race.

The women`s race saw an outstanding run, once again, by Fionnula Britton (Kilcoole AC) to win by a huge margin. In the race for 2nd Clonliffe`s Sarah McCormack (16.46) was the victor running a strong race throughout and always leading the chase behind Britton. Other good runs by Emma Cooper in 58th (19.23) and young Roisin Leahy, 67th (19.49) in her first senior cross country race. The feature Gerry Farnan race was 5 hard miles around this tough course. David McCarthy (West Waterford AC) was a popular winner. Excellent runs from the Clonliffe trio in this race: making his debut in the Clonliffe vest was Stephen Scullion who started out somewhat conservatively and then worked his way nicely through the field from 25th at the end of lap 1 to 8th at the finish in 25.17. An excellent run also by Ian Guiden 16th overall (25.42) and 2nd junior, and Dave Fitzmaurice in 30th place (26.16).




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