Archive for February, 2015

Athlone Indoor Grand Prix: Clonliffe results

Although at last night`s Athlone Grand Prix confusion still reigns. Declan Murray ran in the 800 but doesn`t seem to feature on the available results. The Clonliffe observers in the arena had him placing 2nd behind USA Indoor Champion Erik Sowinski? Kris Vaulters ran 1.51.78 in the same race placing 6th, but with Declan MIA maybe Kris was 7th?  Andrew Heney equalled his indoor pb and Clonliffe club indoor record set a week or so back with a best of 2.05m in placing 7th.

Senior Indoor Leinster tiles for McDonald and Rogers

News from today`s Leinster Indoor championships held at Athlone IT is that Mark McDonald has won the 800 title in a time of 1.56. In the pole vault Ian Rogers added yet another title to his growing list winning with a new indoor PB of 4.75m. In the Leinster Masters Indoors there was more success for Clonliffe athletes as Philip O`Doherty won O/50 gold in the 800 and silver in the 1500 and George Maybury won O/60 800 gold.

Also today on the roads, after running the Garda BHAA cross country Sean Doran won the Dunleek 5k in 17.14

Clonliffe take 2 relay golds at Dublin juvenile Indoors

Day 3 of the Dublin Juvenile Indoor Champions and this time the action moved to Tallaght, however, of course it was outdoor. Once again it was a bitterly cold day for the Relays, although thanfully unlike 2014 it didn`t snow! Again a most successful trip for the Clonliffe team with the U/11 boys and U/16 girls taking Dublin titles, and several other teams winning medals.

First set of golds went to the U/ 11 4 x 100 boys team consisting of Jonathan Fitzsimons, Dillon Shimbach, Adam Flynn and Cian O`Hare. The U/12 4 x 100 boys put in great performances and won silver consisting of James McDonnell, Michael Coleman, Gavin Brown, Keith Burke. The U/14 boys 4 x 200 won bronze with a team of Matthew Kearns, Mark Kavanagh, Luchino Romano and Cllian Forrester.

The girls teams also performed superbly with silver medals won by the U/13 4 x 100:  Aoife Hession, Holly Roche, Blasie Carroll and Kristian MC Grady Hogan. The girls U/14 4 x 200 just missed out on a medal placing 4th.Finally the U/16 girls won 4 x 200 gold after a great race long battle consisting of Caitlin O’Reilly, Amy Connolly, Lauren Carr, Caiomhe Reilly.

On a very cold day the performances of the all the athletes including those who didn’t medal was second to none. Lots of athletes stayed despite the cold to support team mates. Great day was had by all!


U11 boys dublin indoor

U12 Boys Dublin indoor

U13 girls dublin indoor

U14 girls Dublin indoor

u16 girls dublin indoor

Back by popular demand: The Flynner Blog

After an absence from racing for 15 months Flynner is back. After an even longer absence we present the Flynner Blog: “It was NCAA cross country 2013 in Terre Haute Indiana . If none of you have ever been to Terre Haute its equivalent too what Belfast looked like during the troubles .The minus 5 wind chill was colder then the look Joe Cooper would give when Gary O Hanlon has just said he forgot his spikes an hour before Inter club cross country. Anyway  It was after the race and our team had just ran terrible in the biggest collegiate race in the world and me being the captain of the team toke it harder then most I remember cooling down with Chris O Hare and his team and for once in my running career started questioning why I was doing this running business. My leadership qualities as a captain and my general personality that kept team moral at a high throughout the season along with my vast knowledge and experience as an Ncaa athlete was spotted by my coach Chris Bucknam and thought these qualities would convert into a great coach at the University of Arkansas . To coach at the college the great John Mcdonnell had achieved so much at was an offer i just couldnt refuse.

The running career was slowly falling into the background and coaching was becoming my number 1 priority and with me getting mono which had me physically drained (unable to exercise for 2 months) and graduation coming up . I made the decision to see what it was like to be a normal student not held back from having training everyday or a race every weekend. I  went out on the infamous Dickson Street where all the college bars and night clubs were and im not gonna lie I started to really like this new lifestyle after a while and it wasnt long until  I was known around the bars I would usually walk in or skip a que if there was one and people would shout Hey Ireland !! or look its Dublin !!. Usually my drinks would be paid for by listening Americans who insist that they are 10 percent Irish, once I gave them an Irish blessing of calling them “a fecking eejit” and move on to another bar.

The coaching at this time was going really well too I was doing alot of work with both men and womens steeplechasers. One guy would finish runner up in the NCAAs and two girls finished top 8 at US senior trials along with one qualifer for US juniors . I then went from a student coach to a volunteer assistant coach and traveled on every trip and went to every coaches meeting which i learnt a great deal. The real learning experience came from head coach Chris Bucknam who thought me the ins and out of an Ncaa program his experience and advice everyday along with being a great family man gave me a role model to learn off day in day out .

But although there was a great personal satisfaction off coaching at one of the best athletic programs in America I just felt something was missing from my life. At this stage I was also applying for coaching jobs and doing phone interviews with the likes of University Of New Orleans for a full time postion and on top of being out of competitive running for nearly a year  and the longest period of activity i had done was a five minute robot dance in a night club the weekend before the thought of getting back to a high standard of running was just as hard a mission of not paying Joe for the weekly lotto .

But after a talk with a few family and friends and some wise words from Peter McDermott my mind was made up on getting back to running at a high standard again and not half ass.  Either I want to go all in and see what potential I really have as an athlete. This involved a month trip to Monte Gordo with a few elite middle distance runners from Donegal where the passion and love for the sport sinked back into me. Next thing I know I`m on the starting line for the Garda cross country Business house race the gun goes off and according to Mark McDonald I went through the first 400 in 64 seconds by the time I realized how fast I was going it was too late. I was in the hurt box the top 2 passed me with ease and a gap formed with ease eventually I got a second wind and ended up coming a creditable 2nd not bad for not racing in 15 months. Roll on the Nationals.”


Gary in Valentines Day massacre, Flynner`s back, US Indoor

Today, Valentines Day, Gary O`Hanlon massacred an Irish record: the 50km in Donadea . Gary retained the Irish title and regained the Irish record with a time of 2.57.07, slashing some 53 seconds off the record recently set by Tom Frazer in the US.

Also today the BHAA Garda 4 Mile cross country took place in the Phoenix Park, where David Flynn back home now after completing his time in the US, was 2nd in 21:16. Other Clonliffe: 7th Tom Sherlock 22.39, 12th Davy Byrne 23.11, 14th Sean Doran 23.32. Women`s 2 mile: 9th Marie Byrne 13.14, 12th Sinead Hartnett 13.17, 19th Joyce O`Hare 13.30.

Across the water Liam Roarty today ran in the Signals Road Relay (a 2.2 miler) in Hetton.  Liam was on the second leg of the Sunderland Harriers 6-Man Senior A team and finished his leg 5th at a time of 12:12. Overall, the team finished 4th in a team time of 69:31 behind Morpeth, Gateshead and Tyne Bridge.  Next up he runs the English National XC Championships next Saturday in Parliament Hill, London.
Liam Roarty and Steve Cram
 (pictured) Liam looks to recruit promising Master Steve Cram
Meanwhile in the USA tonight Declan Murray speaking after his unsuccessful assault on the Irish 1000 indoor record at Millrose Games, in New York: “That sucked” . Declan recorded a disappointing time of 2.22.99 in finishing 4th, well off Marcus O`Sullivan`s existing mark of 2.20.2.
Also today at the BU Valentines Meet Aaron Hanlon ran 4.13.77  for Providence placing 12th in his mile race.

Double Clonliffe U/16 800 gold at Juvenile Indoors

Day 2 of the Dublin Indoor Championships took place today in Morton Stadium with the focus very much outdoors with 800 and 200 action providing most of the action. It was a pleasant day but pretty cold once the sun disappeared behind the winter like clouds, however, a day without rain at the “indoors” is a pleasant day indeed.

Today a lot of the club`s middle distance athletes took to the start line, many still feeling the after effects of Wednesday`s Leinster Schools Cross Country, but it is very pleasing to report on some stellar runs from the black `n`amber. There was a notable U/16 double coming courtesy of Craig Giles in the boys race and Lauren Carr in the girls and a second gold also for Caitlin O`Reilly adding U/16 200 to her long jump title earned last night. Gold also for young Jonathan Fitzsimons in the U/11 600.

First gold of the day came from young Jonathan as he ran the most tactically savvy race belittling his tender years. Jonathan resisted the temptation to hit the front until the perfect moment sticking on the leader`s shoulder until he unleashed the Fitzsimons kick with 100 to go and won by an expanding 10m. Earlier Daniel Coleman had a fine win in his U/10 500, although on time ended up just out of the medals.

Caitlin O`Reilly was superb in her winning of the U/16 girls 200, having gotten rid of her nerves in the heats, she torn around the bend to have an advantage of several meters which she held all the way down the home straight, running a pb of 26.4.

The U/16 and 17 squads then lined up for their 800s. The girls all running excellent races with pbs recorded by all: Hannah Brown, Cliona Cooley and former sprinters Amy Connolly and Kate Howlett, top of the pile, however, was Lauren Carr running a superb race at the front and winding up the race over the final 400 to win in 2.30.1. Likewise a great performance from Craig Giles in the boys race battling down the final 100 to take the Dublin title in 2.08.2, fantastic runs also in this by Stephen Cashin, Jack Horan and Harry Pierce.

The U/17 boys didn`t feature in the medals where Alex Hogan was in that unlucky 4th place. In the U/17 girls Sophie Higgins claimed Dublin bronze, while Lizzie Murray after a very bright start faded a bit over the final 200 and was in that 4th place.

The final race of the day, after heats earlier, was the girls U/14 800. Both the club`s athletes really did the business in this race, after holding back on the opening lap both picked up place after place to finish in silver and bronze: take a bow Rachel Fagan and Amy Hodson.

Caitlin o`Reilly Dublin indoor

Jonathan Fitzsimons

Craig and Lauren

Dublin indoor

Aoife Hessions Dublin indoor

u14 girls indoors

U16 girls dublin indoors

Caitlin gets Dublin juvenile Indoor C`ships off to golden start

The weekend action got underway at Morton Stadium tonight with day 1 of the Dublin Juvenile Indoor Championships. Caitlin O`Reilly got the Clonliffe team off to an excellent start winning the girls U/16 long jump with a best jump of 4.85m. In the U/15 long jump Rebecca Fitzsimons took bronze. Bronze also for Daniel Lacey in the U/16 1500, while Paul Courtney was in that unlucky 4th position in the U/19 1500.

Tomorrow`s events include the 200s and 800s with a 10.00am start.

Dublin juvenile “Indoors”/ No Juvenile training on Sunday

The Dublin Juvenile Indoor Championships take place in the Morton Stadium tonight at 7.00pm and tomorrow (Saturday) from 10.00am. On Sunday the action switches to Tallaght. For programme of events see: Good luck to all our athletes competing.

Juvenile athletes please note that as a result there will be no Juvenile training sessions on Sunday.

Notice: advance stewarding commitments to races for 2015

Jeremy Chapman is seeking your assistance:  As members know each year the club asks that you help out with stewarding at various races.  It is important to note that in assisting at a number of these races, particularly our own open races and indeed some Athletics Ireland races and in particular the marathon race series that this represents a vital source of funding in that the race organisers make a contribution to the club.  These payments assist greatly in the running of the club and help reduce the financial burden on members in that without this revenue stream it might be a situation where the annual subscription would have to be increased, something which the committee is anxious to avoid.  Furthermore funding for the club means that there is more funding available for the clubs general athletic activities, for example to assist with the costs of juvenile athletics, with the juveniles having an upcoming trip to England, funding for equipment, funding towards race entry fees and indeed funding towards prize funds for the clubs athletes.

Generally the recruitment process is generally that either Jeremy, Pamela or Paddy Tuite will go looking for people to assist and these pleas go out in group emails and texts and invariably get a poor response. This leads to last minute panic calls and pleas to the same old reliables who continually help fill the numbers at these races.   This quite simply is not fair as it is wholly unfair that the same people are constantly turning up at races.  Indeed it is these very same people who are also the individuals who give so willingly and freely of their time on a voluntary basis to Clonliffe Harriers day in day out as coaches, committee members and so forth.

We are, therefore, appealing through the website and asking that each member of Clonliffe Harriers commits to a minimum of two races from the event list below.  We hope that this appeals to the Nil Desperandum spirit that exists within Clonliffe.  We are hoping to shortly create a link on the website where members can commit to their chosen races by having a ‘stewarding or volunteers page’ which would be updated regularly.  In the meantime, however, maybe you could make a verbal commitment to either Jeremy, Pamela or Paddy Tuite (don’t worry these verbal commitments will be committed to writing!)

The events which the club is committed to for 2015 are as follows:

26th of April – Samsung Night Race – Dublin city centre,  no. of stewards needed 30

14th of May – the Clonliffe 2 Mile – Santry, no. of stewards needed 20

27th of June – Dublin 5 Mile – Phoenix Park, No. needed 8

19th of July – Fingal 10k – Swords, no. needed 35

22nd of August – Frank Duffy 10 Mile – Phoenix Park, no. needed 8

19th of September – Dublin Half Marathon – Phoenix Park, no. needed 8

7th of October – Brother Clonliffe Schools Cross Country – Santry, no. needed 30

27th of December – Christmas Cracker 5K – Santry, no. needed 25
All training groups are asked to assemble in the club hall on Tuesday before training where Pamela, Jeremy and Paddy will be asking you to volunteer for your chosen races. Alternatively select the 2 races, plus a 3rd choice in case 1st 2 are gone, and e mail, or

The Loftus Report: Hope adds Leinster Schools to the list!

On a dull, gloomy day and with what could only be described as ideal XC conditions, the Leinster School’s Provincial XC Finals were held in a relatively dry Santry Demesne.  These races saw the culmination of a hard winter’s training for most athletes and the standard in which they competed so well was extremely high.  In total, today’s campaign on the country saw a terrific number of 11 athletes qualify individualy with the number surpassing 20 of athletes who qualified as a result of team efforts.  Needless to say there were steep hills, awkward bends and soft underfoot conditions, all of which have become expected in the running of these events.

First out of the starting pens were the Minor Girls, Clonliffe having only two representitives in this category, Amy Warren and Caitlin Butler.  Amy battled valiantly to secure a prestigious place in the All-Ireland School’s XC coming home fighting in a great 12th place.  Caitlin, who is ever improving in training had a particularly strong finish to place 34th.

On then to the Minor Boys race where again there was but one Clonliffe representative, Cillín Forrester.  Cillín had a strong race finishing in 60th in a huge field with over 140 athletes racing.

Lauren Leinsters

Lauren Carr, who admits to not being “a lover of XC”  displayed a wonderful burst of talent in the Junior Girls race, finishing in a very commendable 8th position for the 2500m distance.

Running the distance of 1500m, the Junior Boys toed the line in style.  In a thrilling battle Craig Giles’s hard work in copious amounts of trainings paid off indeed as he bagged 4th place, with Stephen Cashin running extremely well to place 12th, Daniel Lacey chasing him down in haste landing himself in 13th position.  Encouraging runs too from Mark Keirns 71st Aaron Cullen, Ian McEweeny and Jack Horan, Jack fighting his way home to finish in 77th position.  Due unfortunately to stomach cramps,  Cian Bolger was forced to withdraw from racing.

Next on the event schedule, the Intermediate Girls race of 3500m saw Alannah  Cooley stride home for another qualifying position in 13th, being the only Harrier in this race yielded a good result on the club front.

In the Intermediate Boys race Leinster’s very best athletes didnt fail to display in the slightest.  First Clonliffe member home was Sean Carrigg in a strong 12th, Alex Hogan as a first year Intermediate pacing close behind, placing a great 21st.  Next in promptly behind was Sean “GAA” O’Leary fighting for team qualification points, placing a fine 22nd.  Joseph Hession put in a powerful team effort adding only a mere 27 points (27th) to St. Aidan’s scoring four securing team silver and a place for eight runners in th All-Irelands. Kevin Mc Kenna battled for a good 34th  in the black and white of Belvedere Kevin Loftus was next in, in an admirable 39th place.  Fintan Mc Manus was forced to retire from the race.

Hope Leinster

The Senior Girls race was of utmost importance form a Clonliffe aspect, the distance of 2500m proving to be somewhat of a sprint to reigning Inter County All-Ireland Champion Hope Saunders.  Hope ran simply superbly, awarding herself with the title of Leinster School’s Senior Girls XC Champion.    Laura Tuite had a brilliant run too, securing yet another place in the All-Ireland Finals, finishing in 10th.  Lizzie Murray in one of her first school’s races showed great form to come home in 24th position, displaying good promise for the upcoming Track and Field season.

The last event of the day, after the course being teared to shreds, was the Senior Boys race of 6000m.  With a high calibre in the field this was quite tough from many aspects; and a long distance not to be underestimated.  Cathal Doyle showed his full recovery from illness cruising into  brilliant 5th place with Brian Flanagan tight on his heels in a super 6th place followed closely by Adam O’Brien in a terrific 11th given his recent return from injury.  Alex Gibbons had a very encouraging race to finish 22nd with Niall Norman a fighting 31st. Paul Courtney ran very well, arriving in 52nd; with good runs too from Gregg Hossenny and Ross Kearney, 52nd and 60th respectively. The st. Aidans team of Cathal, Brian, Adam and Alex took Leinster gold and will look with confidence to next month`s All Irelands.


So that concludes the day’s racing, well done on the tremendous effort of all who participated as well as those who were not so fortunate to qualify.  When willing to put in the hard training, the rewards reaped are enormous in satisfaction.

A special thank you to the wonderful cooperation, organisation, generosity and kindness of Alan O’Neill and of all in the Clonliffe community who assisted in the smooth running of the events today, it would be impossible to hold such an event without the much needed support.

These results are PROVISIONAL and are INTERNAL, official results on Athletics Ireland.

Report, results and photos  written and compiled by K Loftus


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