Archive for December, 2015

Happy New Year to all!

Clonliffe Harriers warmly extends our best wishes to all our members and friends for a very Happy and successful 2016. Nil desperandum.

Rathfarnham`s Paul Stephenson wins Cracker

The 5th annual ERP Christmas Cracker 5k took the runners on a loop around the Morton Stadium in Santry on a super bright cheerful morning. After the rain over the Holiday period it was great to see the day dawn with a clear blue sky and although there was some early morning ice on the track by race time it had just about cleared under the warming winter sun.

There was a very good turn out of runners and walkers with some 200 making it to the start line and were sent on there way at 11.15am for 500m around the track before heading out the stadium gates to Northwood.

A fine group headed by Clonliffe junior Brian Flanagan left the stadium with the field spread out almost the full lap of the track, also in this lead group was pre race favourite Eoin Callaghan (Star of the Sea), Paul Stephenson (Rathfarnham) and a group of strong juniors including the National U/17 cross country bronze medallist Sean O`Leary, Jack Maughan and Eoin Keating all of the promoting club. Heading up the long drag through Northwood Stephenson and Flanagan lead with the Rathfarnham man making the decisive move at the top of this road around half way. Stephenson made his advantage count as he drove on to open a gap that at the finish line in the Stadium had grown to some 18 seconds to win in 15.20. Brian Flanagan was a fine 2nd (15.38) with Eoin Callaghan 3rd (15.49).

The women`s race was won and lost on the track as Raheny`s Annette Kealy led on the road but was caught by the fast finishing Emma Donlon (MSB) with about 100 to go Emma winning in 18.29, with Blaithin Sheil (Raheny) 3rd.

First junior was Sean O`Leary (Clonliffe) after a great run 4th overall in 16.09, a pb by some margin, 2nd was Jack Maughan with Eoin Keating 3rd to complete a black and amber junior clean sweep.

The junior women`s race was won by Raheny`s Niamh Corry (18.56). First of the Master`s was Clonliffe`s Declan Power in 16.12, with Carol Costello first Master woman. First team was in the men Clonliffe and women Raheny.

It was a great festive day with a nice feel good factor, the Christmas music set the day off nicely, along with the welcomed Hot Chocolate, thanks to our friends in Last Lap Café. The race also raised funds for our associated charity Alone, and it was great to have their CEO Sean Moynihan in attendance to present prizes to the winners.

Clonliffe would like to thank ERP and Last Lap Café, An Garda Siochana, and all the club members who helped out.

Prize winners:

Senior men: 1st Paul Stephenson (Rathfarnham) 15.20, 2nd Brian Flanagan (Clonliffe) 15.38, 3rd Eoin Callaghan (SOTS) 15.49.

Senior women: 1st Emma Donlon (MSB) 18.29, 2nd Annette Kealy (Raheny) 18.34, 3rd Blaithin Sheil (Raheny) 19.08.

Junior Men: 1st Sean O`Leary (Clonliffe), 2nd Jack Maughan (Clonliffe)

Junior women: 1st Niamh Corry (Raheny), 2nd Tara Walsh *

Master men: O/40 Declan Power (Clonliffe), O/45 Feargal O`Shea (Clonliffe), O/50 Ray Moylan *, O/55 Seamus Rooney *, O/70 Pat Bonass

Master women: O/40 Carol Costello *, O/45 Evelyn Brennan (Clonliffe), O/50 Mary Purdue-Smyth, O/55 Jean Carr (Clonliffe), O/60 Kathleen Barry *, O/65 Josie Power (Fingallians)

* prizes not collected. These can be collected in Clonliffe on Tuesday 4th or Thursday 6th of Jan.

Full Results click: Clonliffe_5k_2015 Results overall

Photos click:


Season`s Greetings from Clonliffe Harriers

Clonliffe Harriers wish all our members, their families, our wonderful sponsors and supporters and our colleagues in the athletics family a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful healthy New Year.

Merry xmas Clonliffe

Good entry on the cards for ERP Xmas Cracker

Clonliffe Harriers` annual ‘ERP Christmas Cracker 5k’ in now only a matter of days away with a good entry on line so far. The race which is being run in association with Alone will take place on December 27th. Online entry is still available on While entry is also taken on the day runners and walkers are requested to make it easier all round and avail of on line entry.

The race is once again being run in partnership with European Recycling Platform and also the charity ALONE. Pictured at the October launch are Sean Moynihan (CEO ALONE),  Eoin Murray (Race Director), Catriona McKiernan, Feargal Murray (ERP) and Pat Bonass (M70 European XC Bronze medallist).
xmas cracker launch photo


We would encourage all our entrants to raise some badly needed funds for ALONE. ALONE provides Supportive Housing, Befriending, Community Support and Campaigning services to hundreds of older people every week, who are homeless, socially isolated, living in deprivation or in crisis.

The ERP 5k Christmas Cracker is also offering the chance for all entrants in the race to win some spot prizes. To be in with a chance to win one of these prizes it is simply a matter of bringing along on race day anything that is WEEE and can be recycled( electrical appliance or used batteries). You will then be entered into a draw which will take place immediately after the race.

ERP’s mission is to develop high-quality, cost-effective recycling services for the benefit of producer members, consumers and ultimately the environment and society. It is important that we get as many recyclable items as possible to support our very generous race sponsor.

The ERP 5k Christmas Cracker itself takes place on Sunday December 27th at 11.00am on the roads around the Morton Stadium in Santry and finishes on the track in the Morton Stadium itself.

There will be prizes for the Senior Men/Women, Junior Men/Women, Masters prizes, spot prizes and goodie bags. Superb value for an online entry fee of €20.00 which includes chip timing and booking fee.  See

Weekend Round up: 5 k road races

A couple of 5k road races yesterday attracted the attention of Clonliffe athletes. Sergiu Ciobanu was 3rd in the Duhallow 5k, Newmarket in 14.34, while Sean Doran recorded a pb while also placing 3rd in the Kildare Open 5k in 16.20.

PyeongChang 2018: Winter Olympic Warm Up 2015

The Loftus Winter Olympic Report: What better way to celebrate a terrific end to another terrific year in the eyes of our juvenile athletes than to partake in what has been described as “an elite and covert low altitude training session”, also known as the annual festive excursion to the RDS Winter FunderLand for some fun on the ice.  Many of the runners from Mick and Noel’s group gathered promptly in Santry for the on-the-hour bus today before travelling to Ballsbridge. In what was a day thoroughly enjoyed by all, many of our athletes showed particular promise in the realm of ice-skating, below mentions but a few.

Both Clíona Cooley and Amy Connolly featured mostly as partners taking keenly to the ice from the off, with an almost “dance” like quality to their skating.  Both were embroiled in a seriously competitive game of chasing it seemed from their constant scurries to catch Daniel Lacey, another natural at ease on the unstable ground.  Fionntan McManus managed to outpace most of his contemporaries, gliding rigorously around the rink with finesse also.
However as always, despite our previous workouts under similar conditions in the pre Winter Olympic sessions of years before, today saw many a handrail-holder in attendance.  Craig Giles, our only first timer took very few tentative steps towards the centre of the rink yet performed admirably as a newbie without any experience.  Seán O’Leary successfully maintained a strong grip on the barrier for the duration of the session, his hands only ever leaving when his feet came swiftly from under him.  Accompanied by Jack Horan and Ben Guiden, these four guided each other to more than a few stumbles to the ground, unaware that clutching each other does more harm than good in this particular situation.
Yet many felt this thrill and excitement was simply not enough.  While some of the more measured and relaxed runners went to refuel after the exhaustment, others queued patiently for not one but two joy rides; one of which quite literally gave one a snapshot of what our city looks like upside down at a height of 100 feet.  There were plenty of shrill yelps and screams heard from observers below as passengers were catapulted in circular motion through the air at a very high speed.  The title “arm of death” was attributed to this ride by Noel Guiden a number of years ago, and it certainly still to this day lives up to every expectation.  Despite their desire for the contrary, Mick and Noel were disappointed to report that no one was lost in the aftermath of the so called “enjoyment”.
Finally, as is only customary for an athletic squad on an excursion like this, the bus heading back in the direction of Northwood was spotted at distance on Merrion Road; abruptly followed by a slight panic and stampede towards the bus stop ensuing.  It is needless to say that all were accounted for on the stuffy, stiflingly hot bus back to Santry.  Thank you to all who made the effort to come with us, and to our coaches who acted in an expert capacity as hangers for coats and scarves.
Report by Kevin Loftus
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Fantastic Cake Race/Athletes of the year night at HQ

A truly fantastic club night took place in Clonliffe Harriers tonight. The annual Cake Races and Clonliffe Athletes of the year presentation drew a great crowd of Clonliffe members to the clubhouse for what was once of the best club nights in many a year.

The night kicked off with the ladies Cake Race at 7.30pm for 5k around Santry, a very well supported race in which the first across the line was a very popular winner Evelyn Brennan with Louise Caraher recording the fastest time of 20.10. The men got sent on their way 30 minutes later again a good starting field from which Greg Hossenny prevailed to take a fine win. Fastest time came from one of the two scratch men Brian Flanagan (15.41).

The presentation night included a speech from the president Paddy Marley in which he thanked all of the club members for their outstanding contribution to the club over this one of the most successful years in the club`s proud history. Paddy made a presentation to the National Junior mens cross country champions (Cathal Doyle, Brian Flanagan, Adam O`Brien, Josh Stubbs, Sean Carrrig and Eoin Keating), and to Hope Saunders the National Junior women`s cross country champion.

A special presentation was then made to Tony Murphy who stepping down from his coaching position. Presentations were then made to the Clonliffe 2015 champions: Ian Rogers/Dave Donegan indoor (tie)PV, Dara Kervick indoor 400, Keith Pike indoor 60m, Brian Greegan 400, Ian Rogers PV,  4 x 100 relay squad of Keith Pike, Patrick O`Connor, Isreal Ibeanu and Chris X`Sibanda and to the senior men cross country team with Sergiu Ciobanu accepting on the team`s behalf.

The Athletes of the year awards were presented by sponsor John Shields on behalf of Loki Sports:

Junior: Cathal Doyle

Master: Pat Bonass

Women`s Track & Field: Ciara McCallion

Men`s Track & Field: Dara Kervick

Women`s Road/XC: Hope Saunders

Men`s Road/XC: Sergiu Ciobanu

Clonliffe Harrier of the year: Thomas Sherlock

2015 athletes of the year

Frazer Walker RIP (updated with arrangements)

It is with a great sense of sadness that we to-day mourn the passing of lifelong Clonliffian Frazer Walker.

Frazer was the last link of the Walker family who have had a direct association with the club since his grandfather George Frazer Walker joined in 1893, just 7 years after our foundation. Frazer had 4 uncles who all competed in the famous black and amber singlet. Indeed 3 of these Wasps were on the Clonliffe team which won the 1925 Senior Inter Clubs CC Championship. George and Charles were also members of the Irish team which finished second to England in the World CC race at Baldoyle, also in 1925.

Just like his forebearers, Frazer continued the remarkable Walker family record, and was on the team which took gold at the 1953 National Senior Championships. He was also on the Irish team at the World CC in 1955 and 1958.

However it was as a marathon runner that he made his greatest impact. Frazer was crowned Irish Marathon Champion on no fewer than 3 occasions when he won gold in 1957, 1958 and 1959.

When his active career ended Frazer continued to be a regular attendee at club events and every summer he looked forward to renewing friendships with his fellow club members at the National T&F championships in Santry.

His family’s long connection was permanently bound up with Clonliffe Harriers when they presented the Walker Cup, to be competed for in a four mile track race, to the club in 1966.

Frazer was one of the last direct links with the legendary club committee, who, under the leadership of Billy Morton, purchased the land and built the stadium which is now the home of Clonliffe Harriers. His passing also brings to an end the longest single family connection with the club, stretching back 122 years.

May he rest in peace.

Nil Desperandum.

Dominic Branigan.

Funeral arrangements:

(Kilnamanagh Road, late of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and lifelong member of Clonliffe Harriers) (peacefully) at T.L.C Centre, Citywest beloved husband of the late Nuala and loving father of Brian, monica, Gerard and Maria; sadly missed by his loving sons, daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brother, sisters, relatives and friends. May he rest in peace. Reposing at T.LC. Centre, Citywest today (Friday) from 4 o’c. to 7 o’c. Funeral tomorrow (Saturday) after 10 o’c. Mass in Church of the Assumption, Walkinstown to Mount Jerome Cemetery. Enquiries to Brian McElroy’s Funeral Directors, Crumlin Village Ph. 4559101.

Flynner`s blog: “Back from the dead”

A blog from Dave Flynn: I thought with such a big year ahead and me being abroad for most of it I would start a blog to keep everyone well informed on training ,adventures etc .I recently came back from a 10 week altitude training stint in Mammoth lakes California. This was a life changing experience not just because of how well training went up there and having great team mates but how my running career had gone hill down before that. It was 2014 I got a call and was told I have Mono (Glandular Fever) and would end up being out of action for 11 months. The start was the worst I was still finishing off my degree at the University of Arkansas at the time and along with sleeping 17 hours a day attending classes was mission impossible.Eventually the sickness started to ease off when I changed my diet and stopped all intense exercise soon after that i graduated and became a volounteer assistant coach at Arkansas where I learnt alot about the athletes I coached and Ncaa division 1 system.Chris Bucknam is who i owe it all to getting through those times  a great coach and  even a greater friend giving me an opportunity to coach in one of the best athletics programs in America. I returned home to Ireland at the end of 2014 cleared to start training full time again but what I was in store for the next few months would have me on the brink of quitting the sport and never coming back. First the lack of support from Athletics Ireland for Irish athletes returning from the state’s after college is ridiculous. You’ve been away for four to five years in a totally different controlled running environment then you arrive home and there’s nothing. I hope this will change for Irish athletes in the future. I was fortunate to be in the best running club in Ireland Clonliffe harriers and looked after whenever possible by club captain Joe Cooper of settling back in.To cut the rest short injuries kicked in along with terrible performances all through 2015 until my return from California .Having no coach for a period of time being in awful shape and having no motivation I toke one last chance of achieving a dream that was slowly slipping away from view.10 weeks later I would be on the starting line of the national inter clubs (European xc trials) unfortunately jet lagged had sunk in and I would end up 7th Irish and alternate for the Irish team for the European  cross country. I thought alot after the race and although I put it up to the best Irish athletes in the country which was the deepest Irish field in years and winning the team title by 1 point. The only person that knew my real disappointment was my Dad as he knew the work I had put in to get here. The next week I would go over and over in my head why I felt the way I did and what I did wrong but all I could come to the conclusion was that I had two choices feel sorry for myself or use finishing 7th as fuel that I never want to be in that situation ever again. So now i sit in a hotel room in Monte Gordo Portugal a professional  training town on the Algarve where i am planning on staying here from December 13th until January 9th on my own unless you include the Russian and Polish federation that are also here and occasionally nor in my general direction. Regarding my training and expiernce in California in the mountains that will be all be revealed soon. Until next time.

The Loftus Report: Juvenile Cake Races

Kevin Loftus reports:The joyful, festive cheer during this year’s Juvenile Christmas Cake Races was clearly audible from outside Santry’s Morton Stadium, as our young athletes celebrated yet another terrific year in the club’s history.  Thankfully it was a dry, mild evening with little moisture gathered on the surface of the track, making for great racing.  There were marvellous performances from all of the younger athletes, all of them joining together in what was a throughly enjoyable night for both runners and their coaches and parents.  Every harrier embraced the spirit behind these races; to run one’s best and to have fun.  After the business end of the proceedings drew to a close, athletes and their supporters flocked eagerly to the club house bar where they found a wonderfully prepared collection of treats,by the extremely kind courtesy of Colm Doran.

We had eight surprised and delighted winners of the highly sought after cakes in their respective handicapped races, listed below. The incredibly tireless Juvenile Club Captain Gladys Cooper presented these proud winners with their sweet desserts as just reward for their valiant efforts.   A huge congratulations to these deserving harriers.

After this Club coaches Gerry Carr and Noel Guiden gave short introductions to their presentations of awards for the Hardest Working Harrier and the Athlete of the Year respectively.  Both spoke eloquently of the immense rewards reaped as a result of coming to training on a regular basis.  These two harriers are set apart from the rest in their fields, demonstrating in outstanding style what exactly it is to be a true Clonliffe Harrier.  They give so willingly of all their time to their sport; achieving the highest heights possible as a result of their unbinding commitment to their training.  Gerry thus made a presentation to brilliant Amy Hodson, awarded the prize of being the most committed harrier of 2015.  This was followed promptly by Noel, presenting the Athlete of the Year to the equally deserving Craig Giles.

So yet another year has passed in the eyes of Clonliffe Harriers.  It is at this point that we express our profound gratitude for the incredulous on going effort made by both coaches and parents to provide our young athletes with the skills and expertise necessary to compete at such a high level in this sport.  We will be forever in debt to you.  Finally, one must say from all in the Juvenile Section of the club, we wish all the friends of Clonliffe a very merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.  Nil Desperandum.

Cake Race Winners 2015:

U/10 Girls: Megan Lawler, Boys: Jack McDonnell

U/12 Girls: Isabel Browne, Boys: Cian O`Hare

U/14 Girls: Zoe McKenna, Boys: Dermot Buckley

U/16 Girls: Rafa Diamond-Ebbs, Boys: Daniel Lacey

Report by Kevin Loftus
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