Archive for June, 2020

Gladys’ group for July return

Notice from Gladys Cooper: I’m delighted to bring you the good news of a return to training for our younger athletes after these unprecedented last 4 months (almost). It is however vitally important that all parents read the attached, discuss them with your children and that you are sure your children understand what they must do, can do and cannot do! Please also note that this is a phased return in a structured way that must be respected by all. Thank you for your cooperation.

Updated Club Protocol for Phase 3

Members are referred to our previous posting which includes Athletics Ireland’s Guidance. Clonliffe have now updated our protocol document to take account of these. This applies from tomorrow and is attached below.

All club members are required to read, understand and agree to this in full before coming to Morton Stadium tomorrow. If you attend at Morton Stadium for Clonliffe training this is taken as an acceptance on your behalf of these conditions. All members U/18 are required to refer this to a parent or guardian and your continued training is taken as an acceptance of these conditions by them on your behalf.

See next posting for the younger juvenile athletes (Gladys’ group)

Monday Memories with Eamonn Tierney

As far as cross country was concerned, I was a bit inconsistent when it came to performing well on the day. It was probably more psychological than physical so being a member of Clonliffe Harriers put more pressure on a runner than if he ran for most other clubs.

Anyway in 1987 I remember asking Paddy Marley if it was ok if I could be excused from running in the Nationals that year in Killenaule. After all we were the reigning champions with runners like Jerry Kiernan, Noel Harvey, Dave Taylor,Eugene Curran, Gerry Finnegan, Gerry Brady, Billy Horgan, Padraig Keane, Denis Noonan, Dermot Redmond, Peter McDermot , Kieran O’Dwyer and many many more. I cannot recall if all these runners were available on the day but i figured a combination of any four from the above names would easily retain our title. Paddy however saw it differently. He mentioned things like injuries, lack of fitness and other reasons why some runners may not perform on the day. I think I was training for the Amsterdam Marathon so although I was fit, cross country was not on my agenda.

So with a fair bit of reluctance I travelled with the team. Killenaule is a tough hilly course and not one that really suited me although I was running a lot in the mountains at the time so I was trying to psyche myself up that the course actually did suit me. I remember starting off slowly thinking if I make the top eight Clonliffe runners I would have a decent run. Dave Taylor was having a blinder and word came back that he was streaking away from a top class field that included Gerry Curtis and John Woods. This news gave me reassurance because with Dave a certain winner it was great news for Clonliffe. I think Jerry Kiernan started off slowly. He may have had injury problems from 5 years of heavy marathon training but he ended up with a solid run finishing around 7th or 8th. A young Eugene Curran may have finished 15th or so.

The question was where was our 4th man. I was moving slowly through the field and was 5th Clonliffe man when I think it was Johnny O’Leary screamed at me that Harvey was in trouble and was coming back through the field. When Johnny screamed information you took notice. He told me I was going to be the 4th scorer and that I had to keep going in order to retain the team prize. Noel was the reigning champion from the previous year on our home turf in Santry but for whatever reason he was having a bad day so I remember running past him at maybe 9k {the race distance was 12k} in those days. I finished 25th and we did retain the title and I was needed on the day. It was a great feeling winning a National title with a famous club like Clonliffe.

Even now 33 years later I still tell runners how important everyone is on the team,especially in cross country. Even if you are not in the top 4, if you are 5th, 6th, or 7th scorer you could still finish ahead of the next club’s 4th scorer and I know that people like Paddy Marley, Johnny O’Leary, Maurice Ahern, Peter McDermott and others will make sure this tradition of running to the line counts for eveything when you were the black and amber.

Nil Desperandum
Eamonn Tierney

Clonliffe’s team of Champions
Eamonn (112), R. Dooney (151), John Woods (050), Jerry Kiernan, Dick Hooper (098)

Another 60 seconds, no. 7 Aoife Hession

Another of the club’s fine juniors, an athlete who already will shortly be celebrating her 10th anniversary of being a Clonliffe Harrier, some may say it seems longer!

Bio: I’m Aoife Hession ,17 and currently in 5th year in Dominican college. I am mainly a middledistance athlete primarly 1500m or 3000m.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I think I was about 8 years old when I first set my eyes on the fabulous Gladys Cooper. I was never any good at team sports ask any of my friends. I somehow manage to either get hit in the face with a ball or it magically slipped out of my hands .I’m sure I was the reason for a lot of defeats in either rounders or bench ball in school due to my inability to catch a ball and KEEP it in my hands. My brother and sister were also apart of Clonliffe so I just came up one night and the rest is history.

What is your favourite training workout? I think I like the most hated workout which is 1km reps. I really enjoy the distance and like how its not very speedy because I very much dislike that sort of thing.

And your least favourite? This is a tough one because there are a lot! But would have to say 800m reps, everything about them is a no from me.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? I really enjoy any of the school’s cross-country races. Although we could all be on different teams we still always support and encourage our fellow Clonliffe teammates. I will never forget running in a schools xc race in Santry and hearing Evan Foster encouraging me all the way up the hill. I was zoning out by the walled garden but he put me back in the race and reminded me of the main objective. Not going to lie it really scared me at the time though.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) I think my proudest moment would have to be when I won a silver medal in the 3000m in 2018.What made it even better was the fact I didn’t even know I had gotten one due to two age groups being mixed together.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? I have actually been very lucky with injuries I have never really gotten anything serious. It must be my handy Asics! I think it was around this time last year I just had a slight injury in my hip but after doing stretches given by the physio I was back in action. I’m sure Noel was heartbroken when I was missing for 2 weeks.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Noel is going to tell me to take my own advice on this one but you should always have confidence in your abilities to perform well. If you have the mindset I can’t do an extra 400m rep when the coach asks then you wont do it therefore you’re not pushing yourself.As hard as it can be to say yes Noel I’ll do that extra 400m even though you know it will be hard. After you feel like you have achieved something higher than yourself. That way you know for next time I’m well able to keep going and with that confidence you can exceed your expectations. I would like to think I have this mindset but that is in fact not the case

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) In Seville when we were sitting in one of the rooms, I told story to everyone trying to convince them that my kettle at home was haunted and wanted tea. I said that whenever I said “do you want tea” to the kettle it would turn on. They all just laughed and thought is this girl okay? I did drive Alana Fitzimons insane when we got back to the room later that night and I hid the kettle in the wardrobe because I thought it looked scary.

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition I usually have the typical chicken and pasta B. Outside competition I love Chinese food, so I make a banging fried rice doused in soy sauce

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish My sporting heroes would be no one but my teammates (Sarah, Alana and Abbie) they help make long runs bearable. Their incredible vocal cords that can be heard throughout the phoenix park on an 85 minute run is what makes them an inspiration to me. B. International Dina Asher Smith although I am not a sprinter she is always smiling when she comes out onto the track and even if she has a bad race which is very rare, she takes the positives out of the experience.

What’s your favourite…? A. Film I genuinely have no idea but I do like horror movies but that night going to bed is terrifying. B. Song or Album This is cruel I can’t pick but I am a big fan of the Arctic monkeys and the odd bit of girls aloud because I think they are superior to the spice girls C. Book I wouldn’t be much of a reader and there has never really been a book that has stood out to me, but the Mr men books are forever ingrained into my memory. You may be wondering why Mr Men but think about they’re easy to read, easy storyline and of course a range of characters to choose from. What’s not to love!!

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Tavira, Portugal. The man selling doughnuts on the beach is what makes this place stand out to me.

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I honestly don’t know, like many of us running is a major part of our lives but I enjoy going on cycles with my friends and chatting about anything and everything.

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? I would enforce stricter rules around doping in the sport because I feel too many athletes get caught on a number of occasions but are still respected so highly in the sport.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Funniest person alive

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) I would like to improve my 5k time along with getting a pb in the 1500

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? By keeping in contact with friends helped because you were able to discuss the training and encourage each other to go out and do what needed to be done whether it was a 50-minute run or just core and stretching.

Aoife in Seville

Phase 3:Increase in numbers permitted to train

Phase 3 of the easing of Covid 19 restrictions comes into effect on Monday, June 29. During this phase sporting activities can now recommence to an almost pre-Covid 19 level, the travel restrictions are lifted within the whole island of Ireland, total numbers permitted at a venue (Morton Stadium) are 200 to include coaches. From a practical point of view this means that the restriction on 15 per group can be increased to slightly bigger groups however all must be mindful that it really is not in anyone’s interests for Morton Stadium to be swamped with people looking to train on Tuesday evening.

In the interests of all it is not yet proposed to open the clubhouse. Toilets are available in the stadium. No showers at this time, arrive ready to train, and limit as much as possible congratulating in groups.

Please contact your coach to see if your group is back.

Please note the following:

Training for Clonliffe members continues in Morton Stadium on Tuesdays/Thursdays 7pm – 9pm, Sundays 9.30-11.30am.

Bookings must be made by the group coach

There can be no physical contact whatsoever between the members of the training group.

Social distancing of 2M must be strictly observed.

Please observe coughing and sneezing etiquette.

Please refrain entirely from spitting.

Wash your hands before you leave home to go running, bring a hand sanitiser with you, do not press any pedestrian crossing buttons and if you are stretching do not use a railings or park bench or similar to support you while you stretch.

Do not share drinks, be absolutely careful that your drink bottle does not touch against another athletes drink bottle, do not handle another athletes drink bottle, it is vitally important that cross contamination is avoided.

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or flu like symptoms do not come to train, self isolate and contact your GP.

We are continuing at this stage with allocation on slots to groups as follows:

7.00 – 8.00pm Outside Hammer cage for Throws.

7.00-8.00pm Javelin on infield.

7.00-7.30pm; Philip O’Doherty/Maurice Ahern/Eugene Coppinger (lanes 1-5)

7.00-8.00pm: Gerry Carr (lanes 6 -10)

7.30-8.00pm: Joe Cooper/Peter McDermott/Pamela Cooper (lanes 1-4)

8.00-8.30pm: Mick Fogarty/Noel Guiden (lanes 1-4)

8.00-9.00pm: John Shields/ Ciaran Donohue (lanes 5-10)

8.30-9.00pm; Open for club members, not part of a training group, limited to 25 athletes.

See posting from Athletics Ireland:

Key Notes for this phase:
1. Permits sporting activity in outdoor public sports amenities for all ages.
2. Permits people to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, either individually or in a group. 3. Permits individuals to travel anywhere on the island of Ireland.
4. If you feel unwell do not present to the Club.
5. If you are recovering from Covid19 seek medical advice prior to returning to train.
6. Permits outdoor social gathering for groups of up to 200 people and indoor gatherings of up to 50 people. Note these numbers include all people present at any gathering including athletes, coaches, officials and spectators.

Guidance for Clubs

Guidance for Athletes

Guidance for Coaches

Championship action to return to Morton Stadium

We now have further clarity from Athletics Ireland on the National Championships. In this connection the National Senior Track and Field Championships will take place on August 22nd and 23rd in the Morton Stadium. In fact all track and field championships will this year take place in Morton Stadium.

The week after the Seniors the National Juveniles age groups U/17, U/18 and U/19 will take place on the weekend of August 29th and 30th . The following week, Saturday September 5th is the date, again in Morton Stadium, for the National Junior Track and Field Championships with the National Masters again in Morton Stadium on Sunday September 6th . The Championship weeks will continue on the weekend of September 12th and 13th with the combined events, again in Morton Stadium. Throw into the mix then the Leinster Championships and Dublin U/17,18 & 19s also in Morton and it gives Clonliffe athletes all of a sudden a racing season!

All are of course subject to final health guidelines but at present the season looks like this:

Thursday July 16th – Club 5000 Championships

Tuesday July 21st – Club 100 and 800 Championships

Thursday July 23rd – Club 400 and 1500 Championships

Saturday August 1st – Dublin Juvenile Championships U/17, U/18 and U/19

Saturday August 8th/Sunday August 9th – Leinster Junior/Senior/Masters Championships

Saturday 22nd/Sunday 23rd of August – National Senior Track and Field Championships

Saturday August 29th/Sunday August 30th – National Juvenile U/17, U/18 and U/19 Championships

Saturday September 5th – National Junior Championships

Sunday September 6th – National Masters Championships

Saturday September 12th/Sunday September 13th – National combined events Championships

Please note that the Dublin Graded may also take place during the month of July and obviously we will do our best with our own club championships to avoid any clashes in the same weeks so the club championships above are a movable feast.

Another 60 Seconds, no. 6 Mick Kearney

Another Clonliffe lifer. Athlete, committee member, Treasuer, administrator, Race Director, pint puller, pint drinker, you name it Mick Kearney has been there, done it and lost the T Shirt!

Bio: Member of Clonliffe Harriers for the past 35 years. While I did some training and had modest success was too easily lead astray into more dedicated socialising. Nonetheless was delighted to be associated with the top Athletics Club in Ireland and assisted the club in a number of roles including Treasurer.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I was always fascinated by track and field and made a point of watching top class international athletics on TV. I later started attending Olympics, World and European Championships and had some memorable trips in the company of Sean Callan and Harry Gorman. The main reason I ran initially was to steer clear of trouble as a kid. I found that I had a kick and sprint ability that enabled me to evade those in hot pursuit. I had a brother in law, Henry Kiely, who was a keen runner and I joined him occasionally. It was not until I came to Dublin in 1980, working in the Revenue Commissioners in Dublin Castle, that I started running consistently. I found a ready companion in the great Jimmy Bennett. Lunch times consisted of runs from the Castle to the Phoenix Park. As Jim used train for the Dublin Marathon I also took this route and entered on a number of occasions. My interest in running did not go unnoticed and I was recruited to run for Revenue’s Customer and Excise Team in the Business Houses. The team included Pat Healy, Seamus Creed, Christy Kearns and the late Tadgh O’Keeffe.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I joined Clonliffe in 1985. The reason for joining was that practically all of Revenue’s Customs and Excise Team were members of Clonliffe Harriers. As I was starting to show some promise my colleagues persuaded me to join Clonliffe and take my running to another level.

What is your favourite training workout? Fartlek, was always my favourite work out. I found it was highly effective in improving my running speed and endurance. It suited me to alternate between fast segments and slow jogs. I particularly enjoyed the sessions overseen by Maurice Ahern in Malahide. Laro Byrne, Paddy Marley, Tommy Griffin and the late Padraig Keane were great motivators.

And your least favourite? Mile repeats was the most difficult.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? 800m and the Morton Games. It has been great to see the Morton Games growing in stature under the direction of Noel Guidan.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) The event that gave me the greatest satisfaction was breaking 3 hours in the Marathon for the first time. What benefitted me enormously was the introduction to serious and focused training in Clonliffe. Within a year of joining I went under 3 hours in the Detroit Free Press Marathon on 17th October 1986, knocking 35 minutes off my previous best time in the process. Another international success was in New York in 1996 on route back from the Olympics in Atlanta. Both Pat Bonass and I entered the New York Road Runners race – the Kurt Steiner Speed Series which was held on Staten Island. We both won our respective Master categories which was a great thrill. I was delighted to have the privilege, with Johnny O Leary, of accompanying the Clonliffe cross country teams, coaches and officials on their visit to Seville earlier this year. It was a fantastic occasion to see so many Clonliffe athletes competing to such a high standard in one of the top cross country races in Europe. A great tribute to Caption Joe Cooper and Co. Long may such trips continue. Most of my memorable moments are now ensuring events are run successfully. The Clonliffe 2 Mile is a highlight of each year together with the continuing sponsorship of the event by the Kavanagh Family in Glasnevin. I am also delighted to be able to support the Grand Prix . On the national stage I work in the AAI Call Room.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? Thankfully I have not incurred any major injury. One that I recall is turning on my ankle during Mick Murphy 5 mile in Malahide back in the late 1980s. Amazingly I was able to continue running to the finish line and win the handicap. However within 30 minutes my ankle swelled like a balloon. It took a month of rest and physio to get back in action.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? You need to set a goal and be passionate about accomplishing it.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) I go back to the celebration of the Clonliffe Harriers centenary on 1 January 1986. A cross country race was held around lunchtime on New Year’s Day. It was on the old course now Santry Demesne. It was typical cross country weather wet and cold. I was in two minds whether to run as I had a sniffle. In any event I competed and got to the finish line. Having showered all were invited to the club bar. After a short wait, which seemed like an eternity at the time, Frances Mansfield, assisted by Frankie and Nuala McDaid, opened the shutters and shouted at all and sundry that the drinks were free and courtesy of Irish Distillers. Heart-warming hot whiskies were dispensed at rapid speed. After about an hour to my consternation the shutters came down again. It was a false alarm as the shutters came up again almost immediately. Frances again at the top of her hearty voice exclaimed in clear diction – this reception is sponsored by Arthur Guinness. Wonderful glorious pints of mouthwatering Guinness started to appear. It was not long before the singing started and a great New Year’s night ensued.

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition Bacon and mushroom pasta B. Outside competition Baked salmon and piping hot veg accompanied by a full bodied red wine.

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish Jerry Kiernan, Sonia O Sullivan, Eamon Coghlan B. International Alberto Juantorena

What’s your favourite…? A. Film It’s A Wonderful Life B. Song or Album Astral Weeks – Van Morrison C. Book James Joyce’s Ulysses

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Acoteias in the Algarve which is a sporting mecca for athletes. It’s a great location for warm weather training and the site for many Euro Cross Country Championships. Of late it’s the venue of choice for the Clonliffe Algarve Tour(Retired) under the guidance of senior coach Martin Treacy.

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I started practicing Chen Style Tai Chi a number of years ago. It’s the foundation for martial arts and I practice every day. I am also an active member of Toastmasters.

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? I think there should be more of a focus in developing athletics in schools to ensure the long term survival of the sport. The IAAF should prioritise its resources to achieve this.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Reliable, conscientious, tenacious.

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) To assist with the resumption of competitive athletic activity in the club. It would be nice to get Club Championships and some Grand Prix races, including the Clonliffe 2, underway in the near future.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? I have managed to keep a good level of fitness walking each day for 1 hour and 30 minutes and practicing Tai Chi for a further 2 hours. I have particularly enjoyed the features put together by Noel Guiden on the Clonliffe web site.

Another 60 Seconds: no. 5 Stephen Cashin

A plucky young upstart ready to take the Senior circuit by storm. Has a penchant for high mileage and Cross Country. Most recent winner of the prestigious “Harrier of the year award”. (his words!)

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? At 10 years old I was the fastest kid in my class and I wanted to see how that translated into the real world.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? Of all clubs it was the shortest distance from my house .

What is your favourite training workout? you simply can’t beat 400’s on the track. I’ll take as many as Joe cares to give.

And your least favourite? Tempos in Santry.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? I have always enjoyed the uneven national XC championships. More mud than glory.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) Winning the National Junior Cross Country Championship back in November. First time I scored for the team in this race so it felt good

That great November 2019 day!

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? Aside from a few niggles here and there I have never been injured.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Not all progress is linear. Remain patient, and hard work will eventually pay off.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) (Redacted…by Stephen himself! Wonder what story it was….did it involve Rum?)

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition B. Outside competition A) Chicken Tikka Masala (extra rice) B) Cheese & Pineapple Pizza

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish B. International A) Wes Hoolahan B) Craig Engels (His devotion to the mullet is truly inspiring)

What’s your favourite…? A. Film B. Song or Album C. Book A) Interstellar B) Strange Trails – Lord Huron C) The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Zurich, Switzerland

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I do love playing No Limit Texas hold ‘em

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? Cathal Doyle said something a few weeks back about hyping up rivalries between athletes, and having big showdown races much like the UFC. I want that.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) awe-inspiring, magnificent, humble (very).

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) Next year the goal is to medal at either Novice XC all Ireland’s or Inter XC all Irelands. Preferably both.

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? Shame and fear are my primary motivators, in good times and in bad.

An even younger Stephen Cashin 2016

Monday Memories with Maurice Ahern (part 2)

(Continued from Monday the 15th) The Trustees were under serious continued pressure as 1964 began. Al Guy had ideas and plans on fundraising. Golden plate dinners and house to house collections and so Billy called a press conference to announce that the stadium was in real and urgent trouble. Dublin Corporation were not interested, as it was outside their area and so he announced a house to house collection beginning immediately. I can well remember Friday nights with small groups of two lads and two girls in Beaumont, Iona and Cabra begging to save Santry stadium. How did we ever race on Saturdays, perhaps in hindsight, just what might have been during those tough times.

Sometime around early 1964 a bomb at Leopardstown racecourse caused damage and soon after with 400 Garda, some armed, the international cross-country championship went ahead. England won and what a team they brought. All their distance stars Cooke, Hill, North, Tullock, Batty and Heatley. Three Donore Men were in Ireland’s 1st four with Clonliffe’s Paddy Killeen also on the team. On April 12th we had the first running of the club 10 mile championship from Murtagh’s pub on the North Road to the stadium (no problem in those days).

Thanks to individual race sponsorship Clonliffe Harriers had two international meetings in July/August. In August at the Ormeau Park, Clonliffe Harriers won the National Relays and the full series 4 x (100, 220, 440, 880 & 1 mile). With a great winning performance in the 4 x 100 with Tom Quinn, Dan Kennedy, Harry Sydner and Garry Dempsey. I ran the 1st leg of the mile in which we were 3rd . By November, Drogheda Utd FC were training at Santry and their Physio was Sammy Pearson from the 1914 Clonliffe XC team.

It should be noted that a cinder track was not available for training from November – 2nd half of April any year and so during the 1960’s relays were very popular and Clonlifffe as well as our aforementioned Douglas Wilson relay which was run on the Griffith Avenue circuit of (4 x 4.8 miles) we also had Donore’s Eddie Hogan Cup 40 miles 8 Man relay and the same club’s 12 mile relay on the Polo grounds. In the North of Ireland we ran in the Liznagarvey 5 x 2 miles in the Wallace Park and the Ben Madigan relay. 1965 – In addition to the cross country races of which we are familiar, the Horan, Irwin and O’Connor Cups, we also raced for the 5 mile Galway Shield and the 7 miles Farren Cup. In that season for the first time we decided to compete in the 61 mile relay around the Lagan Valley from the Albert clock in Belfast and back to finish in Ormeau Park. We also supported the Ballyclare 10 and Duncairn 15, both not for the only time.

In July, big time Athletics returned with 8,000 people at Santry for the Peter Snell/Alan Simpson mile clash. Around the same time a Lark Hill Church supper under cover in a marquee helped with further income. It was the view of many members that the Balbriggan – Dublin GPO 20 miles with only 7 finishers was doing nothing for the event as runners were a mile apart as they ran through Drumcondra. It may have been on in the war years on deserted city roads but now it needed a change. The proposal to start around Mosney and finish at the Stadium led to a lively debate and I remember using a phrase I read somewhere that “tradition should be enriched, not fossilised”, the motion was carried.

We heard from the Donore people of glowing reports about the mammoth Waterloo Road race 7 miles with a 1000 runners (huge in those days). So in 1965 for the 1st of three times Clonliffe Harriers also entered for this Crosby Liverpool race. Travelling over by boat on Friday night and returning on Saturday night/Sunday. Donore the all conquering Irish champions going unbeaten for a decade in home championships were a huge attraction in the 1960’s. Competing many times elsewhere in England around that time their panel included 5 Olympians and a multitude of Internationals. No wonder Clonliffe Harriers went more than 5 years without XC Gold but not out of the Silvers as almost every year we achieved championship Silver in Senior or Intermediate (called Junior). 1966 – Despite tough times the members found enough cash to support the 80th anniversary dinner dance in the Gresham Hotel. For some of us it was time to put up or shut up and support the Clonliffe 20 finishing at the stadium. A much-increased entry and a baptism of long distance running for myself and others. We had the 1st running of the Walker Cup in July.

The Hell Drivers using both the running track and the banked cycling track brought large crowds to the stadium. An International meeting with Gamoudi and for the first time Kip Keino in the mile (3:57.4) was well supported. Was there a football match also? My memory suggests so. The year came to an end with a novelty event or so I would describe the Wooden Cup race. Sponsored by St. Francis AC / Boxing Club it was a run in the dark 4.5 miles through the Phoenix Park supported by Car lights. A large Clonliffe Harriers entry as Joe Foley a former Clonliffe Man was in St. Francis Club.

After many years of flag days and other fundraising efforts it was time for something new. So Billy welcomed a week long Passion Play under canvass covers. With the stadium closed to runners, many of us used Ierne Sports club of which I was a member to train from. In April I attended the final meeting of the A.A.U. and so after more than 30 years this Athletic split was mended with the forming of B.L.E. I ran one of my best races ever to finish 4th in the 1st ever B.L.E. championship race. Run in a constant down pour the 10 mile track race was won by Matt Murphy from Cork.

The Government at last found a small amount of money for sport, more for school/college facilities then clubs or the National Association. Under the heading of the All-Ireland school’s championship, a grant was obtained by Clonliffe Harriers to enable an eight lane to be added to our cinder track. The benefits were obvious for all championships, but the case was made for colleges. Meanwhile the first Business House cross country race was run at Santry; it was to be the last crosscountry race of any kind for 1967 until the very end of February 1968. The B.L.E. National Committee and the Dublin County Board banned all XC on grass because of a major outbreak of Foot & Mouth in Britain. And so the then famed Quinlan Cup XC race in Tullamore was changed to a Road Race and recorded the then huge number of finishers for a race in Ireland with 410 crossing the line.

As recorded earlier Relay Races in the Cinder Track era were popular and so now a choice was added to the previously mentioned relays, Inchicore AC (5 x 2 miles), Phoenix Harriers (5 x 1 mile) and Raheny (4 x 3 mile). Billy told a Committee meeting that he had a plan to control the legal pressure relative to the stadium debt. And so the ferocious pressure of previous years was put on hold and our members could relax and add trips all over the country to their training. This they did and I can remember in those early days of B.L.E. running in Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Kildare, Offaly, Laois, Carlow, Louth and the National Marathon in Galway and Clonliffe Harriers were now back in a Championship Gold position team wise .

Soon a talented group of Athletes arrived from Donegal but sadly at the very end of the decade Billy Morton died suddenly. Billy had led us in our ambitions, he led us in our fundraising/begging and now our stadium bears his name. I can see them all or most in my minds eye, the Men and Boys and Girls of the 1960’s in Clonliffe Harriers. Those that I trained with, travelled with and raced with. Those that I attended at the Bears club with. All the Parties, Barbeques, Dances, Croke Park and worked on Committee’s with.

I would love to attempt to name them all. But I know the hurt of being left out. Therefore, I will not attempt to name them in writing less I miss even one.

Perhaps on another “Monday Memories” the hidden history of the decades thereafter 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and into the 21st century will be unfolded by someone.

Nil Desperandum

Track & Field Championships

Thankfully there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel and of course with the continued easing of Covid 19 restrictions the prospect of a return to the normality of athletics looks very good indeed. Athletics Ireland are expected to confirm over the coming days that the national senior track and field championships will take place in Morton Stadium on the weekend of August 22 and 23rd. Athletics Ireland are also expected to confirm dates for national juvenile Championships, possibly limited to the U/17 ages upwards, incorporated into national junior track and field championships over the weekends at the end of August and early September. It is also anticipated that Masters track and field championships will take place in September.

Of course we already have the good news of the confirmation of Leinster track and field championships for juniors/seniors/masters taking place on the weekend of 8th/9th of August (venue to be confirmed).Further good news came yesterday from the Dublin Athletics Board who have confirmed that there will be Dublin juvenile Championships for U/17, U/18 and U/19 athletes to be held in conjunction with the Leinster juvenile Championships on Saturday, August 1 (venue to be confirmed).

Clonliffe Harriers are delighted to confirm that the club will hold club track and field championships next month. These championships of course in this Covid 19 era will be somewhat different to the norm. There will be pre-entry, details will be announced closer to the dates, athletes will be expected to adhere to all health guidelines with regard to hand hygiene, absence of physical contact and social distancing pre-and post event, no dressing rooms/showers etc. These Clonliffe club championships will have to be confined to Clonliffe Harriers athletes only (regrettably this year we cannot allow guests). Clonliffe will of course fully implement all updated Athletics Ireland guidelines for these championships.

The dates for the club championships are:

Thursday July 16 – 5000m

Tuesday July 21 – 100m and 800 m

Thursday July 23 – 400m and 1500m. ( we would also like to include some field events for these championships, but these will have to be limited and of course subject to demand, if you would like to see field events included please speak to your coach and ask your coach to discuss)



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