All posts in European Clubs CC

Adam O`Brien in 18th leads Clonliffe Juniors home to 8th in Europe (updated)

News from Portugal of a very good showing by the Clonliffe Junior men at the European Clubs in Albuferia. As expected it was a top class field and the Clonliffe boys did not disappoint getting in very solid runs from all 6.

Adam O`Brien had a very impressive run as he lead the team home in an excellent top twenty position: 18th (20.12). Around half a minute later Sean O`Leary 27th (20.43) and another solid showing on the comeback trail was Sean Carrig 40th (21.08).  Joey Hession and Craig Giles enjoyed a race long battle and at the finish were separated by only 5 seconds: 48th (21.35) Joey with  Craig 49th (21.40). Alex Gibbons also put in a credible performance to place 57th (22.09) .

On the team front the Clonliffe lads placed 8th. 1st were pre race favourites Playas de Castellon (ESP) with the Clonliffe team ahead of teams from Belgium, France, Switzerland, Greece and the Czech Republic a pretty solid performance and of course they will over the coming years benefit enormously from the experience. Well done lads. Full report from Albuferia later in the week.



Boa Sorte to Clonliffe Juniors

Tomorrow the Clonliffe Junior Men’s Cross Country team head to Portugal for the European Champion Clubs Cross Country which takes place in Albuferia on Sunday February 5th.

The Junior team competing is Adam O’Brien, Sean O’Leary, Alex Gibbons, Sean Carrig, Craig Giles and Joey Hession.   The team management are club captain Joe Cooper and Conor McGuinness.  Fittingly Conor was on the Clonliffe Junior team at the club’s only previous appearance at the European Junior Champion club’s cross country in Bilbao, Northern Spain in 2010.

On Sunday the black and amber will face Europe’s top junior teams including the home team Sport Lisboa E Benfica, crack Turkish squad Fenerbahce SC, from Italy CUS Torino and Spanish team Playas de Castellon.

The Clonliffe lads will enjoy great support in Portugal as there is a fairly substantial travelling party including club President Paddy Marley, Clonliffe stalwarts Johnny O’Leary, Noel Daly, Martin Treacy and of course the one and only Fogo.

On behalf of all left behind at HQ we wish the team Boa Sorte!

Clonliffe Junior team for European Clubs announced

For the second time in Clonliffe`s long history a junior team will compete in the European clubs cross country in a little over two week`s time. The team consists mainly of the athletes who won the National junior cross country in Abbotstown at the end of November was announced by club Captain Joe Cooper tonight: Adam O`Brien, Sean O`Leary, Alex Gibbons, Joey Hession, Sean Carrig and Craig Giles. Reserves: Daniel Lacey and Thomas Ward.

Clonliffe did qualify for last year`s championships, as indeed did the seniors, however, with those championships taking place in Turkey for obvious reasons the decision not to take part was made. The club`s only previous appearance in the junior European clubs cross country was in Bilbao in 2010 where an excellent 6th place was recorded by the team. The juniors also competed in the European clubs track and field in Leira, Portugal in 2012.

This year`s championships take place on February 5th in Albufeira, Portugal. The teams competing are:

Euro Clubs: Clonliffe Men finish 9th in Albufeira (plus Cragg interview)

The weakened Clonliffe Men’s team of five gave Sunday’s (Feb 2nd)European Club’s Cross Country in Albufeira, Portugal their best shot with all five athletes putting in their best possible performance on the day. The club’s finishing place of 9th was a considerable improvement on last years 14th place but on later reflection that evening there was an air of disappointment as not only were we only a mere point off 8th but 7th was within touching distance.

 The Championships were held at what is now a permanent course in Albufeira, underfoot conditions are short grass and sandy soil. The ground was hard, there were a number of hairpin bends which certainly did not suit taller athletes and several testing sharp hills. Athletes elected for track spikes or in some cases flats. It was a perfect day with nice sunshine and temperatures of around 15 to 17 degrees.

Although the team was hit by the late withdrawal of the injured Mark Kenneally the presence of Alistair Cragg was an enormous boost. Alistair’s wealth of experience, knowledge and presence was a great confidence booster to the other four team members and it was clear that Alistair himself was also benefiting from the experience as a team man in his first European Clubs event.

The quality of the field in the European Clubs is simply unbelievable. Champion athletes abound. Literally minutes before the start Gary ‘Giggsy’ O’Hanlon quipped to Joe Cooper: “Joe, the field looks a little stronger than the one I faced in the  Connemara marathon!”. The five Clonliffe athletes including Giggsy O’Hanlon now wearing black shorts (don’t ask) lined up in pen number 15. A great start from the gun saw Alistair Cragg move nicely working himself up into a top ten position as the first small lap finished before the field set out on the 1600m or so bigger lap. The yougster of the team, Jayme Rossiter was looking particularly impressive over the first half of the race not in any way nervous in what was the biggest race of his young career.

As the race developed the pace at the front was phenomenal being driven along by Daniel da Silva (BRA) with the European Cross Country champion Alemayehu Bezabeh sitting comfortably in the lead six. Over the latter stage of the race, however, Bezabeh was dropped.

Further down the field from a Clonliffe perspective Alistair was under pressure in around 20th position, remember that this was Alistair’s first cross country race in some five years. National Cross Country Champion Sergiu Ciobanu was as always running another very solid and positive race, Jayme Rossiter was still the 3rd place scorer but Gary was closing fast with Colm Rooney, who up to midweek had been a serious doubt for the race having been laid low with a virus the week before, now battling hard but feeling the after effects of illness.

At the end of a long hot race the race winner was Mohammed Mousaoui in a time of 29.13, one second behind, for the second year in succession, was Ayad Lambassem with da Silva 3rd.

The Clonliffe finishing positions were Alistair Cragg 21st (30.25), Sergiu Ciobanu 34th (31.02), Gary O’Hanlon 49th (31.51), Jayme Rossiter 51st (31.56) and Colm Rooney 68th (32.44).

What can be said with certainty is that all five of the black and amber clad athletes gave the race their all on the day. No-one can ask for any more than this.

An excellent night’s relaxation followed, it was great fun all round as Alistair did his best to convert a pretty cynical bunch of clubmates to the virtues of bird watching! It was a true traditional Clonliffe night (no further comment required).

The travelling support crew also deserve a mention for their continued undivided support of the lads: Johnny O’Leary, Mick Kearney, Paddy Marley, Noel, Conor and Margaret Daly, Martin and Terry Treacy, Eamon ‘Clonliffe ‘til I die’ Tierney, Mick Fogarty, Gerry Carr and an Unnamed Athlete from an Unnamed Club (to protect his identity). Well done also to the other vital members of the team Captain Joe Cooper, Vice Captain Killian Lonergan, coach Peter McDermott and reserve Tudor Mircea.

Great post race interview with Alistair Cragg click here:

There is now a great determination in the squad to defend the National Title, the first Sunday in March, and to be at these Championships again in 2015. Nil desperandum.



Greetings from Albufeira: European Clubs Cross Country

A brief live report from Albufeira, Portugal: The Clonliffe team of 5 performed admirably at today’s European’s Club’s Cross Country. Unfortunately 2012 London Olympian Mark Kenneally had failed to recover sufficiently from injury and accordingly was not in a position to make the trip to these Championships. Nevertheless the team of 5 put in very solid performances.

Three time Olympian Alistair Cragg found the sharp hills and tight bends caused him back difficulties nevertheless he put in a gutsy shift to lead the team home in 21st place.  Alistair was followed home by Sergiu Ciobanu 34th, Gary O’Hanlon 49th, Jayme Rossiter 51st and Colm Rooney 65th.

When the points were totted it was revealed that the Clonliffe Men had placed 9th. A pleasing performance all round.

Mention must be made of young Jayme Rossiter running in his first senior European Championship, Jayme back in 2010 had ran on the Clonliffe junior team in Bilbao, in Northern Spain and today became the first Clonliffe athlete to run in the European Clubs Cross Country on both Junior and Senior teams. An excellent debut at this level for Jayme as he finished in a most credible 51st, 4th scorer.

Full report on the race and the weekend’s activities will be posted on Tuesday.

Club set for European Champion Clubs Cross Country

The Clonliffe men are finalising their preparations for Sunday`s European Clubs Cross Country. Ireland`s top distance runner Alistair Cragg arrives home tomorrow ready to fly out with the team and travelling support on Friday afternoon. The team is one of the strongest to represent Clonliffe in the Europeans for maybe 30 years: Cragg, Mark Kenneally, Sergiu Ciobanu, Jayme Rossister, Colm Rooney and the ever dependable evergreen Gary O`Hanlon.

Albufeira will witness a seriously competitive senior mens race featuring defending champion Andrea Lalli (ITA) and current European cross country champion Alemayuh Bezabeh (ESP).  The clubs to beat are once again Atletismo Bikilia, the defending champions and Lalli`s club G.S. Fiamme Gialle.

Final entries are available:

Good luck not only to the Clonliffe men but also to our northside neighbours Raheny Shamrocks in the senior women`s race and to DSD in both junior men and junior women.



Top Clonliffe athletes for European Clubs Cross Country

One of the strongest ever Clonliffe men`s teams assembled will take up the challenge at next weekend`s European Clubs Cross Country Championships. The team includes Olympians, World Championships athletes and National Champions and will look to emulate the best ever team performance by a Clonliffe team at these championships of 5th place in 1983 and a mere 2 points off bronze ( 1983 team: J. Kiernan 7th, N. Harvey 8th, J. Finnegan 19th and D. Noonan 32nd).

The 2014 team for Albufeira is: Alistair Cragg, Mark Kenneally, Sergiu Ciobanu, Jayme Rossister, Gary O`Hanlon and Colm Rooney.

Alistair Cragg: 3 time Olympian over 5,000m and a finalist in 2004 and 2008, Irish record holder over 5,000m ,10,000m and half marathon, European Indoor 3,000m gold medallist 2005, national champion 1500m 2004, 5,000m 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Mark Kenneally: 2012 London Olympic Games (marathon), 8th European Cross Country (Santry) 2009, 6th European Clubs Cross Country Bilbao 2010,  National 10,000m champion 2011 and 2013, National cross country champion 2010.

Sergiu Ciobanu: 2013 World Championships Marathon, National marathon champion 2009 and 2010, National Cross Country Champion 2013. European clubs 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Jayme Rossister: National Intermediate Cross Country Champion 2012, the only athlete to represent Clonliffe in the European cross country clubs at both junior (Bilbao 2010) and senior (2014) level.

Gary O`Hanlon: winner of national team cross country on multiple occasions, seasoned campaigner for Clonliffe at European clubs, Marathon runner extraordinaire (winner in 2013 of Limerick, Kildare, Longford, Waterford and Clonakilty Marathons) and prolific road racer.

Colm Rooney: National 1500m champion 2008, 1500m pb 3.43.13, 800m pb 1.50.8, national cross country team winner, 17th European clubs  2007, 29th 2008.

Reserves: John Heneghan and Brian MacMahon

The team travels to Portugal on Friday afternoon with the race on Sunday February 2nd. The very best of luck. Nil desperandum.

Clonliffe Men secure first win in Europe

No doubt club members will be delighted to hear that while the rest of the club were freezing their proverbials off in dark and dismal Trinity playing fields last night that the Clonliffe senior men who are warm weather training this week in the Algarve secured the first ever win by a Clonliffe men’s senior team. Unfortunately it was not a cross country win but rather was a table quiz win last night.

Congratulations to the team of Tudor, Mircea (pictured taking the spoils), Edgars, Sumskiss, Chris Valters, Sergiu Ciobanu, Aaron Hanlon, Gary O’Hanlon, Michael MacDiarmada and John Heneghan! The team are in the capable hands of Captain Joe Cooper, Johnny O’Leary and Killian Lonergan.


Clonliffe on Tour: European Champion Clubs CC 2013

The Clonliffe Men’s team took part in yet another European Club’s Cross Country this weekend. The city of Castellon was the venue some 300km from Barcelona, Spain.

ECCC 2013

The course itself was extremely fast, a completely flat course, not a hill or drag in sight which wound its way through the trees and then through a grassless football pitch, which was effectively a dustbowl, all of this meaning that spikes were out of the question and it was going to be an extremely testing day for the Clonliffe athletes who were leaving the mud and hills of traditional cross country behind in Ireland.

The Clonliffe team had been weakened by withdrawals and athletes being unavailable and the team suffered another blow with the late withdrawal of Brian MacMahon through injury on the eve of departure.

Of the five remaining athletes all ran good solid races. Sergiu Ciobanu was first of the Clonliffe athletes after a solid run particularly in the early stages when Sergiu was well up in the top 30 and ultimately finished in 36th place. Gary O’Hanlon had found the usual zip in his legs to be missing but he battled gamely to finish in 48th position. Michael MacDiarmada running his second Europeans after featuring in Istanbul a number of years ago was 71st followed by European debutees John Heneghan 78th and Declan Power in 89th position.

Individual victory up front went to Andrea Lalli, the European Cross Country champion who had a winning three second margin over defending European Clubs champion Ayad Lamdassem. The sheer pace of the athletes up front was a sight to behold. The battle for the team title went right to the wire with the Spanish reigning champions Bikila taking the title on count back, both finishing on 27 points, from Fiamme Gialle. A video of the event can be seen by clicking on:

From a Clonliffe perspective whilst the team result was somewhat disappointing the team placing 14th, with certainty it provided a very good workout in advance of the Nationals on Sunday fortnight and the team will have benefited enormously from the race. It is also good to report on solid European debuts from both Declan Power and John Heneghan and a strong run over the second half of the race in particular by Michael MacDiarmada.

It is also fair to say that the Clonliffe travelling supporters contingent will have benefited enormously from the weekend’s bonding!



Stop Press: Sergiu leads Clonliffe men home at European cross

Update from Castellon Spain. The Clonliffe men’s team ran with pride in the black and amber at today’s European Champion Club’s Cross Country Championships held in the Spanish city of Castellon situated some 300km from Barcelona.  The race was held on a very fast course in a city park with many twists and turns on a bone dry hard course. Flats or spikeless spikes were the order of the day.  First clonliffe man home was Sergiu Ciobanu in 36th place. Followed in by Gary O’Hanlon 48th, Michael Mac Diarmada 71st, John Heneghan 78th send Declan Power 89th. Subject to official results the team placed 13th. Full report and photos in the next day or do.


Get the Facebook Likebox Slider Pro for WordPress