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Roll up, roll up, Grand Prix 2020….

Entry is now open for the ever popular Clonliffe Harriers Grand Prix Series. Once again the series of 16 Races will commences in Morton Stadium on Thursday April 2nd with The Frank White, 5 Mile track race (Ireland’s only 5 Mile track race).

This year is the 20th running of the series and is once again sponsored by Behan & Associates bringing together all of the Clonliffe club races: The Irwin cup, Horan cup, O’Connor cup, Walker cup, Ahern cup, Bonass Trophy, McDonald cup, Frank White Cup, Mick Murphy Memorial 5, The McCarrick plate, etc plus of course one of the World`s Oldest Races, the Clonliffe 2. This year’s Clonliffe 2 is taking place on the May Bank Holiday and will be run in Glasnevin finishing at John Kavanagh’s The Gravediggers, Prospect Square.

Last year the Grand Prix went right to the wire, with Deirdre Fitzsimons triumphing , Mick Bermingham a very close second and  Gerard Fay in third place.

The Series is open to runners from Clonliffe Harriers as well as to runners from other clubs and is most exciting, as each runner is handicapped throughout the series, giving everyone a chance to compete on an even level. Prizes are awarded for each race along with post race refreshments. Points are awarded following each race and at the series finale in December overall prizes are awarded to the leading runners. With races on every surface:track, road, grass, and the country there is something for all.

For full schedule of races and entry form go to “Promotions” and use drop down to “Grand Prix series”

2019 Grand Prix how was it for you?

With the 2019 Grand Prix Series completed and Deirdre Fitzsimons of Dundoyne AC having taken the spoils by a single point attached is the final leaderbord.

So have a look see where you scored well and maybe no so! Blame the handicapper! But as always if you’ve enjoyed 2019 keep an eye on this site for details of 2020. coming soon!

Final leaderboard: Grand Prix 2019 results after Rd 16

2019 Grand Prix Series is won by Deirdre Fitzsimons

Liam Hennessy reports: The Awards Night kicked off at the clubhouse on Friday evening. The master of ceremonies; Maurice Ahern began by giving a lengthy speech, where he thanked the President; Paddy Marley, the Grand Prix Committee of John O’Leary, Caroline and Paddy Tuite, Pamela Cooper, Liam Hennessy, Murray Ahern, Gerry Mc Cabe, Noreen Keane, Ben Lawlor and Mick Kearney. Maurice also thanked the volunteers; too many to mention; however their efforts were well appreciated during the series, He also thanked Caroline and Paddy Tuite for their excellent work in running the bar and providing refreshments for everyone following each race, the many sponsors who are vital to the success of the series and importantly everyone who took part during 2019. Maurice spoke of how well the series had been received during the year. The club president Paddy Marley then addressed the gathering and outlined how taken he was by the energy the series has brought to the club.

And so we came to the presentation of prizes. We hadn’t met as a group for any prizegiving in some time, so Maurice along with Paddy Marley, Pamela Cooper and Tom Griffin Jnr began the formal presentations.

The presentation for the Irwin Cup, incorporating the Club Cross Country Championship held in early November was first up.
The result of the handicap was as follows;
Winner – David O’Sullivan
Second Place – Des Shorten
Third Place – Mel Curran
The presentation for The Men’s and Women’s Club Cross Country Championship for 2019 was as follows;
Men –
Winner – Sean Doran – Club Champion Cross Country 2019
Second Place – Karl Nolan
Third Place – Mick Bermingham
Women –
Winner – Clodagh Moriarty – Club Champion Cross Country 2019
Second Place – Aimee Ahern
Third Place – Mel Curran

Next up was the presentation for the Ahern Cup, incorporating the Club Championship 10 Mile race held in October and kindly sponsored by Maurice Ahern. The results were as follows;
Club Championship – Men
Winner – Sean Doran – Club 10 mile Champion 2019
Second Place – Shane Casey
Third Place – Garreth Loye
Club Championship – Women
Winner – Aideen O’Connor – Club 10 Mile Champion 2019
Second Place – Rachel Eustace
Third Place – Marie Howard
The Ahern Cup – Handicap Result was as follows;
Winner – Gerard Fay
Second Place – Declan Grant
Third Place – Mary Ketterer

The presentation of prizes for the Horan Cup, (the oldest cup in the club’s history) the last race in the series, held on Saturday, November 23rd was next. This race was kindly sponsored by George Maybury and the result was as follows;
Winner – Clodagh Moriarty
Second Place – Aimee Ahern
Third Place – Mick Bermingham

Then we came to the presentation of prizes for the overall winners in the series for 2019. Maurice spoke about the sponsor of the overall winner in the Grand Prix Series; Behan & Associates and in particular he thanked Noel Guiden for his continued sponsorship.


And so, after 16 Races, run on Track, Trail, Road and Cross Country from April through to November 2019, the final results were revealed;
I’m going to go in to a bit of detail here but these people deserve to be talked about.
The Green Jersey Winner was Shane Casey – Shane has had a standout year, so well done Shane.
In 6th Place overall – Shane Casey – Again Shane achieved a top six finish overall, so well done Shane.
In 5th Place – Mick Gleeson – Mick was the overall winner last year and ran PB’s right through this series battling to finish in a very credible 5th place. He is without doubt one to watch next year !!
In 4th Place – Richie Barr – Richie showed flashes of the old Richie and  the fierce rivalry between himself and Mick Gleeson is always a joy to behold, as he snatched 4th place from Mick by just one point !!
In 3rd Place – Gerard Fay – Ger had a fab series running every race and was in the hunt to win the overall prize right up to the last race, so well done Ger.
Runner-up – Mick Bermingham – Mick ran so well throughout the series and like Ger had been in the hunt for the overall prize up to the last race. Mick has now finished 3rd, 2nd and 2nd the last three years, so here is hoping next year will bring fab performances from Mick and edge him closer to that top prize.
And the Winner – Deirdre Fitzsimons – Winner of the Behan & Associates sponsored Grand Prix Cup presented for 2019 – Well, what can I say about Deirdre. Deirdre has hardly missed a single race in the series over the past few years. She is a most popular winner and becomes only the second lady to take the overall title since Emma Dunne’s win in 2017. Deirdre was leading going in to the last race when she tired and scored zero points, but when the points were tallied she hung on to win by just a single point in the end. As Deirdre said in her victory speech “the Grand Prix Series is the best race series in Ireland” and for those of us lucky enough to enjoy it each year we have a gem of a series and long may it continue. Speaking of continuing, it was sad to hear Maurice announce that he would be stepping down from his role as Chairperson and handicapper of the series. On behalf of the Grand Prix Committee, volunteers and club members I would like to thank Maurice for the amazing job he has done over the past number of years. Maurice, your passion, attention to detail and commitment have without doubt contributed to make the race series so popular year on year. How are we going to find a replacement for Maurice. Well, the show must go on and we have to ensure that the Grand Prix Series in 2020 is the best yet.
Well that’s it – The 2019 edition of the Grand Prix Series has been a great success. We would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and the best of health in 2020. We will convene again next April when we hope to kick off the new series, so keep yourselves healthy and let’s make 2020 the best year yet !!

Grand Prix Presentation Friday Night

This Friday, December 6th, the Grand Prix Presentation Night takes place in the Club Lounge from 8.00pm. After a 16 race season the winners will be announced with the winner presented for the 19th time with the Behan & Associates Cup. The 2018 champion was Mick Gleeson, there are three in the running for 2019 glory: Deirdre Fitzsimons, Gerard Fay and Mick Birmingham.

Presentation of the Pat Linane Cup for the Green Jersey winner will also take place, along with the presentation of cups for recent Grand Prix races.

A great night is in store for all, with hot food served and a good old fashion knees up.

Grand Prix latest: Casey 1st across the line in Horan Cup mud bath

 Liam Hennessy reports on the last race in the Grand Prix series 2019, The Horan Cup, 6 miles, Cross Country, held at Santry Demesne today. The curtain came down on another Grand Prix series today as The Horan Cup took place at Santry Demesne. The weather was a wet, 9 degrees with not a puff of wind. Going in to this race Deirdre Fitzsimons led the series from Gerard Fay and Mick Bermingham and any one of them could take the overall title with a good run. 25 Runners toed the line for what was a challenging course for cross country running. The bugle sounded and the race got underway. The race was run over four laps and after lap 1 Mick Bermingham led from last years winner George Brady and it remained that way until just over a lap to go when Shane Casey hit the front and went on to win and with it snatch the green jersey for the most consistent scratch athlete in the series.
(Pictured: Grand Prix Leaders: Mick Birmingham, Deirdre Fitzsimons, Gerard Fay….but who’s the 2019 champ?)
The full results were as follows:
Shane Casey – 41.10
George Brady – 41.12
Dave Dunwoody – 41.15
Mick Bermingham – 41.46
Mick Gleeson – 42.44
Murray Ahern – 43.27
Richie Barr – 44.51
Des Shorten – 46.10
Clodagh Moriarty – 46.17
Alan Worrall – 46.34
Aimee Ahern – 46.49
Adrien Gerard – 47.01
Declan Murray – 47.29
Greg O’Beirne – 47.37
Dan Molloy – 47.46
David O’Sullivan – 48.00
Deirdre Fitzsimons – 48.27
Marie Howard – 49.21
Declan Grant – 49.21
Orla Deighan – 50.24
Gerard Fay – 50.51
Shay Byrne – 51.01
Mel Curran  – 51.55
Trevor Wisdom – 54.31
Laura Mc Afee – 55.40
(Pictured, Horan Cup 1st 3 across the line: D. Dunwoody, S. Casey, G. Brady)
Many thanks to everyone who volunteered today to help make this race run so smoothly.
The final standings will be kept top secret and The Grand Prix Series Champion Athlete for 2019 kindly sponsored by Behan and Associates will be revealed at the Awards night at the Club on Friday, December 6th from 8.30pm. Come early as catering has been arranged and we hope to see a huge turnout to celebrate the end of another most successful race series. Make plans now and be there !

Grand Prix: The final throw of the Dice

After almost an eight month long series, the 2019 Grand Prix Series comes to a close with another of the jewels in the crown, the Horan Cup, on Saturday in Santry.  Some 111 years ago the Cup was presented to the club by Michael Horan, then a vice President of Clonliffe Harriers to be competed for in the 1907/1908 season was won by Mr. T. Hassell with the fastest time for the six mile cross country course recorded by Mr. H. Mullally in a time of 38.07.

The final standings in both the Grand Prix and the Green Jersey will be decided. Deirdre Fitzsimons holds the advantage on 327 points but Gerard Fay with a final throw of the dice will make a last ditch attempt at glory, as he looks to bridge a 9 point gap. In the Green Jersey competition Eamonn Dunne leads on 46 points, followed by Shane Casey 42 and Paul Keenan on 41.

The 2019 Horan Cup is kindly sponsored by George Maybury.

Grand Prix News: Irwin Cup 15th down 1 to go! (updated with leaderboard)

Liam Hennessy reports on the Grand Prix Series, Round 15, The Irwin Cup – 6000metres, Cross Country / Incorporating the Club Senior Cross Country Championship held at Santry Demesne, Sat last, Nov 6th at Noon. The rain stopped after a morning of heavy downpours,; however there was a sharpish breeze out there to test the runners. The course carried a lot of water from the last few weeks of wet weather. The course director marked a course unique to the Grand Prix, but despite some better grip in places the ground still provided a challenge for everyone that took part. At 12 noon the bugle sounded and the first of the two winter cross country races in the Grand Prix calendar was underway. Up front Sean Doran meant business and pushed on, followed by an ever improving Karl Nolan and further back to Mick Bermingham and that’s the way it finished in the men’s championship. In the women’s race Clodagh Moriarty was crowned women’s club cross country champion for 2019 followed home by runner up Aimee Ahern and in third place Mel Curran. The result of the handicap was as follows;
Winner – David O’Sullivan
2nd Place – Des Shorten
3rd Place – Mel Curran
Full list of results as follows;
Sean Doran – 20.24
Karl Nolan – 22.23
Mick Bermingham – 24.42
Des Shorten – 25.21
Mick Gleeson – 25.38
Dan Molloy – 26.15
Murray Ahern – 26.18
Richie Barr – 26.19
Clodagh Moriarty – 27.14
Deirdre Fitzsimons – 27.34
Shane Rooney – 27.59
Niall Markey – 28.01
Aimee Ahern – 28.02
Phillip Matthews – 28.41
Declan Murray – 28.49
David O’Sullivan – 28.51
Sean Grimes – 28.52
David Comiskey – 28.57
Dermot Doyle – 29.06
Declan Grant – 29.19
Pat Devitt – 30.04
Mel Curran – 30.19
Shay Byrne – 30.37
Gerard Fay – 30.43
Trevor Wisdom – 31.12
Yvonne Mc Donagh – 31.44
Terry Mee –

Many thanks to everyone who volunteered to help make this race run so smoothly.

Murray will post the current standings in the race for the Grand Prix title 2019 soon.

The next race and can you believe it ? The last race in the series for 2019 is for the oldest trophy in the club, The Horan Cup, 6 Miles Cross Country, which will be held at Santry Demesne on Saturday, November, 23rd at 12 noon. Hope to see you there !!

Leaderboard: Grand Prix 2019 results after Rd 15

Sean Doran wins club xc title

After the juvenile club cross was concluded it then fell to the senior athletes to do their stuff in the Clonliffe senior cross country for the Harry Cooney Cup. Today’s championships was of course incorporated into the historic Irwin Cup, round 15 of the Grand Prix Series.

The prerace favourites Sean Doran and Karl Nolan quickly establish a substantial lead over the chasing pack undeterred by the sticky underfoot conditions and the threat of more rain. And just like the rain stayed away from the chasers!

At the end of the 6k distance Doran had pulled away to take the 2019 cross country title from Nolan 2nd and best of the rest Mick Birmingham 3rd. Best of the women and club champion was Clodagh Moriarty, 2nd Aimee Ahern and 3rd Mel Curran.

Full Grand Prix report from Liam Hennessy later.

The Irwin Cup/Club Cross Country Saturday next.

Saturday November 9th will see round 15 of the 16 race Grand Prix Series and incorporating the club cross country in sentry Demesne. After yesterday’s Dublins and today’s race, it’ll be a mucky one! The day will commence with the club juvenile cross country at 11.00am followed by the Irwin Cup/Club cross at 12.00.

The juveniles are from U/9s to U/15s, medals for the first 3 in each. Meet at the club house at 10.30am.

In the Grand Prix Series with two races left the latest leaderboard shows Deirdre Fitzsimons grimly holding her lead as Gerry Fay closes in, 324 to 318. See latest leaderboard: Grand Prix 2019 results after Rd 14

Now for the history lesson, on the historic Irwin Cup!

Over a century ago in 1910 Clonliffe introduced to the club calendar the Grand National, a 6 mile cross country race which included jumps and ditches to be negotiated. The race continued on each year. Some four years later in Dundrum in 1914 a Clonliffe athlete called Bernie Irwin (full name Herbert Carmichael Irwin) become the 2nd Clonliffe man to win the National Cross Country Championship leading Clonliffe to the team title into the bargain.

Bertie Irwin was one of the finest athletes to wear the black and amber adding National track titles over 1 Mile and 4 Miles. In 1920 he became Clonliffe`s 5th Olympian making the 5000 final, for Great Britain in Antwerp where he finished 12th.

Bertie was an aviator and a member of the RAF. He served in the First World War in 1916 and 1917.

The R101 at it`s moorings Cardington

He  was promoted to Flight Lieutenant with seniority 1 April 1917.  Under the RAF he was granted a short-service commission as Flight Lieutenant on 24 October 1919. With the expertise he had gathered in flying Airships he became involved with Britian`s plans for passenger airships to link Britian and it`s colonies. Two huge airships were built the R100 and R101. Irwin was the Captain of the R101, the largest man made object to fly at the time. Interestingly one of the R101 test flights in 1930 brought the airship across the Irish Sea above Dublin leading Irwin to pen a letter to Tommy Burton, the Clonliffe Captain saying: “they had flown over the Finglas fields where I enjoyed so many memorable runs with the Clonliffes.” Tragedy struck, however,  on the R101`s maiden voyage from Cardington to India when on the 5th of October 1930 the R101 in stormey weather over Northern France crashed nose first at a forest edge at the town of Allone, Beauvais, bursting into flames killing 48 of the 54 people on board including her Captain the Clonliffe Olympian Carmichael Irwin.

With Bertie`s Clonliffe connections and as he had ran in several club “Grand Nationals” in 1932 the race was renamed the Irwin Cup with the presentation to the club of the Irwin Memorial Cup in his memory. That race continues to this day.

So Saturday will be a fine club cross country day for all.

Grand Prix: Doran wins 2nd Club Championship in succession

Liam Hennessy reports on The Grand Prix Series, Round 14. The 56th running (1964-2019) of the Clonliffe Harriers, Ahern Cup / Club 10 Mile Championship Race was held at Malahide on Saturday. The race was kindly sponsored by Maurice Ahern. The weather was so kind to us, dry, clear, 12 degrees; just perfect for distance running. At precisely 11am 35 runners toed the start line, instructions were given and the bugle sounded. It has to be noted that Maurice Ahern started in what was his 56th consecutive Clonliffe 10 Mile, which is an incredible record, so well done Maurice. It became clear from early on, that Sean Doran was in great shape, as he carved out a massive lead in the first few miles. Many runners used the race as an indicator of their fitness before running the Dublin Marathon. Sean Doran  crossed the finish line well clear of the field in a superb personal best to retain the club championship. In the women’s race Aideen O’ Connor ran a lifetime best to also retain her club championship for a second year.
The result of the Race and Men’s Club Championship was as follows;
Winner – Sean Doran – Club Champion 2019
2nd Place – Shane Casey
3rd Place – Garreth Loye

The result of the Women’s Club Championship was as follows;
Winner – Aideen O’Connor  – Club Champion 2019
2nd Place – Rachel Eustace
3rd Place – Marie Howard

Full results as follows;
Sean Doran – 53.44
Shane Casey – 65.24
Garreth Loye – 65.31
Mick Bermingham – 65.57
Mick Gleeson – 67.31
Stephen Tracey – 67.33
Neil Farrell – 71.16
Tom Cassidy – 71.27
Aideen O’Connor – 71.37
Adrien Gerard – 72.06
Rachel Eustace – 72.32
Scott Crowley – 72.32
Greg O’Beirne – 72.41
Declan Murray – 73.18
Deirdre Fitzsimons – 74.12
Marie Howard – 75.52
Ollie Power – 75.52
Shane Rooney – 75.53
Mary Ketterer – 76.01
Declan Grant – 76.01
Aileen Henry – 76.52
Gerard Fay – 77.21
David O’Sullivan – 82.10
Pat Devitt – 84.07
Yvonne Mc Donagh – 85.19
Dave Hanley – 85.23
Tom Matthews – 87.12
Laura Mc Afee – 87.26

Many thanks to the huge number of stewards, who covered every corner of the course to ensure the race ran so smoothly.

Next Race:
Round 15 – Saturday, November 9th, Irwin Cup 6k Cross Country Race, Santry Demesne, 12 noon.


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