All posts in Meet & train

Harriers whip up an Abbotstown Storm..

The Clonliffe meet and train group were out in Abbotstown this morning for the 4th Meet and Train race of the year at the National Cross Country Course. Elaine McLoughlin continued her fantastic season with a 3rd place finish. (Full report below)

On a bitterly cold Sunday morning, the Meet and Train Ladies XC teams went head to head with Storm Denis. This was the final race in the series with all to play for. With the clouds darkening, rain was inevitable. Right on cue, the rain poured as the ladies took on the three lap course. It may have only been two miles, but they had to contend with icy winds, waterlogged grass and hills. Harriers they are and not snowflakes so from the off, Elaine McLoughlin settled in nicely and held 4th place for a bit. Next up was Emma Byrne picking up speed each lap. Orla Deighnan powered up the hills having really developed her XC elbows. Anne Lyons and Rachael McBride were hot on the pursuit along with Yvonne McDonough, Cathy Dowling and Catherine Dempsey. With a wave to the fans Nollaig Donohue, Susan Kelly, Evelyn Brennan and Janette Reid all dug in deep, picking off their competitors. The storm troopers out in force, Ciara, Mel and Mary cheered on Elaine as she moved into 3rd position powering up the hill on the 2nd lap. Emma seeing her move, pushed on fiercely and so followed the rest of the team. On the final lap, we seen the ladies determination and strength come out. With a 100m to go, Elaine fiercely battled to keep a Sports World athlete at bay. Denis proved no menace as Elaine crossed the line in 3 rd position. Emma finished a strong 23rd and many of the ladies noted they had saved the best for last. All will be revealed as to which clubs finished in the top rankings. The ladies really did “whip” up a storm as there were cakes, buns and bracks galore. True competitors, it turned into a bake off! There really is nothing like cake to get them to run faster. Massive thank you to Yvonne for all the organising, to the M&T train organisers for a very enjoyable series and all our fans/supporters especially Ciara Peelo. Until next time…

Clonliffe at Bro. Pearse M & T

Yvonne McDonagh reports: An overnight frost but beautiful sunshine greeted the ladies as they embarked on Ballyboden St Enda’s GAA club for the third race of the Meet & Train series (Jan 19th).  Sunday’s race was hosted by Brother Pearse AC. Over 150 ladies toed the start line. There was a sense of giddiness and anticipation in the air as the ladies waited for the gun to go for the two one mile laps.  The Clonliffe ladies were in good spirits as always with everyone keen to get going. Despite some weekend birthday celebrations Evelyn Brennan was looking fit and eager to get going. More on her race later.

The gun went and the ladies were off.  Elaine McLoughlin was keen to get into the lead pack as early as possible.  Though her start was not to her own liking, Elaine settled in with the lead group early on.  Once again the field was led by ex international runner Niamh Fitzgerald. Emerging from the woods on the first lap our own Elaine was in 3rd position and looking strong.  There were strong showings from many of the other ladies too with Siobhan Devaney in close pursuit, followed by Clare Roche and Emma Byrne. Mel Curran was having a stormer of a race and was picking off the competition one by one.  At the end of lap 1, Elaine had moved into 2nd place and her form was looking good. With the layout of the course the rest of the girls could see how well Elaine was running and it definitely spurred them on. Orla Deighan and Yvonne McDonough were also looking comfortable midway through the race.  Anne “only doing one race this weekend” Lyons (two half marathons last weekend was more representative of a typical weekend for her!!) and Emer Brennan were close behind.

As the ladies entered their second lap, Evelyn had that steely determination on her face. It was clear she intended on doing her usual trick of passing runner after runner on the second lap.  However, today was a little different and Evelyn not wanting anyone to have an unfair advantage in the race was sure she saw a man trying to join in as they went through the forest area and so she dived across to stop him in his tracks.  Evelyn hit the mud, testament to her dedication to the cause. Once again she was willing to sacrifice her own finishing position for the fairness of the rest of the field! If anyone has some spare Persil or Fairy non-bio I am sure she would appreciate it to get the mud out of her singlet!  Janette checked on her welfare as she went by but the ever selfless Evelyn insisted she go on.

As the leaders approached the long final straight Elaine was in a strong position sitting in 3rd just behind local favourite Sinead Tighe and ahead of Eimear English of Dunboyne AC.  Having worked hard at the lead of this small group for nearly a full lap the two girls pushed on and just took Elaine as they approached the finish. Elaine had a super run securing her best finishing position to date and showing a lot of promise to improve on this in the final round of the league.  With Siobhan coming back into form and more athletes available for the final leg of the series, it is expected that the Clonliffe ladies teams will continue to move up the overall leaderboard. Today saw a number of the ladies beat many who have been ahead of them in the previous races. The hard training is clearly paying off.

Thanks again to Ciara for coming out to give us all a cheer and to Brid Beausang who pulled up injured during the warm up, for giving us all a big shout out and lots of encouragement throughout the race.

The final race of the series will take place in Abbotstown on February 16th at 11am.  With our official supporter and photographer away that day we are appealing to any other club members who might be free to come along and support us.  If anyone would like to run the last race of the series please get in touch with any of the girls who have run to find out more.

Well done to all on the excellent performances today!

Clonliffe at Meet & Train no.2, Irishtown

Yvonne McDonagh Reports on today’s Meet & Train round: Today saw the second leg in the Meet & Train series hosted by Crusaders take place in Sean Moore Park.  When the alarms went off this morning it wasn’t so much concern about the race that bothered the athletes but the sound of rain pelting against the windows, storm Atiyah was most definitely on the way..  Thankfully with a start time of 11am the rain had eased by the time the athletes were due to toe the line.

12 Clonliffe athletes familiarised themselves with what was to be a more unusual XC race with many paths included on today’s course.  This was much to the disappointment of team organiser Yvonne McDonough who relishes the muck. With news filtering through of fellow club mate Efrem Gidey, taking silver at the European Championships in Lisbon, the team were psyched and ready to go.  Motivation was high despite the gale force winds and the darkening clouds moving towards the course.

At exactly 11am the whistle went and the athletes hurtled down the course.  Quick out of the blocks on her return to racing was “Speedy” Siobhan Devaney.  The race started into a stiff breeze before a quick turn into an even stiffer breeze and some damp conditions underfoot.  A quick turn and the girls were coming back along the seafront, waves crashing along the rocks. Clare Roche was looking comfortable after the turn and had settled nicely into her race.  Evelyn Brennan was still smiling and enjoying the fresh conditions. As the runners finally got a chance to enjoy a reprieve from the wind they turned and ran into the Irishtown Nature Park.  Catherine Dempsey was excited at the sight of the hill ahead and pushed herself up it and made great gains through the pack picking off numerous other athletes along the way. After making their way through the Nature Park the athletes turned into a stiff headwind all the way to the finish.  The determination was evident on the faces of the Clonliffe ladies. No one was willing to give up a single place and every runner fought hard to gain one or two places on the final push for home. Clare Roche had clearly held something in reserve as she pushed through the field to lead the Clonliffe contingent home.  Anne Lyons looked in her element with the wind and rain now coming hard. Mel Curran continues to make huge strides and is definitely keen to ensure she is a scorer on her team.

After the race Cathy Dowling was asking what was going on with the weather.  She had been assured in Dunboyne that XC races were always run in the sun. She may be in for a shock come January!  Emma Byrne, after an excellent run, is planning on writing to Garmin to advise them that some of the satellites appear to be out of alignment and are over-reading distances, the race read way more than 2 miles on her watch.  She is keen for this to be rectified for the next race!

Once the racing was done it was back to the Star of the Sea BNS for some much needed tea and cakes as well as some shelter from the torrential rain.  Rumour has it there was even pavlova. Some suggest that the ladies run for the love of running others have suggested it may be for the tea and chat after.  No matter which it is, these ladies keep coming back for more.

The 3rd leg of the Meet & Train is on Jan 19th, hosted by Brother Pearse.  It would be great to get a few Clonliffe Harriers along to support the runners.  If you would like more information about either coming to support or running on the 19th please speak with Yvonne McDonough or any of the other team members for more details.  Well done to all who ran today and thanks again to Ciara for the photos.

Clonliffe Meet & Train Group get season underway in Dunboyne

Yvonne McDonagh reports: It was a glorious morning and 14 eager Harriers made their way to Dunboyne for the first Meet & Train XC race of the season. Spirits were high pre race as the girls donned the spikes and got in the last few strides before the start.

The whistle went and they were off. Over 150 runners began their 4 lap course. Undeterred by the “loads of young ones” in the race, as described by herself, Elaine McLoughlin settled nicely into the lead group. The grass was long underfoot and the course was described by the group as having “just the right amount of muck!”.  Anne “the Legend” Lyons made the start without confirming or denying whether she had done another race en route to Dunboyne. Evelyn Brennan was back post marathon beaming with enthusiasm, a small which was still present at the end of the race.

As the laps went by each of the athletes were undertaking their individual battles, keen to pick a few runners off each lap.

Approaching the final lap Elaine was still battling hard within the lead group. A superb display of strength saw Elaine McLoughlin finish in 9th position. Slightly back the field Clare Roche, Rachael McBride, Emer Brennan, Yvonne McDonough and Brid Beausang were picking off many important places for the team points. A blistering final lap from Sue Kelly made it impossible for the photographer to get her in a photograph, we are glad to report her body is still in one piece despite appearances.

A special mention to Cathy Dowling who participated in her first race on the country today. A slight shock to the system but she is definitely coming back for more.  It was also great to see Catherine Dempsey back in the black & Amber singlet. Well done to the other team members Janette Reid, Mandy McMenamy and Sinead Duffy who battled hard for every place on the course.

Once the race was finished there was just about time for the team photograph before the long cool down back to Dunboyne AC clubhouse where the athletes were treated to some much welcomed tea and some delicious baked treats. There was a wonderful opportunity to relay tales of the race and plan the next outing.

The girls would like to thank Yvonne & Mandy for looking after the logistics on the day. Thanks also to Ciara Peelo for the photographs and shouts of encouragement.  If anyone else would like to join the group for the next outing on December 8th just ask any of the girls who ran today for more information.

Meet and Train girls still on top

Pamela Cooper reports: Sunday 22nd meet & train 2 mile xc race no.3 of 4

Tbe Clonliffe A Team continue to  hold onto 1st place in team rankings. Yesterday race no. 3 was hosted by Lucan Harriers AC in Griffen Valley Park with some 144 competitors on tbe day.

1st home for Clonliffe was Ciara Peelo in 6th place followed by Aisling Andrews, Aideen Brady, Laura Kernan and  Brid Beausang for Clonliffe A. The Clonliffe B Team was lead home by Claire Roche, Ailish Patton, Orla Deignan , Yvonne McDonough and Mel Curran.

Individual Clonliffe athletes of the day were Emer Brennan and Sophia. Well done all.

Round up: Malahide Christmas Race, Meet & Train plus more

With Christmas only around the corner this weekend was a quiet enough affaire. Yesterday saw the Clonliffe members who training in Malahide hold their 33rd annual Christmas 3 Mile handicap with a turn out of some 30. Winner of the O`Rourke Shield was Aimee Ahern, 2nd Jimmy Bennett and 3rd was the course recorder holder Martin Treacy (in 1986 Martin blasted around the course in 15.42). Fastest was Kevin Dowling (19.03).

At the Believe and Achieve Indoor Meet in Athlone IT U/16 athlete Cian Bolger ran an excellent 600 recording a time of 1.29.

Today: Round 2 of the Meet & Train Cross Country league took place in Tymon Park. There was a big field in the race of close to 150 lead home by Clonliffe`s Ciara Peelo in 1st place, Aisling Andrews 21st, Brid Beausang 22nd, Emer Brennan 24th, Aideen Brady 26th and Laura Kernan, all making up the A team. The B team also all ran very well: Claire Roche 35th, Ailish Patton 39th, Orla Deignan 56th, Yvonne McDonagh 66th, Melissa Curran 76th and Evelyn Brennan 79th.

Also today Sean Doran with 5th in the Drogheda 5k in 16.19.

Meet & Train group in Dunboyne

Pamela Cooper reports: Round one of the Meet & Train series was held yesterday, Sunday the 27th,  in Dunboyne Clonliffe ladies had 2 very strong teams competing on what is an extremely tough 2 mile xc course.
Home 1st for Clonliffe was Ciara Peelo in 3rd followed by Aideen Brady 11th Brid Beausang 12th Aisling Andrews 13th & Laura Kearnan 15th. On the Clonliffe B Team home 1st was Claire Roche 19th Ailish Patton 22nd Orla Deeghan 50th Yvonne McDonogh 53rd & Mel Curran 60th.

Huge Clonliffe presence at Swords Meet & Train XC

The cross country action across all sections of Clonliffe Harriers continued today with some 16 athletes running in the first Meet & Train Cross Country race of the season held in Swords, hosted by Fingallians AC. There were three black and amber teams in the 2 mile race, lead home in 9th place by Brid Beausang in 9th with Catherine Dempsey in 10th snapping at her heels, next home in 15th was Emer Brennan, Jen Carpenter 17th and Aideen Brady 20th completing the A squad.

All the Clonliffe girls enjoyed good solid performances and were well up in the field of in excess of 100 starters. The Bs finished in a bunch as follows: 21st Claire Roche, 22nd Yvonne McDonagh, 23rd Emer Doyle, 27th Helen O`Sullivan, 29th Sue Kelly and 42nd Vice Captain Mandy McMenamy. The C team: 30th Evelyn Brennan, 48th Joann McCabe, 53rd Ciara O`Regan, 54th Caoime Cruise and 58th Katie Hennigan.

When the points were added up it revealed that the A team had placed 3rd with the B team 5th a great opening day for the group in pretty rough conditions. Well done to all.

M and T

Silver lining for Clonliffe Meet & Train group

After their heroics on the grass and mud in the Meet & Train cross country winter league, that yielded team Gold, for the A team, and bronze for the Bs, the ladies may have been forgiven if they took things a little easier in the Summer Road League. No such thoughts, however, for these Clonliffe athletes as tonight the set was completed. In the final league race in Irishtown the story had a silver lining as the ladies took 2nd place overall. Once again the performance was underpinned by the superb Bernadette Kiernan who finished 2nd tonight and with Laura Kernan an excellent 9th, Catherine Dempsey 12th and Evelyn Brennan and Ladies Vic Captain Mandy McMenany, running the perfect team race to place 40th and 41st, team silver was secured.

meet and train summer 2015

Meet & Train girls hit the road running

The Clonliffe Meet and Train group last night took up where they had left off. Having dominated the Winter Cross Country League (the A team were 1st and B`s 3rd) they took to the Summer Road League in style in Lucan for the 1st round over 5k, hosted by Lucan Harriers . Once again Bernadette Kiernan was top Clonliffe athlete with a fine 2nd place. They say that cream always rises to the top, well that certainly is true in the case of Kate Purcell, Kate was one of Clonliffe`s top junior distance athletes a few years back and since her return to the fold late last year she has impressed, yesterday another impressive run for 10th place. Next in was Catherine Dempsey 11th, Laura Kiernan 16th, Evelyn Brennan 58th, Mandy McMenamy 65th, Ciara Fagherty 89th. Well done all. Round no. 2, hosted by Brother Pearse in Sunday May 10th.


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