Sep 6, 2009 [Noel Guiden] Making it a worthwhile trip home to Ireland this weekend was Cian McLoughlin for the National Half Marathon, an event in which Cian now has a full set of medals, having won the title in 2003 and finished second in 2006. Today over a pretty testing course in Ballybofey, County Donegal (how could any course in Donegal be anything but testing !) Cian placed third in a time of 67:27 behind St. Malachy`s pair Joe McAlister (65.50) and Gary Murray (66.36). New persoanl best times were set by both Michael MacDiarmada and Declan Power. Michael finished 13th in a time of 71.23 while Declan crossed the line in 73.35 to claim not only a new PB but also O/35 National bronze. Super Master Pat Bonass won National silver in the O/65 class in 94:16 to add to his 5,000 Gold won in Tullamore three weeks back. Well done to all.
An interesting post race development: The Clonliffe team of Cian, Michael and Declan were declared to have placed 2nd in the team competition, however, a protest was made by a particular Dublin club on a pure technicality : Declan`s failure to wear his club singlet (he had forgotten to pack it when he left for Donegal!). This protest was upheld resulting in the team effectively being disqualified. How the non wearing of the Black and Amber possibly effected the result is a mystery, what advantage could Declan possibly have gained….maybe the sight of a Clonliffe singlet usually inspires athletes from other clubs to run faster…who knows..