Next Saturday October 4th Clonliffe will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the club 10 Mile championship in Malahide Castle at 12.00 noon. To mark the occasion former Clonliffe President and chair of the Grand Prix sub committee has put together a short history of the race:
The Clonliffe Harriers club 10 miles C’ship was the brainchild of legendary Club Captain Harry Cooney. Enthused by the popularity of then 10 miles promotions by the Civil Service and Ballyclare clubs–Harry organised the 1st Clonliffe 10miles–run on April12th 1964 it attracted a field of in excess of 30 members. Starting at a marker near Murtagh’s pub it proceeded southwards past Blakes Cross-through Swords village-up Pinnock hill onwards to finish at the stadium. The 1st winner was Ray Heffernan and over the nine years that the race remained on this course the prominent finishers included such as Sean Cronin,Bernard Daly,Maurice Ahern and John O’Leary together with now deceased notables George McIntyre,Gerry McDonnell, Larry Reid,& Barry Raftery
A feature of the race has been the need for new courses as the environs of an expanding Dublin Airport brought more traffic and the requirement for greater roads and so as we left the original course we briefly tried tried the old St Margarets lap by Dunbro- the Village- Dubber Cross and back to the stadium. However a new St Margarets by – pass ended that and so we embarked on the 2 x
5 miles airport circuit until the very late 1980’s
In that time the 1978 race saw Gerry Finnegan win the C’ship and the Ahern Cup presented on this occasion by Maurice as he ran his 15th consecutive 10mile- Maurice subsequently went on to run in all 50 runnings of the race (1964-2013 ) though a calf injury in 2007 forced him out at 7 miles
The 20th running in 1983 saw Padraic Keane make it 2 victories. Before Eamonn Tierney won the 25th Peter Mc Dermott also had his year
The very 1st excavations for the M-50 pushed us once more to a new course. From 1990 until 1999 an out and back from the stadium used the perimeter of the extended airport runway .Gerry mc Cabe had a several wins around this time but increased cash prizes in 1996 for all grades saw the winners prizes go to Jerry Kiernan and Aimee Ahern
Having to plot a course through traffic was just a risk too far and so we welcomed in the year 2000 by moving the race to Malahide Castle with Noel Cullen coming home as champion. 2003 and the 40th race went the way of Killian Lonergan. From then until the present we had double championship victories for David Brennan,Philip O’Doherty and 50th race winner Darren Reilly. Now to next Saturday and a continuation of Clonliffe Harriers championship competition.