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.