Clonliffe athletes climb Alps at World Mountain Running

Clonliffe Harriers AC had four athletes competing at the 28th World Mountain Running Championships held yesterday in Ponte di Legro, Italy. The races were held in ideal conditions for mountain running, dry after two days of rain with temperatures in the 10-15 C range. This was the biggest Mountain Running Championship to date with athletes representing some 43 nations. Sarah McCormack who has been flying on the track of late was back with her first love, Mountain Running, leading the Irish women`s team to 9th place. Sarah was the first Irish home in the 8.8km race 15th in a time of 49.59, the race winner was Andrea Mayr (AUT) 46.35.

The men`s race was a gruelling 14.1km affair with a 1550 m rise to the finish at Tonale Pass in the Italian Alps. Brian McMahon was once again the first of the Irish, as has been the pattern in recent years, 42nd (1:08.54) only 7 minutes down on winner Petro Mamo (ERI) 1:01.34. Another Clonliffe man James Kevan was 93rd (1:16.21). The Irish team placed 13th overall.

The sole Irish athlete in the junior women`s race was Clonliffe girl Louise Hill-Sterling, who is about to take up a US scholarship, Louise was 28th in 24.30 for the 3.9 km race.