Lockdown days can’t keep Clonliffe Juveniles down!

Eugenia Bateson reports: Graham and Anne’s group have signed up to the Athletics Ireland Virtual Club Challenge. As not all the athletes in the group are eligible based on age, we are running our own challenge simultaneously. There will be 4 separate challenges over the next few weeks. This week was 600m and 800m. There are currently 9 Clubs signed up with Athletics Ireland but knowing this group they are more interested in beating each other!!

Yesterday they completed Round 1 of the Challenge. U12 and U13 ran 600m while U14, U15 and U16 ran 800m. Parents stepped in, distances were measured and stopwatches and apps were at the ready. Not only that but some of the groups younger siblings decided to put their hard training to good use and also took on the Challenge. A shout out to James Connolly (8) who decided to take on his sisters and run with them….good man James!

Sienna Kelly, Hannah Walsh and Caoimhe Nolan ran fantastic U12 times. Aidan Benjacar was our only U13 Boy and decided to run both 800m and 600m so as not to be outdone by his older brother Lorcan. U13 Girls were Harriett Kenny, Aisling Faherty (happy birthday Aisling) and Cara Connolly. Our U14 Boys and Girls were well up for the challenge with Jaydon Carroll recording the fastest time in the group followed closely by William Walsh. Jack McDonnell was the 3rd fastest with Jake Kane, Noah Rossi and Cathal O’Neill close behind. U14 Girls ran as close virtually as they do in training with Rebecca Walsh coming in first followed by Sarah McDonnell, Ali Connolly and Alexandra Kelly – who is back after a year of injury and still managed a good time.

U15 Girls were represented by Harriett Kenny and Kate Faherty who are up for everything and times are showing they are running strong. U15 Boys also showed some impressive times in this category with Lorcan Benjacar getting his heels virtually clipped by Cian O’Hare with Mark Goss Keogh and Devan Morrissey coming in closely behind.

Our U16 ladies, though not eligible for the Athletics Ireland Virtual Challenge are as always keen to get involved and keep up their training. Eabha Guy recorded the fastest time in this age group followed by Clodagh Nic Domhnaill and Ciara Scott. Ciara was well-paced by her younger sister.

This inspiring young group has been fantastic over the past few weeks and their coaches could not be more proud. Keen to keep up their training and stay close as group while staying apart, they have also taken on a 5K run to support Graham in a fundraiser for ARC Cancer Support Centre, and recently did a relay covering the distance from Dublin to Galway between them. A fantastic bunch of kids who have kept their passion for athletics alive during these very strange times. The future of Clonliffe Harriers is in safe hands with all the young athletes who have kept up their running and support for each other over the past few months.