David Brennan 2005 Grand Prix Champion

In a fitting end to the 2005 Grand Prix Series after another superb run David Brennan won round 15 of the Grand Prix Series, incorporated in the O’Connor Cup, and as a result claimed the championship for the second time.

The O’Connor Cup was held on Saturday the 5th of October over four one mile laps of Santry Demesne. Despite the rain of the previous week ground conditions were quite favourable on a bright Saturday afternoon. The field was somewhat sparser than of late, the only one of our marathon runners who felt compelled to run in the race was Stephen Byrne who was still in the hunt for overall victory in the Series along with Grand Prix regular Dave Brady of Raheny.

Quality was to the fore as both Nigel Brunton and Noel Cullen led out the field on the first lap, closely followed Martin Treacy and David Brennan.

Nigel Brunton led essentially from start to finish to take the O’Connor Cup in 23:17 from Noel Cullen in 24:20 and after another terrific performance David Brennan 3rd in 24:34.

Further back Tom Monks held off Aidan Creanor to take 6th place and Stephen Byrne put in another gutsy performance to take 8th place.

The full result of the O’Connor Cup was:

1. Nigel Brunton – 23:17

2. Noel Cullen – 24:20

3. David Brennan – 24:34

4. Martin Treacy – 24:47

5. Stephen Harkness – 25:23

6. Tom Monks – 26:32

7. Aidan Creanor – 26:47

8. Stephen Byrne – 27:34

9. Noel Guiden – 28:18

10. Louise O’Reilly – 28:34

11. Pat Devitt – 28:39

12. Shay Byrne – 29:20

13. Pat Bonass – 30:11

14. Alan Smeaton – 30:23

15. Jim Cleary – 30:28

16. Jim Bennett – 31:01

17. Pat Healy – 31:13

18. David Brady – 31:34

19. John Faye – 32:03

20. Tony Kiernan – 34:37

21. Ray McConville – 34:50

22. Tony Westby – 36:13

23. Maurice Mullins – 30:00

The Grand Prix Presentation Dinner was held in Kealys on the Old Airport Road on the night of the 5th of November attended by athletes who had taken part in the Grand Prix Series, members of Clonliffe Harriers and family and friends.

One of the central features of the night was the presentation of “The Unsung Heroes Award”. This years recipients (jointly), being recognised by Clonliffe Harriers and the Grand Prix Series for their dedication to the club athlete and to our sport were Sean Callan and Harry Gorman. The presentation was made by Club President Paddy Marley.

There then followed the presentation of prizes in that days O’Connor Cup by race sponsor John Bourke. The Club Captain Joe Cooper accepting the cup on behalf of Nigel Brunton and the sealed envelope from Alan Smeaton revealed that the top three in the Handicap were Pat Healy 3rd, Noel Guiden 2nd and David Brennan 1st.

Results of H’Cap

1. David Brennan 1:48 – 20 Pts.

2. Noel Guiden 2:12 – 19 Pts.

3. Pat Healy 2:43 – 18 Pts.

4. Martin Treacy 2:56 – 17 Pts.

5. Tom Monks 3:01 – 16 Pts.

6. Jim Bennett 3:30 – 15 Pts.

7. Stephen Byrne 3:35 – 14 Pts.

8. Aidan Creanor 3:59 – 13 Pts.

9. Jim Cleary 4:03 – 12 Pts.

10. Shay Byrne 4:10 – 11 Pts.

11. David Brady 4:45 – 10 Pts.

12. Pat Devitt 5:13 – 9 Pts.

13. Alan Smeaton 5:22 – 7.5 Pts.

14. Tony Westby 5:22 – 7.5 Pts.

15. Pat Bonass 5:47 – 6 Pts.

16. Ray McConville 7:20 – 5 Pts.

17. Tony Kiernan 7:47 – 4 Pts.

Prizes were then presented to the top ten in the Grand Prix Series by the President with prizes going to Pat Bonass in 10th place, Richard Connolly 9th, Tom Monks 8th, Jim Bennett 7th, Colm Doran 6th, Pat Devitt 5th, David Brady 4th, Stephen Byrne (who was runner up last year) 3rd, Shay Byrne (runner up this year) and the presentation was then made to the 2005 Grand Prix Champion of the Behan & Associates Perpetual Cup to David Brennan. David in fact was a previous winner of the Grand Prix Series in 2003.

The presentation was then made of the P.J. Linnane Memorial Cup for the fastest athlete and this was presented by P.J.’s friend and sponsor of that prize,Fred Connolly, to Joe Cooper on behalf of winner William Stafford.

The 2005 Series was probably the best to date and the Series has now grown to 15 races, next years promises to be expanded even more and the fact that there were five athletes in contention up to the final race is testament to the fairness of the handicap system. Considerable credit for this must go to Alan Smeaton.

Fascinating facts revealed by Alan Smeaton include the fact that the total amount of hours spent running by all athletes in the Series was 114 hours!.

The most top five places were scored by Jimmy Bennett and Colm Doran with four each.

Forty six runners scored points in the Series and of the runners who ran eight or more races the most consistent overall was Tony Westby.

The final standings in the 2005 Series were:

Grand Prix 2005 – Final standings after 15 races

POINTS TOTAL TOTAL RUNS (10 Score)

1 David Brennan 142.5 (13)

2 Shay Byrne 138.5 (13)

3 Stephen Byrne 131 (13)

4 David Brady 128 (13)

5 Pat Devitt 119 (11)

6 Colm Doran 117 (10)

7 Jim Bennett 109.5 (9)

8 Tom Monks 109 (8)

9 Richard Connolly 108 (11)

10 Pat Bonass 104 (8)

11 Maurice McCrohan 98 (8)

12 Noel Guiden 90.5 (8)

13 William Stafford 90.5 (9)

14 Jerry Walsh 89.5 (8)

15 Aidan Creanor 88.5 (7)

16 Philip Doherty 86 (7)

17 Eddie Harrison 85 (9)

18 Alan Smeaton 83 (9)

19 Tony Kiernan 74.5 (8)

20 Michael Scully 69.5 (6)

21 Brendan Buck 68.5 (5)

22 Ray McConville 66.5 (6)

23 Martin Treacy 66 (7)

24 Colm Hickey 61.5 (8)

25 Pat Healy 61 (7)

26 Tony Westby 55.5 (8)

27 Kieran Murphy 54.5 (6)

28 Maurice Ahern 53 (5)

29 Martin Tully 49.5 (4)

30 Aishling Coppinger 46.5 (4)

31 Sean Pender 44.5 (4)

32 Ronan Hartnett 41 (3)

33 Michael McFadden 39 (4)

34 Jim Cleary 37 (3)

35 Tom Griffin 32.5 (3)

36 Adam Ahern 30 (3)

37 Dylan Ahern 22 (2)

38 Aimee Ahern 19 (2)

39 Declan Murray 18 (1)

40 Dave Hooper 17 (1)

41 Tom Flood 17 (1)

42 Erwin DeWilde 16.5 (2)

43 Frank Devitt 16.5 (2)

44 Murray Ahern 16 (1)

45 Paddy Tuite 13 (1)

46 Gerry McCabe 6 (1)

The organisers of the Series thank all the athletes and officials who took part and thank in particular the Sponsors, Behan & Associates, Rafferty Chemists, Fred Connolly and the sponsors throughout the year Tom Flood, Sean Pender, Noel Guiden, Pat Bonass, David Brennan, Philip O’Doherty, Eugene McCarrick, Frazier Walker, Colm Brennan, John Bourke, the Murphy family, Maurice Ahern, Shay Byrne, Richard Connolly, Pat and Frank Devitt.