It was a great day for Clonliffe Harriers at today’s Dublin cross country championships held for the first time in City West Hotel & Leisure Complex, on a former golf course. It was a testing 1500 loop featuring many undulations and a couple of inclines however with the amount of rain which has fallen in Dublin in recent days it made for a pretty sticky course. The weather held up pretty well for the whole of the programme until just after the gun had gone for the start of the men’s 10,000 when it came down in buckets. The senior men and in particular Efrem Gidey made light of the conditions as they ran superbly with Efrem taking the win and leading the team to retain the Dublin cross country title making it 4 on the bounce and to take back to Santry the Padraig Keane Cup, honouring the memory of the great Clonliffe Harrier.
It was a long programme of races as the championships today also included the juvenile (uneven ages). The first Clonliffe athletes in action where the U/15 girls, the team of 4 was led home in 13th by Ellen Morgan after a very good run, 35th was Aisling Feherty, 36th Sandy Rose Kivelhan and 42nd Rachel Ardiff. The U/15 boys unfortunately could not field a full team but there are still positive runs by the 3 lads: Aaron Murray, Tadgh Cowley and Liam Arthur, all 3 finished strongly Tadgh in particular showing a nice turn of speed over the final couple of hundred metres.
The U/17 girls finished just out of the medals in 4th place led home a fine 12th position by Sorcha O’Connor, next in was Hazel Kenny 17th, Kira Sheehy 18th, Maya O’Reilly 19th and Rebecca Walsh 24th.
A lot was expected of the U/17 boys and they delivered in spades. Sean Cronin took the Dublin title, 3rd place was Lorcan Benjacar, Tom Breslin in 5th and Leon Brady 12th made up the scoring 4 that took team gold. These 4 athletes were very well backed up by Oran McGowan 13th, Rory Quill 14th, Jack Quinn 21st, Aaron Murray 30th, Finbar Coughlan 33rd and Charlie Duffy 40th.
The U/19s and juniors ran in a combined race. In the women’s race unfortunately due to pull out Naoise Cullen ended as the sole Clonliffe representative and as always Naoise ran a brave race finishing in 17th position. The junior men were led home in 11th by Niall Carbery and with Cillian Keegan 18th, Ronan Donohue 19th and Cian Murray 21st took team silver. In the U/19 category the team of Cillian, Ronan, Jonny Fitzsimons and Erik Adam also took silver.
The senior women were racing over 6000 M, 4 x 1500 laps. Jen Elvin had a fantastic run working her way through the field after a fairly conservative start to finish in 5th place. Next in was Laura Tuite 17th and Clodagh Galvin continuing her excellent form in 18th position with Orna McGinley 20th making up the scoring 4, the team however placed out of the medals in 4th position. Fine runs also from Jenny Johnston 21st, Meghan O’Keeffe 26th, Alannah Cooley 27th and Aisling Killelea the 28th.
As the gun went to the senior men’s race the heavens opened turning the already churned up ground into soft mud. From the off Efrem Gidey took control and after the 1st lap began opening the lead that grew as the race progressed, a majestic sight was Efrem skipping over the mode, the end he took a most comfortable win in a time of 31.22. Ian Guiden had a fine run to 4th position (32.18) with Sean O’Leary 5th (32.46) and Sergiu Ciobanu, the 2021 Dublin champion, 9th (33.13). These made up the scoring 4 successfully retaining the Dublin title. Were fine runs also by the rest of the team, Jonny Whan was 11th (33.30), Stephen Cashin a fine 15th (34.28), Eoin Pierce 16th (34.31), the ever dependable Tom Sherlock was 26th (36.05), Sean Owens really had a fine run to 28th (36.49) and Eoin Keating 33rd (37.50).
Onward now to “The Homes of Donegal” for the big one in 2 weeks time.