Ciara Peelo reports: In what is fast becoming an annual event, the Clonliffe ladies were out in force this morning at Poppintree Park for their Parkrun to mark ‘Women in Sport Week’ and to really kick start our celebrations of 60 years of Women’s Athletics in Clonliffe.
Though the weather gods were not as kind as they could have been, the rain thankfully held off for the duration of the Parkrun. The Morton Marvels lived up to their name and despite the weather with an exceptionally cold wind, there was a magnificent turnout of athletes. We were delighted to welcome back some former members who were keen to be part of this special occasion. The ladies were all decked out in their new Morton Marvel t-shirts. Thanks to Alan O’Neill for his wonderful artwork, he did a superb job of putting the design together based on an idea and some scribbles that were the brainchild of our Captain, Jenny.
The ladies were also delighted to be supported by so many of the male members of the club who also made the short journey to Poppintree Park, as well as the many coaches who guide the female members of the club. We had coaches representing our youngest female athletes right up to our more mature runners, some even put the runners back on, joining the gang and ran. We also had parents, our very own photographer, Darren Horgan (didn’t he make us all look great) and our media man on the ground, Cillian Sheerin (we look forward to seeing his work throughout the year).
With 232 brave souls lining up this morning, it is probably fair to say that at least half of them were current or former Clonliffe athletes. In the true spirit of Parkrun there was a place for everyone. The ladies were led home by Rachel McFadden running a superb time of 19:46, closely followed by Ailish Malone, the 2nd female finisher. The first juniors home were Ciara Sheedy and Hazel Kenny, with Hazel getting a new Poppintree Parkrun PB! We were delighted to welcome Patricia O Cleirigh, representing her mum Claire Walsh (Clonliffe Olympian), Jean O’Neill (Claire’s sister), Catherine Walley, Jean Appleby as well as past captain Bronagh NiBhrian to name but a few.
With training groups currently split between different venues, this morning was a wonderful opportunity for many of us to catch up with friends we might not have seen in quite a while. With a number of athletes returning from injury, stints overseas and others having races tomorrow there were many just out for a nice easy run and a catch up. It is fair to say that there was no shortage of laughs to be had as we brought ourselves around the course.
Poppintree Parkrun had an extra little treat for us all at the finish line today, to celebrate their amazing Parkrun, International Women’s Day, Spring (not sure it was with us today) and the Clonliffe Ladies. Nans Van was on site with delicious Coffee, Hot Chocolate and pastries to help refuel after the run. The hot drinks definitely went down a treat! And I’m sure the pastries were exactly what we learnt about at our recent nutrition talk!!
Well done to all the members who took part this morning and a big thank you to all the males who came along this morning to support us and allowed the Marvels to take the limelight. I know there were a lot of very jealous male runners looking to get their hands on the beautiful t-shirts. Perhaps Jenny will be accepting bribes!! One thing for sure, the Morton Marvels will not be missed this year. Our t-shirts will be worn with pride. We look forward to our future events celebrating 60 years of Women in Clonliffe Harriers. Thanks to Jenny, Laura and all the committee for the endless work you do. We really do appreciate it. For any of our lady members who could not be there this morning, don’t worry we will have a t-shirt for you too.
Many thanks to those whose support made it all possible. To Dublin City Council Sports & Wellbeing Partnership, Enterprise Revolution, FashionFlo, Robert and all his team at Poppintree Parkrun this morning and Nans SuperValu Ballymun.
Click link to see Darren Horgan’s photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAvqSU