A pretty successful raid on the rebel county for the Nationals by the small Clonliffe contingent, our athletes bring home gold silver and bronze medals from Carraig na bhFear, Cork, yesterday the 12th February.
After a long trip down south taken by plane, train and automobile our small men’s masters and ladies intermediate teams were greeted by a pretty rough course, although relatively flat the underfoot conditions ranged from sticky to the downright dangerous thanks to tractor tracks and cattle hooves and other cattle by-products. Although the threat of rain held off there was a stiff breeze which contributed to the overall experience.
The first race of the day was the ladies masters over 4,000M which was won at ease by Pauline Curley, unfortunately we had no athletes in that race.
Next away over 7,000M were the master men including a Clonliffe team of 7. For the first time the National Masters included the apprentice vets, the dreaded O/35, which needless to say contributed to the fast early pace. Our team put in a spirited display led home by David Brennan, allegedly carrying an ankle injury, in 31st place and also to be the fourth scorer on the Dublin County Team.
Gerry Brady paid for his early pace and was overhauled by Martin Tracey in 38th place with Gerry 40th and Eugene Coppinger 55th making up the scoring 4, taking the team to 4th place overall. Our other athletes were Tom Monks 81st, Noel Guiden 86th and Pat Bonass 97th.
Gerry was rewarded for his afternoons work with 3rd place in the O/50 category to pocket bronze.
Pat took individual silver in the O/60 category, just losing out on the gold over the final 1,000M.
In the inter-county race both Dave and Martin claimed bronze as Dublin finished 3rd behind Cork 2nd and Donegal 1st. Remarkably this was Martin Tracey’s 10th National Masters Cross Country medal.
Well done also to Raheny’s Nick Corish, who became an honorary Clonliffe man for the weekend as part of our travelling party, on his 1st place O/75.
Race winner was John Downes of Donore, Colm Burke of Laoise 2nd and Tommy Payne, Tinnrynald 3rd.
Next up were the intermediate ladies. Once again it was great to see Clonliffe field a full team, particularly as our ladies were the 2005 champions, meaning that the majority of our senior team were not eligible to compete this time out.
Christine Kenneally ran a superb race, always featuring in the top 10 and finished a very strong 5th place, just out of the individuals medals. Christine however was rewarded for her run by being the 3rd scorer on the victorious Dublin County team to take home gold.
Ladies Captain Bronagh Ni Bhriain continued to improve showing very good form in placing 22nd.
Well done particularly to Kate Power (41st) and Dympna Boylan (42nd) in their first Championship Cross Country race ever on their gutsy runs.
1st in the ladies intermediate race was Fiona Malon of Donore with Rathfarnham being the 1st club.
The last race of the day was the men’s intermediate however, as in the first race in the programme Clonliffe was un-represented. A disappointing end to an otherwise successful outing.