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February date for 2020 National Cross Country?

As the days pass the prospects of the National cross country championships this side of Christmas are becoming more unlikely. November 22nd is the date for the 2020 Nationals in Abbotstown, a date which is coming far too soon with current level 3 restrictions here and level 4 in the boarder counties, and indeed the strong possibility of level 4 or event level nationally in the coming week/weeks. Athletics Ireland have this evening announced that the 2020 championships maybe deferred well beyond November indeed towards the end of February, this applies to all national xc championships. As soon as we have confirmation will post here.

Covid 19: Updated reminder for Clonliffe Harriers

With the continuing deterioration of the Covid 19 health crisis all club members are reminded to keep up the practices which we have developed as the club over recent months. This is a time when every single one of us must follow the procedures and protocols we have in place. The club appeals to all to ensure that no slippage takes place.

By way of reminder:

Coaches must book their groups into training sessions regardless of where those training sessions take place. We must have the names and contact details of all who train on a particular night.Parents cannot remain at training sessions.

Training groups must be broken into a maximum of 15 per pod. Athletes must remain with the same pod for each training session. Athletes cannot and must not move from one coaches group to another during these times.

Social distancing is vitally important. Athletes should therefore complete the warm-ups in small groups. Please bear in mind that the general public are extremely concerned if they come across a group of 15 athletes running together.

Athletes are requested to wear face masks when arriving for training and taking instructions. Do not arrive at training too early, do not congregate in groups for a pretraining chat or a posttraining chat. Try to observe social distancing as much as possible.

Coaches are advised to wear face masks.

Coaches and athletes are advised to bring hand sanitiser with them and to use this before and after training.

Do not share any items, drinks et cetera.

Again for the foreseeable future no physical contact, no high-fives, no handshakes, but we can smile – behind the face mask of course!

The clubhouse unfortunately remains closed, continue to arrive at training ready to train and when you are finished training put on some dry gear and leave this stadium immediately.

If training in Santry Park, and indeed on the roads, bear in mind that the general public are at this time actually afraid of runners. Please avoid the possibility of confrontation, give members of the public plenty of room and plenty of warning if you are coming past.

All members are referred to the government guidelines applicable to level 3 and in particular the importance of remaining in the county of Dublin.

On the competition front all competition is currently suspended, this includes club races. The cross country season is very much in question, we will update when we have clarification from Dublin athletics and athletics Ireland.

Continue to enjoy your running, it will do your headspace the world of good, continue to be supportive of your clubmates, your coaches and your families. If we all continue to do the right things we will come out of this and things will start to return to normality.

Farewell Pat Hooper, our adversary and our friend

It was with absolute shock that we learned yesterday of the sudden passing of Mr Raheny Shamrocks, Pat Hooper at only 68 years of age.

Pat was one of the most passionate nicest men anyone could have the pleasure to meet. He has dedicated his life to our sport and in particular his beloved Raheny Shamrocks. A brilliant teak tough competitor throughout his athletics career which culminated in his representing Ireland at the 1980 Olympic marathon in Moscow with his younger brother Dick at his side.

It was however upon his retirement from competitive athletics that his drive, passion and love for the sport of ours came to wider attention. He has been the driving force behind our ‘noisy’ neighbours as a coach, committee member, club officer, race director, volunteer, commentator (some may say that he did not need a megaphone as he decreed ‘another historic win for Raheny Shamrocks!’), you name it Pat Hooper was it and did it.

From the Clonliffe Harriers side of the fence he was the most passionate of adversaries, driving on his charges in the white and green of Raheny to what was undoubtedly one of his proudest days that first capturing of the Holy Grail, the national senior cross country in 2016, a feat which Pat and the Raheny boys then decided to really rub our noses in by repeating it again in 2017 and 2018! Pat was always a gentleman whether beating or been beaten by Clonliffe. He would always call to the Clonliffe tent win lose or draw to shake hands once the swords had been put away.

For over a decade Pat has also served Dublin Athletics as the Chairman of the Board putting in countless hours, he was also currently serving on the Board of Athletics Leinster and also on the competition committee of Athletics Ireland. He was a man who was a permanent fixture in our sport, he could be found officiating at an event almost every single day of the week (sometimes twice on the same day) be that the Dublin graded, Leinster competition, national competition, schools competition, we are eternally grateful in Clonliffe to Pat for turning up at every schools event this club organised be it the Brother Schools XC, , Leinster schools or All Ireland schools. Even more importantly he was there congratulating with equal enthusiasm the youngster who was 1st across the line or 201st across the line.

Clonliffe Harriers and Irish athletics will miss Pat enormously. Our thoughts are with Pat’s family, in particular his son Dave and brother Dick and all Pat’s extended family who proudly wear the colours of Raheny Shamrocks.

Farewell Pat Hooper our adversary and our friend.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Today, Wednesday October 7th was supposed to be the running of the annual Brother Schools Cross Country in Santry Demesne. Unfortunately that event cannot proceed having been called off several months ago. Today, however, we want to look back on this event which commenced in October 2009, reviving the old Clonliffe Schools Cross Country which goes back to 1978.

Brother came on board in 2009 and have been loyal supporters of the event since. That first Brother Cross Country was a toe into the water affair as we looked to see whether local schools fancied a cross country race at the start of the year. We were bowled over by the 750 or so athletes attended that first event. It has then snowballed to a stage where last year there were some 1,800 athletes taking part.

These ten years have simply flown past. Brother Schools XC has seen the cream of Irish schools athletes taking part many of whom have gone on to bigger and better things with several winners of the schools cross country representing their country at the highest level including athletes such as Siofra Clerigh-Buttner (DSD), Kevin Dooney (Raheny Shamrocks) and of course our own Efrem Gidey.

The Brother Schools XC has proved to be one of the most popular events on the Clonliffe calendar. It is an event which is enjoyed thoroughly by all involved, the people who come out on the day thoroughly enjoy the event and in particular the spectacle of those minor and junior races where it is like the charge of the light brigade with the “thundering hooves” down the straight to make the turn at the tree and then head out into the country. A spectacular and invigorating day. We will be back, October 6th 2021.

Sometimes pictures are better than words. Enjoy:

Covid 19 update

With the entire country now at level 3 (from mid night on October 6th) there are considerable restrictions on the sport of athletics. At this time no competition is permitted. People should not leave their county unlss for work, education or some other necessary reason. Training may continue but in pods of 15 to include the coach. This applies to all outdoor training: track in Morton Stadium, Trinity playing fields, road run, training in Santry Park etc. For tracing purposes all groups must be booked in for all training sessions, with name of coach and names of athletes, and contact numbers for all.

The club’s premises, dressing rooms and other facilities remains closed at this time. Toilets are available in the stadium. No showers at this time, arrive ready to train, and limit as much as possible congratulating in groups.

Please note the following:

Training for Clonliffe members continues in Morton Stadium on Tuesdays/Thursdays 7pm – 9pm, Sundays 9.30-11.30am. Trinity playing fields on Tuesdays.

Bookings must be made by the group coach

It is strongly recommended that coaches wear face coverings and that athletes similarly wear face covering when meeting up and taking instructions.

There can be no physical contact whatsoever between the members of the training group.

Social distancing of 2M must be strictly observed, at meet up, warm up, between reps and for cool down.

Please observe coughing and sneezing etiquette.

Please refrain entirely from spitting.

Wash your hands before you leave home to go running, bring a hand sanitiser with you, do not press any pedestrian crossing buttons and if you are stretching do not use a railings or park bench or similar to support you while you stretch.

Do not share drinks, be absolutely careful that your drink bottle does not touch against another athletes drink bottle, do not handle another athletes drink bottle, it is vitally important that cross contamination is avoided.

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or flu like symptoms do not come to train, self isolate and contact your GP.

If you have had, or a member of your household has had a Covid 19 test, you must self isolate and not come training until there is a negative result of such test.

Unfortunately no competition (including club races) is permitted. The upcoming Club 10 mile/Ahern Cup, Walker Cup 4 Mile and Clonliffe 2 are deferred. We aim to prioritize these events and hold them as soon as possible. When we know, you’ll know! Please also note that the Dublin Juvenile and Novice Championships due to take place over the coming weeks have been deferred. Updates when we have them.

Please stay safe, continue with the good practices we have all developed and keep smiling. Better days ahead!

2.09.47 by brilliant Scullion in London

Stephen Scullion was simply superb in this morning’s London Marathon. This year’s race being a London marathon like no other taking place in a ‘bubble’ on a 1.3 mile loop through St. James’ Park. Scullion ran the second fastest Irish marathon of all time 2.09.47, a two minute PB and Clonliffe Harriers club record and cements his Olympic qualifying berth for Tokyo.

In placing an excellent 11th Scullion ran the following splits: 10 K – 30.13, half marathon 64.12, 20 K – 67.47, 30 K – 1.31.53, 26.2- 2.09.47. 2nd only to John Treacy’s Irish record of 2.09.15 from Boston in 1988. With the record very much in his sights post race he twitted: “Lions still hunt in the rain. Some day I’ll get nice weather for a marathon. Until next time. 2.09.49? ”

Today’s elite only London Marathon was won by Shura Kitata 2.05.41 with pre race favourite Eliud Kipchoge 8th.

Trinity Playing Fields now available for XC training

Joe Cooper has confirmed that Trinity playing fields on Santry Avenue are available from Tuesday the 29th for cross-country training by Clonliffe Harriers athletes.

Coaches and athletes please note that there are strict Covid 19 protocols required to be adhered to by everyone. Coaches must make a booking with with the names and contact numbers of the athletes who will be training with the group. Please when making the booking confirm that the booking is for Trinity (or indeed the track in Morton Stadium or Santry Park). Bookings can only be for a pod of 15 to include the coach. If your group exceeds 15 you must split the group into two pods. No more than one pod can congregate in the same area at Trinity playing fields. Pods must go to separate areas of Trinity for taking up instruction, warmup, stretching and before leaving Trinity. All in the group must bring with them hand sanitiser and their own drinks. Social distancing of 2 m must take place when the pod is doing their warmup. Most importantly of all it is a condition of usage that the toilets and dressing rooms in Trinity are strictly out of bounds. These cannot be used by athletes or coaches under any circumstances whatsoever.


Covid 19: Competition update

As Dublin remains at level 3 all competition events are currently suspended in Dublin county. The club will provide racing opportunities for club members as soon as we are permitted to do so, with the Walker Cup, The Ahern Cup/ Club 10 mile championships and in particular The Historic Clonliffe 2 a priority. Unfortunately cross country events cannot take place in Santry Park, as the Athletics Ireland protocols specifically direct that such events can only take place at a venue which is “closed to the public”, which makes the holding of the Irwin Cup, O’Connor Cup and Horan Cups problematic at this time with the Demesne ruled out. Other avenues are being explored.

The Dublin Athletics Board are keen to ensure that Dublin Cross Country Championships for juveniles, juniors and seniors take place when possible and have dates penciled in: Dublin Juvenile Even Ages (and possibly Dublin Novice) October 18th, Uneven Ages/Juniors/Seniors November 1st or 8th, Dublin Intermediate December 13th. Venues not yet confirmed.

The Nationals are still listed for November 22nd in Abbotstown.

In the meantime Clonliffe members are referred to Covid 19 regulations/advise/restrictions as per Athletics Ireland directions, which were updated by our governing body on the 25th. All are request to read and to follow:

Orna PB’s on the double plus Darren gets a marathon in!

Former Clonliffe Ladies Captain Orna McGinley is clearly in fine across the water. Last week Orna ran a 1500 pb of 4.56 and today in Tooting (Citizen Smith country) went even faster as she ran 4.53.04.

At the other end of the spectrum Darren Reilly, a non Dublin resident, we hasten to add, ran a 2.50.06 Marathon in Shanes Castle, Northern Ireland, placing 4th today.

Athletes please be mindful of other park users

Clonliffe athletes are reminded of the importance of being careful whilst training in Santry Park, particularly when doing sessions. The park is for the use of all, so be mindful of our Santry neighbors especially young children and older people. Please ensure that you give them plenty of room, and if you come a little too close to someone please apologize. Coaches before starting training it would be appreciated if you would remind the athletes in your group.


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