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BILLY MORTON 1910-1969.

Dominic Branigan: Saturday 14th December marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of former club Hon Sec and 1936 Irish marathon champion Billy Morton.

Billy was the main driving force behind the establishment of Clonliffe Harriers as one the top clubs in Ireland and one of the most well known throughout the world of athletics.

During his time as club secretary from 1943 to 1969 he attracted the cream of world athletics to compete against the best of the Irish in venues which regularly attracted crowds in the tens of thousands.

These meetings reached their peak in 1958 when 3 world records were set at the newly acquired club stadium in Santry.

His legacy continues to this day through the organisation of the Morton Games which are now the premier Track and Field in Ireland.

Photo shows Billy with the famous shovel which was used by Ronnie Delany to turn the first sod in Santry.

 

Clonliffe herd heads to Cow Park!

It’s the final cross country race of the club season, the national uneven ages and novice cross-country championships. On Sunday Clonliffe teams will head to the aptly named Cow Park, Dunboyne, Co Meath. The venue was in the past used for cattle grazing, although cattle no longer have access with the recent weather conditions and looking at the pictures from this week’s schools race it may be hard to tell the difference. A muddy day is in store for all.

The Clonliffe teams are:

U13 Boys: William Walsh, Jack McDonnell, Cathal Hickey , Noah Rossi, Jaydon Carroll, Charlie Duffy.

U15 Boys: Sean Cronin, Lorcan Benjacar, Jonathan Fitzsimons, Callum Maguire, Killian Keegan, Sam Murray

U17 Boys: Alex Nuroth, Eoin Housley, John Lawrence, Killian Sheeran, Niall Carberry, Sean Boyan

U17 Girls: Alana Fitzsimmons, Aoife Hession, Amy Sheehy, Grace Twomey, Katie Halpin, Naoise Cullen

U19 Boys: Alex Murray, Aaron Cullen, Ben Guiden, Ian McAweeney, Callum Simpson, Thomas Baltazar Res. Lee Duddy

U19 Girls: Abbie Sheehy, Sarah Bateson, Tess Loftus, Aimee Warren

Novice Women: Hannah Browne, Alannah Cooley, Laura Tuite, Clodagh Galvin, Elaine McLoughlin, Marie Howard (Novice women meet on course at 1.30 pm)

Novice Men: Sean Doran, Greg Hosseny, Stephen Cashin, Jarlaith Jordan, Paul Keenan, Shaun Conaghan, David Brady, Efrem Gidey (Novice men, meet on course at 2.00pm)

 Timetable:

Parking, traffic plan, course: Novice & Uneven Age XC Traffic Info

Efrem’s Clonliffe welcome home

Clonliffe Harriers welcomed back home to Santry our European Cross Country bronze medalist Efrem Gidey last night. At a reception held before training Efrem’s extraordinary achievement was outlined by the club Secretary, who noted that Efrem was the first Clonliffe athlete to win an individual cross country medal at a major championship, he also thanked on both the club and Efrem’s behalf Joe Cooper for his coaching and mentoring of Efrem and the athletes in the training group who had made Efrem part of the Clonliffe family since his arrival in Ireland. Club Captain and Coach Joe Cooper then made a presentation to Efrem on behalf of the whole club.

The large attendance of young Harriers then availed of photo opportunities with Efrem and that medal! A really nice enjoyable occasion.

Next week it’s time for Xmas Cake Race & Awards Night

Next week sees the club’s Christmas festivities with on Tuesday the juveniles up to U/15 having their Cake Races on the track in Morton Stadium. Then on the 19th of December it is the senior Cake Races using the 5K out and back loop from the track up through Northwood and back.

Following Tuesday’s Juvenile Races, athletes are asked to stay for the prize giving, and to celebrate the end of a brilliant Clonliffe Harriers year.

Thursday’s senior races are run on a handicap basis, therefore, athletes looking to participate need by Monday night contact– Joe Cooper  0872256004 for the men’s and Pamela Cooper 0861503015 for the ladies.  Please text your name together with a recent 5K time. Also on Thursday as the race is on the road for health and safety please wear a bright top while racing.

After the Cake Race members are requested to come to the clubhouse to celebrate the superb year which Clonliffe Harriers have had and to celebrate the Christmas season.  After the prize giving in the Cake Race we will have our annual Athletes of the year. (Athletes who won awards last year please return the cup, polished, to the clubhouse by Tuesday.

We are delighted to say that once again the Athletes of the year is very generously sponsored by John Shields and Loki Sports.

The club will also acknowledge our club record breakers in 2019 and our club national champions.

We look forward to seeing you all on Thursday the 19th.  It might also be an idea to leave the car at home!

Countdown on to Christmas Cracker 5k time!

The countdown is well and truly on. There are now less than 20 days to the ERP Christmas Cracker 5k. On Sunday December 29th the annual Cracker 5k takes place from Morton Stadium at 12.00. Entry is now open on line available click: https://register.primoevents.com/ps/event/ChristmasCracker5k

Home is the Hero!

Clonliffe Harriers welcomed home to Dublin Efrem Gidey this evening. There was a great turn out at Dublin Airport including Efrem’s coach Joe Cooper, club President Paddy Marley, club coaches and athletes to congratulate an emotional Efrem, proudly wearing that precious bronze medal, the first ever individual cross country medal won by a Clonliffe athlete in a major championship. The club also welcomed home Cathal Doyle, who competed in the U/23 race, Eoin Pierce had already travelled back home to England from Lisbon.

Club members will have the opportunity to welcome Efrem home to Santry before training in Thursday night.

The Welcome Home

European U/20 Bronze medallist, Clonliffe’s first ever individual European Cross Country medallist, Efrem Gidey arrives home to Dublin Airport from Lisbon, with the Irish teams, T1 at 5.15pm this evening. Please Clonliffe Harriers come along to welcome him home.

Also on Thursday evening before training all club members, in particular, our juveniles can welcome Efrem and that precious medal back to Clonliffe. See you all there.

Juvenile training Tuesday 10th at NIA abbotstown

Juvenile training this Tuesday (Dec 10th) for Gladys’ and Eugenia/Graham’s groups will take place in the National Indoor Arena, Abbotstown.  Please bring:

  • Running Gear
  • €5 Entry Fee
  • Water

If you have any queries please contact Gladys 087 9852836 / Eugenia 086 1722451

Efrem stars for Ireland at Euro Cross Medal Fest!

A journey of hope, a journey of resilience. From Eritrea to Lisbon via Clonliffe Harriers and Santry. Between these stops was despair, loneliness and fear. A refugee. A young boy. An athlete wearing the colours of Clonliffe Harriers and now an international star wearing the green of his adopted land. Around his neck a bronze medal: European U/20 bronze! Efrem Gidey has done himself, his club and this country proud.

Today’s European cross-country Championships have proven to be possibly the most successful for Irish athletes ever. Efrem led that medal charge in the first race of the morning the men’s U/20 European championship. From the gun Efrem was up with the lead pack, including red-hot favourite Jakob Ingerbrigsen (NOR) chasing his fourth title. In the early stages Efrem had several other Irish vest for company as the U/20s laid down the marker for the day. At halfway Ingerbrigsen upped the pace considerably to blow the race apart and stretch out the chasing pack, Efrem chasing manfully pulled away and with 500 to go looks certain to medal, possibly even to take silver, with Ingerbrigsen 40 seconds clear and already finished Efrem was still in bronze and held off the chasers. The Irish team at one stage were announced as bronze medallists only to lose on count back in heartbreaking fourth.

Clonliffe’s other representatives also put in fantastic battling performances. Cathal Doyle was 71st in the U/23 race as the Irish team finished seventh. Seventh place also for Eoin Pierce and the Irish team of John Travers, Nadia Power and Amy O’Donoghue in the mixed relay.

On a fantastic day for the whole Irish team Stephanie Cotter also took individual bronze in the women’s U/23 race leading the Irish team to silver. The senior women went one better, led home by the irrepressible Fionnula MacCormack in fourth place to another magnificent team silver. The senior men placed 13th with another outstanding run by Sean Tobin in 18th. The women’s U/20 team placed 11th.

Congratulation to the whole Irish team today once again athletes has put Irish sport back in the spotlight.

2019 Grand Prix Series is won by Deirdre Fitzsimons

Liam Hennessy reports: The Awards Night kicked off at the clubhouse on Friday evening. The master of ceremonies; Maurice Ahern began by giving a lengthy speech, where he thanked the President; Paddy Marley, the Grand Prix Committee of John O’Leary, Caroline and Paddy Tuite, Pamela Cooper, Liam Hennessy, Murray Ahern, Gerry Mc Cabe, Noreen Keane, Ben Lawlor and Mick Kearney. Maurice also thanked the volunteers; too many to mention; however their efforts were well appreciated during the series, He also thanked Caroline and Paddy Tuite for their excellent work in running the bar and providing refreshments for everyone following each race, the many sponsors who are vital to the success of the series and importantly everyone who took part during 2019. Maurice spoke of how well the series had been received during the year. The club president Paddy Marley then addressed the gathering and outlined how taken he was by the energy the series has brought to the club.

And so we came to the presentation of prizes. We hadn’t met as a group for any prizegiving in some time, so Maurice along with Paddy Marley, Pamela Cooper and Tom Griffin Jnr began the formal presentations.

The presentation for the Irwin Cup, incorporating the Club Cross Country Championship held in early November was first up.
The result of the handicap was as follows;
Winner – David O’Sullivan
Second Place – Des Shorten
Third Place – Mel Curran
The presentation for The Men’s and Women’s Club Cross Country Championship for 2019 was as follows;
Men –
Winner – Sean Doran – Club Champion Cross Country 2019
Second Place – Karl Nolan
Third Place – Mick Bermingham
Women –
Winner – Clodagh Moriarty – Club Champion Cross Country 2019
Second Place – Aimee Ahern
Third Place – Mel Curran

Next up was the presentation for the Ahern Cup, incorporating the Club Championship 10 Mile race held in October and kindly sponsored by Maurice Ahern. The results were as follows;
Club Championship – Men
Winner – Sean Doran – Club 10 mile Champion 2019
Second Place – Shane Casey
Third Place – Garreth Loye
Club Championship – Women
Winner – Aideen O’Connor – Club 10 Mile Champion 2019
Second Place – Rachel Eustace
Third Place – Marie Howard
The Ahern Cup – Handicap Result was as follows;
Winner – Gerard Fay
Second Place – Declan Grant
Third Place – Mary Ketterer

The presentation of prizes for the Horan Cup, (the oldest cup in the club’s history) the last race in the series, held on Saturday, November 23rd was next. This race was kindly sponsored by George Maybury and the result was as follows;
Winner – Clodagh Moriarty
Second Place – Aimee Ahern
Third Place – Mick Bermingham

Then we came to the presentation of prizes for the overall winners in the series for 2019. Maurice spoke about the sponsor of the overall winner in the Grand Prix Series; Behan & Associates and in particular he thanked Noel Guiden for his continued sponsorship.

 

And so, after 16 Races, run on Track, Trail, Road and Cross Country from April through to November 2019, the final results were revealed;
I’m going to go in to a bit of detail here but these people deserve to be talked about.
The Green Jersey Winner was Shane Casey – Shane has had a standout year, so well done Shane.
In 6th Place overall – Shane Casey – Again Shane achieved a top six finish overall, so well done Shane.
In 5th Place – Mick Gleeson – Mick was the overall winner last year and ran PB’s right through this series battling to finish in a very credible 5th place. He is without doubt one to watch next year !!
In 4th Place – Richie Barr – Richie showed flashes of the old Richie and  the fierce rivalry between himself and Mick Gleeson is always a joy to behold, as he snatched 4th place from Mick by just one point !!
In 3rd Place – Gerard Fay – Ger had a fab series running every race and was in the hunt to win the overall prize right up to the last race, so well done Ger.
Runner-up – Mick Bermingham – Mick ran so well throughout the series and like Ger had been in the hunt for the overall prize up to the last race. Mick has now finished 3rd, 2nd and 2nd the last three years, so here is hoping next year will bring fab performances from Mick and edge him closer to that top prize.
And the Winner – Deirdre Fitzsimons – Winner of the Behan & Associates sponsored Grand Prix Cup presented for 2019 – Well, what can I say about Deirdre. Deirdre has hardly missed a single race in the series over the past few years. She is a most popular winner and becomes only the second lady to take the overall title since Emma Dunne’s win in 2017. Deirdre was leading going in to the last race when she tired and scored zero points, but when the points were tallied she hung on to win by just a single point in the end. As Deirdre said in her victory speech “the Grand Prix Series is the best race series in Ireland” and for those of us lucky enough to enjoy it each year we have a gem of a series and long may it continue. Speaking of continuing, it was sad to hear Maurice announce that he would be stepping down from his role as Chairperson and handicapper of the series. On behalf of the Grand Prix Committee, volunteers and club members I would like to thank Maurice for the amazing job he has done over the past number of years. Maurice, your passion, attention to detail and commitment have without doubt contributed to make the race series so popular year on year. How are we going to find a replacement for Maurice. Well, the show must go on and we have to ensure that the Grand Prix Series in 2020 is the best yet.
Well that’s it – The 2019 edition of the Grand Prix Series has been a great success. We would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and the best of health in 2020. We will convene again next April when we hope to kick off the new series, so keep yourselves healthy and let’s make 2020 the best year yet !!

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