Oct 3, 2010 [Noel Guiden] In glorious sunshine the 2010/11 cross country season got underway in earnest with the traditional opener the Dublin Novice. Today`s event was hosted by Donore Harriers in the Phoenix Park. The bone dry underfoot conditions held no evidence of Saturday`s rain, and with temperatures in the 16/17 degree range, the race would be one for the fleet of foot. After last weekend`s junior record in the Rathfarnham 5k the current fleet of foot is John Travers of Donore and from the off he took things by the scruff of the neck with a magistic performance to win the Dublin Novice title by the proverbial (cross) country mile.
The Clonliffe men`s team put on a pretty good performance with young Jayme Rossister making the junior to senior transition in style. Jamye was always well placed today and was running in 3rd until he was relegated to 4th by Louie from Rathfarnham. Also having a good run in the Park in his first race for some time was Eric McCann, again running a positive race finishing in 7th place, having been as high as 5th at one point. Third man home was one of the old stagers Marathonman Ronan Hartnett. After holding back for the first of four laps Ronan began picking off athlete after athlete, including his own team mates, at one stage Ronan was maybe 6th Clonliffe man, but at the finish he was well up the field finishing in 16th place. 4th scorer was Conor McGuinness after a good outing, Conor keeping it together well during the course of a very tired final lap, placing 20th and in the process insuring a medal winning start to the season for the club with team bronze.
Good runs also today from Stephen Harkness, more used to two laps of a tartan track than 6,000m on the country and also from young at heart Philip O`Doherty, getting a good look at the course in advance of the Gerry Farnan race in two weeks time. Colm Groome also had a good run well up the field. Unfortunately injury worries put paid to Tom Guilfoyle and Jordan Logue day with both being forced to take the early bath.
Our women`s Novice team were also in action. With a full team of novice cross country runners, many of whom were actually running their very first races, putting in good performances. Coach Eugene Coppinger and Captain Pamela Cooper were well pleased with the girls , as this inexpierenced team out performed expection. Kate Purcell, herself only out of the junior ranks, was the most expierenced of the girls and lead by example with a strong run all the way through the 3,000m distance finishing well up the field.
So, the first one is done….roll on the next six months. It`s going to be a long season.