One of Clonliffes oldest races, the Horan Cup, which was the penultimate round of the 2005 Grand Prix Series, took place in Santry Demesne on Saturday the 21st of October.
Once again there was a very good turnout of athletes on what was a perfect autumnal day for cross country running. The Horan Cup is a six mile open handicap race meaning that the ‘slower’ runners went off first. First away was Jimmy Bennett and thirty seconds later the starter released Pat Bonass to chase down his quarry. And so it continued down to last man out, David Brennan being sent on his way some nine minutes and two seconds after Jimmy Bennett. Fast starting William Stafford began to cut his way through the field fairly quickly as indeed did Walker Cup winner Ronan Mulvanny and in customary fashion David Brennan began overhauling the earlier starters.
In the Grand Prix battle for supremacy this would prove to be a significant day as Shay Byrne was overhauled by Stephen Byrne and indeed on the final run-in was also overhauled by David Brennan.
At the front end of the field, Pat Bonass had taken over the lead from Jimmy Bennett, Alan Smeaton began closing him down as William Stafford began to real them in hand over fist, however, Pat to the delight of his watching grandson Eoin held on to take victory from Alan Smeaton and William Stafford.
A strong rumour began to circulate post race questioning the accuracy of the six-mile course. This rumour is strongly denied by the course markers who are satisfied that the fast underfoot conditions coupled with a favourable tailwind led to the entire field running PBs!
Presentation of prizes was held in the club bar afterwards as the athletes enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea, biscuits and the odd pint of something stronger. Race sponsor Colin Brennan outlined that he was delighted to be sponsoring the Horan Cup as this was one of the very first Clonliffe races he ran back in 1957 where he was overhauled in the final run in to be relegated from first to third place by Lar O’Byrne and Noel Henry.
The full result of the Horan Cup – incorporating round 14 of the 2005 Grand Prix series was:
1. Pat Bonass 20 points 2. Alan Smeaton 19 points 3. William Stafford 18 points 4. Jim Bennett 17 points 5. Richard Connolly 16 points 6. Robert Cleary* 0 7. Eddie Harrison 15 points 8. Stephen Byrne 14 points 9. Paddy Tuite 13 points 10. Ronan Mulvanny* 0 11. David Brennan 12 points 12. Shay Byrne 11 points 13. Aidan Creaner 10 points 14. Maurice McCronin 9 points 15. Michael Hogan* 0 16. Colm Doran 8 points 17. Noel Guiden 7 points 18. John Fay* 0 19. Phillip O’Doherty 6 points
* = non competitor in Grand Prix Series
Fastest man: Dave Brennan
Full update on the yellow jersey situation will follow. Final round of Grand Prix Series, the O’Connor Cup over four miles on the country will take place in Santry at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday the 5th of November.