Today`s special cross country festival celebrating 50 years of women`s athletics in Clonliffe Harriers was held perfect Autumn conditions in Santry Demesne. Once again the park was in supreme condition with no evidence whatsoever of the Wednesday`s schools cross country having taken place on the same course. It was simply excellent. The day once again threw up ideal weather conditions, a little fresher maybe but dry and little wind.
The festival of women`s cross country was co ordinated by Noreen Keane to mark the foundings of the Clonliffe women`s section back in 1963, and Noreen and her team put on a great event with a course worthy of the occasion. The two race card commenced with the junior women`s race over 3,000m. Two full laps of the park heading initially by the river route and then through the trees and up the dreaded Wall Garden hill, then swinging back in field looping around the grove of trees behind the stadium and heading back towards the monument.
This was a good quality race where Amy O`Donoghue (Emerald) and Jessica Coyne (Doneen) broke free from the pack from early on to battle it out with Jessica Coyne proving to be the stronger and take the win. This duo where chased hard by Clonliffe`s Hope Saunders who took a fine 3rd place. Other good run`s from Clonliffe athletes Laura Tuite, Laura Brennan, making a really positive return to racing, Sally Ahern, Alannah Cooley, Ali Deeley, Shauna Reilly, running her second cross country race in a week, pretty impressive for a 400m track athlete, and Lily Cusack to name but a few.
There was a bigger field in the senior women`s race with a strong Clonliffe presence. The seniors running 5,000m, three laps. The class of the field was as expected Aoife Talty (Raheny) who took proceedings by the scruff of the neck from the off and finished a comfortable winner ahead of Fiona Clinton (DSD) 2nd. Clonliffe`s Ailish Malone finished strongly making up significant ground on the final lap to take 3rd place.
Well done to all who took part and to Noreen Keane for all the hard work put into the event over the last few months. Here`s to the next 50 years!
Official results: click: Results for Clonliffe Cross Country Ladies