Rathfarnham`s Paul Stephenson wins Cracker

The 5th annual ERP Christmas Cracker 5k took the runners on a loop around the Morton Stadium in Santry on a super bright cheerful morning. After the rain over the Holiday period it was great to see the day dawn with a clear blue sky and although there was some early morning ice on the track by race time it had just about cleared under the warming winter sun.

There was a very good turn out of runners and walkers with some 200 making it to the start line and were sent on there way at 11.15am for 500m around the track before heading out the stadium gates to Northwood.

A fine group headed by Clonliffe junior Brian Flanagan left the stadium with the field spread out almost the full lap of the track, also in this lead group was pre race favourite Eoin Callaghan (Star of the Sea), Paul Stephenson (Rathfarnham) and a group of strong juniors including the National U/17 cross country bronze medallist Sean O`Leary, Jack Maughan and Eoin Keating all of the promoting club. Heading up the long drag through Northwood Stephenson and Flanagan lead with the Rathfarnham man making the decisive move at the top of this road around half way. Stephenson made his advantage count as he drove on to open a gap that at the finish line in the Stadium had grown to some 18 seconds to win in 15.20. Brian Flanagan was a fine 2nd (15.38) with Eoin Callaghan 3rd (15.49).

The women`s race was won and lost on the track as Raheny`s Annette Kealy led on the road but was caught by the fast finishing Emma Donlon (MSB) with about 100 to go Emma winning in 18.29, with Blaithin Sheil (Raheny) 3rd.

First junior was Sean O`Leary (Clonliffe) after a great run 4th overall in 16.09, a pb by some margin, 2nd was Jack Maughan with Eoin Keating 3rd to complete a black and amber junior clean sweep.

The junior women`s race was won by Raheny`s Niamh Corry (18.56). First of the Master`s was Clonliffe`s Declan Power in 16.12, with Carol Costello first Master woman. First team was in the men Clonliffe and women Raheny.

It was a great festive day with a nice feel good factor, the Christmas music set the day off nicely, along with the welcomed Hot Chocolate, thanks to our friends in Last Lap Café. The race also raised funds for our associated charity Alone, and it was great to have their CEO Sean Moynihan in attendance to present prizes to the winners.

Clonliffe would like to thank ERP and Last Lap Café, An Garda Siochana, and all the club members who helped out.

Prize winners:

Senior men: 1st Paul Stephenson (Rathfarnham) 15.20, 2nd Brian Flanagan (Clonliffe) 15.38, 3rd Eoin Callaghan (SOTS) 15.49.

Senior women: 1st Emma Donlon (MSB) 18.29, 2nd Annette Kealy (Raheny) 18.34, 3rd Blaithin Sheil (Raheny) 19.08.

Junior Men: 1st Sean O`Leary (Clonliffe), 2nd Jack Maughan (Clonliffe)

Junior women: 1st Niamh Corry (Raheny), 2nd Tara Walsh *

Master men: O/40 Declan Power (Clonliffe), O/45 Feargal O`Shea (Clonliffe), O/50 Ray Moylan *, O/55 Seamus Rooney *, O/70 Pat Bonass

Master women: O/40 Carol Costello *, O/45 Evelyn Brennan (Clonliffe), O/50 Mary Purdue-Smyth, O/55 Jean Carr (Clonliffe), O/60 Kathleen Barry *, O/65 Josie Power (Fingallians)

* prizes not collected. These can be collected in Clonliffe on Tuesday 4th or Thursday 6th of Jan.

Full Results click: Clonliffe_5k_2015 Results overall

Photos click: https://picasaweb.google.com/101280007722910682928/ERPChristmasCracker5k