It was a battle against mother Nature in Santry Demesne today for both officials and athletes. Rain greeted the early morning larks (or course markers as they are more commonly known) and with the mud already growing by the minute it was clear that today would be a day not for the faint hearted. Also throw into the mix the fact that in advance of the afternoon program there were eight Dublin Juvenile Championship (seperate report later) races up for grabs meaning that by 1.00pm we had us a Mudfest.
First into the fray were the junior women running 3,000m (2 x 1500m laps), a good race by Roisin Leahy running strongly for 6th place, Laura Brennan was 12th with Greta Streimikyte just behind in 13th, without a 4th runner, however, Clonliffe did not have a team. The junior men`s race over 6,000 featured a very strong Clonliffe team, with Aaron Hanlon and Ian Guiden running stride for stride at the head of the pace and Dmitijs Serjogins in 3rd, Aaron, however, pulled out after the second lap as an injury sustained earlier in the week flared up, by this stage Ian had a commanding lead which built up to over 300m at the finish as he took the Dublin Junior title from Dmitijs 2nd. Fintan Doherty recovered from a heavy fall on lap one to battle away and finish 8th and with Johnny Bradley Ward 15th the Clonliffe lads took the win from Raheny by 13 points. A good run also from Niall Norman in 16th.
The Clonliffe women`s team was very much weakened with a number of the team recovering after last Monday`s Marathon excersions. Still the girls battled away and were rewarded with team bronze: Emma Cooper 9th, Aoife O`Connor 11th, Tara Whyte 12th and Kerri Page 20th.
As 3.00pm rolled around the course was a sea of ankle deep mud as the men looked forward to 10,000m, some six circuits of the course. The men`s team really produced the goods to reclaim the Dublin title for the first time in maybe three or four years. Great runs from Stephen Scullion who ran at the sharp end for most of the day and took 3rd place. Run of the day, however, came from Sergiu Ciobanu….2.20 odd in Dublin 6 days ago……and a very strong run here on the country to come strongly through the field and place 4th, only four seconds off Stephen. Next in was Dave Fitzmaurice in 11th with John Heneghan racing himself back to fitness in 14th. Darren Reilly had a very good run to be 5th scorer in 21st and Ernie Ramsey, despite being unwell during the week 6th man home in 26th. This was enough to secure the win on 79 points from Raheny 93 and Rathfarnham 159. Other clonliffe Tom Sherlock 36th, Tom Frayne 40th and Conor Keane 46th.
A pretty good day then for the teams in very trying conditions. Next up is the National Inter Counties on November 25th.