The Harriers on Tour

Clonliffe travelled to Cardiff this weekend to take in the Cardiff Cross Challenge. A travelling party of 16 flew to Cardiff on Friday afternoon, to be joined later that evening by some of our UK based athletes and a couple of late comers who endured a pretty long journey time by car, plane and a couple of trains. The Cardiff Cross Challenge is a world athletics cross country tour gold label event, it also incorporates the British Athletics Cross Challenge series and indeed a round of the Gwent league. The event took place yesterday, Saturday the 15th at Llandaff Fields, and it must be said it was a most impressive event. Weather conditions were superb, the was a single short sprinkling of rain and after that it was autumnal sunshine all the way.

First into the fray were the 4 senior women, all of whom ran very well indeed. The women’s race had an enormous field featuring the 3 events incorporated in the one race and indeed also a Masters race. The lap was a long 3200m loop with the women doing 2 laps. The Clonliffe team led home in 25th place by Laura Tuite (24.12), next in was the always improving Meghan O’Keeffe, 28th (25.06), then women’s captain Jenny Johnston 32nd (25.24) and Alannah Cooley who has been ill all week but battled to a fine 34th position (25.36).

The junior men also raised over 6400m Niall Carbery was 27th (20.35), Ronan Donohue ran very well indeed to finish 43rd (22.10) with Cian Murray not far behind, 45th (22.28).

Finally another huge race, the senior men running 3 laps a distance of 9600m. Ian Guiden got out of the blocks fast and was showing well over the 1st half of the race however illness during the course of the week took its toll and he was forced ashore after 2 laps. Jayme Rossiter took it conservatively in the early stages and finished like a train placing 22nd (29.07), Eoin Pierce was 33rd (30.17) with Ben Coughlan again having another fine race, only 6 days after his bronze in the Dublin novice, placing 35th (30.34), Stephen Cashin was 39th (30.50), Liam Roarty 67th (34.12) and Eoin Keating, gaining valuable experience 70th (34.35).

Really impressive performances from the group and a great opportunity to meet up, race in new surroundings and of course to generate a bit of club spirit.