Dec 19, 2011 [Noel Guiden ] The inaugural Clonliffe Christmas Cracker 5 k proved to be an outstanding success on a beautiful but frosty Sunday morning in the Morton Stadium. There was a fine Christmas atmosphere with festive music playing over the PA system, the mondo track covered with frost which glittered in the early morning winter sunshine and young Clonliffe Harriers ‘helping out’ by pirouetting on a makeshift ice-skating rink! The race director on the advice of the Health and Safety Officer made the difficult but only decision possible in the circumstances to the effect that the track surface was simply too slippery and dangerous to start the race on, thus the race started on the in field section completing a lap of the football pitch before crossing the track and heading into Santry. There was a total entry of the best part of 300 athletes but with driving conditions difficult in some parts of Dublin some 220 odd were on the start-line for this unique race starting and finishing in the Morton Stadium.
The race was started by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Andrew Montague. As the athletes headed into the general Santry area they were already well strung out as they disappeared up the hill towards Northwood. Some twelve minutes later the lead car reappeared making the turn at Santry Avenue with the lead pair of Joe Warne of Doheny A.C. and Emmett Dunleavy (Sligo A.C.) together as they made a turn into the stadium for the 400 metre lap on the track, this pair were chased in by Clonilffe’s Conor Healy. Warne and Dunleavy battle it out down the home straight with Warne getting his nose in front to take the inaugural Christmas Cracker 5k in a time of 14.43 with Dunleavy only a second in arrears. An excellent run also by Conor Healy in 3rd place in a time of 14.55. The top six were completed by Alan McCormack DSD 4th, Kieran Doherty (Letterkenny) 5th and Pat Byrne (Tinryland A.C.) 6th. Sarah Treacy was a most welcome participant in the race having competed for Ireland in the European Cross Country in Slovenia the previous week. The National Inter-county champion was a worthy winner finishing in a time of 16.06, a superb 14th place overall, and some 24 seconds ahead of Deirdre Byrne of Sli Cualann with Skerries A.C.’s Ciara Durkan making up the top three.
First of the juniors was Eoin Taggart (Greystones and District A.C.) an excellent 9th overall in a time of 15.49. First junior woman was Clonliffe’s Lauren Begley. First of the master runners was Declan Power (Clonilffe) 7th overall and first of the master women was Maura Matthews also of Clonliffe.
Towards the end of the field a little bit of history was taking place as Billy Morton’s granddaughter finished becoming the first member of the Morton family to run in the stadium for over 40 years, watched by her mother and Billy’s daughter Yvonne.
Post race the winners received their prizes from the Lord Mayor Andrew Montague and Clonliffe President Paddy Marley. There was also the draw for three superb prizes courtesy of ERP Recycling the prizes being presented by Fergal Murray.
In all an excellent return of road racing to Santry and a race to be put into your diary for next year, Sunday December 16th 2012.
Clonliffe Harriers would like to thank all the runners who took part in this inaugural event, the Lord Mayor for his time, An Garda Siochana who provided invaluable assistance, our partners in the event ERP, the Last Lap café, all our other sponsors, the race director Tom Griffin and his hard working team and all the members of the club who turned out on the day to help with the smooth running of the event.
1st Joe Warne, 2nd Emmett Dunleavy, 3rd Conor Healy, 4th Alan McCormack, 5th Ciaran Doherty, 6th Pat Byrne.
1st Sarah Treacy, 2nd Deirdre Byrne, 3rd Ciara Durkin, 4th Teresa McGloin, 5th Annette Keely, 6th Ailish Malone.
1st Eoin Taggart, 2nd Keith Fallon.
1st Lorna Begley, 2nd Roisin Leahy
1st O/40 Declan Power, 1st O/45 Sean Dunne, 1st O/50 Niall Coppinger, 1st O/55 Dessie Shorten, 1st O/60 Jim Gaughan, 1st O/65 Liam Mulready, 1st O/70 Peter Lonergan.
1st O/35 Maura Matthews, 1st O/40 Marie Diggin, 1st O/45 Mary Purdue-Smyth, 1st O/50 Shellagh Jones, 1st O/55 Mags McCreary.
Men, 1st Clonliffe Harriers (Conor Healy, Declan Power, Stephen Harkness)
Women, 1st Clonliffe Harriers (Ailish Malone, Becky Woods, Louise Reilly)
1st Meet and Train team – Fingallions