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Cross country season gets off to a start with the Dublin Novice Championship


from Donore Harriers website The cross country season kicked off with Donore’s now traditional hosting of the opening race – the Dublin Novice championship. With near constant rain over the past two days, thankfully the rain cleared just minutes before the start of the Ladies race over two 1.5k laps. For some of the 5-strong ladies team – this was their first experience of championship cross country racing.

There was a fast start and Aoife Rickard was in the leading bunch from the off. Lying second at one point, she faced a tough challenge from the MSB and Sportsworld contenders but had a storming race to finish third behind Liffey Valley’s L O’Reilly and MSB’s Emma Scanlon. Michelle Murray was the next finisher running a very strong race in her cross country debut. Monica Harasimiuk was next, working her way through the field well during the race. Michelle Ruddy had a great sprint finish as did Marianne Dunlevy. There was sadly no team medal for the ladies on this occasion with Donore off the bronze position by just 6 points but a great team performance and particular congrats to Aoife on her first individual medal.

The men’s race was 3 x 2k laps and the Donore men made a big impact from the start with two teams out. Eoin Durkan and Dave Heffernan were in the top group with men’s captain Gavin Keogh not far behind. As the race unfolded and the leading Clonliffe runner pulled away, the places in the top group changed with Dave moving into third and eventually second place. Positions after the last hill were crucial and Dave stormed home on the last flat to win the silver medal. Eoin faced a ferocious sprint for the line to finish fifth and Gavin picked off the runners to have a similarly impressive finish. Fourth man Jonathan Daly now had to ensure he wasn’t outrun and had a great last lap. Newcomer Maxime Gasnier had a good run in his cross country debut despite an illness. Next up were Sean Healy, George Brady, Michael Rickard, Noel Conway, Donal Iremonger and Gerry McDonald. The Donore men A team won the silver with 12 teams competing. A great team performance and a first individual medal for Dave – well done lads.

Thanks also to all the Donore people who set up and dismantled the course, and provided the catering and the stewarding, the race was a great success.

Athlone 3/4 marathon; Well done to Pat Morrissey.

Celbridge 5k cross country: Well done to Sue Lynch.

Cork to Cobh 15 miler: Well done to Joan McTernan and Dave Hudson

Valentia Island Half Marathon: Well done to Des Gill