Abbie Sparkles in Milton Keynes!

The 2nd round of the British Cross Country Challenge took place in Milton Keynes on Saturday.  A group of 39 athletes and officials from D.S.D., used this race in their build up to the National C.C. Championships in Abbotstown in two weeks time.  It turned out to be a real challenge for D.S.D., as many British and European champions turned out to test themselves on one of the toughest courses available.

Abbie Taylor was the stand out performer for us, with a 2nd place finish in the U.17 girls 5,000m race, which was run in conjunction with the U.20.  Khahisa Mhlanga, Chelmsford A.C., (European 800m champion) set off at a blistering pace up the first hill and Abbie sat in her slipstream in 3rd/4th position for the first lap.  Sixteen year old Abbie, giving away age and experience, looked at home at this tempo and maintained contact for ¾ of the journey.  Ella McNiven, Liverpool Harriers (U.17 SIAB champion of last year) had to battle all the way to the line to beat Abbie for gold.  An incredible 4th place finish in the combined U.20 race was the reward for a jubilant Abbie, as she claimed 2nd in the U.17 race.  Niamh Carey came in a gallant 14th in this class field.  It was great to see the D.S.D colours so prominent at the finish as Grace Dervan 30th; Roseanne McCullough 45; Lucy McCann 48th; Corrine Kenny 52nd and Sadhbh O’Loan 69th supported our top two finishers.

D.S.D., also had a big contingent in the U17/20 men’s race, with Paul O’Donnell leading the team home, supported by Conor Halpin 39;  Ruadhan O’Grada 46; Aaron Donnelly 49; Roly Mossop 59; Luke MacGabhann 66; Liam Blackburn 80; James Lenehan 83; Brian Maguire 88; Ross O’Toole 113 and William Kinsella 123rd.

A great run from Alex Flynn and Morgan Clarkson ensured 10th and 11th placings in the biggest field of the day (U.15 Boys).  Both D.S.D. boys were in contention in the top ten until the last 400m, with Muhamed Ali (Ethiopian born) showed a clean pair of heels to the 150 who finished this race.  Cian O’Sullivan found the top pace a little hot, but produced a great sprint finish to come home in 27th place.

In the U.15 girls race, Eimear Maher was in the leading group from the gun, but the last hill found her out as she battled to finish in 18th place, supported by Saoirse O’Brien 24th; Faye Dervan 46th; Aimee Kenna 48th; 49th Ella O'Donohoe;  Eabha Nally 55th; Emily Bradshaw 59th; Amelia Hauer 66th; Caoimhe Ni Eachain 68th and Niamh Doyle 70th.


Well done to all!




Spike Mountain Appeal - Clear out those old spikes!!


Athletes/Parents if you have old spikes which you’re no longer using, rather than them gathering dusk in the corner – why not recycle them!  We are appealing for your pre-loved spikes for the DSD Spike Mountain – no need to clean them or remove/replace the worn spikes – we’ll scrub them up and give them a new lease of life!  All we ask is that they are in wearable condition.  Please bring them to the next training session and give them to the sign-in desk, marked for Spike Mountain.

Dublin City Marathon Report by Stephen Judge

One of my favourite writers Joan Didion once wrote:

“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.”

For many of us the Dublin Marathon of 2017 could be that place. It represented a pinnacle of physical effort and emotion from which we have emerged with a great sense of achievement. 2017 had the largest group of Meet & Trainers ever in the race.

The Group met almost 40 of us in luxurious surroundings in Hume Street courtesy of Barry O’Grady –where we made final preparations prior to the final departure for the start.

We headed up to the start and gathered in our various waves, excitement building and then we were off. As we progressed along the course – in perfect autumn conditions, a city bathed in sunshine. Running through Phoenix Park, I was reminded of the words of Walt Whitman “Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”

We passed through the tremendous support of Castleknock – before heading down the road where Tom Roche had tried to save the piteous squirrel two weeks previously. A story I recollected to my fellow travellers. I felt bad for not changing the ending.

Back into the Park again – where we came across close to the gate at Chapelizod the illusive Sheridan, a lone DSD supporter on the North Side. We turned back across the river and onwards towards to Kilmainham and Dolphin’s Barn. The noise at Dolphin’s Barn was deafening. As we progressed through half-way and on to Walkinstown - we were now on familiar ground.

Progressing down from Walkinstown into Terenure the DSD support grew with every mile as things got harder. So many familiar faces willing us on. As the legs tired – the Dalai Lama’s words rung loudly in my ear - “the goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.”

Turning Orwell Road – the DSD water-station was like an oasis in the desert. We turned up through Milltown lurching up that hill and into the wilderness of Clonskeagh. I came across young Rian who was cheering loudly – certainly one of DSD’s greatest supporters. Oscar Wilde wrote the heart was made to be broken – but never I am sure did he contemplate that hill at Roebuck Road at 23 miles.

Heading down the hill a high five to our own Dr Donne – the N11 beckoned. Coach Declan roared like a drill sergeant at a fresh recruit as the bridge to optimism that represented the UCD Flyover came into sight – it was almost 24 miles and time to put the hard nose to the high way.

As we headed down onto the Merrion Road and into Ballsbridge – the chorus from George Harrison’s Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp went through my head - Let it roll, let it roll. The legs we’re heavy. The road went on forever before finally we were in Mount Street and across the line. Relieved and battered and ecstatic.

There were some tremendous personal performances amongst the group – and forgive me if I do not mention them all.

Amongst the men Colin Murphy led the DSD squad home in a new pb of 2.49 – relative new boy Fergus Collis a fantastic 2.56 – negative split master Colm Cunningham 2.58 – your loyal correspondent and the wily Jim Quinn slipped across the line in just under the 3 hours – marathon debutante Eoin Fogarty a well run 3.08 – pbs for Barry O’Grady and also Honda model James Berry.

Amongst the ladies – our supreme scientist Lorraine O’Driscoll led the crew home in a perfectly executed 3.30 a top 10 finish in her category – Romain King and Sarah O’Carroll followed in 3.33. Claire McGovern and Cynthia O’Neill-MacAvin, Susan Leyden and Shauna Griffin followed with a number of pbs.

We were inspired all the way this year by our coaches Denise and Declan – and especially Denise’s whose return to running the marathon this year was truly inspiring. For me Denise the 2017 Dublin Marathon is your place as in the words of Joan Didion – you claimed it the hardest.

As ever it has been a privilege to train with the group over the last few months. And a special thank you to everyone on the route for your support and encouragement.  

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Dublin Juvenile C.C. Championships

At the Juvenile section of the Dublin Cross Country Championships, Eimear Maher won gold, following on from her U.16 win, and was a clear winner at this U.15 level.  Saoirse O’Brien (U.14) moved up an age group and made a gallant effort to stay with Eimear, finishing a close-up 2nd; Eabha Nally 5th; Amelia Hauer 9th; Aimee Kenna 10th; Sophie Burns 14th and Emily Bradshaw 17th.

There was a great battle between Alex Flynn and Morgan Clarkson for the U.15 Dublin title (4,000m), with Alex edging it in the last 100m, as the D.S.D. athletes showed their class in a competitive field; Cian O’Sullivan 10th; Richard White 13th; Eoin 20th.   Both U.15 teams won the team titles, qualifying for national championships.

The U.17 Girls came away with gold, led home by Corinne Kenny 4th, and supported by Sadhbh O’Loan 9th,  Caoimhe Nic Eacháin 13th, Faye Dervan 21st; Ruby Fitzsimons and Amelia Rogers.

U.17 Boys won silver led home here by James Lenehan 8th; Ben Jones 9th; Liam Blackburn 12th; Brian Maguire; William Kinsella.

U9 Girls well done to Alex Prenter with a great run to finish 13th.

U9 boys well done to James Urell, Kevin Randall and Cathal Phelan. 

U11 Boys,  Ben Maguire came home in 7th followed by Cian Dunphy, PJ Phelan, Dara Keane, Joseph Trenaman, and Jamie Lehane.

U11 girls  Mia Chadwick, Lilly Urell and Brooke Moran all put in a great effort.

U13 Girls, Isabella Tompkin Beddy rang a great race to finish 6th followed home by Laura Holloway,  Darcy Gallagher, and Kate Bradshaw.

U13 Boys,  Jamie Byrne gave DSD our first podium finish of the day with an excellent run to finish 3rd and was followed home by Keith Byrne, Robert Phelan, Calum O'Neill, Joshua Hauer.

Congrats to all!

(Thanks to David Bradshaw and Donal for photographs)







Dublin Cross Country Championships

D.S.D. A.C.,  set the gold standard with magnificent performances in all age groups in Santry on Sunday, at the Dublin Cross Country Championships.

Most impressive winner of the day was Paul O’Donnell (U.20), who took up the running after the first lap and never saw another runner until he crossed the finish line after 4 x 1500m laps.  Paul, who won the national U.19 championship last year, looks in top form to defend his title in three weeks time.  He was well supported by Ruadhan O’Grada 5th; Luke MacGabhann 11th; Aaron Donnelly 13th; Conor Halpin 14th; Roly Mossop 15th; Patrick 21st; Ross 25th, to win silver team medals, behind Clonliffe Harriers.

Our U.20 women’s team finished 1st, led home by Niamh Carey (U.19)  who gave a top class display out of her age group finishing 2nd, with Grace Dervan 3rd; Aisling King 5th; Lucy McCann 12th and Roseanne McCullough 13th.

D.S.D., Men’s Team, without Hiko Tonosa, who couldn’t run due to residency rules, put up a good display, finishing second to Raheny, to take home silver team medals.    Killian Mooney (U.23) finished a valiant 3rd behind Mick Clohessy and Conor Dooney, both Raheny.   Killian was the youngest in the top group, which augurs well for his future over 10,000m.  Almost all of the D.S.D., are in their first year at senior level, and Killian was supported by Jack MacGabhann 11th; Robert Corbally (captain) 12th; Patrick MacGabhann 14th;  Mark Molloy 21st;  Aengus Meldon 42nd and Gary Crossan 46th.

In the Dublin Senior Women’s Race for the Jim McNamara Trophy, spectators could be forgiven for thinking it was a D.S.D. club championship race, as Meghan Ryan 2nd, led a rampant D.S.D. team to a fantastic victory with Maria McCambridge 3rd; Sarah Mulligan 5th; Fiona Clinton 6th and Niamh Devlin 8th.  It would take a brave person to bet against them retaining their national team title in three weeks time.  It was a magnificent break through for Meghan who gained her first Dublin Championship individual medal.

Well done to all!

(Juvenile results to follow)

(Thanks to Lindie for photos)

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Dublin Uneven Cross-Country Championships – Sunday 5th November.

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The Uneven Age Dublin Cross Country Championships take place this Sunday 5th November, in Santry Demesne.  The first race starts at 11am, please note the following arrival times:

U9’s and U11’s should be on the course by 10am.

U13’s and U15’s should be on the course by 10.30am.

U17’s should be on the course by 11.30am.

U19’s should be on the course by 12pm.

DSD Entries List.

Schedule of Events and Race route description.


Athletes/Parents you are reminded as follows:

·        Club Singlets must be worn.  (Singlets will be on sale on the day.  Price €20)

·        Be prepared for all types of weather.

·        Bring water/packed lunch as delays can happen.

·        On arrival, please check-in with DSD to get your number.  Athletes will not be permitted to compete without their club singlet and number.

·        Parents please make yourself available to help officiate.  It will be much appreciated if you help when asked.


The following are some instructions from the Dublin Athletics Board for athletes/parents/coaches:


·        All athletes to show fairness and respect to their fellow athletes at all times.

·        The start – whilst accepting there can be jostling for position, it is not acceptable to deliberately push, pull or trip another athlete nor is this type of behaviour acceptable during the course of a race.

·        Run up and Finish area – An athlete should not deliberately impede or block the progress of another athlete, doing so could risk disqualification.

·        Parents/Coaches – should respect and obey the instructions of our voluntary stewards/marshalls whom without we would not have competition and whilst you should encourage and support competitors you should not run alongside them during the course of their event as this could lead to disqualification.


Event Instructions:

Please use the main Stadium car park. There is strictly no event parking in Santry Demesne Park (by order of Fingal Co. Co.)

Do not park on the Swords Road as Gardai will issue fines.

The Track and Indoor facility is strictly out of bounds.

Please remove, bin or bring home all litter, we have use of the park but on the condition that it is handed back in the same condition.

Senior and Junior medal winners please attend the presentation post event in the Clonliffe Harriers club house.

Course Map:


Ciarán wins Silver at All-Ireland Schools

Congratulations to Ciáran Carthy, who finished 2nd in the All-Ireland Schools Combined Events in Athlone at the weekend.  Ciáran scored a total of 3352 points, and now qualifies for the Schools International C.Events in Scotland in November.  Well done also to Gavin Doran 8th with 2431 points and  Claudia Moran who finished 12th in the Minor Girls competition with 2420 points. 

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Results: Even Age Cross Country 22nd October, 2017.


Click here for the Even Age Cross Country Results, which was held in Abbotstown on Sunday 22nd October, 2017.  For ease of identification DSD athletes are highlighted in blue (if I’ve missed anyone please advise).

Please note the U10 age group is a Dublin only event and do NOT proceed to the All Irelands.  

The top 10 (highlighted in yellow) in the U12/14/16 and U18 age groups will represent Dublin on the County Team and those 10 plus 11th and 12th (highlighted in green) will represent Dublin as the Regional Team.

Club Athletes who finished in the top 12 will be automatically selected to represent Dublin at the All Irelands on the County and/or Regional Teams on the 26th November, 2017 (venue to be confirmed).  If your name is highlighted in Yellow or Green, you must confirm your availability and intention to run, please immediately email David Bradshaw ( with your confirmation or withdrawal.       

Club Team Selection:

Please note, where a club team has qualified for the All Irelands, teams will be selected based on athlete’s Performance in training and on Racing form in the weeks leading up to the Championships.  Coaches will advise of final team selection in the coming weeks.


BCS Mid-term Juvenile Training

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Please note there is no Juvenile training in BCS on Tuesday 31st October or Thursday 2nd November.  Training will resume the following week.  

Liz’s group are training in Abbotstown (Indoor Arena) tomorrow (Saturday 28/10/17) from 10am to 11am, meet outside Arena at 9.30am for warm-up.  No training in Irishtown on Sunday due to Marathon.  Training on Monday and Tuesday in Marlay at 11am.  Contact Liz for further details.

David Bradshaw and Donal/Eddies Groups – please contact your respective coaches for training details.


Classy Ciarán at Schools Combined Events!

Ciarán Carthy displayed top class at the Leinster Schools Combined Events yesterday in the National Indoor Arena, Abbotstown.   After a very successful track season, Ciarán continued his improvement when winning the Inter Boys, 60m Hurdles in 8.88; 200m 22.60; Long Jump 6.52, and with P.B's also in Shot 10.12 and 800m 2.05.70, he accumulated a total of 3,438 points, to qualify for Saturday's Schools All-Ireland Combined Events.

Also doing well in his first ever Combined Events was Gavin Doran, who finished 4th in the Junior Boys with the following results:  60m hurdles 10.17; Shot 8.88; Long Jump 5.15; 200m 24.50 and 800m 2.28.55, to give a total score of 2307.

Well done also to our other athletes who competed for their schools, Claudia, Hannah and Cian.


Golden Day for D.S.D., at Abbotstown!

It was hard to believe that, after all the storms we have endured, the sun shone on the biggest Festival of Cross-Country races in Ireland yesterday at Abbotstown.  There were races for all category of runners, Juvenile, Masters, U.20 and Senior, and a large turnout of spectators enjoyed the event.

D.S.D’s latest recruit from Ethiopia, Hiko Tonosa, showed what a force he will be in the upcoming season, as he was in the lead group in the International Senior race from the gun.  This was a 5 x 15000 lap race, and the pace was fast and furious from the start.  As the race progressed three athletes forged to the front, into the last lap Gideon Kipsang Kimsop Kenya/Letterkenny; Adam Kirk-Smith England/Derry and Hiko D.S.D., broke clear ofthe chasing group.  Hiko, looking like a re-born Haile Gebreselassie, changed gear on the last hill and he was able to ease down as he approached the finish line to win by three seconds.

The women’s International race was also top class competition for our home brigade, with visitors from Scotland and Wales.  Shona Heaslip (Riócht A.C) repeated her win of last year from Mhairi MacLennan (Scotland).  Just off the leading group early on, Meghan Ryan D.S.D., and her training companion Fiona Clinton D.S.D., were having their best races to date and maintained a top pace to the finish line.  They can both be very pleased with their performances, as can the third D.S.D., runner Bethanie Murray, who ensured that D.S.D., were the top club on the day.

Most impressive winner of the day was Abbie Taylor, who won the U.18 Girls race by an incredible 1 min 30 seconds, and she is now looking forward to the trip to Milton Keynes in two week’s time to take on the top English girls in her age group.  The other golden girl from D.S.D. was Eimear Maher, who raced home to a great victory in the U.16 Girls race. 

In the team competition our U.18 girls;  Abbie Taylor; Roseanne McCullough; Grace Dervan and Sadhbh OLoan, took gold, andthere was also a first win for our U.10 boys Adam, Cian, Matthew and Johnny.   Silver medals were achieved by our U.14 Girls; Isabella, Christine, Ella, Gracie; supported by Ciara, Niamh, Anna and Kate.

U.16 Girls also won silver; Eimear 1st; Corinne 3rd; Eabha 15th, Sophie 22nd, Emily 23rd.

Despite a fall Morgan Clarkson finished 6th, with Adam 12th and Richard 23rd.

Aaron Donnelly impressed in the U.18 Boys finishing 5th with James 11th; Brian 13th and Liam 15th.

Well done to all!


Dublin Uneven Age Cross Country Championships – Santry 5th November.


The Dublin Uneven Age Cross Country Championships will be held in Santry Park (the Park next to Morton Stadium) on 05/11/17.  All entries must pre-register on or before the Deadline of Tuesday 24th October.  Please notify your coach or email David Bradshaw ( with your entry and include the following information in your email:   

·         Athletes name and gender.

·         Athletes date of birth.

·         Athletes coach.

The distances for the Dublin Even Age XC Championships are: 

·         U9 (Born 2009):  800m

·         U11 (Born 2007):  1500m

·         U13 (Born 2005):  2500m

·         U15 (Born 2003):  3500m

·         U17 (Born 2001):  G=4000m & B=5000m

NOTE:  If you have not completed the renewal of your club registration, please go to our website and complete the re-registration without further delay, as this may affect your entry to the Dublin XC Championships.