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Dublin Masters C.C. Championships

Record numbers donned their club singlets for the first time this year in wonderful running weather at Saint Anne’s Park, Raheny last Sunday for the Dublin Masters Cross-Country Championships. The club was represented by over a dozen hardy runners as the women began with a 3,000m race which saw a field of 180 finish and they were followed by a field of 291 who finished the men’s race over 6,000m. Loud cheers greeted Erica Calder and Susan Brennan who received bronze medals in their age categories at the medal presentation ceremony presided over by Pat Hooper of the host club Raheny Shamrocks. The club also fielded teams in the over 35 category and the over 50 category for the men’s race. Cross-country running is always a tough challenge but coming so soon after the Christmas festivities this event is always a difficult but rewarding and enjoyable race. In the ten years since the race was first hosted in Raheny, the number of entries in the women’s field has increased almost five-fold since the inaugural field of barely forty entries, and the mens’ field has also grown considerably too, so masters’ running is clearly on the rise. All the main Dublin clubs are now sending large entries and the club hopes to see a greater number of DSD runners rise to this particular challenge in the years ahead. The club had many first-timers who graduated to the big leagues for the first time and as was the case for all who hit the start line they were grateful for the support of a small band of club supporters, led by club chairman Declan Ryan, who provided loud support on each lap. Representing the club in the women’s race were Erica Calder, Claire McGovern, Clare Flanagan, Sue Brennan, Lorraine Heffernan and Karen Donohue. Competing in the men’s race were Eoin Fogarty, John Sloan, Stephen Judge, Jim Quinn, Gavin O’Flaherty, Fintan Hourihan, Thomas Roche, David O’Leary, Declan Flanagan, Dean Brown and Gerry McGrath. Special thanks to club secretary, Stephen Judge, who co-ordinated our entries, to Clare Flanagan and Claire McGovern who baked some beautiful buns and cakes, to all our club supporters who attended and provided greatly appreciated support and to host club Raheny Shamrocks for hosting a superbly organised event on behalf of the Dublin County Board. (Thanks to Fintan Hourihan for comprehensive report)
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