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As is traditional, the Masters Cross-Country Championships marked the start of the championship year for Dublin athletes and what a day it was with 460 finishers split between the four races at St Anne’s Park. Not only that but  the weather behaved! Of the six major titles on offer, host club Raheny Shamrock AC comfortably took four. First up was Annette Kealy who, although now in the W55 age group, was a comfortable winner of the W50 3000m race in a time of 12 mins 2 secs. Second and first W50 was Donna Mahon of Rathfarnham WSAF AC in 13:04, while third and second W55 in 13:14 was Trish Fitzgerald of Raheny Shamrocks. With Brid Ní Chonaill fifth, Raheny won the team title ahead of Rathfarnham WSAF AC and Lucan Harriers. In the same race, Tom Loftus was first M65 in 12:47 with the Raheny team third behind Rathfarnham WSAF AC and Clonliffe Harriers. 
Next up was the men’s M50 6000m race, where Shane O’Neill of Rathfarnham WSAF AC was a clear winner by almost a minute in  21 min 56 secs. In the battle for second place, Kevin O’Connor of Dundrum South Dublin AC got the better of Arnaud Benjacar of Liffey Valley. In the age groups, Paul Cowhie of Crusaders AC, fourth overall, was first M55 and Tom O’Connor of Liffey Valley first M60. When it came to the teams, O’Neill led Rathfarnham WSAF AC to victory over Metro St Brigid’s AC and Dundrum South Dublin AC. 
In the W35 women’s 4000m  which followed, Raheny again finished on top thanks to a determined effort by  the in-form Kate Purcell who was a clear winner in 15:07. She was followed home by her team mate Zoe Quinn who was also first W45. A close third  and first W40 was Caoimhe Kilroy of Metro St Brigid’s AC. In fourth place Maria Jones was leading Sportsworld to a narrow three point team victory over Raheny, with Crusaders AC third. 
Finally it was the turn of the M35 men where Raheny’s reigning champion Mick Clohisey defended his title in some style, finishing well over a minute clear of the chasers with a time of 20 mins 19 secs for the 6000m distance. Louis McCarthy of Rathfarnham WSAF AC was second in 21:30, while for third place, Karl Nolan got home ahead of his Clonliffe team mate Tom Sherlock, with Cathal McHale, also Clonliffe, in fifth place. Yet with four in the top ten, Raheny had packed well to take the team title beating Clonliffe by eleven points. Rathfarnham WSAF was third, with a remarkable sixteen teams entered - the largest number of the day.
Raheny also did well in the age groups, with Ian Conroy sixth overall and first M40 and David Kirwan eighth overall and first M45. The full results are on the Myrunresults website at More pictures are on Flickr at
It meant that Raheny retained the Pat Hooper Cup as best overall club, presented for the first time last year in memory of the late great Pat Hooper. Rathfarnham WSAF AC were second. Pat who was not only an Olympian, but a Club man through and through and chairman of the Dublin Athletics Board at the time of his untimely death in October 2020.
The full results are also in an attachment below.
At the opening round of the AI Indoor League in Abbotstown, Israel Olatunde of UCD AC  began his year with a time of  6.73 sec for the 60m; his personal best is 6.62.  His UCD team mate Bori Akinola was second in 6.80, with Chris Sibanda of Clonliffe Harriers  given the same time for third. Marcus Lawler, now with Clonliffe Harriers recorded a time of  21.62  in the 200m. Also for Clonliffe Harriers, Emma Mitchell won both the  women’s 3000m and 1500m, while Ian Guiden won the men’s 3000m while in the field, Rolus Olusa won the men’s pole vault. The second round of the league takes place in Athlone on Sunday, January 22, with the final on  Saturday, Feburary 11 in Abbotstown