To start the week Lindie Naughton brings us all the Irish endurance action and news from the weekend just gone (Monday 29th April).

Dublin clubs dominated all but one of the five races at the National Road Relays held on the now traditional one mile lap in  Raheny, Dublin, on Sunday afternoon (April 28).

Dundrum South Dublin won the women’s senior race slightly unexpectedly, while Clonliffe Harriers, powered by Efrem Gidey on the three-mile leg,  had a more predictable victory in the men’s senior race, which was the final race of a busy afternoon.

First up on the five-race programme had been the master women in a combined 1 mile-2 mile-1mile race for the W35 and W50 age groups and leading home thirteen teams  with a time of  21 mins 30 secs in the W35 class was Sportsworld, with solid runs from Noreen Brouder, Lisa Madden and Aoife O’Leary.

Finishing second in 21:54  were Fiona Roche, Kate Purcell and Siobhan Eviston for host club  Raheny Shamrock  while over a minute behind for third was Metro St Brigid’s in 23:04. Ennis Track proved best of the W50 teams, finishing in 24:15, with Raheny Shamrock second and  Finn Valley third in a good race for provincial clubs.

Even better for the non-local clubs was the M50 race, which saw City of Derry Spartans, powered  by the in-form Declan Reed on the two-mile leg,  beating Inishowen AC, another Ulster club Ulster club.

Spartans led from the start and despite heroic legs from Pauric McKinney and Liam Bradley for Inishowen, held on to that lead winning in 20 mins 54 secs. Inishowen was second in 21:19 and Metro St Brigid’s AC third in 21:30.

National Road Relays -start of men’s senior race. Picture Lindie Naughton


Home ground advantage for Raheny

Raheny made it a home win in the M35 race, catching Clonliffe on the two mile leg. Making up the winning team were David Kirwan, Kieran Kelly and Aidan Jones. They finished in 19:21; Clonliffe was second in 19:52 and Drogheda and District  (the only non-Dublin club) third in 20:05, with seventeen teams finishing.

A record total of twenty-six teams finished the women’s senior race, which proved a mighty tussle from the start. Eimear Maher put  eventual winners Dundrum South Dublin into a narrow lead when she ran  the opening mile in 4:59  and although Emma McEvoy, only back from injury, was caught on the two-mile leg  by Raheny’s Niamh Kearney, she made sure to stay in touch.

On the final mile leg, Amy O’Donoghue powered into the lead for DSD despite the best efforts of Nadine Donegan for Tullamore Harriers and Ellie Hartnett of UCD. In the end, just five seconds separated the top three teams — DSD the winners in 20:38, Tullamore Harriers second in 20:43 and UCD third in 20:45. A close fourth was Raheny Shamrock in 20:52.

The final act of the day

Finally came the men’s senior race with a longer 2x1x3x2 mile format and thirty-two teams lining out.  Clonliffe Harriers had entered seven teams for the race  and all seven finished, which must be some kind of record.

On the opening two mile leg, Cillian Kirwan for Raheny Shamrock finished just clear of Rathfarnham WSAF’s Mitchell Byrne with one second separating them. Raheny held on to the lead on  the mile leg leg, taken on by Kieran Kelly in his second run of the day.

Only on the  three-mile leg did Clonliffe move into the lead, with Efrem Gidey clocking a superb time of 13:42 and handing over to Ian Guiden with half a minute to spare. Guiden duly brought the team home, while for second place, Mark Hanrahan pulled Ennis TC into second place with  a time of 9:08 for the leg — the fastest two-mile time of the day.

Elsewhere, Stephen Conroy (Clane AC) proved the class of the field in the half marathon at The Village Run in Ballylinan, Co Laois winning in a time of 69:63.  First woman was Doireann Mullany in  88:33.

On Saturday (April 27) Stephen Butler (Raheny Shamrock AC) won the Another Way 5km, in Darndale Park,  Dublin on Saturday in 16 mins 1 sec. Dean Hayden (Ballymun RC) was fourth in 17:01 and Matthew Ward (Coolock RC) sixth in 17:45. First woman was Chrissy Harford in 20:32.

Paulette Thompson (Ballymun RC) was third in 21:54, leading home a group of four from Ballymun RC – a club that only started up in late 2023. Ballymun juniors also fared well in the underage categories.

2 Rebecca, Eamonn and Rachel McEvoy from St Finbarr’s who took part in the Bandon 5km.
Photo: John Walshe

Earlier in the week…

The first road race in Bandon since 2019 saw a huge turnout with 327 finishers, many no doubt delighted to contribute to the club’s track development fund which was the main focus of the evening, writes John Walshe.

To make it a memorable night, local athlete Gavin Kenny came home first in a time of 15:34. The fast, mainly downhill course suited the 22-year-old who has recorded indoor times this year of 3:58.00 for 1500m and 8:39.62 for 3000m.

Shock runner-up was  15-year-old Finn Yore of West Muskerry who finished in 15:47. Two weeks before, Finn was first junior both at the Seefin Uphill race on the Friday, and the up-and-down race two days later. He is now selected on the Irish team for the European Championships in Annecy, France, at the end of next month.

Third place at Bandon went to John Lonergan (St Finbarr’s AC)  in 16:01. Not too far behind in a personal best of 16:38 was Hannah Steeds  (Leevale AC), adding to her victory at Ballintotis the previous week.

Catherine Murphy (Eagle, W40) took second in 17:49 with Jen Martin, a member of St Finbarr’s, who does most of her running with the Tafelta club in Derry, finishing third in 17:57.

Gavin Kenny, winner of the Bandon 5km, receiving his prize from Alan Owens, General Manager, SuperValu, Bandon. Also pictured are organiser Dave O’Keeffe and Brendan Crowley, President, Bandon AC.
Photo: John Walshe

Evan Fitzgerald was the winner of the Shandrum 4-Mile in Newtownshandrum, Co Cork on Thursday (April 25)in a time of 20 mins 4 secs. Second in 20:15 was Robert Troy  (Liscarroll AC) in 20:15, while third in 20:54 was Declan Guina (West Limerick AC). . Michelle Kenny (Leevale AC) was first woman in 23;14, followed by Emma Flynn (North Cork AC) 23:34 and Pamela Kirby (Bilboa AC) in 25:00.

A day earlier, Jordan Walsh (Craughwell AC ) in 16:36 and Anne Marie O’Dowd (Athlone IT AC, W50 ) in 20:21  were the winners at the final round of the  Roscommon Harriers 5km series on Wednesday (April 24)

Track and field

Mark English (Finn Valley AC) finished seventh with a time of 1:46.47 in the 800m at the Diamond League  in  Shanghai, China on Saturday (April 27). In the 5000m, Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock AC) finished 13th in 13:25.37.


Tom Crudingham (Newcastle and District AC)  led home 315 finishers at the Hill and Dale series round on Slieve Martin  on Thursday (April 25) running a time of 35 mins 38 secs for the 8km distance with 500m of climb. First woman in 44:07 was Martsje Hall  (North Belfast Harriers).

Daire Finn was the winner of the opening round of the Irish Mountain Running Associations’ Summer Evening League at Belmont and the Little Sugar Loaf on Wednesday.  Finn complete the 8.6km distance with 360m  of climb in 37:46 for a clear win. Second was Joe Warne in 38:15, while third in .38:27 was Ger O’Toole (Blackrock AC).

First woman was Sorcha Loughnane (Donore Harriers, W45) in 45:10.  Harriette Robinson (DSD AC) was second in 46:52 and Aideen Burke (Donore Harriers W40) third in 48:09.