To start the week Lindie Naughton brings us all the Irish endurance action from the weekend just gone.(Monday 11th March).

Cormac Dixon (HFCS Rathcoole) proved the class of the field in the boy’s senior 6km race at the All-Ireland Schools Cross-Country, held on a damp and dank day in Tymon Park, Dublin on Saturday (March 9).

Dixon, who is a member of Tallaght AC, was part of a lead group that included Billy Coogan (Kilkenny CBS),Sean Lawton (Colaiste Pobal Bantry) and Noah Harris (ETSS Wicklow).

Only with the finish line in sight did Dixon sprint into the lead finishing in a solid time of 19 minutes exactly. Harris was second in 19:04, Lawton third in 19.08 and Coogan fourth in 19:11.

Packing superbly to take the team prize was St Aidan’s CBS.

For the Whitehall school, Tom Breslin in 19th place, was followed home by the trio of Sam Murray, Devan Morrissey and Rory Quill, who finished in 33rd, 34th and 35th places, with Cillian Keegan a fighting 39th.

It meant that the north Dublin school finished on 121 points, beating St Michael’s Enniskillen by six points. St Colman’s Fermoy was just four points behind again for third place.

Anna Gardiner ( (Assumption GS Co Down) winner senior girls title at All Ireland Schools Cross-Country, Tymon Park. Photo: Lindie Naughton

Winner of the girls’ senior 3.5km race was Anna Gardiner (Assumption GS Co Down) in 12 mins 59 secs. Gardiner led for much of the race, taking a solid win over Lucy Foster (Down HS Downpatrick) who finished second in 13:17 and Meabh Eakin (Ballymakenny Drogheda) third in 13:27.

Loreto Mullingar, led by Grace Byrne in sixth place, was the winning team followed by Sacred Heart Tullamore and Colaiste Mhuire Ennis.

All the age groups covered

In the girl’s inter 3.5km race, Clara Casey (Lumen Christi Derry) pushed the pace on the opening lap with eventual winner Emily Bolton (Mount Sackville, Chapelizod) tucked in behind. Not far behind were Dearbhla Allen (St Mary’s Dundalk) and Emily Morris (Streathearn College Belfast). Bolton soon took over in front, winning the race in 13 mins 1 second, with Allen outsprinting Morris for second place; both girls were given a time of 13:11.

Team winners were Presentation Kilkenny ahead of St Aloysius Carrigtwohill and Streathearn College.
On a good day for Ulster schools, Odhran McBrearty (St Columba’s Stranorlar) won the inter boys’ 5km race from Leo Murray (Douglas CS) and Declan O’Connell (Clarin College Athenry).

St Mary’s Drogheda was first team ahead of Douglas Cork and St Malachy’s Belfast.

In the younger age groups, Charlie O’Neill (Belvedere Dublin) won the junior boys’ 3.5km after making a break with about a kilometre to go. Patrician Newbridge were team winners, with Belvedere third behind St Colman’s Newry. Freya Renton (SH Westport) was the winner of the girls’ junior 2.5km, also helping her school to a clear team victory.

At minor level, Madison Welby (Friends Lisburn) won the girls’ 2km, with Mount Lourdes Enniskillen the first team. Darragh Whelan (Castletroy College Limerick) won the minor boys’ 2.5km; St Malahcy’s Belfast was the top team.

Elsewhere on the cross country

Roise Roberts of DCU won a competitive women’s 5km race at the at the Irish Universities’ Cross-Country Championships, hosted by Queen’s Belfast on Saturday (March 9).

Roberts, who started her athletics career with North Belfast Harriers, ended up in an all-Ulster battle with Hannah Gilliland representing Queen’s. The pair finished first and second in time of 18 mins 19 secs and 18 mins 24 secs. Third in 18:41 was Celine Gavin who was leading Trinity College to team victory over UCD and many times champions DCU. Just ten points separated the three. It was a fourth team victory for Trinity since 2020.

In the men’s race, Niall Murphy was leading University of Limerick to a third consecutive team victory over DCU, with Galway University third. Murphy finished the 8km course in 26:37. Sean McGinley (DCU) was second in 26:41 and Pierre Murchan (TCD) third in 26.44.

Overall, as a year earlier, DCU proved best of teams with UL second, Trinity College third and UCD fourth. It was a 20th overall victory for DCU since its first win in 2003.

Sullivan soars to the win

Clare Sullivan was a clear winner of the women’s two-mile race at the AIB & NUI BHAA Cross-Country, held in the ground of NUI Maynooth, on Saturday (March 9). Sullivan’s time of 13 mins 8 secs put her comfortably clear of the chasers led by Clodagh Dunphy who finished second in 13:39. Just two seconds behind for third place was Sarah Hade. First team was the Health Group, led by Nuala Reilly who was also first W65.

Winning the men’s four-mile race in 23:05 was Geoge Snee. Thomas Sherlock was second in 23:12 and Gabriel Coleman third in 24:44.

First of the grade 1 teams was Eisce Éireann with Bank of Ireland just two points behind for second and Revenue third. ESB was first in grade 2 ahead of Eir.

Next Leinster BHAA event is a new look cross-country race at Meath Eco Park, Rathbeggan Lakes, Co Meath, a venue discovered by long time BHAA supporter Val Ledwith. Details

Photo: Lindie Naughton

Road running

Road race of the weekend was the Bohermeen Half Marathon in Co Meath on Sunday (March 10) where former Irish marathon champion Martin Hoare (Celbridge AC) led home 1,450 finishers.

In cold wet conditions, Hoare pushed the pace from the start and he finished in 66 mins 50 secs, holding off the challenge of Peter Somba (Dunboyne AC) who finished second in 66:59.

A distant third in 69: 57 was Ciaran McKenna (Star of the Sea AC) while fourth in 70:31 was Irish mountain running international Zak Hanna (Newcastle and District AC) .

First woman in 75:32 was Ciara Wilson (DMP AC) followed by Irish masters cross-country champion Kate Purcell (Raheny Shamrock, W40) in 76:50 and Caitlyn Harvey (Belfast Road Runners AC) in 17:49.

Raheny Shamrock beat thirty-nine other teams to win the open men’s team category (teams of four) ahead of Annadale Striders and Crusaders AC. Raheny also won the men’s Rennicks Cup for teams of six, with Crusaders second and Donore Harriers third of the twenty-nine teams entered.

Crusaders AC, led by Margaret Foley in 19th place, proved best in the open women’s team category and also won the Fr Delaney Cup, with Raheny Shamrock second and Brothers Pearse third in a Dublin clean sweep.

Mooney and Kelly first home in Co Wexford

Elsewhere, Robin Mooney (Slí Cualann AC) was the winner of the Great Gorey Run 10-Mile in Co Wexford in 55:53. Clodagh Kelly (Croghan AC) was first woman in 67:38. Junior athlete Owen Gibbons (Parnell AC, U18) won the 5km in 17:44; Jane O’Conor was first woman in 20:55.

In Co Offaly, Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC, M45) won the Tullamore 5km — the opening round of this year’s Offaly 5km Road Races Series — in a time of 15:39. Tullamore Harriers pair Paul Mitchell in 15:45 and Kevin Minnock in 15:50 were second and third.

Nadine Donegan (Tullamore Harriers) was first woman in 16:38, followed by Amy O’Donoghue (DSD AC) in 16:57 and Niamh O’Connor (Tullamore Harriers) in 17:27. A total of 432 runners, ranging in age from sixteen to over seventy, finished the race.

Next round in the Offaly series is the Banagher 5km on Sunday April 7.

4-5 mile racing, all good fun

Paul Moloney (Mallow AC) won the Banteer 5-Mile in Co Cork with a time of 25 mins 48 secs. Jeremiah Sheehan (North Cork AC) was second in 25:53 and Anthony Mannix (Cork TC) third in 26:02.

Leevale AC took the top three places in the women’s competion with Niamh Moore first in 28:07 followed by Carol Finn second in 30:16 and Fiona McCarthy third in 33:00.

In Ballinspittle, Co Cork, Adhamh O’Leary (St Finnbarr’s AC) in 26:58 and Hannah Steeds (Leevale AC in 28:40 were the winners at the Courcey’s AC 5 -Mile, while in Killeagh, Gavin Sweeney (Togher AC, M40) was the winner of the annual Killeagh GAA 4-Mile with a time of 20 mins 41 secs. Kealy Tideswell (Clonmel, W40) was first woman in 23:16.

10k to 10 mile on the roads

At the Jimmy’s 10km and Relay in Downpatrick, Robert Hagen (Newcastle AC) was the winner in 31 mins 34 secs.A distant second in 33.00 was Jimmy Sloan (Annadale Striders) with Chris McCaffrey (Saintfield Striders, M40) third in 33:03.

First woman in 36:53 was Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC, W35). Debbie McConnell (North Belfast Harriers, W35) was second in 38:50 and Joanne Campbell (Finn Valley) third in 42:02.

Winners of the relay were Ollie Hanna and Cormac Leheny in 38:10.

Timothy Johnston (Annadale Striders) with a time of 52 mins 53 secs was the winner of the Walled City 10-Mile in Derry on Saturday (March 9). Scott Rankin (Foyle ValleyAC) was second in 53:120 and Helen McCready (Rosses AC, W35) first woman in 60:45.


Nick Hogan was the winner of the Nagle Marathon from Killavullen in Co Cork on Saturday (March 9) with a time of 3:57.26. Deirdre O’Gorman was first woman in 4:38.25.

In Co Antrim, Tom Crudgington (Newcastle and District AC, U23) was first home at the Glenarriff mountain race on Saturday (March 9) clocking a time of 43 mins14 secs for the 9.7km distance.

Ryan Stewrat was second in 44:12 and Adam Cunningham (Mourne Runners) third in 44:58. First woman was Áine Gosling (Newcastle and District, W40) in 52:57, with ehr clubmate Tanya Cummings second in 55:128 and Sarah Hanna (Mourne Runners) third in 55:19.

The race is the second round of the NIMRA Championships.

Colleen Keogh – first woman Belfast to Derry 75 mile.


Mark Walker was the first finisher at the Belfast to Derry 75 mile (121km ) which started on Saturday (March 9).

His time was 12 hrs 22 mins Second was Niall McGuigan in 12:41. Colleen Keogh was the first woman finisher in 16:32.18 , followed by Louise Smart in 17:09.14. Thirty had signed up for Northern’s Ireland longest road race, with twenty finishing.