Raheny Shamrock men made it four in-a-row while Donore Harriers captured the women’s title at an engaging Irish Life Health National Road Relays in Raheny.
Raheny Shamrock were expected to put in a strong performance in the event on home ground, where they have prospered in recent years.
St Finbarr’s were the first winners of the day in the F35 category in 23:01 with F50 winners Raheny Shamrock in 23:49, not too far behind them in the 4-mile relay (1-2-1 format).
The Cork club already had one title from last year in the M50 and duly defended it in a 20:54 finish, as did Donore Harriers in the M35 in 19:13.
Donore Harriers had a good tussle with Dublin City Harriers (DCH) in the senior women’s race with Donore coming out on top in 21:25 to DCH’s 21:44. North Down were third in 22:10.
Sinead Lambe, Barbara Cleary and Ide Nic Dhomhnaill were the winning trio with Cleary’s 10:47 two-mile leg proving pivotal. Jodie McCann was key to the youthful DCH making further progress in national competitions.
There was a great race in the senior men’s 8-mile relay (2-1-3-2 format) with Raheny edging out Donore Harriers on the last 2-mile leg in 37:11 to 37:15.
The Raheny quartet of Kieran Kelly, Cillian Kirwan, Kevin Dooney and Brian Fay were off to a strong start. Kevin Dooney was in the lead on the 3-mile leg but John Travers put in a sensational leg to run a record of 13:55, which works out as 5k on the course, to send Eric Keogh out into the lead on the last leg.
Brian Fay closed in and started stretching out with Keogh hanging gamely but Fay had too speed at the finish and made it four senior men’s titles in succession for Raheny.
Colm Rooney ran a good last leg for Clonliffe Harriers to hold off Kilkenny Harriers and DSD for the bronze medals. Clonliffe finished with a time of 37:44.
Top 3 Results Irish Life Health National Road Relays Women O35 4 miles 1. St Finbarr’s 23:01, 2. Dunleer AC 23:15, 3. Raheny Shamrock 23:40 O50 4 miles 1. Raheny Shamrock 23:49, 2. Raheny Shamrock B 26:53, 3. Lucan Harriers 27:32 Senior 4 miles 1. Donore Harriers 21:25, 2. Dublin City Harriers 21:44, North Down 22:10
Men O35 4 miles 1. Donore Harriers 19:13, 2. Rathfarnham WSAF 19:24, 3. St Finbarr’s 19:41 O50 4 miles 1. St Finbarr’s 20:54, 2. Raheny Shamrock 21:03, 3. Drogheda & District 21:17