Training this week

Sat 26th Nov HITW 10.15 sprints group plus older middle distance group. Sun27th Nov HITW 11am everyone

Tue 29th Nov Bogies at 4. Grangegorman at 7

Thur 1st Dec Grangegorman at 7 everyone

Update on indoor training. There is a new system in operation at NIA. We are planning on bringing the sprints group and all under 13 athletes (born 2010 and younger)up for 7.15 assembly. Training from 7.30 till 8.15.
Everyone else comes up at 8pm assembly for 8.15 start. Will see how this works out and can change if need be.
To cover the hire the fee will be 4 euro per child cash on the night or use Revolut to Mary with a note identifying the athlete. 3 or more in a family 12 euro. This week will
be our last Tues night in Grangegorman, Thur night will continue as usual.

European XC Selections

Following our fantastic results over the weekend comes the news that four of our members have been selected to represent our country at the forthcoming European Cross Country Championships in Turin next month.

Fiona runs in the junior womens race

Jodie runs in the under 23 womens race

Nadia runs in the mixed relay

Pierre runs in the mens senior race.

Unfortunately Lauren missed out narrowly and will be nominated as a reserve.

Its going to be difficult to better that!

Reflections on the National Cross Country 2022

By Dermot Nagle

On my walk this morning, Monday November 21st, I called in to say hello to Ursula Noctor at her final resting place in Castleknock. Ursula was a quintessential DCH member, totally dedicated to our sport, especially cross country and road running. Ursula was a member of our great team which won so much both domestically and in Europe and was a high performer in her own right. We lost Ursula to illness in April 1993 at age 28, just as our great era of 16 national senior titlesin a row was coming to an end and I felt it appropriate to visit her graveside today as a new era began. No doubt but that she would have been involved in our quest yesterday had she survived her illness.

We drove to Donegal seeking a medal having lost out by a single point for 3rd last year. The squad had strengthened since then but the nucleus of previous years remained. Having overnighted in Letterkenny on Saturday we completed the journey to Rosapenna on Sunday morning with overnight rain persisting for most of the short drive. Rosapenna, on Sheephaven Bay is an idyllic setting with the links golf course providing a wonderful dry venue, with excellent underfoot conditions notwithstanding the recent rain. Despite the absence of mud this was a testing but fair course with plenty of undulation mixed with fast running sections.

We had ten runners in the senior womens section knowing it would take in the region of 75/80 points to win a team medal and obviously less than that to win the championships. From the off Lauren positioned herself in the large leading group with Faye, Jodie, Cliona and Edel well placed in the first 25. Running to a plan Alison, Avril, Claire, Niamh and Aislinn made more conservative starts with a view to running through the field as the race progressed.

The further the race went the better our athletes looked, and to the surprise of the large crowd Lauren maintained her high position and covering all the break was now in the leading group of eight. Jodie, Edel and Cliona consolidated their places in and around the top twenty but Faye having an unusual off day could not sustain the pace. Alison, Avril, Niamh, Claire and Aislinn were making steady progress,picking off athletes as the laps went by. Alarm bells began to sound on the last two laps because whereas we expected UCD to be our main opposition, Letterkenny AC with some inspired running were racing neck and neck with us on the points table. Going into the last lap Lauren gained a vital place and running  7th held off all comers to finish in that position, which left her as 6th senior woman and in line for possible selection for the European Championships in December. With magnificent packing Cliona, Edel and Jodie finished 18th, 19th and 20th(5th under 23) respectively and the wait began. UCD had 1st, 10th and 11th waiting for their 4thscorer. Letterkenny had 4th, 13th and 21st waiting for their 4thwhile we sat on 64 points. Then the good news, DCH winners by one point. Excellent finishing positions from Alison, Avril, Niamh, Claire, Faye and Aislinn completed our performance for the day.

We were in a small tent sheltering from a short downpour when we heard the result and I guess the celebrations could have been heard in Reykjavik, broadly speaking the next parish due north.

However there was little time to dwell because Pierre was on next and similarly to Lauren he positioned himself superbly and appeared to be running comfortable in the leading group. Attacks came and went which were reeled in quickly with Pierre remaining in the vanguard. Over the last few laps athletes began to fall off the leading group until it was down to seven runners. With approx 1000mts remaining threeathletes made the long run for home and gaps began to open. Pierre running with great purpose held his position and closed in 6th overall, and being 3rd senior man secured automatic selection for the European Cross Country Championships in Turin.

A great day in the history of the club and we have to acknowledge a great run by Cliodhna Ryan in the girls under 18 race which went before the senior programme. Cliodhna finished 18th and secured a medal running for the Dublin County team which finished 2nd. We looking forward to welcoming her into the senior ranks within a few years.

The four hour journey home was all the shorter following our victory, spirits were high, our aim was achieved winning our first nationals since 1992. Word of Nadia’s great run in Italy, and Fiona’s and Ailish’s performances in America began filtering through, and planning began for the European Clubs Cross Country Championships in February 2023 in Spain. Valencia here we come.

We now have won five of the nine championships available to us this cross country season, with four more to go.

So far so good.

Nationals update

Well done to Cliodhna Ryan on her great run in the National under 18 championship in Donegal today. Cliodhna finished 18th and was 5th scorer for the Dublin team which finished 2nd in the inter county. Great run on a tough course with driving wind and rain to add to the fun! Cliodhna was lucky to be there to see our senior women win the national title for the first time in 30 years! These are the senior women we all see training very hard together on our Tuesday nights in Grangegorman. Well done to Lauren, Cliona, Jodie and Edel who were the scoring team. Back up from Alison, Faye, Aislinn, Niamh,Averil, Clare. What a team!

Pierre is also there every Tuesday doing his sessions and he had a fabulous run finishing 6th today in the senior mens race. Great day!