Champ Traynor turns back time
DESPITE ongoing knee problems, Mick Traynor of Raheny Shamrock rolled back the years when he regained the Dublin Masters' Cross-Country Championships in St Anne's Park, Raheny.
A record 87 men, aged from 40 to 88 (step forward Nick Corish!) lined out for the men's race on a fast, flat 7km course.
Traynor, in the over-45 category, came home with 12 seconds to spare ahead of new veteran Declan Power of Clonliffe. In third place was Nick Boyle followed by his Raheny team-mate Damien Martin who was second over-45.
Making a comeback for fifth was Mark O'Shea who began his running with Raheny and is now part of the senior set-up at Skerries Athletic Club.
In the battle for fifth place, Liffey Valley's Tom O'Connor, winner of dozens of masters medals on the road and track as well as in cross-country, outsprinted Paul Cowhie of Civil Service and Donore's Philip Hennessy. Not bad for a man in the over-50 age group!
Second over-50 was Niall Coppinger of Tallaght, while first over-55 was Desie Shorten with both men back in top form after periods of injury. Pat Collins of Liffey Valley was first over-60 and Clonliffe's Pat Bonass first over-65. Best of the 0-40 teams was host club Raheny Shamrock, with Rathfarnham WSAF, led by Brendan Hogan, winning the 0-50 team gold.
In the women's race, Donna Evans of Rathfarnham WSAF raced away from the pack at the start and maintained her lead for a good win over the short 3km course.
Donore's Anne Curley was a clear second, with former champion Lucy Darcy outsprinting her Sportsworld club-mate Helen White for third. White was first over-45, once place ahead of Raheny's Orla Gormley.
Tenth overall and first over-50 was Sheelagh Jones of DSD, with Helen Ingram of Rathfarnham WSAF first over-55 ahead of Mags McCreary of Civil Service, and Lucan's Eileen O'Brien first over-60. Sportsworld beat Rathfarnham for the team gold.
Moves are afoot to split the men's race into two age groups and collaborate with Meet and Train on the women's front. All good news.