WEEKEND WONDERS: Two superb races on offer this weekend. In Co Meath, the Dunshaughlin 10km has long been recognised not only as one of the best races in the country but also as a great night out.
The Strawberry Half Marathon in Enniscorthy hasn't been around as long, but already runners of the calibre of Linda Byrne and Caitriona Jennings make it a "must do" each year. Byrne has collected the cheque and a glass trophy full of strawberries for the past two years. Fortunately, the races don't clash directly with Dunshaughlin on Saturday and Enniscorthy on Sunday.
BRONZE IN BEDFORD: Irish junior cross-country champion Sarah Collins, who is originally from Cork but based in Switzerland, ran 9:42.37 to finish third in the 3000m and the AAA U20 Championships in Bedford. Earlier this season, Collins set a new Irish junior 5,000m record of 16:41.29 in Koblenz, Germany. Ben Kiely finished second in the 100m hurdles, while Joanna Mills ran 55.37 for second in the 400m, so nailing down a place on the 4x400m squad for the European Championships. At U23 level, Niamh Whelan finished second in the 200m in 24.11.
hit the bhaa trail: BHAA runners go off-road next Tuesday with the Irish Prison Services Trail 5km in the Phoenix Park. If you've never taken part in a trail race, this is a great place to start! See www.bhaa.ie. Great value also is tomorrow's Crusaders 3km Beach Race, in Dublin's Sandymount, 7.30pm. Entry is €3 on the night.
FLYNN AND O'HANLON BRAVEST: David Flynn and his Clonliffe clubmate Gary O'Hanlon finished first and second at the third Bravehart 5km in Trim. After running together for the entire race, O'Hanlon sportingly raised his younger clubmate's arm as they crossed the line in 16.07 and 16.08. Third was Mullingar's Kevin Baker. First woman was Dunboyne veteran Emilia Dan, who finished ahead of Imelda Clarke from Na Fianna and Linda Fahy of Dunshaughlin, recently selected for the World Duathlon Championships.
midsummer magic: In two flying finishes, John Eves of DSD and Rathfarnham's Maria Dolan won a well-supported Midsummer 5km in St Anne's Park, Raheny. Eves was chased to the line by newcomer Colm O'Connell, who had turned up for the opening race in the Lord Mayor of Raheny 2-mile series and won it. Dolan caught Fionnuala O'Doherty of Clonliffe in the final 400m. In the Dublin Novice Championships, run in conjunction with the race, Donore's women and the Tallaght men were victors.