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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Rain can't ruin ace Raheny race

MARK CHRISTIE of Mullingar made a winning return to road racing with an emphatic victory at the AXA Raheny 5, held in wet but calm conditions last Sunday.

With fast times possible, Christie, looking fresh and relaxed after a training stint abroad, pushed the pace from the start. Keeping in close touch were twice previous winner Sean Connolly and his Tallaght team-mate Tom Fitzpatrick.

A determined Christie quickly opened a gap and came home in 23 minutes 29 seconds -- just six seconds slower than Joe Sweeney's winning time last year.

For a second year, Connolly finished second.

Fitzpatrick was third, closely followed by Kilkenny athlete Brian Maher, Ed McGinley of Annadale Striders and Clonliffe's Sergiu Ciobanu.

With Andrew Agnew in seventh place and David Morwood first over-40, Annadale Striders took the team prize ahead of the host club Raheny Shamrock. Best Raheny performance came from Kevin Dooney, first junior in a personal best 24 mins 42 seconds.

Second of the masters and first over-45 was US mountain runner Francis Burdett, who was on holiday in Ireland.

CONFIDENT

DSD's Linda Byrne made a confident return to racing when she won the women's race in 26 minutes 23 seconds.

In the battle for second place, Teresa McGloin of Finn Valley just edged out Julie Turley of North Down. The pair were given the same time, although Turley's chip time was faster. Skerries athlete Ciara Durkan finished fourth ahead of Fiona Roche, who led Raheny to team victory. Raheny also scored in the junior and masters categories with Alice Fenning first junior and Orla Gormley first over-45.

A record total of 2,053 finished the senior race, with another 100 or so in the children's 800m and mile.

That it all ran smoothly is due to the hard work of the Raheny Shamrock club and backing from sponsor AXA, the local community and clubs such as Raheny GAA. Take a bow everyone.

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