It was double joy for host club Clonliffe Harriers at the Dublin Cross-Country Championships on Sunday when Sergiu Ciobanu led them home to the senior men's team title by some distance.
Ciobanu, the former Irish marathon champion, took the win over the 10km course in 30 minutes and 53 seconds, and with that the Pádraig Keane Perpetual Cup, 17 seconds ahead of Mitchell Byrne from Rathfarnham WSAF, and with all four scorers inside the top 10, Clonliffe took the team honours with plenty to spare too.
Staged at Trinity Sports Ground in Santry, Meghan Ryan from Dundrum-South Dublin took the senior women's crown, and with that the Jim McNamara Perpetual Cup, completing the 6km race in 20:27, with runner-up Lauren Tinkler leading home four Dublin City Harriers women in the top six to ensure they won the team title.
Both junior races were won convincingly, Scott Fagan from Metro St Brigid's taking individual honours, Raheny Shamrock getting the better of Clonliffe for the team, with Dundrum-South Dublin also winning the junior women's honours in team and individual, Emma McEvoy first home with 21 seconds to spare.
Meanwhile, Athletics Ireland have been forced into a U-turn after some considerable outcry following the National Marathon Championships back on October 3rd, staged as part of the Belfast City Marathon. Despite originally advertising a team competition on their own website, club runners on the day were left disappointed when Athletics Ireland announced they would not be handing out team medals.
The matter was later raised with Sport Ireland by several clubs, and in a statement, Athletics Ireland have now said the medals will be presented after all. Rathfarnham WSAF took the men's team title thanks to Eoin Flynn, Mark Ryan and Ronan Byrne, silver going to Raheny Shamrock and bronze to Keep 'Er Lit AC.
The women's team gold medals will go to North Belfast Harriers, thanks to Gladys Ganiel, Louise Smith and Tracey Atkinson, Donore Harriers get silver, and Brothers Pearse AC bronze.