Fionnuala McCormack came 12th in the European Cross Country in Slovakia. Photograph: Sasa Pahic Szabo/Inpho

Not quite déjà vu all over again - Fionnuala McCormack this time not so much run off the European Cross Country medal podium by the still conspicuous (...)

Shona Heaslip of An Riocht AC on her way to winning the women’s senior cross-country championships  at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photograph:  David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Properly testing cross-country conditions seem like a rare thing these days, and yet Shona Heaslip still made light of them in defending her national (...)

The leaders in the women’s senior race at the Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships in Abbotstown,  Co Dublin, on Sunday. Photograph: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

It takes considerable strength and character to win an Irish senior cross-country title, and out of nowhere, it seemed, Shona Heaslip found exactly th(...)

Ireland’s Sara Louise Treacy during the 3000m steeplechase round one on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images

It’s hard enough running a 3,000m race that includes 28 barriers, each two and a half feet high, plus seven water jumps, without having athletes getti(...)

Ireland’s Ciara Mageean celebrates winning a bronze medal in the women’s 1500 metres at the European Championships. Photograph: Karel Delvoije/Ipho

It was the last day of the European Athletics Championships, and it felt a little like Groundhog Day for Derval O’Rourke, Jerry Kiernan and I inside t(...)

Rob Heffernan is the first Irish athlete to  be  selected for five consecutive summer Olympic Games after being named among a 17-strong team for Rio. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

It’s not the largest ever Irish athletics team being sent to the Olympics but it’s already somewhat historic, Rob Heffernan becoming the first athlet(...)

Ireland’s Ciara Mageean celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the 1500m  at the European Athletics Championship in Amsterdam. Photograph:  Karel Delvoije/Inpho

You know what they say about talent and the face of adversity, and Ciara Mageean is now smiling right back at it, a European Championship bronze medal(...)

Ireland’s Ciara  Mageean leads during her qualifying heat for the women’s 1500 metres at the  European Athletics Championships  in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Not every athlete can justify or afford to celebrate making a European Championship final with such deep satisfaction although for Ciara Mageean it’s (...)

Sara Treacy is in confident mood for the Olympics. “Everything indicates I’m in shape to run a personal best,” she says. “I just have to do it. It’s all about Rio.” Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

According to all the bibles of sports science, the key to success in any athletic event is to choose your parents wisely. Sara Treacy made a good choi(...)

 Conor Duffy of Glaslough Harriers AC celebrates after winning the Men’s 5000m ahead of Conor Bradley of City of Derry AC Spartans, right,  in Santry. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

It’s a rare thing for Mark English to punch the air at the finish of any race, only this felt good, very good. In the small step of winning back the 8(...)

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