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Heaslip puts best foot forward at Autumn Open


Heaslip puts best foot forward at Autumn Open

Shona Heaslip (An Riocht) starred at the Autumn Open International Cross Country Festival to win the women’s 6,000m in 20:36 at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus. For full results click HERE

Heaslip, a former Irish dancer, continues to develop apace having competed at the World Student Games over 5,000m in the summer. In different conditions and climes she eventually broke clear after a fast start ahead of Scotland’s Mhairi MacLennan in second in 20:56 and Michelle Finn (Leevale) who sprinted in for third in 21:03. Watch a Facebook video interview with Heaslip HERE

Despite Storm Brian the previous day, the underfoot conditions were relatively firm and the purpose-built national cross country on the National Sports Campus was looking resplendent. With a combined race with juniors and masters, the cavalry charge took off at full tilt.

It eventually settled with the juniors running 4,500m, three laps of the 1500m loop, where Laura Nicholson (Bandon) topped the pile in 16:22 ahead of Siobhra O’Flaherty (SLOT) and Avril Deegan (Ballyroan Abbeyleix). Spare a thought for Bandon’s Fiona Everard who was winning outright but went out for another lap with the seniors before turning back and finishing 12th. She will surely make amends at the Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships at the same venue on November 26th.

In the masters races Claire McCarthy (Leevale), who competed at the World Championships in the marathon, was first F40 in 21:33 with Sara Doohan (Corran) the first F35 in 22:21. The evergreen Carmel Parnell (Leevale) shows no sign of slowing down and was first F60 in 25:32.

The men’s combined race also took off at a searing pace with young and old alike all trying to show their wares of base training. It turned out to be a lung buster with the juniors looking to make their mark over 6,000m with the senior men going one lap further to cover 7,500m.

The lead group eventually whittled down to three with Hiko Tonosa (DSD) of Ethiopia having more in the tank for the sprint to win in 22:58 ahead of Kenya’s Gideon Kimosop  23:01 and Adam Kirk-Smith (Derry City Track Club) who had a fine run in third in 23:06.

Darragh McElhinney (Bantry) showed he was wintering well to win the junior 6,000m in 18:48 ahead of Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers) in 18:56 and Micheal Power (West Waterford) in 19:05. It was evident the fitness and energy in both junior races as they battle for coveted Irish singlets for the European Cross Country Championships in December.           

1996 Olympian Shane Healy (MSB) has made a return to masters running and topped the M45 category while Paddy Hamilton and Declan Reed impressed in respective M35 and M40 categories.

Johnjoe Murphy (Tinryland) won a good battle in the M65 section where all masters were gunning for top 4 placings to run in the Home Countries International.

The event was supported by Fingal County Council with Mayor of Fingal Mary McCamley presenting the prizes.


Autumn Open International Cross Country Festival

National Sports Campus



1. Laura Nicholson (Bandon)  16:22, 2. Siobhra O'Flaherty (St. L. O'Toole A.C.) 16:28, 3. Avril Deegan (Ballyroan Abbeyleix & District A.C) 16:33            


1. Shona Heaslip (An Riocht) 20:36, 2. Mhairi MacLennan (Scotland) 20:56, 3. Michelle Finn (Leevale) 21:03           

Over 35

1. Sara Doohan (Corran) 22:21, 2. Fiona Kehoe (Kilmore) 22:30, 3. Michelle Kenny (Leevale) 22:3               

Over 40

1. Claire McCarthy (Leevale) 21:33, 2. Adele Walsh (St Senan’s) 22:45, 3. Sinead Kevany (Kenmare) 23:06              

Over 45

1. Collette Tushy (Mayo) 23:52, 2. Jackie Carthy (Kilmore) 23:57, 3. Emilia Dan (Dunboyne) 24:05

Over 50

Angela O'Connor (Individual) 24:53, 2. Kay Byrne (Finn Valley) 25:59, 3. Orla Gormley (Raheny Shamrock) 26:06 

Over 55

1.  Rose Lambe (Carrick Aces) 24:20, 2. Niamh O'Sullivan (An Riocht) 24:29, 3. Ann Sullivan (DMP) 26:50  

Over 60

1. Carmel Parnell (Leevale) 25:32, 2. Christine Kennedy (Galway City Harriers A.C.) 25:50, 3. Pauline Moran (Mayo) 26:22               

Over 65

1. Margaret Glavey (Mayo) 21:30, 2. Eileen Kenny (Mullingar Harriers) 21:46, 3. Phyllis Browne (Star of the Sea) 23:11

Over 70

1. Evelyn McNelis (Naas) 23:44, 2. Kathleen O'Brien (St Catherine’s) 23:48


U20 6,000m

1. Darragh McElhinney (Bantry) 18:48, 2. Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers) 18:56, 3. Micheal Power (West Waterford) 19:05               


1. Hiko Tonosa (DSD) 22:58, 2. Gideon Kimosop (Kenya)  23:01, 3. Adam Kirk-Smith (Derry City Track Club) 23:06

Over 35

1. Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) 24:00, 2. Stuart Moloney (Mooreabbey Milers AC) 24:36, 3. Karol Duggan (Letterkenny) 24:47

Over 40

1. Declan Reed (City of Derry AC Spartans) 24:08, 2. Niall Sheil (St Killian’s) 25:08, 3. Dermot McElchar (Finn Valley) 25:14

Over 45

1. Shane Healy (Metro/St. Brigid's A.C.) 24:59, 2. Ciaran Diviney (Crusaders) 25:40, 3. Niall Lynch (Donore Harriers) 25:48

Over 50

1. Colm Burke (St Abban’s) 25:53, 2. Francis Marsh (North Down) 26:18, 3. Patrick Malone (Newbridge) 26:50

Over 55

Thomas Payne (Tinryland AC) 27:10, 2. Patrick O'Grady (Drogheda & District A.C.) 27:32, 3. Gerry O'Connell (Individual) 27:38            

Over 60

1. Martin McDonald (Ballyroan Abbeyleix & District A.C) 28:50, 2. Neilus Aherne (Midleton A.C.) 29:40, 3. Johnny J Feery (Tullamore Harriers A.C) 29:48   

Over 65

1. Johnjoe Murphy (Tinryland) 18:13, 2. Martin McEvilly (Galway City Harriers) 18:33, 3. John Todd (Tullamore Harriers) 18:54

Over 70

1. James Doherty (Milford) 20:59, 2. Richard Mullins (St Abban’s) 21:13, 3. Terry Mee (Donore Harriers) 21:26

Over 75

Jim Langan (Tullamore Harriers)                24:14     

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