On Your Marks Herald December 19

Although the flagship event at Belfield’s iconic track has gone, the GOAL Mile will still take place at 14 locations in the Dublin area around Christmas.
First off is today’s GOAL Mile (Wed) at Cloverhill Prison, where prisoners and staff alike will all run to raise funds for the less fortunate.
That’s followed by a run in St Patrick’s Institution on Christmas morning, when the GOAL Mile will form part of the day’s celebrations.
Venues on Christmas morning include the tracks at Irishtown, Tallaght, Lucan, and Sundrive Park; the Phoenix Park, St Anne’s Park, Kilbogget Park, Malahide Castle and Corkagh Park, plus nine venues in Co Kildare, six in Co Meath and five in Co Wicklow.
To take part, just come along, register on the day and donate what you can; thre is no set entry fee. The money will go to GOAL’s 13 relief programmes in countries including Ethiopia, India, Sudan and Haiti. For a full list of venues see www.goal.ie.
The GOAL Miles tops a long list of seasonal events, with St Stephen’s Day by far the busiest. In Leinster, the Streets of Wicklow 5km this year commemorates the late Anne Earls, a founding member of Inbhear Dee. In her memory, all funds by the race will go to charity, so no big prizes and the emphasis firmly on participation.
A race with a loyal following is the long-established Bull Run around the paths, roads, grass and sands of Bull Island in Clontarf. The race is a collaboration between the 5th Port Dollymount Sea Scouts Den and the Irish Amateur Wrestling Association, with runners and walkers sure of a warm welcome – and a hot cuppa afterwards.
On the other side of town, the annual Christmas Score Orienteering event takes place on Three Rock Mountain. All who enter have 45 minutes to visit as many (or as few) controls sites as they wish. At the finish, there’s mulled drinks for everyone and goodies for the children.
In the west, entry is already long closed for the Street of Athenry 10km, which attracts top runners from all over the country, as does the Greencastle 5-Mile in Omagh.
These are just a few from a long list of runs, walks, swims, and other outdoor events over the festive season. Enjoy an active Christmas!

Tallaght’s Tomas Fitzpatrick  and Kerry Harty of Newcastle were comfortable winners of the ERP Clonliffe Christmas Cracker 5km on the roads around Santry stadium.
Fitzpatrick led from the start, coming home well clear of Eddie McGinley of Annadale and Sligo’s Emmett Dunleavy in 14 mins 42 secs
Harty proved the class of the women’s field finishing in 16 mins 50 secs, with Raheny’s Elish Kelly and Teresa McGloin of Finn Valley in second and third places.
A feature of the race was the number of large groups from clubs including Drogheda and District, Crusaders, Raheny and host club Clonliffe. Speical well done to the juniors of Skerries Athletics Club, who produced some eye-catching runs.

No rest for double European cross-country champion Fionualla Britton  – she lined out for the Wicklow Cross-Country Championships on Sunday, winning the women’s race from sister Una, who had also run for Ireland in Budapest.

Angela McCann from Clonmel set a new women’s course record of 18 mins 17 secs  when she turned up for last Saturday’s Parkrun 5km in Malahide Castle. Moves are afoot for a second Dublin Parkrun – likely venue Marlay. See www.parkrun.ie for updates.

Just  in time for Christmas is the Irish Runner  Yearbook for 2013, with Fionnuala Britton and our golden  girls from Budapest gracing the cover and a comprehensive review of the year within its packed pages.  An ideal stocking  filler!

With the new indoor arena at Athlone IT opening early in the New Year, a number of dates have changed. The Masters and Junior/U23 Championships originally scheduled for January 19/20 now take place on February 9/10. In February, the Woodie’s DIY Senior Indoors shift to  February 16/17 to ensure TV coverage.

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