Raheny Shamrock swept the boards at this years National Road Relay championship held in Raheny for the 20th consecutive occasion.
The senior men’s team were convincing winners of their title making it five-in-a-row! and the the club’s 11th national road relay title.
The senior women’s team also took no prisoners dismantling the field, the first time since 2010 the women have claimed their title and the sixth time in all.
The day started with the masters women’s race and it was the first to see the Raheny flag at the top of the podium. Zoe Quinn and Kate Purcell had produced the good over the first two legs a masterful performance by Sarah Quigley posting 5:47 for her mile saw the team win gold.
Also running in this race was the Over-50 competition and that saw a stellar performance from Adrienne Atkins, Annette Kealy and Patricia O’Cleirigh to win gold in 24:54 well clear of Brothers Pearse.
The B team of Nora Byrne, Rose Kidd and Jenny Colbert took fifth place.
The masters men race saw an impressive performance by David Kirwan, Rory O’Sullivan and Ciaran McCarthy to take silver behind a strong Liffey Valley team and with six seconds to spare on Sportsworld.
The Raheny B team of Francesco Petroni, John Clarke and Michael McEnery finished in 10th place. While the over-50 team of Keith Fleming, Dave O’Hara and Roberto Romano took fourth place. The B team of Paul Curtayne, Gary Aylward and Michael Kehoe took seventh place.
The races heated up nothing prepared us for the passion and performance shown by the Raheny athlete’s on home turf as the senior women’s race got underway.
Siobhan Eviston took control of the race and left everyone in her wake with a brilliant performance posting 5:09 to hand over to Niamh Kearney who put some 40 seconds on second place Rathfarnham at the final handover. Kearney posting 10:42 for two laps.
Lucy Barrett sealed the deal on the final lap and gave DCH’s Nadia Power no chance of gold as Raheny Shamrock came home to their sixth national women’s road relay title. DCH took silver as their 30-year wait between titles continue.
Raheny are second in the all time winners list for this championship with six titles, DCH have nine.
The Raheny B team of Susie O’Flynn, Jenny O’Sullivan and Aoibhinn McGoldrick also produced a top dollar display to take sixth place over just 37 seconds off bronze.
If the women’s were excellent the same must be staid of the men. Never once did the Raheny team look under threat.
Fresh from Raheny Open Mile victory Cillian Kirwan posting 9:16 for his opening two mile leg and giving Gavin Eccles a five second lead at the hand over.
Eccles pulled no punches on his one mile lap, clocking 4:33. Kieran Kelly ran the third three mile lap and gave it all. Kelly powered home crossing the line in 14:41, the gap here was nearly 40 seconds and Daniel Stone rose to the pressure of the lonely run home.
Nine minutes and 42 seconds later Stone took the applause and waved his singlet loud as he crossed the line to seal five-in-a-row for the Raheny men.
Four gold medals and one silver meant Raheny Shamrock were the club of the championship and after collecting both men’s and women’s senior cups, the Paddy Boland cup was also collected.
Five national championship gold medals in one day. Some days are special.
It’s a honour to host a national championship, it’s the icing on the cake when you win it!