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Kev is doon’ the business

FIGHTING FIT: Raheny’s Kevin Dooney won the 5km in Rathfarnham.

Raheny’s Kevin Dooney returned to road racing with a bang when he won the 21st Rathfarnham 5km on a bitterly cold morning in southside Dublin.

Dooney had spent the summer on the sidelines after picking up an injury last March at the World Half Marathon. He only returned to racing a few weeks ago when he finished third in the final race of the KIA Series at Mondello Park. In Rathfarnham he proved the class act of the field, finishing in 14 mins 29 secs. He now heads to Japan for the Izumo Ekiden on October 8.

Dunshaughlin’s Thomas Maher won the battle for second place in Rathfarnham ahead of Colin Maher of Ballyfin AC and Sean Hehir from host club Rathfarnham WSAF AC.

First junior and eighth overall in a strong field was Keelan Kilrehill of Moy Valley AC. One place behind was Olympian Shane Healy of Metro St Brigid’s AC, who will celebrate his 50th birthday next Saturday.

Winner of the women’s race was Catherine Mullan of Metro St Brigid’s in 16:28. Teresa Doherty of Finn Valley was a close second and first over 40 in 16:35 while third was junior athlete Emma O’Brien of Sli Cualann in 16:38. Another athlete making a comeback after a long battle with injury was fourth placed Ciara Durkan of Skerries AC.

Best of the 25 men’s teams entered was the hosts Rathfarnham WSAF AC led home by Sean Hehir in fourth place with Mitchell Byrne 11th and Louis McCarthy 15th. The other counters. Raheny Shamrock was second and Celbridge AC third.

In a closely-fought women’s team race, the Donore Harriers trio of Sorcha Nic Dhomhnaill, Íde Nic Dhomhnaill and Maura Kearns beat Crusaders AC by just two points. Making up the Crusaders team were Niamh Allen sixth, Orla Drumm ninth and Catherine Thornton 22nd. Finishing third was Raheny Shamrock, led home by Annette Kealy who was 12th overall and first W50.

A record 946 from 1,130 registered completed the race, which is now well established as one of the premier events on the road racing calendar. Next year’s race will take place on Sunday September 29.

A few days earlier at the Sandyford 5km, formerly the Twilight Run, aimed by companies who work in the locality, Robert Corbally of host club Dundrum South Dublin AC led home close to 600 finishers.

Corbally’s time of 15:31 put him well clear of his clubmate Mark Conway in 15:54, with Donore’s Ray Lonergan third in 15:59. Aileen Gittens of Liffey Valley AC was first woman in 19:22, with Aine O’Donnell second and Aileen Flynn third.

The other big race of the weekend was the Cork to Cobh 15-mile, which is used by many athletes as part of their Dublin Marathon build-up. Cillian O’Leary of Raheny Shamrock, a Corkman based in Dublin, was the clear winner in 81 mins 2 secs.

First woman was Sorcha Kearney of St Finbarr’s AC. The race, one of the few point-to-points on the calendar, is organised by Cork Business Houses Athletic Association.

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