Clubs come out in force to support Ràs
Hosts Dunleer AC pronounced themselves 'delighted' with the huge turnout of almost 600 athletes for Sunday's annual Ras na hEireann, held in frosty but sunny conditions at Oldbridge.
Cross-country running is very strong in Ireland and clubs in Louth and beyond have always been great supporters of the Rás. This year teams from Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Cavan, Dublin, Offaly, Kildare and Down participated and there was a very high standard of running, with All-Ireland, Louth and Leinster champions mixing with club runners from this wide geographical area.
Among the sponsors were Glen Dimplex, Premier Electrics, Darby's Service Station and Coca-Cola and the Dunleer AC would like to say many thanks to all those who supported the event on the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne.
The Larry Mc Guill and Dunleer AC cups were presented to the winners of the Men's and Ladies races respectively, with Killian Mooney winning the Men's 6km and his Dundrum South Dublin colleague Sarah Fitzpatrick taking the Ladies 3k honours.
The first Dunleer AC athletes home were presented with cups also to mark their achievement, with Jack Boylan receiving the Louis Duffin Cup and Karen Costello receiving the inaugural Dunleer AC Cup.
In the team section, North East Runners were victorious in the men's race with 31 points and duly received the Noel Mc Guill Cup, with Drogheda & District (48pts) second and Dunleer AC third. DSD retained the Sandra Floyd Cup in the ladies race with 24 points, with Dunleer AC second on 44 points and North East Runners back in third.
Dunleer AC were delighted to have a winner in Conor Brennan in the Boys Under-9 race and Erinn Leavy in the Girls Under-13. Shea O'Donnell (Boyne AC) had a super victory in the Boys Under-11, just ahead of Dunleer AC's Dáire Mathews. Boyne AC had another winner in the Boys Under-13, Neil Culhane, with Dunleer AC's Erinn Leavy winning the girls equivalent by a great margin.
Victor Esosa powered home to win the Boys Under-15 for St Joseph's, while Lauren Murphy of Cilles AC had a good win in the Under-17 race, just ahead of Ardee & District's Abbie Sheridan. The Boys Under-17 race saw Tadhg Donnelly of Drogheda & District power away to win the 4km race in convincing fashion.
The Men's Senior race was won by Killian Mooney (DSD), with Brian Mc Cluskey of North East Runners in second and Shane Toner (Glenmore) third. Stephen Kelly (Drogheda & District) was first Over-40 and Paul le Blanc (Dunleer AC) first Over-50, with Pat O'Grady of Drogheda & District first Over-55.
The Ladies' race was won by Sarah Fitzpatrick (DSD), with Karen Costello of Dunleer AC second, with first Over-40 going to Yasmin Canning (Drogheda & District).