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Dermot's no National Novice

SLIGO AC's Dermot McDermott, well known as a coach and organiser as well as an athlete, was a popular winner of the men's race at the National Novice Cross-Country in Adamstown, Co Wexford, beating his training partner Ray Hynes of Crusaders.

McDermott is currently working at the long-awaited indoor athletics arena in Athlone, which will be ready for action in the new year.

Laura Crowe of Riocht, a newcomer to cross-country this season and eighth in the recent intercounties, was a convincing winner of the women's race.

Finn Valley proved best of the men's teams, with Dublin clubs dominating the women's result - Crusaders were first followed by Donore and Sportsworld.

Gary claims Clonakilty glory

Gary O'Hanlon of Clonliffe won the Clonakilty Marathon in 2 hrs 30 mins, with his Clonliffe team-mate Sergiu Ciobanu first in the half marathon. Supervet Mary Sweeney of St Finbarr's was first woman in the marathon. More than 2,000 runners took part in the three races on offer.

Raheny 'rock the Phoenix Park

At the Aware 10km in Dublin's Phoenix Park, members of Raheny Shamrock were out in force with Mick Clohisey the winner in 31 mins 7 secs, followed by clubmates Cillian O'Leary and Ian Conroy, with Fiona Roche first woman in an eye-catching 34 mins 59 secs.

Kilgannon's Marlay high-five

Phil Kilgannon won the Vodafone BHAA 5km C-C in Marlay, beating Kevin English and Clyde Dunne with Sarah Mulligan first of the women.

Dublin BHAA running now takes a break until January 5, when the South Dublin County Council Cross-Country takes place in Tymon Park.

Batteries included for Clonliffe

THE big road race of the weekend is Sunday's ERP Clonliffe Christmas Cracker 5km around the roads of Santry. This is a race with a particularly interesting angle.

Bring along a used battery-operated or electrical appliance or 10 used batteries, and you'll be entered in a draw for a Samsung LCD TV, a Sony MP3 Player or a portable DVD player, courtesy of sponsors the European Recycling Platform. Online entry is €15 (plus €1.13 handling charge); entry on the day €25.