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Matthews eyeing Irish hat-trick

PETER MATTHEWS of DSD will have a tough day out at Saturday's Irish Masters Cross-Country International in Belfast, where he goes for a hat-trick of wins.

Matthews faces stiff competition not just from the English, Scots, and Welsh, but also from current Irish masters' cross-country champion, Ciaran Doherty, while home advantage could favour Northern Irish pair Stephen Duncan and David Morwood.

At the recent NI trial race, Duncan outsprinted Morwood to beat him by a second.

Leevale's Carmel Parnell is favourite to retain her W55 title and move closer to Karen Marshall's record number of victories in this event.

Former winner Niamh O'Sullivan of Riocht will battle it out with defending champion, Scotland's Fiona Matheson, on her W50 debut.

Donore's Barbara Cleary makes her masters debut in the W35 race, while Evelyn McNelis W60 is another strong medal contender.

Keane sprints to Dunboyne win

Shona Keane of Sportsworld outsprinted her clubmate Caroline Conway for victory in the opening round of the Women's Meet and Train Winter Series over a tough two-mile course in Dunboyne. Only six days earlier, Keane had finished 15th Irish woman in the Dublin Marathon with a time of 3 hrs 4 mins.

Among the clubs represented in this league for members of Meet and Train and Fit for Life groups were Sportsworld, Fingallians, Donore, Raheny, Clonliffe, Crusaders, Tallaght, Blackrock, Celbridge and host club Dunboyne. Next round Swords on Sunday, December 2.

Con inspires Remembrance Run

Earlier this summer, the great Irish writer Con Houlihan died. His friend Frank Greally, editor of the Irish Runner, wanted to celebrate his life and out of that came Sunday's Remembrance Run - a 5km in Dublin's Phoenix Park (11.0) in celebration of all our loved ones.

"The month of November is a time of remembrance for everyone at year's end - an ideal time to remember family or friends passed and present, and to celebrate our own gift of days," says Greally.

Among those entered are Irish hockey international Nikki Symmons, Irish cricket international Kevin O'Brien and broadcaster Donncha ó Dulaing with his son, Donncha. Late entries will be taken on the day near the Furze Road.

Parkrun pitches up in Malahide

At last - Parkrun comes to Ireland! Malahide is the venue on Saturday (9.30am) for the much-anticipated first Parkrun 5km in the Republic - a free, weekly, timed 5km for all standards. To take part, all you have to do is register online in advance and print out the barcode you receive by return. See www.parkrun.ie

NY runners to race in Phoenix

Irish runners who will miss out after this year's New York Marathon was cancelled will get the chance to run the distance in the Phoenix Park, Dublin later this month.

The Dublin Marathon is inviting the 500 Irish athletes who had travelled to New York for the race to run their 26.2 miles around the Phoenix Park. They will race in their NY vests and get NY medals when they finish.