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Parnell targets Masters victory

A strong Irish squad heads to the British and Irish Masters' Cross-Country International in Cardiff on Saturday where Carmel Parnell, now in the M55 age group, is one of Ireland's best hopes for gold.

In the W40 category, Kilmore's Jackie Carthy is the defending champion, while previous champion Niamh O'Sullivan of Ríocht heads the W50 team. Aiming for team honours is a strong M45 team including Colm Burke, Pauric McKinney and Mick Traynor.

Tinryland's Tommy Payne makes his M55 debut, while Paul Eliott takes on the legendary Mike Hager and possibly Martin Rees in a super-competitive M60 race. The course, a fast, flat 2000m loop, is set in parkland.



Starting on Sunday at the Balheary Playing Fields, in Swords, is the annual Meet and Train League – an easy-going cross-country league that gives the ordinary Meet and Train or Fit for Life runner a chance to meet up and run with like-minded women. All four races in the league are over two miles; entry is €20 for the league or €7 per race, with newcomers, both individual and teams, very welcome. Registration is at Fingallians GAA Club. Info/directions Dolores 086 073 6664.



With more than a thousand turning out in Malahide and Marlay Park last Saturday, Parkrun in Ireland celebrated its first anniversary in style. It seems no time since the days when Parkrun was treated with some suspicion – another race on an over-crowded calendar and costing nothing? In no time at all, this simple concept had converted everyone – clubs and local councils as well as novice runners.

Amazingly, Malahide, where Michael McMahon is race director, has had more than 7,000 runners of all standards registering and gets between 300 and 500 runners every week. Already five other Parkruns have started with more expected – all organised by volunteers. Here's to Parkrun – community sport at its best!



Joe Warne and Catherina McKiernan led home more than 2,200 starters at the second Remembrance Run 5km in Dublin's Phoenix Park. In perfect conditions for running, Warne came home in 15 mins 2 secs, just five seconds ahead of Donegal master Ciarán O'Doherty. Kristaps Valters of Clonliffe Harriers was third. McKiernan was 10th overall in 17 mins 20 secs. Managing to break 20 minutes – just! – was former Irish 800m champion David Matthews.



Dublin athletes dominated the Leinster Inter Cross-Country in Scotstown. Rahenys' Karen Crossan and Karol Cronin of Sportsworld were the individual winners, with Sportsworld beating Liffey Valley to take the men's team medals and Liffey Valley packing well for the women's title.

p Brian Maher from Kilkenny and Fiona Mahon were the winners of the Bank of Ireland BHAA Cross-Country races held at the Alsaa Complex.