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Top events filling up fast as huge demand swells entry numbers

It looks like there is a busy season ahead on the Irish road-running scene as events like the John Treacy Dungarvan 10 on January 29 and the Ballycotton 10 on March 4 are already closed for entries.

The RTE Operation Transformation 5k in the Phoenix Park on February 18 is also full to the 5,000 entry capacity after only three days of promotion. The 1,500 entry limit for the John Treacy Dungarvan 10 was reached during Christmas week. The annual Ballycotton 10 was sold out before Christmas.

Another top road race that is fast filling up is the annual AXA Raheny 5 Mile, which takes place on Sunday, January 29. The online entry for this event is now open at www.rahenyshamrock.ie. Race director Pat Hooper can be contacted at 086 8158052.

Meanwhile, European Cross-Country champion Fionnuala Britton this week helped launch the annual Great Ireland Run 10k, which takes place in the Phoenix Park on Sunday, April 15. This is the 10th anniversary of the event in Dublin and the organisers have an entry target of 12,000 for this year's race.

RTE2 will again show the race live. The Great Ireland Run will also incorporate the Athletics Ireland National 10k Championships.

This year's nominated charities are the Marie Keating Foundation and the Jack & Jill Foundation.

The online entry service is now open at www.greatirelandrun.org. The hotline for the event is: 1890-930-139.

Thomas Fitzpatrick (Individual) was a clear winner of Saturday's South Dublin County Council 4-mile Cross-Country race at Tymnon Park. Fitzpatrick hared into an early lead and finished strongly in 21:36, comfortably clear of Mick Clohisey (SPAR, 21:43) and John Eves (UCD, 22:09).

Niamh Devlin (UCD) took the women's race over two miles in 11:49, ahead of Catherine Devitt (Research Consultant, 11:57) and Fiona Mahon (Primary Teachers, 12:16).

The next BHAA race is at Firhouse on Saturday, January 21, when the Eircom/ Meteor Cross-Country events take place.

Mick Traynor of Raheny Shamrock AC raised some local cheer on Sunday when he regained his Dublin Masters Cross-Country title at St Anne's Park.

He finished clear of Declan Power of Clonliffe Harriers. Nick Boyle took third place.

Donna Evans of Rathfarnam WSAF AC coasted to a comfortable victory in the women's race ahead of Anne Curley of Donore Harriers and Lucy Darcy of Sport World AC.

The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for 88-year-old Nick Corish from the promoting club, who continues to compete with distinction.

Irish Independent