ELISH Kelly made a memorable Masters debut when she secured a runaway win in today's Dublin Masters' cross country championships which attracted record fields. The rain stayed away and in surprisingly firm underfoot conditions Elish quickly established a big lead over veteran club mate Annette Kealy in the 3km race.
Kelly won the race to take gold in the U-35 category while Annette was second overall and first in the 0 45 category. The exploits of the two girls left the Raheny women in a strong position in the team event; backed up by excellent performances from Brid Ni Chonaill and Orla Gormley - who was third in the individual 045 category - the Raheny team captured the gold medal for the first time in these championships.
In the 050 individual category Fiona Kirwan was second overall while Bernie Manley was third but unfortunately there wasn't sufficient runners to make up a team. In the 0 65 individual category June Comiskey took the gold medal.
In the men's 6km race Brian Leahy led in the early stages of the four lap race but eventually had to be content with an individual bronze medal. There was a terrific battle for gold with John Dunne (Dunore Harriers) overtaking Paul Fleming (Rathfarnham) in the closing stages to take the win. The standard of racing was exceptional high and despite sterling performance from the home team they finished outside the medals.
Brian Kelly had a terrific battle thoughout the race with Paul Cowhie (Civil Service) for the gold medal in the 0 45 category but in the end Brian had to be content with the silver.
However, the men's 0 50 team created club history by winning silver - their first ever team medal in this category. Tom Loftus ran exceptionally well to lead home his team mates, John Freir, Martin Kelly and Seamus Rooney. Ray McCormack won an individual silver in the 0 65 category to bring his tally of championship medals to a remarkable 18.
This was the third year in a row that the club has hosted these championship; many thanks to St Anne's for providing such a wonderful facility and to the club members who built and later removed the course; stewarded the race and did the catering in Raheny GAA Club.
Eoin Fegan was on camera duty. This is his selection of pictures from the two races: