Donore’s Barbara Cleary.

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Donore’s Barbara Cleary. Photo: Sportsfile
Donore’s Barbara Cleary.

Photo: Sportsfile

Last year, a large 400 turned out for its Dublin Master’s Cross-Country Championships and a similar entry is likely on Sunday, making it likely the biggest cross-country race in the country.

The venue, as always, is St Anne’s Park Raheny (1.0), in which the women will run 3km and the guys double that.

Predicting the eventual winners is never simple, since athletes move throughout the age classes every year and also injured athletes may disappear for long periods.

Last year, women’s winner, Barbara Cleary of Donore, for example, has barely raced since finishing third in the National Masters last February. Nor has men’s winner John Dunne of Raheny been racing much recently.

But, Ian Conroy of Raheny Shamrock, next this past year and fourth at the National Pros a month later, established his present good form when completing third with spouse Killian Mooney in the annual Castlereagh Christmas Cracker pairs race in Down last weekend.

Crusaders will be the defending W35 champions.

One of those moving into a new era group is Annette Kealy of host club Raheny Shamrock, who finished fifth overall this past year and will surely lead her club to over-50 group victory. Another person worth watching is that Shane Healy of MSB.

Of those men’s teams, Rathfarnham WSAF were on target for team gold last year when key team member Shane O’Neill pulled up injured, ending their title hopes.

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