The County Novice and U23 XC was held in Riverstick on Sunday October 4th under very tight organised Covid restrictions. The event ran exactly as advertised and all credit has to go to all involved in the organising the event in testing circumstances. Interestingly this was the first county championship of the year. Spoiler: The girls report goes first as they were the only ones who won medals.
There was a big battle to be the number 1 East Cork Novice lady. Michelle and Jen have been training together all summer and this was the first of hopefully many battles to come. Jen went off confidently. With her great news from the day before she probably thought this was her extra lucky weekend. Unfortunately cross country doesn't work like that and after 2 laps the pain started. Michelle, who had no intention of trying to better her 3rd from last year, was hot on the heels of Jen to this point. Success was defined as beating her clubmate. While this duel was developing Annelise, Norah and Lorna served up another delightful battle. This time it was Annelise who was laying down the law in the middle section of the race. Avril Crowley, Eibhlin Cleary and Lavinia Swords were all having fine races just behind the girls. Coming into the final stretch, which was cruelly up a long hill Emily Knox of Leevale took the title in a convincing performance. Not far behind Michelle appeared in 4th with a sly smile/grimace on her face, a quick glance over her shoulder confirmed she had got what she came for - 8 seconds behind her was Jen, finishing her 1st official race for the club in 5th place. Annelise kept the pace going in the closing stages and stayed ahead of Norah and Lorna in convincing fashion. The girls finished in 18th, 20th and 22nd. Norah also was 3rd U-23 and also our only individual medal winner on the day. It is great when age is on your side. Avril had another great finish and was 29th with Eibhlin in 47th and Lavinia in 55th. This was good enough for 3rd team overall and agonisingly only 1 point off Leevale who came 2nd. St Finbarrs won the title.
The mens race was the talk of the place leading up to Sunday with a bumper 160 entrants. With a few not turning up and also a few who found the going not quite to their taste there ended up being 112 finishers, still a massive field for a county mens race.
Our leading man was again Stephen O'Brien, although he must be starting to get worried as Nicky with a block of uninterrupted training behind him has closed the gap dramatically since they last raced in the East Cork Seniors. To be fair both executed the race very well moving from about 14th and 15th positions at halfway to 9th and 10th at the finish. Stephen went for a lie down straight after to contemplate how the race went, while Nicky went in search of the elusive woods to warm down in. Further back Graham Swords and Chris Kelly had a great battle for 3rd spot on the team. At halfway Graham looked like he had done enough to keep Chris at bay but there was no die in this dog on this day. Chris had a monster last kilometer and overhauled about 5 people to get to 21st place with Graham 5 seconds behind in 24th. Paul Crotty suffered a bit after a hot first couple of km and finished in 41st. Tim Mahony was next in 55th and Chris McGrath cracked the top 100 with 95th place, if it was the Ballycotton 10 there would of been a tshirt for them all.
This got the men 5th team overall and heartbreakingly one behind Midleton AC. It was a great battle between the two clubs. Midleton were lead by Frank O'Brien who won the race overall and set a record the time for someone crossing the finish line and driving out the gate almost immediately after. It really was an impressive get away. If Michael Guineys doesn't work out and Liam knows how to operate an JCB then there could be a career in robbing ATM's up the North for the father son duo.
Unfortunately now with Level 3 restrictions all races are on ice until further notice. At best there might be some in November but that remains to be seen. The silver lining is training can go ahead as "normal" in the pod system so that will continue until we hear otherwise.
East Cork Novice XC - Whites Cross Sep 20th, 2020
The East Cork Novice XC was hosted by Carrig na bhFear in Whites Cross on Sunday. We had 11 athletes competing on a warm balmy day. Both our mens and womens teams won silver medals. Our men just out scored the women 33 points to 35 points, so well done to the lads!
Stephen O'Brien headed up our team with a very impressive 4th overall. Stephen was positioned in 7th after the first lap but came through well to overtake a number of athletes and finished just 13 seconds behind race winner Frank O'Brien of Midleton AC. Stephen was also 4th master last week so he will need to work on that killer instinct for the rest of the winter. Perhaps some one on one sessions to learn the dark arts with Sean McGrath will do the trick. Graham Swords was next home for us in 8th. Graham also ran through the field strongly and pipped Chris Kelly on the last lap. Chris still regaining fitness from injury and a summer of triathlon had a very combative race to finish 9th with Paul Crotty keeping a very close eye on the lads just behind in 12th. Chris McGrath had another good run, especially after an exceptionally hilly long run on Friday evening, finishing 38th.
As mentioned above this was good for silver medal. With the gold going to Midleton AC.
The ladies race was a mix between Junior and Novice. Lucy O'Keeffe ran away from the field to be first Junior. Then it was a very close battle for the first Novice, with 400m specialist Katie Walsh taking the glory with a strong last lap. Our first athlete home was Norah O'Brien. She had a brainstorming sprint finish over the last 300m to pip Lorna just before the line for 7th. Annelise Hutch was just behind the girls in 9th. These three have had some good battles the last few weeks so hopefully that extra edge will help them all have a great cross country season as we move into the counties stage in October. Avril Crowley, the sister of club greats Eric and Brian Meade, made her club debut and had an excellent run finishing 11th overall and helped secure the silver medal for the ladies. Eibhlin Cleary gained revenge on Lavinia from the East Cork Seniors last week and finished 21st with Lavinia in 25th. Well done all.
Winter XC Fixtures:
2020: October: - County U23/Novice XC - October 4th, Riverstick - County Junior and Senior XC - October 11th, Riverstick - Munster Novice XC - October 18th, Two Mile Borris, Tipperary - County Masters XC - October 25th, Riverstick
November: - County Intermediate XC - November 1st, Riverstick - Munster Senior XC - November 8th, Clarecastle, Co Clare - National Senior XC - November 22th, Santry, Co Dublin - Munster Intermediate and Masters XC - November 29th, Riverstick
December: - National Novice XC - December 6th, Gowran, Co Killkenny
East Cork Senior and Masters XC - Conna Sep 13th, 2020
Mens Races: In one of the more anticipated East Corks of recent years we had a bumper turnout of 19 athletes competing in Frank Hayes fields in Conna on Sunday.
Kevin O'Brien won the 6k mens race in 20.55. In doing so he gain revenge on Midleton AC Junior Paul Hartnett from the East Cork Roads last month. Kevin last won this race 14 years ago in 2006 as a Junior running for Glenbower AC. Paul Hartnett was 2nd overall in 21.16 with Sean McGrath just squeezing 3rd in a titanic sprint finish with Tony Forristal. This also secured Sean the M35 Gold. James McCarthy on the comeback trail, and his first ever Masters race, ran a solid 5th (Silver M35). Team man supreme Kenneth Kelliher completed the Gold medal Senior mens team in 6th place in 21.59 (Bronze M35). Interesting fact: this was Sean's 13th East Cork XC team gold!
Next in line was the ever improving Stephen O'Brien, who in the end was agonisingly close to getting on the Senior team. He paced himself well and came through the field to finish just 2 seconds behind Kenneth for 7th overall. Stephen did get himself on the very competitive M35 team with Sean, James and Kenneth to claim the Masters title.
Nick O'Donoghue who was running his first cross country race in over 2 and a half years had another fine run to finish 9th, one ahead of Brian Harty who pushed very hard the first 2 laps. This was Brians first race since the County Masters in November last year so this race will go along way to getting race fit again.
Graham Swords was next home in 12th and Tim Mahony (aka "Coach Tim") 24th. Next we had two making their club debuts Mike Cremin was 26th and Chris McGrath was 46th. Then switching from new members to the longest standing member of the club still active we had Denis McCarthy finishing in 55th. Interesting Denis wore the number 0, which might be a first in Irish athletics history! This must of been a private tribute and personal touching gesture from training partner Liam (who assigned the numbers).
Fiona made it 5 East Cork Golds in a row on Sunday with another dominating performance from start to finish. Jen Preston was next in line in 5th overall but does not count for the team until October due to transfer rules. Then we had a trio battling it out in Norah, Annelise and Lorna finishing in 14th, 15th and 16th. Lavinia had a great run to pip Eibhlin to the line in 31st. Eibhlin, who is only just making her racing comeback will get stronger as the season goes on, was 32nd.
The girls team was 3rd overall. If Jen was eligible then it would of been gold! Well done all.
Next Sunday is the East Cork Novice in Whites Cross. The womens race is at 2.15pm and the mens race is at 2.45pm. If you want to enter this please email Eadaoin by Thursday.
Munster and National Medals - A compilation by James McCarthy and Denis McCarthy
James and Denis have spent a lot of time and effort compiling results from Munster and National championships from the start of time (well 1986). It is very well put together and shows the success the club has had over the years. Thanks to both for this. It might be a trip down memory lane for some people or a source of inspiration to others!
There are one of two gaps that perhaps you might be able to help with. Mainly these are:
- 1989: National Road Relays 3rd team - Missing 3 members of the team. - 1991: Intermediate Cross Country 2nd team - Missing one member of the scoring team. - 1996: Munster Cross Country Junior Men 3rd team - All missing! - 2000: Munster Cross Country Junior Men 3rd team - 2 missing
One wonders if we will have a junior mens or womens team compete again in the near future..
The file can be downloaded below and is also saved in the Club Records section.
2020: October: - County U-23/Novice XC - October 4th, Riverstick - County Junior and Senior XC - October 11th, Riverstick - Munster Novice XC - October 18th, Two Mile Borris, Tipperary - County Masters XC - October 25th, Riverstick
November: - County Intermediate XC - November 1st, Riverstick - Munster Senior XC - November 8th, Clarecastle, Co Clare - National Senior XC - November 24th, Santry, Co Dublin - Munster Intermediate and Masters XC - November 29th, Riverstick
December: - National Novice XC - December 6th, Gowran, Co Killkenny