East Cork Roads 2021:
The 2021 version of the East Cork Roads was held in its traditional venue of Ballynoe. With Covid causing destruction to the normal road racing calendar hopefully these championship road races can gain in popularity again as the focus is fully on the athletics side of competition with true racing the key focus.
Ladies Race 3k:
The ladies race was first up at 7.15pm with 3k and the dreaded Ballynoe hill twice. We had 3 ladies competing with Jen arriving just on time for the start of the race with no warm up, although Donal did bring her for a spin to see the mens start line as he bizarrely thought she might be interested in that!
The race started fast with Norah leading with Jennifer Goggin at the top of the hill for the first time. Jen was tucked in behind a few meters back. As they moved down the hill away form the village the group stretched out with Jena nd Jennifer in pole position as they passed the GAA pitch on the steepest gradient. There was still very little in it at the final right turn but Jennifer Goggin finished a bit stronger to take the win with Jen 2nd a few seconds back in 12.09. Norah battle strong up the last hill to run well over a minute faster than last year in 12.24 for 4th overall. Avril had a solid race and picked off a few on the second lap to finsh 18th in 14.20. As Jen was in the top 3 she gets excluded for the team results so unfortunately we didn't have a team (same as last year, Ladies ye need to sort it out!).
Mens Race 5 MIles:
The mens race had a lot of action early on. Tim and Kevin O'L justified their favourite tags and went to the front from the start and it was no holds barred for the first mile. They bombed through the first mile in 4.40 leaving the rest of the field well behind. Kenneth and Frank did offer some small resistance going through in 4.50 but the race for the win was already over at that stage! Tim and Kevin duked it out for the next lap before Tim showed his mountain running prowess and pulled away on the unrelenting hill to open a gap that he kept to the finish, winning in a convincing time of 25.26. Kevin O'L ran a very solid 26.02 with Frank shaking off Kenneth to finish 3rd in 26.27 (Frank was also the first non vapourflyer home too). Kenneth running the course for the first time was 4th in 26.38 with Kevin O'B and James in 5th and 6th. Graham Swords ran his usual tactically astute race coming through the field for 10th in 28.09. Fergus Meade made his return to racing driving down from Carlow to run an aggressive 28.44 for 14th. He was reliably informed by Denis that this was his first time running the Ballynoe course since 2004.
Chris Kelly thought he was in the 100m Olympic final in the home stretch, giving it everything to make sure he beat old foe John Hennessy. Nick O'Donoghue was just behind for 17th in 28.56. John Spelman who was one of the youngest in the field broke the 31 minute barrier by a second and will no doubt improve dramatically over the next year. Mike Cremin was 32nd in 31.26, Eric rolled back the years looking strong for 39th in 32.52 with newest member Liam Leahy striding home for 40th in 32.55. Denis McCarthy was reliable as always broke the 42 minute barrier yet again for 67th overall.
The men retained the team title again. As Tim and Kevin O'L were in the top three and James was involved in some shady late entry none of them counted for the team, so congratulations Kenneth, Kevin O'B, Graham and Fergus for flying the flag.
Friday 18th: Day 2 of the MTU Track Night this Friday. Entries have closed for this so best of luck to everyone running. There is no timetable out yet but this should be email with start lists shortly.
Tuesday 22nd: East Cork Track and Field - This is on in Carrignavar grass track, same as last year. There is 1500m, 3000m and a 4x300m mixed relay on the night. Eadaoin sent an email for entries for this last week.
Friday 25th-27th: National Senior Track and Field - Entries are now open for this with a provisional timetable on Athletics Ireland website. If you want to race enter directly yourself for the event you want to compete in.
It has been a long winter slog since the last official race back in October 2020. It's hard to believe that when the County Senior XC was cancelled that the next race would be on the track in June, you could tell the change of season as there were many dragonflies buzzing around the track. MTU Athletics held an excellently organised meet on Tuesday evening with seeded 1 mile and 5000m races drawing excellent fields. All credit to Ian O'Sullivan, Craig Harrington and all involved in such a well run professional event.
First up we had our newest member Paul Hartnett race in the A mile race. Paul was showing nicely at the head of the field for the first 3 laps before fading a small bit in the final lap but still came away with a strong 4.29 for his efforts and something to build on for the rest of the summer (once he gets the pesky leaving cert out of the way, which he was starting only 14 hours after his race!). Training partner Frank O'Brien ran the opposite, hanging around surveying at the back of the pack for the first 3 laps before making a bit of a move in the final 200m to get 6th in 4.27.
James Mc was 4th in the B mile in 4.38. Incredibly it was his first track race since 2017 so all in all it could set the tone for a good summer ahead. James will probably note that he was, in fact, first M35 in all the mile races...
Stephen O'Brien renewed rivalries with former teammate Tim Crowley in the C mile. Tim put on a convincing final 400m to take the race out and Stephen was not far behind in 3rd with 4.56. In the D mile Jen raced well to finish 7th in 5.46, it was a close battle with speedster Norah most of the way but she just pulled away in the last 300m. Norah was just behind in 10th with 5.52, an improvement of 18 seconds since her last mile in CIT last August.
It was a battle of the Kevin's in the 5000m race. Both had a solid outings, running well together for most of the race. Kevin O'B pulled away a little bit in the final 2k to finish 7th in 15.41. Kevin O'L was right on his tail (and notable wearing an old pair of Saucony flats) in 15.48.
It was an excellent race to blow a few cobwebs off and there are two more coming up next week. Tuesday, June 15th, we have the East Cork Road Championships in Ballynoe. 5 miles for the men and 3k for ladies with the dreaded hill awaiting all. Next Friday 18th is the MTU Track meet Day 2 with 800m and 3k's on.
National Senior T&F:
On top of this and more importantly the National Senior Track and Field is on June 25th, 26th and 27th. The timetable and entries for this should be made available later this week. As a club this is the gold standard event to be competing at and if anyone wants to race the best in Ireland keep an eye on this page for details soon.
County Novice XC:
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.
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 mean 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.
- County U-23/Novice XC - October 4th, Riverstick
- County Junior and Senior XC - October 11th, Riverstick
- County Masters XC - October 25th, Riverstick
- County Intermediate XC - November 1st, Riverstick
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.
National Junior and Masters Track and Field:
The National Junior and Masters T&F were held last weekend in Morton Stadium in Santry. Sean McGrath was 5th in the M35 category in a SB of 4.24. Frank ran in the juniors the day before and won an individual bronze medal in a 13 second PB of 10.06 for the 3000m S/C. Well done to both. Congrats also to ex East Cork AC member John Hennessy for winning gold in the M50 1500m in an excellent 4.30. Also Joan Hough won a gold medal in the womens F60 1500.
The East Cork Senior and Masters is on Sunday 13th in Conna. Please note there will be a cover charge of €5 per adult and no change is given. There will also be a separate field for parking and warming up to the race field, so please listen to the public speaker announcements in the the lead up to your race for further details. The timetable is below and race times are expected to be run off per this.
If you wish to enter the Senior or Masters please let Eadaoin know by Thursday evening as this is a pre entry only event.
National Junior and Masters:
This weekend is for the young guns and the old codgers.
Frank O'Brien competes in the 3000m S/C on Saturday and Sean McGrath in the M35 1500m on Sunday. I am not sure if this will be live steamed.
Best of luck to both of them as again competing at the National level is where we all should be aiming to test ourselves.
There could be a book written for the number of interesting and obscure records Denis holds. He has added another one to his collection this week by completing his 2,000 race of his glittering career. Fittingly it was at his local GAA club at St Catherines monthly 3k time trial. This is a staggering amount of races, equating to one a week for more than 38 years! Congrats Denis and long may it continue. While the times have slowed somewhat there are still many current challenges that Denis is engaged in. Denis' 3k track PB of 8.33 is a considerable one for any of the current club to try and beat.
Denis also gave a very thorough and engaging interview with Barry Drake on CRY 104FM last week on the history of the East Cork Road Championships. You can listen to it on the link below, it is well worth a listen:
There was white smoke from the Cork County Board during the week. They have given the green light for East Corks to go ahead, These are penciled in for September 13th (Conna) and September 20th (Whites Cross). More detail will be available at the weekend regarding which is Senior and which is Novice. We will be making a big attempt to have competitive teams for men and women for all races.
On top of that Cork Athletics have sanctioned all grades of racing (Novice, Intermediate, Senior and Masters) and will have races every Sunday in October for these. The exact race each day will also be confirmed in the coming weeks.
East Cork would like to welcome Jen Preston who will be a strong new member to our ladies team. Jen is a Ballintotis local and have been one of the most dedicated trainers through out the lockdown. Her transfer was approved this week and will be eligible to run officially for us from October 1st.
National Track and Field and East Galway 5k:
Fiona and soon to be newest member Jen Preston went in th search of PB's with a road trip to Skehana, Galway at the weekend.
A course that was billed as "fast and flat" turned out to be not quite so flat with a spiky hill in the 2nd mile a long drag up the entire final mile. However conditions were good and both Fiona and Jen both ran excellent races to get the PB their training over the summer deserved. Fiona took the win out with a stunning 17.37. A full 15 seconds faster than the CIT track race 2 weeks ago. Jen knocked 3 seconds off her lifetime best in her first race in over 6 months so signs are good leading into cross country that our ladies team will be as competitive as normal. Well done both.
Frank O'Brien donning the Midleton AC vest was representing the division in the National Track and Field. He ran a superb heat to just miss out on the final by 1 place. He was 3rd in 1.58:02 (also another PB). With 200m left to run Frank showed great tactical awareness to be tucked in behind the leader in 2nd position and was ready to strike for home. Unfortunately just in the final 100m a Kildare athlete was able to just pip Frank to the line. That heat was won by the eventual winner Harry Purcell too so in good company.
As things are still very uncertain we are hoping to hear shortly what races are or are not going ahead and in what format. Currently things are hopeful that Senior races will go ahead at County and Munster levels. There is a high possibility that there will be a Novice and Senior East Corks in September too. Any details on this will be sent around by mail and posted here.
East Cork Road Race Championships:
In a very windy and blustery night last Thursday, the 41st East Cork Road Championships were held in the traditional venue of Ballynoe. Kevin O'Leary improved on his 2nd place finish from 2019 to record the victory in a mighty impressive 26.11. Dictating things from the 2nd mile Kevin strung the field out and pushed Paul Hartnett hard until he broke clear and literally didn't look back all the way to the finish line. Paul held on for 2nd, getting bragging rights over his Midleton AC Junior colleague Frank O'Brien in 3rd. Kevin O'Brien ran 27.37 for 4th with the evergreen James (6 time champion) and Sean (5 time champion) in 6th and 7th. Graham Swords completed the team for the men in 13th (the top 3 individuals do not count for the team title) and this was enough to secure the team Gold from Watergrasshill AC). Chris Kelly was next home in 20th with the everpresent Denis McCarthy recording a 5th decade of competing at these championships in 47th.
Fiona took firm hold of the womens race form the off and opened up a clear lead early and kept the pressure on right throughout to record a fine win in 11.22 and tied the course record (also held by Sinead Keavany from 2017). Niamh O'Connor was next home in 11th in 13.33 with Norah just behind in 13th and 13.45. As Fiona was in the top 3 we unfortunately were one short for a team. Hopefully our lesson will be learnt from this and it doesn't happen at this years cross country races.
Winter Training 2020:
Winter training starts again Tuesday 25th August. Due to government restrictions on training group sizes we will train in Walchtown Woods at 6pm on Tuesdays and 10am on Saturdays for the next few weeks as this will better able us to manage numbers etc.
CIT Track Night:
The inaugural CIT Athletics Track night was held on Monday night. It is a model that should be embraced and adopted going forward. There were five paced 5k races, three paced mile races and five 400ms too. A middle distance playground! A lot of credit should be given to the organisers, especially Craig Harrington and Ian O'Sullivan on a wonderfully well run and organised event.
Stephen racing in his 5th race in 2 weeks ran in the mile and recorded his first every sub 5 minute mile and by a considerable way. In a big last 200m where he passed out three athletes he finished in 9th overall in the "A" Mile in 4.49.
Norah also ran in the mile race and went off strong in 83 seconds to open the first lap. She was just outside her target but finished with a decent 6.10 for 7th.
Nicky continued his comeback in the "B" 5k and ran a solid race to clock 16.55. Fiona ran the "C" mile and got a 6 second PB for her efforts along with being the first woman home. She ran 17.52. Michelle and Eadaoin ran the "D" Mile and Michelle also clipped under 20 for the first time with a new PB of 19.52. Eadaoin who has been eyeing cross country for the last few weeks rounded out her season in 20.58. Annelise rounded up the East Cork athletes for the night with a 22.16 in the final 5k. Well done to all for competing.
Frank and Jack both ran the 400m race too in preparation for the National Seniors in the next few weeks. Frank had a big breakthrough clocking 52.67 with Jack close behind in 53.74.
The East Cork Road championships are being held in the traditional venue of Ballynoe Thursday August 20th. If you would like to be entered please let Liam know in advance as there are no entries on the night. The race is 3k for ladies (7.30pm start) and 5 miles for men (7.35pm) with "The Hill" waiting for all. €5 entry to be paid on the night with no change given.
Fermoy Invitational and Leevale Track Meet:
It's been a long spell since the weekend in March when Norah ran the Irish XC Intervarsities and Sean came 4th in the M35 3,000m indoors.
Starting back with Fermoy Invitational on July 26th, Fiona with a springy new pair of shoes ran a PB of 23.22 coming 6th lady overall in a highly competitive field.
Leevale AC held a track and Field meet over two days and got glorious weather. Fiona and Michelle toed the line in the 3,000m. Fiona had a tight battle with long time rival Aisling Kelly of St Johns but showed her strength in the last 600m to push on to a 10.24. Michelle set her target to break 12 mins and showed super finishing speed to close her last km out in 3.45 for an 11.43 and 11th overall.
In the mens 3000m we had Stephen O'Brien flying the flag for the club and he ran an excellent race against the evergreen Michael Harrington from Durrus and just pipped him in the last 50 meters to clock 9.38. John Spellman also ran in this race and finihed in 9.48.
Also on the night Jack O'Shea ran an excellent 1:57 with Frank O'Brien just behind in 1:58.
East Cork Track and Field - Day 1:
A lot of credit must go to the East Cork Board and hosting club Carrignavar for organising a very successful and enjoyable two nights of racing.
On Day 1 it was all about the 3,000m. In the womens race, Eadaoin O'Neill showed good form on the grass track to clock a SB of 12.10 and take a Senior Silver medal home. Norah was close behind for the bronze medal in 12.37. Annalise had her first official run for the club and with limited training ran 13.19.
In the mens race Stephen O'Brien led the club home finishing in 3rd overall and 2nd senior so a nice silver medal to add to his ever growing collection. Stephen clocked 10.08 in a very tactical race. Nick O'Donoghue running his first track race in nearly 15 years and his first race in 2.5 years showed a lot of grit to battle into 4th overall and 3rd senior only .5 seconds behind Stephen in the end. Promising signs for the season to come. Tim Mahony was 2nd M35 in 11.01 and Denis was also in the masters race and ran 14.04. Frank O'Brien won the race in 9.49 with an impressive kick over the final laps.
East Cork Track and Field - Day 2:
Things were a bit shorter and sharper on Day 2 with 600m and 1500m being the order of the day. Fiona, Norah and Niamh all took to the start line in the rarely run 600m and all gave a good account of themselves. Fiona ran 1.51 (which is a sub 5 min mile average), Niamh was not far behind after really giving the first 300m a good rattle in 2.01. Norah who has been probably the most consistent trainer all summer came in 2.06. With a break and a fresh build up to cross country she will be one to watch this season coming.
The 1500m thenn was held 45 minutes later and again Fiona toed the line, this time a little more comfortable at the more familiar 1500m distance and new aerodynamic crop top. She comfortably held off Jennifer Goggin Walsh in 5.05 to take our only Gold medal of the Championships. Eadaoin had a ding dong battle for 3rd with Katie Walsh and Nessa Wheeler of Carrignavar the whole way round. Going into the final 300m lap Eadaoin held a slender lead but things were ominous as the two speed specialists were able to kick quite hard around the last bend to take 3rd and 4th with Eadaoin settling for 5th in 5.40. Annalise had another good outing with a sub 6min clocking (just) of 5.59.
It was a similar story in the mens. Stepehn O'Brien ran an excellent 1.35 for another bronze medal. Frank O'Brien won the race in 1.30 with Joesph Daly in 2nd.
In the 1500m Stephen lead the field off, not interested in a pedestrian tactical race like the prior weeks 3000m. The pace was not hard enough to string the field out quite enough and when moves started happening with 3 laps to go Stephen got dropped to the back end of the group and looked like his day was done. But showing a lot of mental strength he clawed his way back through the pack and somehow managed to pick of 3 people in the final 100m (including training partners John and Nick!) to get up for 4th overall and 3rd senior. Frank O'Brien was the main protagonist again when it came to the final dust up. He opened a healthy lead with 250m to go and held it for the win in 4.32. Sean McGrath made a valiant attempt to go with Frank but the extra speed of the youth was the difference. Sean finished 3rd over all in 4.35 and 2nd senior. Again Nick ran another promising race and was in the hunt for East Cork glory right to the end. He finished in 6th with a new PB of 4.40 (on a wet grass track - so plenty more to come). Tim Mahony was 4th overall in the Masters race afterwards and 2nd in the M35 category in 5.00. Denis was 8th in 6.22.
The East Cork Road championships are being held in the traditional venue of Ballynoe Thursday August 20th. If you would like to be entered please let Liam know in advance as there are no entries on the night. The race is 3k for ladies (7.30pm start) and 5 miles for men (7.35pm) with "The Hill" waiting for all. €5 entry to be paid on the night with no change given.
It had seemed that this newsletter was on the missing list but gratefully it has been donated from an anonymous source .
While there is no athletics actually happening this is an interesting read for anyone cocooning:
- Illegal racing in Carrigaline (this is almost as bad as wearing Vaporflys)
- East Cork AC athletes laughing and joking before the East Cork XC Champs
- Club Captains for the 1987 year were Denis McCarthy and Eileen Prunty
- Liam offered advice and training programs and was "quiet happy" to do it.
We had two racing at the weekend. Sean was 4th in the National Masters 3000m in 9.27. Sean had been out sick for the two weeks prior. If he matched his time from the Munsters before he was sick he would of come home with the silver medal. It is great to have representation at all national level races. Well done Sean. Norah was flying the UL colours in the Irish University Championships in The Farm. Norah finished 53rd in a strong field over 5k cross country.
The new batch of club singlets have arrived. If you recently got a singlet that perhaps is not the right size can you let Liam know as he will have them at training. If you paid for your singlet then you can swap for a new one. If you received a singlet and did not pay then it will be €20 to swap to cover the cost.
Munster Road Championship
We had 10 racing in Dungarvan last Sunday in the Munster Road Championships. Last year we took away 12 Gold medals, this year just one.
The mens races was fast and furious from the start with the first mile scorched through in 4.40 by the leaders. Kevin was first home for the team in 9th overall in 20.21 with Tim not too far back in 13th, despite not having the best build up to the race. Donal cemented his place on the team with his first sub 22 minute performance, clocking 21.58 for 33rd. Stephen and Niall Murphy had a good old fashioned scrap for the 4th and final spot on the team with Stephen showing his County Masters 1500m winning form from last summer to grab 43rd spot in 22.20. Niall was just behind in 46th. This was good enough for bronze medals in the team event, with Leevale winning comfortably and West Waterford AC in 2nd. Denis was 14th in the M55 category.
In the womens race Fiona had the race of the day finishing 2nd overall in the womens Senior race in 23.45. Eadaoin was next home for the Senior women in 27th with Lorna and Norah having a close battle in 38th and 39th.
Kevin scored on the Cork Senior Gold winning team, complimenting the 5 Leevale athletes in front of him. Donal helped the Cork M35 team to Silver and Fiona was the leading scorer on the Cork Womens Senior silver winning team.
The results still are not fully accurate on Munster Athletics with "ERROR Duplicate Competitor" (aka Anthony Mannix) still appearing as 5th in the race but this will not effect any medal results.
National Masters Indoors - We have Tim Crowely and Sean McGrsth entered in the M35 3000m on Sunday. Best of luck to both!
County Novice and Masters -Eadaoin is taking entries for the Country Roads Novice and Masters on Paddys Day at the moment. You should of received an email with details, if not please let her know to add you to the mailing list (email@example.com)
Munster Roads 2020:
The Munster Roads are taking place this Sunday in Dungarvan. The start time on Munster athletics says 12pm so the assumption is that is when the women will take to the line and the men should be shortly after approx 12.30.
We have Senior and Novice teams entered in both along with a mens master team in the O35 category. Interestingly Donal will be running all categories, great recent form has him promoted to the Senior ranks.
Fiona will be out to defend her title from last year, which she won comprehensibly in horrendous conditions in Dundrum. Tim will be running his first race since November but has pedigree in this race finishing 2nd last year overall. Our Senior mens team will also be looking to defend their title from 2019.
It is great to see some of the "new blood" out in force in the teams too. Donal, Niall, Stephen, Norah and Denis all will be looking to make an impact. See full teams below.
Old Newsletter - March 1987:
The 6th edition was released in March 1987 and has the below highlights:
- East Cork Novice Cup Champiosn: Frank Cashman, John Walsh, Brendan Foley and Jim Curtin.
- Munster Cross Country Senior winners for the very first time with Liam in tied first place with Tommy Maloney, although he might tell you a different story. Eileen Prunty was 2nd overall in the womens Senior race.
- National Intermediate Cross Country. We finished 3rd team in a field of over 200 runners. Bryan Meade (who had been cruising 1k intervals at 2.50's in training at the time) was 10th, Texan Gerry Wallis was 15th, the evergreen Denis McCarthy was 31st and Seamus Hartnett 59th.
National Masters - Feb 8th
Congrats to Sean and Phil McGrath who both won bronze medals with the Cork teams at the National Masters in Avondale, Wicklow. Sean was 30th overall and 12th M35, while Phil was 18th M65. Congrats to both keeping the club colours flying at National level.
Munster Indoors - Feb 15th:
Sean lined up for two more races then last weekend. Racing in the Munster Indoors 3k and 1500m. Tim Crowley also stretched his legs out and used it as a distraction from the prolonged contract negotiations. Unfortunately Munster Athletics don't have results up yet (And no you are no re reading 2019's report) but we do know Sean was 2nd overall in the 3k in 9.06, just behind Eric Curran. Tim opened his season with a 10.04. Sean also raced on Sunday and ran 4.37. Further details of positions to follow.
Michelle braved the windy weather for the Janson 6k on Sunday February 8th. She ran 25.19 to kick off what promises to be a big 2020 for her going on 2019 form.
Cloyne also braved the elements a week later on 15th February and got luckly with a small gap in the weather for the race. Kevin O'Brien continued East Corks streak of 1st place in the race with a 12.43. Graham Swords who is only just off a 4 week stint at sea ran a great 13.24 for 4th. Chris Kelly and Stephen O'Brien had a great battle for 9th with Chris winning out in 13.42 and Stephen, in his first race since July 2019, in 13.48. Conor Tierney ran 15.36 for 30th with Eric, just after his winter break, 9 seconds behind in 15.45. Denis rounded up our interest in the race with 48th overall in 17.12.
The Munster Road 4 Mile Championships are on March 1st in Dungarvan. We are looking to fill a Senior, Novice and Master teams so if you are racing please let Eadaoin know asap.
We had 8 athletes that traveled down to Dungarvan for their annual 10 mile race. With Ballycotton having ceased trading, Dungarvan is the new "must do" 10 race in Spring.
Kenneth was our first man home in a huge PB of 53.26. In a controlled tactical masterclass Kenneth paced himself expertly through 6 miles and picked up the final 4 for 18th overall. Kevin O'Brien was in 7th with 3 miles to go but faded to 19th position (53.31), finishing in an East Cork Vaporfly sandwich 5 seconds behind Kenneth and Kevin O'Leary 20th in 53.33. Kevin O'L made a brave attempt to go with the 51 minute group but was stranded in the windy straight section from mile 3-5.5, he rallied well in the last few miles to close strongly. Donal broke the 60 minute barrier for the first time and broke it convincingly by 91 seconds for 75th overall.
Fiona was our first lady home and 3rd overall in a new PB of 60.16. In such windy conditions a sub 60 is most certainly in Fionas grasp. Watch this space! Caitriona had a break through race, showing that training for a wedding is up there with training for an Olympics in terms of motivation. She ran a superb 69.55. She must of made a pact with the devil though as her feet were so battered afterwards poor Cats could not even walk a step! Great to see that level of commitment! Eadaoin finished in 73.42 but suffered a bad patch in the middle section so hopefully she will rebound well. Paul Crotty also broke 60 minutes for the first time, clocking 59.57 (although you might not see his name in the results!).
Overall our men finished 2nd team by 6 seconds to Crusaders AC.
As it seems to the a main topic of conversation everywhere, the Vaporfly shoes where very visible among all finishers. Fiona was the only person of the 6 podium finishers (male and female) not to be wearing Nike Vaporflys. For the men everybody in the top 15 was wearing them and only 2 in the top 30 were not. Times were still not very special apart in the top 10 or so with no real noticeable difference from previous years. However if you push further back the field the depth seems to have improved dramatically. 56.30 to 58.30 would have got you 30th before but at the weekend you would have had to go 2 minutes faster (54.30) for a top 30. The course record was broken by the first two men and also by the leading lady, all who have ran this race multiple times before all were sporting the shoes.
Old Club Newsletter - 4th Edition:
33 years ago this month the 4th edition of hte East Cork AC news letter was typed up. Some interesting points:
- "If things don't change they stay the same" Our current crop of ladies (Fiona, Michelle, Eadaoin and Lorna)came 2nd to Leevale in the county seniors this year in Carrigadrohid. Back in 1986 our ladies team of Eileen Prunty, Marian Doyle, Mary Joyce Curtin and Helen Casey also came second to the same opposition!
- Luckily we have another batch of singlets on the way at the moment. The club had a run in with the East Cork board regarding not wearing the correct singlets. The club certainly had a bunch of renegades back in the day.
- National Intercounties were held in UCC Farm. A pity that this is to ripped up soon with no replacement forthcoming. On that day though Liam had an excellent run for 11th, with Bryan Meade, Donnacha and Denis also running and scoring on the Cork team that were 5th overall. Eileen Prunty was our top lady in 18th place.
On a bright, crisp winters morning in ideal conditions for racing we had 12 toe the line for the big race of the weekend. Santa must of raided a sweat shop in Asia on his way around the world last month, there were many new shiny racers reflecting in the sunshine. The question still remains if the extra spring in the step is offset by a heavy heart or guilty conscious.
Kevin O'Leary turned the screw on his competition for the overall series win by putting down a dominant display and running a PB of 12.28. Kenneth ran 25 seconds faster than the first race in November to record 12.37 for 2nd. Donal Giltinan continued his good form to finish 4th in a tight battle with Chris Kelly. Donal ran 13.21 and Chris 13.22. Just behind Tim Crowley and Niall Murphy had a similar duel with Tim kicking hard in the last 300m to get past Niall and finish with 13.30.
Fiona had a mini breakthrough, slashing over 30 seconds off her best time from last year with a convincing win in 14.02. Martin and Conor were 39th and 43rd respectively and both smashed the 16 min barrier. Eadaoin also had a great run with 16.01, although a sprint finish like the Munster Seniors might have seen her take out Midleton AC rival Eileen Leahy and break the 16 min barrier in the process! Caitriona Santry looked dead and buried with 300m to go but the competitive instinct took over when coming around the last corner Denis was spotted and she took off like a bride down the isle to pip him by one second.
Unfortunately we heard some very sad news over the weekend. The immense Mary Meagher, who was involved with every aspect of Cork athletics sadly passed away. Mary was ever present for us all from cross country to track to national events, she was always giving a helping hand or leading from the front and she will be sorely missed. All at East Cork AC would like to wish our deepest condolences to all Marys family at this time. She will be long remembered.
A few got out and about for some racing over Christmas. Norah ran the Goal Mile on Christmas day in 6.30. Tim Crowley, Jonathon Finn and Caitriona Santry ran in Belgooly on St Stephens Day. Also on St Stephens Day Sean went to Farrenfore for their annual 5k. In Togher it was an O'Brien family affair with Norah, Claire and Frank all togging out to run off the Christmas chocolates and biscuits with Chris Kelly also toeing the line.
The first race of the 2020 was the BHAA cross country event in Blackrock. Sean McGrath kicked his year off in style with the win with the ever improving Caitriona finishing 6th lady. Kenneth continued on the BHAA podium streak with a brillaint 3rd in 16.19 on Sunday 12th.
Locally Cloyne 4k is on Sunday 19th, there sounds like there will be a large club turn out at this one.
After this there will be National Intermediates and Masters, Dungarvan 10 Mile, Indoors coming up in next few weeks. Stay tuned for further details on dates.
Old Club Newsletter - 3rd Edition:
The 3rd installment of the club newsletter is now on the website. It has some details of club records at the time, along with road performances listings for Marathon, half marathon, 10 miles, 5 miles and 10km.
Club Captain at the time Denis seemed non too interested in compiling listings for the ladies club. This can be brought up with him at training over Christmas.
To save the club from falling into a media storm of sexist allegations there is fittingly a nice members profile of Mary Joyce Curtin, whos daughter Joyce just recently improved the clubs marathon record to 2.46.
Season Bests 2019:
A compilation of the club season best times as of December 23rd are now below. Congratulations if you got your name on this esteemed list. If not get your head down to some training over Christmas and the New Year and stay off the mince pies!
The National Novice XC was held in Cow Park, Dunboyne, Co Meath on Sunday. We had 10 athletes competing and had two full mens and womens teams. While it was cold and mucky, the sun did shine on the bumper fields, there were 216 finishers in the mens 6000m race and 134 in the womens 4000m race.
Shane lead the men home with a storming second half of the race to pip the current East Cork Novice champion Donal by 1 second and 1 place! Donal in his first National XC was pleased with his performance and enjoyed the mucky conditions. Next home with a good run was Jonathon and Tim just behind. This got the lads 18th team out of 26.
Michelle improved 53 places from her 93rd in Navan in 2018 to finish a very credible 40th in the womens race. In a fast and furious 4000m Michelle positioned herself well in the opening 1000m lap and held her position before unleashing a great sprint to pass a few rivals in the last 150 meters. Eadaoin held off a large chasing group in the last lap to finish in 68th position and to be second East Cork scorer. Caitriona must of had ice in her veins as she produced a devastating clinical finishing kick, moving from outside the top 100 to 96th in the closing stretch. Norah finished off her first Senior year with East Cork with another good run, finishing 106th just ahead of another fast finishing Santry, Lorna, in 110th. Eibhlin, despite being in crutches during the week, bravely battled for the entire race and was rewarded with another National Novice XC race to her credit. The girls were 16th out of 20 teams.
Cloyne Commons 4k:
Club Captain Kevin had a spring in his step on Sunday morning, taking out the 2nd Cloyne Commons 4k of the series with a swift 12.42. This secures him the fast 4k of the year on Cork soil. Chris Kelly, just back from a few weeks out sick, was 5ht overall in 13.44. Martin Hennessy and Conor Tierney had a close battle finishing 30th and 31st with only seconds separating them. Denis ran 17.17 then for 62nd overall.
We had nobody competing in the European Cross Country in Lisbon on Sunday so all roads and rain showers lead to Ballinahina, Whites Cross instead.
There were early Christmas presents for Donal and Michelle in the form of big East Cork trophies. Both were convincing winners in the mens and womens Novice races and in the process both won their first race of the year. Donal made light of the very bad hail and powered to a unassailable lead over Chris Kelly and Niall Murphy. The course was well set up and had some jumps in the mix to make it even more interesting. Chris was 2nd, holding off the fast finishing Niall for an East Cork AC clean sweep of the podium positions. Unfortunately we didn't have one more to have a team.
Michelle after running her first Senior XC two weeks back is full of confidence and despite doing a full hills session on Saturday still had plenty in the tank to take the womens race out in style. She now becomes the second ever women to win the Emer Casey Novice Womens Trophy. Caitriona had another good run to edge out Lorna once again. Caitriona was 6th, Lorna 7th and Eibhlin 8th. The ladies missed out on the team title to Carrignavar by 1 point, the final tally was 21 v 22.
There also was some of the juvenile members of the training squad competing too. John Spellman followed up his Cork schools win on Thursday by winning the U-17 race and it was great to see Paul Hartnett back racing after a long spell out injured, finishing 2nd in the U-19 race.
National Novice XC:
The next big race is coming up this weekend. By far the most exciting XC on the calendar, the National Novice never fails to entertain. Big numbers, short distance and it is fast and furious from the start. Hopefully we should have a team present in the both the mens and womens races. It is on in Cow Park, Dunboyne, Meath on Sunday. Best of luck to all racing.
Christmas Dinner Social:
This is on Thursday week Dec 19th at 7.30pm in Midleton Park Hotel. If you are attending please confirm with Lorna.
A quite weekend on the racing front. The Munster Intermediates were on in Tipperary but I think most people have cross county overload at this stage of the year with races thick and fast (not in all cases) most weekends since September.
On the roads Niall Murphy did run the CRYS Jingle Bell 5k in Carlow and ran 17.13 for 5th overall. Great to see Niall back competing again after injury. He could be a key component to our National Novice Cross Country team in 2 weeks in Meath.
The second edition of the club newletter is now available in the "Old Club Newsletter" section. It highlights the focus of the club to compete in National Senior championships with 7 athletes competing at the National T&F and coming home with a two gold medals and a bronze! You can read the small paragraph dedicated to this yourself for further information!
There is an interesting section on the clubs founding philosophy in the newsletter. One great turn of phrase "parish pump attitudes" is used.
Club Christmas Dinner - Midleton Park Hotel, December 19th 7.30pm:
If you would like to attend and have not responded to Lorna (firstname.lastname@example.org) yet, can you please let her know if you are attending by the end of the week.
Flashback to 1986 - Club Newletter Archive:
Like top secret government documents that are unclassified after 30 years for public consumption we have our own bit of history now digitalised. The very first club newsletter that was created on a typewriter by Fr Liam O'Brien gives a great insight to the foundation of the club and the happenings during the first season. Some interesting takeaways:
- We were promoted to 2nd in the National Road Relays due to a disqualification.
- We were 6th in the National Intermediate XC in Navan.
- We made a profit of £250 in the first Castlemartyr 4 mile race (This money is still sitting in the account unused!)
- Denis won his first Senior Championship race!
- The much anticipated East Cork Social cost £5-£6
- National Leagues teams were entered for both men and women.
If you want to read the full newsletter it is saved in the "Old Club Newsletter" section at the top of the page.