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.