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.