*NEW CLUB RECORD*
In a very rare occurrence at the weekend one of the long standing club records was broken. Tim ran a superb debut marathon in Dublin coming 18th overall and 8th Irish finisher and smashed the former record of John Kearney by 5 mins which was set in Mallow in 1996. Tim ran 2.21.02.
His splits were 69.16 through the first half and 71.45 home despite suffering a bit (in his own words) in the closing miles . Tim was in a group with some experienced 2.20 guys for the opening miles but found the going too slow so pushed on up the road passing 10 miles in about 52.45 minutes. Closing in on the half way point Tim was in a great position about 30 seconds behind 4 time national winner Sergio Ciobanu and current national half marathon champion David Flynn. Passing through the half way mark in 69.18 was a little bit faster than the pre-race plan but the legs were feeling good and the race was on. Tim maintained this pace for another 10-15km and closed right up to David Flynn after the 30km mark. The hot early pace did finally catch up in the legs over the last 3 miles and the pace dropped a little but still held everything together to finish with an overall average of 5.23 a mile. Which in other terms is eight 5ks back to back in 16.43 plus another 2km, or 105 x 400 in 80 seconds with no recovery!
Graham Swords also ran an excellent race in 2.40:55 going a few minutes faster than his last outing in Cork and Lavinia ran a massive 20 PB with 4.47:47. Great to see all the training paying off.
Kevin O'Leary also ran an amazing marathon debut running 2.27:48 in Frankfurt for 53rd overall. To put this time into context Kevin only broke 60 mins for the first time last year in a 10 mile race and now has catapulted himself to running a full 26.2 miles in 5.37 average. This is back to back 56.23's for 10 miles and finishing it off with a 35 minute 10km!
Kevin ran a negative split race going through the first half in 74.16 and the second in 73.33. Interestingly Kevin's last 7km was the fastest portion of his race (from 35km to 40km he ran 17.06, this alone would podium in many 5km road races around Cork on a summers evening).
Consistent dedicated training is very much paying off. Also this was Kevins 33rd race of the year. Congrats Kevin
Cork Intermediate XC:
Well done to Shane Harrington with a battling 4th in the Cork Intermediate XC in Conna on Bank holiday Monday. Shane was head to head with training squad member Dave O'Connor from St Catherines for the majority of the race but Dave just pulled ahead in the closing sprint.
The ladies team was unlucky to be one short for a team. With Lavinia in Dublin, Lorna working and Niamh injured we would of had a great chance of a top 2 position if all were running. None the less Eadaoin had a solid run to finish 8th with Michelle hot on her heals in 9th and Eibhlin packing well in 14th. Well done all, it was not an ideal day for a race at the tail end of a bank holiday but great to see 3 in the top 10 in both races.
Irish Master Selections:
The highest honour in any sport is to represent your country and today East Cork AC has four men selected to wear the Irish singlet in Swansea next month in the British and Irish Masters XC. Sean McGrath and Michael Harty have been picked in a strong M-35 team. Frank Hayes is a reserve in the M-45's and Phl McGrath is a reserve in the M-65's. A huge congratulation to all of you from the club. It is a wonderfully achievement for such a small club to have this many representatives on an Irish team. This is a testament to their dedication to training and applying themselves fully to the sport over the years.
Cork Intermediate XC:
Best of luck to Shane and our womens intermediate team competing in Conna on Bank Holiday Monday.
Men: Shane Harrington
Women: Eadaoin O'Neill, Niamh O'Connor, Eibhlin Cleary and Michelle Ahern
Also this weekend is the National Marathon championships in Dublin on Sunday. Despite what the entry list might say East Cork have two athletes competing: Tim O'Donoghue and Graham Swords. Best of luck lads and make sure you wrap up, the forecast is looking chilly. This is Tims debut over the 26 miles and already John Kearneys long standing record is been talked about being under threat. After winning the Cork city 10 miler and destroying the field in the Cork Senior XC confidence must be high. Tim is also the clubs half marathon record holder with a 66.58 from Cardiff a few years ago. Graham ran the Cork marathon in the summer in a swift 2.45 and since then he has joined the club, made his cross country debut and has been training consistently very well. Even when out at sea for 2 week spells Graham finds ways and means to get the miles in.
Another notable racer this weekend is Kevin O'Leary, who is heading International, competing in the Frankfurt marathon also on Sunday. Kevin has been racing strong and has been the most consistent trainer all year. His PB's have proved this so hopefully the marathon debut will follow the same trend.
Munster Novice, Beaufort Kerry:
Congrats to the womens team in the Munster Novice in Beaufort on Sunday, winning a bronze team medal. Eadaoin led the team with a super run for 12th overall, which also was good enough to score on the gold winning Cork team. Lorna improving every week and back on a familiar flat fast course ran her best race of the season to come 16th. Michell and Eibhlin anchored the team excellently then in 22nd and 27th. Well done to all.
The mens team finished 5th overall in a competitive race. Shane had a brilliant 9th place run and scored on the gold winning Cork county team. Jonathon, Tim and Donogh packed very well in 36th,42nd and 45th. All three lads are only getting back into the cross country races so great to see fielding a full team.
Training squad members Frank and Paul had a ding dong battle in the U-18 boys race with Paul taking the honours and leading Midleton AC to the team title.
Autumn Open XC:
Up in Abbotstown at the custom built cross county course Sean, Frank and Phil were battling in their respective age categories to get selected for the British and Irish Masters International XC. Sean had an excellent race finishing 4th M-35, Phil in the 6,000m M-65 category finished a competitive 6th and Frank Hayes got a top 10 ten as well, finishing 9th in the M-45. The fields in this event are very strong with the very best in Ireland competing so well done to the three lads for representing the club with great distinction.
Rebel Run 10km:
John Walshe in between writing up cross country reports for the examiner and taking pictures of James' pasty white legs also finds time to support most other races around Cork in one way or another. This weekend he was photographer and athlete, competing in the 10k Rebel Run race in CIT. The race finished on the CIT track so it was a pretty impressive feat that in late October we had athletes running on cross county, road and track on the same day!
Best of luck to the mens and womens teams competing in the Munster Novice in Beaufort Kerry on Sunday. The programme starts at 11.30am with the juveniles on first. So the Novice Womens race will roughly start at 2pm with the mens at approx 2.30pm.
Mens Team: Shane Harrington, Jonathon Finn, Tin Mahony and Donogh Wall.
Womens Team: Eibhlin Cleary, Eadaoin O'Neill, Lorna Santry and Michelle Ahern.
Also best of luck to Sean and Phil McGrath running in the Autumn Open XC in Abbotstown. This is a qualifier for the British and Irish Masters International race in November in Swansea. Both McGraths won bronze medals in their respective age groups in the Nationals in Clarinbridge in February so have a great chance of being in the mix for an Irish vest.
First Individual winner in 15 years:
Congrats to Tim O'Donoghue who blew away the field to win the Cork Senior XC title for the first time and the first East Cork athlete to claim the individual honours in 15 years since Donnacha O'Mahoney won his 6th and final title in 2003. Tim set a blistering pace in the opening lap and continued to expand his lead throughout comfortably winning in 33.06. Tim is at the peak of his training for Dublin Marathon so hopefully he will go just as well there in 2 weeks time.
Sean was a commendable 2nd overall having a titanic battle throughout with inform and reigning National Masters champion Paul Moloney. Sean outsprinted Paul in the tight closing corners to ensure a 1-2 for East Cork. Unfortunately this still wasn't good enough to retain the team title as Leevale packed very well showing good strength in depth without their talisman Mark Hanrahan. They had 6 athletes in the top 10 with James and Kevin just behind in 11th and 12th meaning we missed out by 3 points. Frank Hayes had a solid run in 16th overall, Tim O'Mahoney in 22nd, Eric Meade in 27th and Denis running his 37th County Senior championship race was 33rd.
Fiona Santry had a tremendous run in the Senior Womens getting 3rd overall in her 6th attempt on this race. Fiona has been consistently knocking on the door for a few years. This should be all the more sweeter this year having come only 9 seconds outside the medals last year. Fiona has been improving year on year with dedicated training so this was very well deserved. I am not sure when the last time an East Cork lady won an individual medal at the county senior championships but has certainly been a long time coming. Congrats Fiona.
This was the first time East Cork had a team in the womens Senior race in many years and they finished in 5th overall so big congratulations to Eadaoin (19th), Eibhlin who had a stormer of a race and has really come into mighty form since recently getting married (23rd), Lorna who is only back training a few weeks in 24th and Michelle the new womens club captain right behind her in 25th.
The next race on the calander is the County Seniors in Whites Cross on Sunday. Estimated start times are Junior women at 12pm, Senior Women 12.20pm, Junior Men 12.50pm and Senior Men 1.15pm. So please time your trip accordingly to include parking, collecting your number and sufficient warm up time.
We have had a rich history in this race since the club formed in 1985 winning the team title 20 times and 8 individual titles from three men: Liam O'Brien (1989), Donncha O'Mahoney x6 (1990,1991,1992,1993,1994,2003) and Garreth Barry (1997)
East Cork are the defending champions having won the team title back from Leevale last year. However Leevale have dominated the individual title winning with three difference winners the last 10 years since Alan O'Shea won in 2007 for Bantry AC. Perhaps this year that might change.
The team titles were won in: 85,86,88,89,90,91,92,94,96,03,04,05,06,07,08,09,10,11,13,17.
Breakdown of team winners below: *6 to count to 1995, 4 to count after
County Novice - Ballyverane, Macroom Oct 7th
Well done to all who competed in the County Novice cross country in Macroom yesterday. It was held on a tough hilly course but underfoot conditions were excellent for fast competitive races.
Our ladies started proceedings and packed extremely well to match their performance last year coming 5th overall. Niamh led the team home in 24th, Lorna 26th, Michelle 28th and Eibhlin, relishing the hilly course, came through the field well was 30th. Lavinia rounded off the team then in 45th. Well done all.
Our mens team was led by a brave Kevin O'Leary in 2nd place. Kevin set a blistering pace going through the first mile in 5.05, splitting all the lead contenders up from the gun. Kevin kept the pressure on and had a lead of about 25 meters at halfway. However Nathaniel Heyward from Leevale came thought strongly in the last lap to close the gap and just pip Kevin for the victory.
Shane Harrington had another excellent team performance finishing in 14th. Graham Swords ran a stormer of a final lap coming from 23rd position up to 16th in the end, obviously the strength from his marathon training coming through. Our firemen came next with Tim Mahoney sealing the bragging rights this day finishing 29th with Jonny Finn not far behind in 36th. Returning from a long stint abroad was Donogh Wall who ran strongly throughout to come 38th. The team finished 2nd overall behind Leevale and ahead of St Finbarrs.
The races will be coming thick and fast now the next few weeks with the County Seniors next Sunday at 12pm where our Senior mens team will try and retain their team title from 2017. Further details to follow when available.
County Novice - Carrigadrohid
Best of luck to our men and womens teams competing in the county Novice Cross country in Carrigadrohid. Please note The Novice & U23 Championships start at 12:00, with the Womens event first.
Mens Team: Shane Harrington, Kevin O Leary, Donogh Wall, Graham Swords, Tim Mahony
Womens Team: Eibhlin Cleary, Michelle Ahern, Niamh O'Connor, Lorna Santry, Lavinia Tait.
2017: Our mens team finished 3rd overall and our womens team was 5th in the County Board grounds in Riverstick. The teams were led home by Kevin O'Leary in 16th and Lorna Santry in 10th.
2016: In Conna our mens team finished 2nd overall and womens teams womens team was one short. Nicky O'Donoghue had a fine run leading the men home in 7th with Eadaoin O'Neill 4th overall.
2015: In Whites Cross the mens team was 4th overall and again the womens team was one short. John Hennessy led the men in 13th and Eadaoin was 17th.
2014: The last time it was held in Carrigadrohid our womens team of Fiona Santry (3rd), Emma Leahy (9th), Eadaoin O'Neill (23rd) and Eibhlin Cleary (29th) won gold beating Leevale on count back. Also that day Michael Harty won the mens individual title and the team finished 4th overall, interestingly with the same amount of points as the womens team.