The Munster Novice was on last weekend on a flattish fast course up in Two Mile Borris in Tipp. We had 4 athletes competing. Donal Giltnan continued his good string of form with a 16th position and was on scored on the gold winning Cork team. Graham was 13 seconds behind in 22nd with a very solid run. Stephen was in the mix with the lads but took a small recovery with 800m to go that cost him a few positions to finish in 31st in 21.30. Unfortunately we were one short for a team.
Niamh O'Connor raced in the ladies race and had a good run finishing 26th in 16.44.
BHAA Road Race:
The Cork business house road races made a comeback at the weekend too. We had two running in it. Michael Harty made a comeback after a considerable amount of time off. He finished 2nd in 15.32. Avril Crowley also ran and finished 80th overall and 11th lady.
Up Next - Munster Senior XC:
The Munster Senior XC is on this weekend in Two Mile Borris. We are the current holders of the title, last run in 2019, but after being well beaten by Leevale in the counties a few weeks ago we have a lot to do to retain the trophy!
County Intermediate - Whites Cross: October 10th, 2021
Tim Mahony was our sole runner at the county intermediates. Regaining fitness with every race he rana solid 34.36 for 22nd place.
East Cork Novice - Whites Cross: October 17th, 2021
We had a great double on Sunday in Whites Cross in the East Cork Novice. Norah won her maiden senior race pulling clear of the field to win with a comfortable 40 seconds to spare on Midletons Eileen Leahy. Annelise continued her fine run of form too with an impressive 4th overall, outsprinting Colette O'Donughue from Watergrasshill to the line. Avril Crowley completed the team in 10th. The ladies got third team but if we had one more runner we would have been shoe ins for the gold!
Donal lead the men home, winning this title for the second time. He last won the race in 2019 and has now joined the two time winners club which also includes: Don Sheehan - Carrignabhfear 1992, 2000 ; Wiilie O'Mahoney - Midleton 1994, 2004 ; Dan Horgan - Midleton 1995, 2001 ; Tim Mahony - East Cork 2005, 2006 ; John Hennessy - Midleton 2011, East Cork 2013.
Hot on his heels again was Stephen O'Brien who came second in 22.28 with Graham Swords 4th in 22.46. We had Chris Kelly make a good return to racing too and he came 7th and rounded off the Gold winning mens team in 23.51. Ollie Smiddy came 13th in 24.29. A side note for the race. John Spelman ran as a guest as he missed his U19 race, he was first to cross the line but is too young to count at Novice grade.
Autumn Open XC - Abbotstown: October 17th, 2021
A dress rehearsal for the European XC was held in Abbotstown on Sunday. Tim O'Donoghue made the journey up as he said he was sick of winning all the local races in Cork... In a high quality field Tim, as usual, worked his way through as each lap passed to finish a highly commendable 6th overall in 23.36. The 7,500m race was won by Darragh McElhinney in 22.59. Tim was also first masters home, beating Sergiu Cibanu and Paul Pollock for the top spot.
After a years break the County Senior XC was back. Tim was aiming for 3 in a row and boy did he not disappoint. All the pre race talk was on Ryan Creech and justifiably so after his 63 minute half and beating some heavyweights (not literally heavy obviously) up in the Antrim Coast International Half last month.
None of this deterred Tim and he set to work knowing a 10k cross country is a very different proposition to a road race. An uneven field, short hills, long hills, hills with a camber, wind in your face all makes cross country a true test of endurance. With Creech pushing the pace early Tim just sat on him and waited. The pressure of being in front and pushing the pace, without dropping your advisory, told halfway through. Tim made a surge on the long hill, broke the resistance and spirit of Creech in one move and that was that. Tim kept pushing the final 4000m to the line for a comprehensive victory in 32.29 taking his 3rd title in three years and cementing his name as the dominant distance runner in the county. Hopefully Tim can take this purple patch of form to the Munsters in 4 weeks and win that for the first time in his career.
Unfortunately our team did not run as well as Tim as we had to settle a distant second to Leevale in the team battle. However a silver lining was the emergence of Paul Hartnett, who is still a Junior, ran a very brave race for 5th overall in 34.46. The rest of the team did pack well but just a bit too far back. James was next home in 18th with 37.01, Kevin 20th in 37.05, Kenneth 22nd 37.40 and Nicky 37.44. Denis our talisman ran his 39th ever County Senior XC finished 43rd in 55.13. To put that in perspective, if Paul trys to beat that record he will have to run every County XC from now until 2060 (go on get out your calculator and see what age you will be then!!!)
The Counties were on a bit earlier than normal this year so with another 4 weeks of training in the legs as a team we should improve for the Munster and hopefully be in a position to put a reasonable team forward for the Nationals at the end of November.
The County Intermediates is on next Sunday in Whites Cross. We only have Tim Mahony running in this so best of luck Tim.