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 (email@example.com) 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.
We had 4 athletes competing in the National Senior XC in Abbotstown on Sunday. In a strange quirk we had the same results in both the mens and womens races. Tim and Fiona were 33rd while Kevin and Michelle were both 61st. In a trial run for the European Cross Country next year the course was changed to a 1500m lap. One half was a downhill, fast very runnable section and then things got interesting, through the woods and up the other side by the wall was a long uphill mucky slog. All in all it was an ideal course for cross country running and conditions were good on the day.
Fiona had a another solid run, improving from 41st last year to 33rd overall. Michelle running her very first National Senior XC covered the 8,000m with aplomb, expertly coming through the field in the final 2 laps taking some scalps with her. It was a promising run and great to see two of our ladies compete with the best in Ireland.
Tim and Kevin had reasonable runs, unfortunately not much more to write about except they kept the East Cork presence at the National XC going and Tim was on the scoring silver medal winning Cork team. In an interesting quirk Dublin won the mens event by a whooping 147 point and sealed the top three team places but do not have a single athlete selected on the International team for the Euro XC in Lisbon next month. And the Dublin womens county team won by 30 points and also do not have any international representation.
Hopefully next year we will come again with a strong team(s).
Club Social Night:
The Christmas social night is on Thursday December 19th at 7.30pm in the Midleton Park Hotel. If you have not received an email about it and wish to go please let Lorna know on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Father time might be against them but boy that didn't stop Sean, Donal, Tim and Graham reign supreme down in Beaufort on Sunday. The fact that we only had three for the team Tuesday night makes the team in the end win all the more sweeter. Graham still recovering from Chicago and a stint out at sea put the team ahead of his own goals and offered to also travel so we would have a team. Perhaps it was the opportunity to experience first hand an infamous car trip with Tim Crowley that helped make his mind up. Sean, who had another excellent run and is really racing himself into form at the right time was 3rd overall (and 2nd M35), Donal and Tim have been having ding dong personal battles at every race this season. Donal got revenge from the County Masters and pipped Tim finishing in 11th (4th M35). Tim was 14th (6th M35) and Graham made sure the lads packed well was 16th (8th M35). Not only did the lads win gold but Sean, Donal and Tim all played a huge part on the gold winning County team. Well done to all of you.
Niamh O'Connor was our sole lady in the race and had another good run finishing 27th overall (7th F35).
Cloyne Commons 4k:
We had 5 running the opening race of the Cloyne Commons 4k winter series. Kenneth was our first man home in an impressive 13.02. This was good enough for 2nd place behind the flying Kieron McKeown.. Conor Tierney finished in 15.21, Martin Hennessy in 15.57, Denis 17.39 and Eibhlin was 19.49.
Norah represented the club in the Run in the Dark on Wednesday night in Dublin. Her time of 47.39 gets her on the club leaderboard for 2019 in the 10k.
Norah also ran for UL in the Road Relays in Maynooth on Saturday and anchored their ladies team home in the final mile leg in 6.39.
- National Senior Cross Countries - Sunday November 24th in Abbotstown
Overall since the club first competed in the Munster Senior XC championship we have won an impressive 23 out of 35 runnings of the event.
We have won the individual title 8 times by four men: Donnacha O'Mahoney (1991,1994,1996,2004), Liam O'Brien (1986,1987), James McCarthy (2009) and Michael Harty (2015).
Donnacha on his own has won half of these winning 4 times and hauling an unprecedented 14 team titles along the way stretching over 20 years from 1987 to his final team title in 2010.
Our longest streak was 9 wins from 2004 to 2012 until St Johns won in Limerick Racecourse in 2013.
Of the 23 titles won 22 men have contributed directly to the team by scoring in the top four. As mentioned Donnacha tops this list with 14. Right on his tail is Sean now with 12 and James on 11, both are solely responsible for the consistent run of team results in the mid 00's. Other team medal winners are in the below table.
Note: Traditionally the Munster Senior XC was held in January which fitted naturally in the XC calendar a number of weeks before the Interclub All Irelands. However with the merging of the intercounties and interclubs to one race in December 2015 the Munsters changed to a November date in 2015. Which is why there were two races in that year.
The Munster Seniors were held on home turf on Sunday, in club legend Frank Hayes field. After being a distant third in the Counties a month ago the mens prospects, to add to the 22 team title haul that we have amassed since 1986, were low. However the golden generation from Midleton CBS were to the fore again to spearhead a long shot attempt at the team title.
Back in 2004 and 2005 Tim and Kevin were 1st and 2nd scorers for the schools All Ireland winning Senior Boys teams in Antrim and Waterford and yesterday in Conna, 14 years later, helped lead the East Cork team to another Munster crown. Last year we won the title in nail biting fashion after tying with Ennis Track and the result had to be decided on countback. This year, with James and Michael out injured, we had the bare four to make up a team. Tim as usual had a super run leading from the start and opening up a small gap on the chasing pack. However in a reverse of the counties Sean Doyle from North Cork managed to hang with Tims pace and surged in the last 400m to win by 3 seconds. The birth of his daughter Chloe, 2 weeks ago, was probably to blame for this. Kevin was home next then in 9th overall after a tussle with St Johns Jake O'Regan the whole way around (and importantly got revenge on all the Leevale lads that beat him in the counties). Sean was 16th overall and collected his 12th Munster team title! Only Donnocha has won more with 13 to his name. Kenneth Kelleher was the star of the show running his first cross country in years. All expected him to fade in the last couple of laps but somehow the Midleton CBS 5000m record holder (15.28) responded to Liams encouragement and stayed ahead of Ennis tracks fast finishing Liam Naughton.
This got the team a total of 48 points with Ennis 2nd and Togher 3rd. Tim and Kevin also were on the gold winning Cork team.
Ladies Race - 6k:
Similar to the men the ladies had the bare 4 for their team. Interestingly it was the exact same team of four that have won bronze the last two years. And this year they did not disappoint again. Fiona lead the team (and 98% of the race) home with a mighty 2nd overall. Fiona was in a head to head battle with Amy O'Donoghue of Emerald AC. Amy was 3rd in the National T&F 1500m during the summer, so this really was a race of the XC specialist v the track star. Fiona pushed the pace for the vast majority of the race with Amy tucked in watching and waiting for any move. When they were coming up the long hill leading to the finish for the final time Fiona pushed hard but unfortunately the track speed won out and Fiona took 2nd. Eadaoin showed a turn of pace herself in the closing 100m to gun down Mary Louise Ryan and finish in 17th. Lorna had an excellent run battling in a big group for most of the 6k and finished 24th. Eibhlin Cleary, the rock of the team, showed again her commitment to her team mates by coming straight from a hen in Kilkenny and pushed hard the entire race to finish 27th. This got the girls bronze again as they held off Dundrum in 4th and Clonmel in 5th. Fiona scored on the Cork silver winning team. Well done ladies. For such a small club and we seem to be doing something right!
Well done to training squad members Frank and Jack in the Junior race too. Frank was 2nd overall (and 1st U-19) with Jack 6th (4th U-19). Both have been progressing well in training throughout the winter and have a promising season ahead.
Eyeries 5 Mile:
Shane and Caitriona went west for the weekend to run the Eyeries 5 miler. Shane was 2nd to Alan O'Shea in 28.14 and Caitriona was 6th lady home in 38.19. Being the local hero there was a nice write up on Shane "Bán". In fact, it seem suspiciously like a John Walshe guest article. There is a picture of it below.
County Master and Novice B:
The county masters cross county was on Sunday in idea conditions in Castlelyons. The McGraths from Ballyandreen were the source of most of our success. All three of Phil, Sean and Niamh took home individual medals. Phil was 2nd M65 with Sean and Niamh both bronze winners in the M35 and F35 categories. Sean also lead the mens team to a 2nd team behind Leevale. Brian Harty, Tim Crowley and Donal Giltinan completed the team in 13th, 14th and 15th with only 12 seconds separating them in the end. Eric Meade was our other individual medal winner getting bronze in the M50's. Denis also ran and was 4th M55, just missing out on a medal.
The Novice B race was also on and Jonathon went out hard from the gun and held on to 6th overall with Paul Crotty not far behind in 11th. Well done both.
Next Up - Munster Senior XC:
Next race on the calendar is the Munster Senior XC in Conna on Sunday. Our men won this title in dramatic fashion last year, beating Ennis Track on countback while the women were an impressive 3rd team. Individual ambitions will be with Tim, looking to continue his form from the counties and Fiona who will be trying to improve on her mighty 3rd place overall from 2018 in Two Mile Borris.
Men: Tim O`Donoghue, Sean McGrath, Kevin O`Brien, Kevin O Leary, Kenneth Kelleher
Women: Fiona Santry, Eadaoin O Neill, Lorna Santry, Eibhlin Cleary
County Intermediate XC:
We had three hardy athletes hungry for medals that headed to Dromtarriff last Sunday for the County Intermediate XC. Shane was on a mission to win an individual medal and get knocked out of County Novice and Intermediate once and for all! It was a successful mission. Although there was some confusion with laps at the end of the race when the winner from North Cork was turned into the finishing straight a lap too early. Shane wanted value for his money and was keen to run the extra lap but was turned back by officials to claim his silver medal.
Niamh O'Connor was 3rd in the womens race but as the rules are different for men and women she is still eligible for the novice team next year. Caitriona Santry was not far behind in 5th overall and is one to watch for the rest of the season if she keeps her weekly improvements going!
Sean went to Bandon on Sunday morning to run in the Donough Coughlan Memorial 5k. In what was an incredible finish just 1 second separated the top 3 Sean was third behind winner (and training squad member) Naoise O'Flaitheartaigh and Eric Curran. Naoise had also completed a full session of hills the day before in Welchtown which makes his win even more impressive than it already was. Well done both.
Sunday coming is the County Masters XC in Castlelyons. This is a well attended race and we have strong mens team with Niamh O'Connor entered in the womens race too. Best of luck all.
Men: Shane Harrington, Tim Crowley, Eric Meade, Denis McCarthy, Donal Giltinan, Sean McGrath, Brian Harty, Kenneth Kelleher
Women: Niamh O Connor
We had a bumper turnout at the Munster Novice held in Limerick Racecourse on Sunday. One nameless athlete in fact thought it was a club day out to the races and turned up in their Sunday finest, luckily spare shorts were found! The Novice grade is extremely competitive and Michelle was in fine fettle and our sole athlete to break into the top 10, she had another excellent run to finish 6th. The blinkers were off for Eadaoin who is starting to come into form at the right time and took 14th overall. Niamh O'Connor charged up the final furlong for 17th with U-23 filly Norah O'Brien right on her tail again in 19th (5th U23). Caitriona Santry recently changed stables and was running her first competitive race for East Cork. In a nice gesture, sister Lorna let her beat her to mark the occasion. Caitriona was 21st with Lorna 22nd. On this day Eibhlin was our backmarker in 32nd but training is going well and she is making steady progress every week. These performances earned the girls a silver team medal and to cap it off Michelle also scored on the gold medal winning county team.
Our mens team put in another battling performance in the mudbath 1 kilometer circuit. For some this was their 4th weekend racing in a row! Kevin O'Leary lead the team home in 11th overall, Shane, after a wedding Friday, showed why he is one of the form men in the club at the moment finishing 14th, Chris Kelly on his 2nd XC race put in another excellent run for 20th with the ever dependable team scorer Donal just behind in 24th. The team was rounded off by Tim Crowley in 26th, Jonathon Finn (running his 2nd race of the day after dutifully pacing his fiancée Mary in the Rebel Run) in 32nd and Niall Murphy who made his XC debut in 41st. This was good enough for bronze team medals and similar to Michelle, Kevin also won a gold medal for the Cork team.
All please note the membership for the 2019/2020 season is due. There is a great Halloween special until October 31st of €5 off. If you pay after this date the fee is €40. Please give the money to Liam or Conor at training or you can pay by bank transfer. Further details of this will be sent this week.
County Seniors XC:
The annual pilgrimage to the County Senior XC was made by the club on Sunday. It was held in Carrigadrohid on a lovely rolling hilly course and we had 11 athletes competing. Tim was the star performer once again, beating a very strong field to retain his title that he won last year for the first time in Whites Cross. The race started fast with the former US collegiate athlete Ryan Creech of Leevale setting a strong pace at the front. Tim, Sean Doyle (North Cork) and Paul Moloney (Mallow AC) went in pursuit and a big gap developed between them and the rest of the field. In typical cross county form the strength drained from most athletes as the last few laps approached. Unfortunately for the other leading contenders this is usually the time when Tim feels his best (he has been endearingly referred to as a mud lark in the past). With 4000m remaining Tim surged up the hill, shook off Sean Doyle for the final time and opened a 20 second gap that he held to the finish line. The deluge in the last few minutes of the race was a fitting way to finish the race off for Tim, exactly how he would want it.
Our mens team over the years has won 20 team titles, this year we were a bit off the top table but held our own to come 3rd overall. Tim lead the way with the win, Kevin O'Leary two weeks on from his 2.25 in Berlin was next home in 14th. Sean McGrath who was 2nd overall last year is on the road back to fitness and was 16th, Kevin O'Brien held off the stern challenge of Shane Harrington over the last few laps for 17th with Shane settling for 18th. Denis, incredibly running his 38th ever County Senior XC, rounded the team off in 33rd. His streak stretching back to 1981. To put this in perspective (and to make him feel really old) the Berlin Wall was still standing for 8 more years, John McEnroe beat Bjorn Borg in Wimbleton, Bobby Sands was in the middle of his hunger strike, Eamonn Coghlan won the National 1500m title and East Cork AC was yet just a dream.
For the first time in the clubs history too the ladies team outperformed the mens team. The ladies won silver medals. Fiona (the new ladies captain) lead the team home in 5th overall, Michelle showing great form ploughed through the field in the last lap to come 7th, Eadaoin was 10th with Lorna and Eibhlin putting in battling performances in 14th and 15th. Congratulations to this dedicated bunch who have become a force to reckon with the last number of years and numbers are expanding at a record rate so hopefully there will be plenty more success to come!
Unfortunately numbers for both races was quite low and turn outs from some established clubs was disappointing but we can only race who laces up their spikes. Gladly we came home with an individual title and two sets of Senior team medals.
Graham and Lavinia made the long but rewarding trip to Chicago at the weekend too. Competing against some of the best marathon runners in the world both had excellent runs with PB's. Graham has been improving steadily the last year with the club and again proved what a tough racer he is running 2.39:56 breaking the 2.40 barrier by the tightest of margins! Lavinia, mixing it with (former) world record holders, also ran a superb PB of 4.45:14. Congrats to you both and enjoy a few days of putting the feet up!
Upcoming Race - Munster Novice Sunday 20th:
The next race on the calendar is the Munster Novice in Limerick Race course next Sunday. We have strong teams entered in both the mens and womens races so best of luck to all competing. The juveniles are on first starting at 11.30 so the womens race is expected to start at approx 1.30pm with the mens at 2pm.
Congrats to Michelle on winning her second individual XC medal in a week. Michelle followed up her impressive East Cork Senior performance with an even better one on Sunday in Liscarroll. She lead the field early on and was not afraid to take the race to the other girls and finished in 3rd overall. To put this in perspective, in 2017 she finished 39th and last year she was 28th. It just goes to show the improvement that can happen if you dedicate yourself enough to the training. Michelle also lead the womens team to silver medals. Niamh O'Connor was 9th overall after a ding dong battle for a long spell with Norah O'Brien, who ran her first XC race for the club. Norah was 12th overall and 4th in the U23 race. All the late training in Dublin after work seems to be paying dividends! Next home was the ever dependable Lorna Santry in 19th position with Eibhlin Cleary in 27th.
Shane lead the mens team home with an impressive run in 4th overall, an impressive 10 places better than 2017 in Macroom. Tim Crowley ran an aggressive race and was rewarded with 7th. Chris Kelly on his debut for the club and first ever XC race had a stormer to finish in 10th with Donal hot on his heals for the whole race in 12th.. Another debutant was Paul Crotty who looked menacing over the first 4k. With a few more weeks training under his Paul will be a force to be reckoned with. Jonathon Finn was coming through the field like a train in the last lap and looked certain for a top 10 until an unmerciful stitch derailed him in the last 1km. The mens team were a carbon copy of the womens as they also won silver medals (but also were beaten by 10 points by Leevale!).
The County Senior XC is on Sunday in Carrigadrohid. The womens race of 6k will start at 12pm with the mens straight afterward at approx 12.30pm.
We have had a rich history in this race since the club formed in 1985 winning the team title 20 times and 9 individual titles from four men: Liam O'Brien (1989), Donncha O'Mahoney x6 (1990,1991,1992,1993,1994,2003), Garreth Barry (1997) and Tim O'Donoghue (2018)
East Cork last won the team title in 2017 and will be looking to regain the title relinquished to Leevale last year, although a rejuvenated North Cork and last years intermediate All Ireland winners Togher could provide stiff competition too.
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:
Kevin O'Leary made his now annual pilgrimage to Germany for a marathon at the weekend. In 2018 it was the financial superpower of Frankfurt. This year he took on the 26.2 miles at the world famous Berlin marathon, home of the world record. Training had been going well for Kevin in the lead up to the race. On top of setting PB's at 5k (15.23) over the summer he had reduced his 10 mile mark to 51.53 also. But the marathon doesn't usually care about how many miles you have run or how many times you wanted to smash your alarm clock getting up for early morning runs. Luckily for Kevin though he had his taper judged expertly and was fully prepared for the job ahead.
There was a bit of rain around at the start of the race and the wind was stronger than expected. Kevin stuck to his plan of running a sensible controlled first half. He cruised through 5k in 17.11 and 10k in 34.03, envious splits in there own right for most club runners. At half way he was bang on target going through with a group in 72.14. Kevin kept that pacing going for another 18km and reduced the group dramatically. At the crunch part of the race with 7km to go Kevin ran his 35km to 40km split in 17.30! With the Brandenburg Gate coming into sight for the finish, and his body wanting a bar stool, Kevin somehow squeezed every last drop of effort from himself to cross the line in a huge 2 minute PB of 2.25:20.
Congrats Kevin from all at the club. You have been the model of consistency the last two years and all your improvements are truly deserved.
Mens Race - 6000m:
Congrats to Tim and Fiona who won the East Cork XC titles on Sunday. On a lovely warm sunny day in Castlelyons Tim blew the rest of the field away winning with 2 minutes to spare and lead the men to the team title for 2019. Also on the winning team was Shane Harrington - who won the overall bronze medal and was top dog in the M35 category, Tim Crowley - running his first ever East Cork XC race and Sean McGrath - running his 1,125th East Cork race.
We also won the M35 team with Shane, Tim and Sean along with Donal Giltinan. Donal was running his first ever cross country race and is eyeing up the County Novice next week as it is right next to his home place in Liscarroll.
Jonathon Finn and Eric Meade who both had completed the Moby Dick triathlon on Saturday in Youghal were next home in 15th and 22nd, followed by Denis in 30th overall.
Womens Race - 4000m:
Fiona won the ladies race in equally devastating fashion as Tim, clearing the course over a minute faster than 2nd. Michelle Ahern had a breakthrough performance coming 3rd overall and beating some decent athletes along the way. Gaining confidence from a good spell of training Michelle positioned herself in 2nd immediately and stamped her authority on the race (after waving goodbye to Fiona at the first bend). Michelle pushed the pace for the next 3k and dropped all of her rivals except Sinead Keavaney from Midleton. Despite a late charge from Jennifer Goggin and Ann Marie Holland, Michelle made sure of her medal with a strong push down off the last hill. Niamh and Lorna were 12th and 13th just behind a big bunch with Eibhlin just behind in 19th. All in all this was good enough for 2nd place behind Youghal AC.
Many thanks to St Nicholas AC who hosted and organised the event. It was an ideal location on a great course and everything ran smoothly.
County Novice and County Seniors: Both these cross country events we are looking to field competitive teams in the mens and womens races.
- October 6th - County Novice in Liscarroll (Entries have already been complete)
- October 13th - County Senior in Carrigadrohid (If you want to enter please let Eadaoin know by Wednesday Oct 2nd)
Congrats to Tim and Kevin who went 1-2 in the county 10 mile championship race at the weekend. This was how they finished last year too although this year both ran faster so a great sign for marathons to come!
The overall race was won by Hiko Tonosa of DSD in 49.57 followed by English raider Jonathan Escalante-Philips (who interesting won 3 out of 4 races he ran on his holiday to Ireland over the weekend).
Tim was 3rd overall in 50.41 and improvement of 50 seconds on his 2018 time with Kevin in 4th overall just behind in 51.53 (over 2 minutes faster than last year!!). Graham and Lavinia were using the race in their build up to the Chicago marathon in October. Graham ran a fine 57.26 and Lavinia PB'd with a great run of 88.27.
Winter Training and warm welcomes:
Winter training is back underway on Tuesdays and Saturdays in Market Green and Welchtown. Also the official Cork Athletics transfer list came out today and we would like to extend a warm welcome to Caitriona Santry who has joined the club. Caitriona has many connections in the club with sisters Fiona and Lorna and finacee Shane all integral members she will feel right at home (so don't be surprised if you see her at training in pyjamas or having a nap in her car before thousands).
Road and Track Races:
Frank O'Carroll ran 17.22 for 5k at another local 5k track race in Denmark on Tuesday night. In Rathcormac on Thursday we had Michelle and Denis racing. Michelle was 8th lady overall in 27.35 and Denis was just behind in 28.17.
Winter Training - 2019:
Cross Country season is looming large and for all those eager to get back on the horse after a well deserved break (in some cases anyway) training will resume this Saturday, August 31st. As usual it will involve hills in Welchtown Woods starting at 10am sharp. Please arrange to car pool if you can as parking is at a premium.
In a rare departure from tradition, the usual Thursday nights intervals session in Market Green will now take place on Tuesday nights for the winter. The first one of these will be Tuesday, September 3rd. With the session to start at 6.30pm sharp (so please have your warm up done prior to that).
At both sessions there is a group to suit all abilities and all are welcome.
National Masters - Frank Hayes Wins National Bronze Medal:
Our first championship medal since the East Corks in June was won by non other than Frank Hayes on Sunday up in Tullamore. Frank was 3rd in the M50 5000m. Frank ran 17.32 in a race won by Ian O'Leary in 17.21, with Dominic Horan in 2nd in 17.26.
A stalwart of the club , this is Franks 5th individual championship medal of the year. He is the reigning County Master champion over 3000m, he was 2nd in the county masters 1500m, 2nd in the Munster masters 3000m and 2nd in the East Cork Seniors over 1500m and now has added this bronze National medal over 5000m to add his ever growing collection. This is on top of the enormous unseen work he does with the St Catherine juveniles all year round. Congratulations Frank from all at East Cork AC.
Tim Crowley also ran on Sunday. Tim was 6th M35 in 4.33 and was within touching distance of an individual medal being in 2nd with 250m to go. This experience of running Nationals is invaluable and for a guy who was out injured for 14 months this time last year it shows the dedication and work that has been put in to get back to this level. Congrats Tim. Tim also ran the Cork City sports Open 3k in a 9.46 last Wednesday night.
Kevin O'Leary once again showed where his true strength lies. Kevin won the East Cork Harbour Half Marathon last weekend in a course record 73.36. Now if any of you have ever run that route you will know how impressive that is. Hills. hills and more hills!! Kevin is building up for the Berlin marathon in September and with Eluid Kipchoge not racing Berlin, as he's concentrating on his Sub 2 project, few would back against Kev on current form!
Also racing the Harbour Half were Kenneth Kelleher who is a former winner of this race. Kenneth was 3rd overal in 79.14. Pat O'Connor was 43rd in 80.19 and Jens was 49th in 81.35. Lavinia ran the 10k in 54.30. Well done all.
The Musgrave 5k was on last Tuesday night and Michelle Ahern had a great run with 20.17, Niamh O'Connor also had an excellent 20.55 and Annalese ran another suberb PB of 21.28! Caitriona was just behind in 21.31.
Normally this website is reserved for Track, Road and Cross Country races but occasionally an allowance is made for an amusing story or exceptional performance. In this case it is the latter, congrats to Tim on winning the Irish Mountain Running Trial race for the World Championships held in Wicklow on Saturday. Tim held off Ian Conroy and Eoin Flynn to win the race and has now qualified for the Irish team that will be heading to Patagonia, Argentina in November for the World Mountain Running Championships.
Tim has represented Ireland once before at this level running in an International race up Snowdon in Wales in 2014. Welchtown hills could be spicy this winter!
Tim Crowley just back from holidays made the trip to Dublin to shake some cobwebs off at the Dublin Graded League 3k. Tim was 6th in 10.02.
On the roads we had a crew that went in the search of PB's in Clogheen in Tipperary. In a race won by Kevin Maunsell, Kevin O'Brien finished runner up in 15.56. Lorna was our first lady home in 21.19. Annalese hired "Tamzin Muldowney - Personal Pacemeker" to guide her around to a big PB of 22.47. The first time she has broken 23. All the summer training has been paying off. Caitriona was also in this group but made a break with a mile to go and finished in an impressive SB of 22.31.
In Conna the next night we had Niamh O'Connor and Denis running. Niamh ran 21.33 for 7th lady and Denis ran 22.21. Also running last Friday night were Brian Harty and Kevin O'Leary at the Kinsale 5 Mile. According to unconfirmed reports they held hands crossing the line in 28.42.
All the way in Denmark Frank O'Carroll ran 36.53 in the Copenhagen Harbour 10k.
- Cork City Sports - August 14th. We might have one or two athletes competing in this. Also we have many hands helping out on the night. I am not sure if this is to help ensure that the showcase T&F event in Cork that is live on national TV is run as smoothly as possible and that all the athletes are well looked after or if they just want free entry!
- National Masters T&F - August 18th - Tullamore