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.