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
National Senior T&F:
Congrats to Kevin and Fiona on competing in the National Championships at the weekend in Santry. Both raced in the bue ribbon 1500m event. Fiona ran a PB in 4.50 and Kevin ran 4.06. Unfortunately neither time was quick enough to make the final the next day.
While most of the club are on a well deserved break for a few weeks we did have had a scattering of road race performances this last week. Tim won in Garryvoe in a commanding 15.22, with Brian Harty in 4th and Fiona 2nd in the womens. Tim Crowley raced a mile in Kerry and ran 5.07 for 4th. Denis was our sole representative in Fermoy 4 mile and was 27th overall in 27.57. And last but not least Shane was 6th in the Liam Miller 5k memorial run.
Reminder to reply to Lorna if you are going and if you are bringing anyone so she can confirm the numbers. All are welcome (since you have to pay for yourself anyway). If you did not get the email please let Liam, Kevin or Lorna know and they will add you to the distribution list.
Cross Country - Winter 2019:
That moment you have all been waiting for!!! Cross Country fixtures are notoriously late in being finalised with venues and dates but a general rule of thumb is to see when they were on last year and you won't be too far wrong. This has been Denis's approach for the last 40 years and he never misses a race!
So I have set out the Provisional Dates for you to get an idea of how things will shape up, starting from East Cork XC in September to National Novice in December.
Also if you are thinking of transferring to (or from) East Cork then you need to have your fully signed transfer form completed and sent to the county board by August 24th. You will then be able to compete in every race from October 1st.
Congrats to the East Cork Divisions National League teams who did the division proud at the weekend. The women's team won bronze medals tying with Kerry County on 87 points. Waterford County won the overall with Finn Valley in 2nd. Both these teams will be promoted to Premier next year.
Fiona was our sole competitor for the women and she ran a suburb PB of 10.13 in the 3000m. Her other 3000m times this year have been 10.36, 10.47 and 10.48 so this was a huge breakthrough at the National level. She was 2nd in her race and collected 7 points.
The mens team scrapped through the qualifiers and with more of less the same team stepped it up another level in the final to finish 4th overall with 81 points. Wexford (117) and Waterford (111) finished 1, 2 to get promoted with Ennis Track just missing out by 3 points to finish 3rd (108). We had the two Kevins competing again. Kevin O'Leary running his 4th 5000m in a week ran another impressive 15.39 on tired legs to finish 2nd for 7 points. Kevin O'Brien ran the 1500m and 800m again and was 4th in the former in 4.07 and 5th in the 800m in 2.03 (although he nearly missed the race trying on the limited edition East Cork Division tshirts for the right size). With a few athletes not available for different reasons in both the mens and womens sections East Cork could very well be a force to be reckoned with next year if the work put in the last two years is built on again.
A great amount of work was put in behind the scenes by Joan Hough, Willie Walsh, Liam O'Brien and Ger Foley. Their great drive and enthusiasm is really appreciated by all the athletes.
The club summer BBQ will be on in the Thatch Killeagh on Saturday August 17th at 7pm. It is €20 per person and all are welcome. More details will be provide by the clubs Social Coordinator by email.
They say things happen in threes and that has truely been the case for our in form athlete Kevin O'Leary. With a PB of 15.23 last Wednesday night in the Marina, then a victory the following night in Youghal with 15.37 he completed the hat trick last night in Cloyne, winning comprehensively in 15.30. A full 19 seconds clear of Leevale rival Barry O'Donovan. Kevin has gone from strength to strength the last 2 years and will also be competing for the East Cork Division tomorrow afternoon in the National League finals in Tullamore. Congrats Kevin.
Kenneth Kelleher continued his very promising comeback with a 4th place in a seasons best of 16.41, knocking over 30 seconds off the Cheetah Run from May. Brian Harty was next home and finished in the top 10 in 17.10 and Denis McCarthy was 94th in 21.39.
John Buckley Graded League Rd 4:
Last night we had 5 athletes competing in the fourth and final round of the John Buckley Graded League. Kevin O'Brien came close to breaking the 2 minute barrier for the first time with 2.00:10 but even despite a desperate dip for the line it was not to be. Fiona running her second 800m of the year ran an excellent second lap holding of a girls from Emerald AC and Youghal to win in 2.24. Norah was also in the same race and ran an unconfirmed 2.53. For the final race of the night Donal and Eadaoin lined up in the 3000m. Donal, missing his usual racing partners, tucked in behind Grace Lynch for 6 laps and shamelessly let her do all the work. With 600m to go he made his move for the finish and crossed the line in a brilliant 9.46. Some would say a great racing strategy others might question his ethics.
Eadaoin, in the same race, ran 11.49. This was a few seconds down on the previous 3k but without the "company" of Michelle it was a great solo effort. In the spirit of the graded league, Frank and Patrick chanced their arms at a 200m. Frank ran 25.90 and Patrick 27 seconds. The saying "Use it or lose it" comes to mind for this, that sort of speed doesn't stay with you forever. Although paradoxically we did see Flor O'Leary run a O85 World record in the 200m. Running it in under 45 seconds!!
Shane Harrington traveled to his ancestral homeland of Bere Island at the weekend to run the Bere Island Midsummer run. He was 2nd overall. Squad member Caitriona also ran and was one of the leading ladies. Results to follow. Frank ran in the National Juveniles on Sunday and was 8th in the U-19 1500m in 4.38.
National League Final - Tullamore July 20th:
The National League Final is on this Saturday in Tullamore. The teams have been announced and we have three athletes selected. Kevin O'Leary has caught the selectors eyes with his very impressive recent 5k performances on the roads. After back to back 15.23 and 15.37 last week he will spearhead the charge in the mens 5000m. Kevin O'Brien will put on the Captains armband and double up again in the 1500m and the 800m for the third time this year. Fiona, who doubled up in the previous round competing in the 1500m and the 3000m, has been strategically picked for just the 3000m this time around. With the women having a realistic chance of promotion to Premier division there will be pressure on our most successful athlete this year to deliver the goods! Interestingly Fiona has won 57% of all her races this year, so all in good hands.
Other squad athletes that will be competing will be Frank O'Brien in the 3k Steeple.
General Info - The National League is divided into two groups with promotion and relegation between the two. The top tier is the Premier Division and the second tier is Division 1. 2018 was the first year in a long time that the East Cork Division had entered teams in the National League and it was a successful one in division 1. The women qualified for the finals and while the men were competitive in the first two rounds they just missed out making the finals. A year on we have taken another step forward with the women leading the way. They qualified for the final in joint top position with Waterford County on 219 points and have a very realistic possibility of getting promoted to the Premier division for next year with a big performance on Saturday. The mens team have also qualified for the final finishing in 7th position in the qualifying rounds out of 12 teams. A great result for the men would be top 5 overall.
See full teams announced below and qualifying positions.
Moyne Open Sports T&F:
Fiona won the womens mile race in Moyne Tipperary on Wednesday night. On a lovely 4 lane track in the middle of the Tipperary countryside she ran 5.19 (As we don't have any other recorded mile results from the past for the womens section this has now become the Club Record too). Fiona started steady and lead a group of three through he first two laps. As the pace hotted up the competition were dropped leaving Fiona with a 10m gap with 400m to go. Not one to ease up in a race, she powered the last lap solo in 76 seconds to break the tape.
Kevin O'Brien was also running and ran the mens A mile race. The leaders were aiming for a sub 4 and had pacers set up to run 60 second laps, Also in the race was Atlanta (1996) Olympian Shane Healy at the ripe age of 51. He was looking to break the O-50 mens world record. Kevin and Shane ran together for the first 1000m when Shane moved away and finished in an agonizing 4.20. 1 second off the world record. Kevin faded in the final 400 to finish 5th in 4.30.
BHAA - Gas Networks Ireland 5k:
Kevin O'Leary made a big breakthrough in the BHAA 5k on Wednesday night running a 12 second PB of 15.23 for 5th overall. The combination of marathon racing with track training seems to be perfect fit for the most versatile athlete in the club! Niall Murphy making his first race appearance since the marathon ran a solid 17.49. Lorna, racing her fist 5k since Emer Casey, ran 21.10 and is nicely building back up to full fitness for cross country having taken a sabbatical for the track season. Annalese Hutch ran her first ever 5k race and ran it in just over 23 minutes. Once she gets a feel for the pacing over that distance she will be one to watch out for.
We had a big turnout again in the Youghal 5k on Thursday night. Kevin O'Leary followed up his PB from 24 hours earlier with a victory in a swift 15.37. Considering his PB coming into the summer was 15.51 it shows the jump in level Kevin is operating at now. Congrats! Stephen O'Brien aiming for a sub 17 clocking for the first time was 7th overall in 17.08. Donal was not too far behind in 17.26 but 30 seconds outside his PB set last month. Denis ran 21.48 for 68th overall.
Fiona, like Kevin, isn't happy with only one race per week and 24 hours after her mile victory followed up with a PB of 17.58, breaking the 18 minute barrier for the first time. However this must of been a bittersweet moment as Leevale rival Niamh Moore pipped her for the win. Good motivation for the upcoming cross country season perhaps! Eadaoin had a good run clocking 20.20 for 6th lady with Niamh O'Connor 9th lady in 20.47. Well done all.
- John Buckley Graded League: CIT - Monday 15th 800m and 3000m
- National League Final: Templemore - Saturday July 20th
Well done to the large numbers of club athletes that turned out and supported the Robbie Steele Memorial race in Whitegate. As you may know this is one of two races that is run by East Cork AC during the year.
Kevin O'Leary has well and truly come out the other end of the Cork marathon with another great run for 2nd overall in 20.38. The club interview with Kenneth Kelleher seems to have rejuvenated his running spirit and he ran a storming 21.57 for 4th overall (and was even ahead of eventual race winner Sergio Ciobanu for a while :) ). Stephen O'Brien continued his rich vein of form and ran a 50 second PB to finish 5th in 22.11 with Shane just behind in 22.28. Donal was another second back in 22.29. So we occupied 5 of the top 7 positions overall. Conor Tierney had an excellent run, going around in his fastest time in 18 month in 25.16. It was great to see Pat O'Connor out supporting the local race in what is a very tough time. Hopefully he will continue this good form to cross country in September. Lorna ran her first race since being out for a few weeks recently with injury and ran a solid 28.22. Denis was eyeing her up the whole way however and finished a mere 14 seconds behind her. Norah ran a brilliant PB and smashed the 30 min barrier with a great 29.22. Lavinia in her 14th race of the year dipped just under the 33 mins then in 32,59. Well done all and also for all those who helped out with many different jobs on the night to ensure the smooth running of the whole race.
Not to be outdone Frank O'Carroll ran a 10k in Copenhagen on Tuesday night in 36.56th for 17th overall.
JB Graded League Rd 3 - Ovett, Coe and Cram
In a throwback to the 80's we seem to have our own East Cork version of the legendary Ovett, Coe and Cram rivalry. While one trio were battling for world records and Olympic titles our stars Crowley, O'Brien and Giltinan are battling for bragging rights and acceptance.
Tim, Stephen and Donal lined up in the 1500m on Friday night for the John Buckley Graded League third round and had a titanic battle. As the race settled current East Cork Senior 1500m champ Tim Crowley took charge of a group of 7 and did what he does best, put his head down and worked hard! Stephen and Donal were grateful to be on this express service and gladly switched brains off and hung on.
As the race progressed into the dreaded 3rd lap, where normally things slow down as bodies get tired from the intensity and heads start thinking about the sprint finish to come, Tim kept the pressure on and dropped a few more from the group. WIth 400m to go it was set up for a straight up shoot out of our East Cork heros and Andrew Hobbs from Leevale.
As Donal and Stephen assessed the situation going around the bend with 350m to go Tim kept the pace honest and ensured there was no lull. Hobbs from Leevale had a small gap as they entered the home straight and then the battle was on. Stephen took flight 90m out and like a gazelle in the Savannah avoiding an ambush (and Tims elbows) went the long way round to lane 3 to overtake Tim and set himself up for the final push. Donal, sensing that this was his the moment to shine, locked on Stephens trail and opened up to full sprint mode. Tim who surely must of been feeling it the most of the group, having grinded out the pace for the previous 1400m, stayed strong right to the line and didn't give an inch in lane 1. Stephen caught Hobbs with 10m to go and Donal pipped Tim by a neck leading to a chaotic finish. Luckily there were cool heads recording everything and times and positions were recorded accurately. Well done lads.
In Denmark Frank continued his good form running his 2nd sub 10 min 3k of the season in 9.57. These "Trackseries" races look very competitive and well organised, perhaps we should plan a club trip for the next one. No doubt Frank would be willing to put a group of us up and show us the sights of Copenhagen...
National League Rd 2 - AIT:
The second round of the National league was on in Athlone IT on Sunday. The womens section had another fantastic day and have qualified for the final top of the division. They will be in with a real shout of grabbing a promotion to Premier for next year if they keep this form up. Fiona was our sole athlete representing the division. She won the 3k in 10.48 and was 3rd in the 1500 in 5.03.
The mens team didn't quite reach the lofty standards of the ladies but they did qualify to the finals grabbing the 8th and final spot. The two Kevin's were competing again in this. Kevin O'Brien doubled up and was 3rd in 1500m in 4.09 and 4th in 800m in 2.05. Kevin O'Leary on his first race after the marathon had to face into the gale force windy on the top bend 13 times and battled valiantly to record 16.02 and 3rd place in the race. Frank O'Brien was 3rd in the 3k Steeplechase in 10.37.
Well done to selectors Liam O'Brien, Willie Walsh and Joan Hough and all the other athletes in the East Cork region that played a part in getting both teams through to the finals in Tullamore in 3 weeks time. It is a great achievement and a step in the right direction for East Cork athletics.
Random Road Racing:
Brian went to Millstreet on Friday night and ran 28.30 for 11th overall in a surprisingly competitive field. The Ballycotton 5 mile summer series must obviously be benefiting some other races around the county. Tim O'Donoghue ran a 10k in Silgo on Saturday where he came 3rd in 32.45.
The next race on the calendar is the East Cork organised "Robbie Steele 4 Mile" in Whitegate on Thursday night. Help will be need recording results and taking registrations so if you are not running any extra hands would be greatly appreciated.
National 5 Miler and East Cork T&F Day 2:
In the last 2 weeks there have been two championships that we have competed in. The National 5 Miler and the East Cork T&F Day 2 in Conna. In the National 5 Miler in Phoneix Park, Brian Harty went in the search of a sub 28 minute clocking. Brian has been in great form the past couple of months and went out confidently in a 5.14 mile. The Phoneix Park is notoriously hilly however and the 2nd mile was directly into a stiff breeze. Brian battled valiantly and finished in a new PB of 28.06. The sub 28 will have to now done on home soil in Cork! Unfortunately the East Cork T&F Day 2 results are not up yet. I will add these later in the week when available.
Random Road Racing:
There were a few road races going on. Kevin O'Brien was 2nd in the Grant Thornton 5k in the city in 15.40, Stephen on his quest to follow Donal into the sub 17 club knocked on the door once again and ran just over the barrier in 17.07. Michelle continued her breakthrough season with another PB, running 20.20 for 10th lady overall. Denis was our sole runner in Coolagown and was 74th in 22.07. Donal and Eadaoin headed to North Cork again in search of prize money. Donal ran an excellent 22.39 for 6th overall and a sick Eadaoin ran 27.56 for 4th lady.
The only track race in the last few weeks was Frank who finished 2nd in 2.00:24 for an 800m in the Thomond Games in UL
John Buckley Graded League - June 28th; CIT (800m and 1500m)
National League Rd 2 - June 30th; AIT
Robbie Steele Corkbeg 4 Mile - July 4th, Whitegate
Very little racing the past week. Tim, Kevin and Frank did venture up to Leixslip on Saurday in the hope of a few cheeky mid season fast times, the wind had other ideas unfortunately. Also Lavinia made the trip to North Cork for the 10k in Doneraile Park.
Firstly in Leixslip - Tim ran a very controlled race in the 3000m B race. After 2000m Tim was in 6th overall but closed very strong and moved up to 3rd with a big move on the last lap to finish with 9.44. Interestingly his last three 3000m's have been 9.43, 9.43 and 9.44.
Kevin and Frank did battle on the track for a third time this season. With Kevin prevailing in the Leevale 3k and Frank getting revenge in the Graded League 800m this shaped up to be a very competitive battle over 1500m. Frank on the very inside of lane 1 started strong with the gale force wind at his back and settled in comfortably behind the 61 second pacemaker. However eventual race winner Mitchell Byrne, Rathfarnham AC, pulled away in the 2nd lap leaving Frank leading the pack into the wind on the home straight through 700m. Kevin was watching and waiting at the back of the lead group as the race settled. The passed through the 800m in 2.05 with Tim Crowley in his unmissable compression socks shouting out encouragement and times. At this stage Frank and Kevin were in 5th and 6th and into the home straight for the penultimate time Frank was again taking the brute force of the wind. Kevin not making the same mistakes as the 800m 2 weeks ago bided his time.
With 300m to go Kevin made his move, passed Frank and then spent the next 50 seconds waiting for Frank to unleash his trademark kick and come flying past. That did not happen this day and Kevin hung on for 5th in 4.05 with Frank in 7th in 4.09. Again a lot of credit has to go to the organising of these races. They run like clockwork and really give another dimension to track racing.
Doneraile 10k - Lavinia ran a solid 56.03 in a 10k on a very hilly course in Doneraile Park and no doubt had a great day out.
- National 5 Mile Champs - June 15th; Phoneix Park (Brian Harty)
- John Buckley Graded League - June 28th; CIT
- National League Rd 2 - June 30th; AIT
- Robbie Steele Corkbeg 4 Mile - July 4th, Whitegate
The below have ordered the limited edition East Cork jackets. If you also want one please let me know ASAP as I have already made the order and only have a small bit of time to update it. This is the final ordering of this style of top.
Donogh, Stephen, Lavinia, Graham, Donal, Niall, Jonathon, Annalise
Cork Marathon, Half and Relay success
Although it is not a championship race the Cork Marathon weekend is a big one on the calendar. With the relay numbers included there are close to 10,000 people taking part.
This year we had considerable success across all races! Fiona who has finished 3rd and 2nd the last two years finally reached the top of the podium and won the Half Marathon in a new PB of 83.17 and more importantly €500 to be spent on a badly needed new pair or racers.
Tim who has been keeping a low profile of late has obviously still been getting the miles in. He ran an excellent race to finish 2nd overall in the marathon in 2.25:52 and in the process beat 2:15 marathoner Sergio Ciobanu. Tim went through halfway in 71.30 and despite a few hallucinations in the last few miles held strong to hold his pace and finish comfortably clear of Sergio in the end.
Kevin O'Leary was our next man home and was 6th overall in a very commendable 2.33:53. Kevin who is targeting Berlin later on in the year was using Cork as a tester as he has ran 3 track races in the last month alone, and is still hoping to set a few more PB's over the shorter distances this summer.
Niall Murphy was making his debut marathon for East Cork and finished in 41st overall in 3.04:31. Training showed Niall was in much better shape than and will be back for more after a few weeks of recovery.
We had mens and a womens relay teams this year also. Our men were 4th overall in 2.34:37, although crucially they did not beat Tim and Kevin to the finish line. So some work will have to be done this winter to make sure this never happens again. Interesting Leevale who won the relay team title only passed out Tim with 2 miles to go, which again shows what a strong run he ran.
Our womens team also had an excellent run for 4th All-female team in 3.19:06. This was 30th overall out of nearly 650 teams. Well done all.
East Cork T&F Day 1:
Results are not up yet for the East Corks that were on Bank Holiday Monday in CIT. Tim Crowley has however reliably informed me he did indeed win the mens Senior 1500m in 4.35 with Frank Hayes in 2nd. Further details will be later in the week when results come out.
Special Mention - Frank O'Brien:
East Cork AC would like to congratulate training squad member Franko on his excellent Senior School 2k steeple victory in Tullamore on Saturday. In a very exciting race Frank showed excellent steepling technique over the water jump to stay in touch with the leaders in the middle part of the race and then showed a clean pair of heels to Daniel Stone of Belvedere College over the final 400m. Franks time of 6.01 is a PB of 13 seconds and puts him in position to realistically eye up a 9.15 3k time for the European U-20 Championships in Sweden in July.
Munster Senior and Masters T&F:
The main event at the weekend was the Munster Senior/Masters T&F. Unfortunately the less said about this event the better... Low numbers and poor organisation made it a bit of a torrid affair.
We had 5 athletes competing. Fiona was the only senior female so by default won the Munster Title. In a solo race, with the start over an hour delayed, she ran a very respectable 18.02 in the circumstances.
Tim Crowley was the sole representative in the M35 category and ran a strong race to finish in 9.43, the same time as the Counties last week. Frank O'Carroll who was back from Denmark for the weekend togged out in the club colours and took silver in the M40 category in 10.01. Frank Hayes won the silver M45 medal in 9.51 and Denis on tired legs from a 5k the night before was 3rd in 12.25 in the M55's. Well done all for competing and representing the club in such good numbers.
Hopefully next year some lessons will be learned and decisions made in the few days leading up to the event to clarify the distances being run and the timings of these.
Old club stalwart Dave O'Dwyer made a welcome return to racing at the Touraneena 5k in Waterford. Dave ran a promising 20.09 and hopefully there will be plenty more to come for the rest of the summer. It appears his training around Ballymaloe is paying off. Denis also ran and finished 61st in 22.14.
The East Cork T&F that was postponed in April is being held on Bank Holiday Monday at 11am. There is a 1500m for mens starting at 11am and an 800m for women with an unknown start time.
Cork Marathon - We have a few club members running the full and half marathons on Sunday. Best of luck to them all. Lots of training will have gone in for the last 6 months for this so hopefully conditions will be kind on the day!
Also we have both a mens and womens team competing on Sunday:
Mens: Shane Harrington, Donogh Wall, Donal Giltnan (C), Graham Swords and Stephen O'Brien
Womens: Annalese Hutch, Lorna Santry, Eadaoin O'Neill (C), Michelle Ahearn and Lavinia Swords
John Buckley showed his continued support for Cork athletics this week, sponsoring both the very successful BHAA 5k on the marina Tuesday night and the Graded T&F league on Thursday.
John Buckley 5k:
We had good numbers competing in both with a number of PB's set. Starting with the 5k we had Graham Swords lead home the charge of the East Cork brigade, smashing hs PB in the process to run 16.21 and 16th overall. A full 22 seconds faster than Emer Casey last month. Brian Harty continued his rich vein of form also with a PB of 16.27 (a full 71 seconds faster than Emer Casey!! In track terms that would be about 400m).
Shane, running his 4th race in May, ran a solid 16.43. Donal on a mission these days came with a game plan and executed it perfectly. He now is part of a very exclusive sub 17 mins club. Hopefully a few more will join him here sooner rather than later..
Stephen O'Brien literally running in his own back yard followed up his County Track 1500m gold with another impressive outing and PB, finishing 41st in 17.04. Fireman Finn improved on his Cheetah run by 40+ seconds with a 17.31 and Donogh knocked 29 seconds off his PB with 17.36. Lavinia targeted a sub 25 min 5k as a goal at the start of the year and delivered with style in 24.22. Great to see such a large club contingent running.
John Buckely Graded League - Rd 2:
In the graded league then the middle distance events on offer were the 800m and the 3000m. East Corks newest member Norah O'Brien made her much anticipated debut. In a touching moment Norah and Fiona shared a lane for the start of the first 800m of the night. Fiona ran a brilliant 2.24, coming through the field with a very strong last lap and Norah broke her targeted 3 minutes with a bit to spare in 2.51. Stephen ran his first 800m ever in an impressive 2.14. Kevin was 4th in the 800m A race in 2.02, having set up Frank nicely to win in 1.59. Surely the favour will be returned later in the summer...
Kevin doubled up and ran the 3k as well. In a ding dong battle with Dundrums Eamon Morrissey Kevin came out on top in 9.17. But the real race of the night was the showdown between Eadaoin and Michelle. With a target of 11.45 the girls knew 94 seconds a lap was the required pace and you could tell during the strides and at the start line both meant business. As we now know from Fiona's track and field strategy book, pacing is very important in all aspects of racing and even 2 to 3 seconds out from target pace could have disastrous consequences. This did not deter Eadaoin or Michelle, who blasted off to run the first 400m in 84 seconds flat.. However the girls recovered nicely and set into a good rhythm with Eadaoin setting the tempo and Michelle tucked in behind, the tactical battle had begun. With all the recent Wednesday night runs with Denis and Liam one wonders did Michelle learn a few racing tricks from the older section of the club as with 400m to go it looked like it would go down right to the wire but Michelle unleashed a devastating (for Eadaoin) kick to come through very strong and crossed the line in 11.30. Eadaoin was just behind in 11.41. Both excellent times with a long summer of racing left for revenge. Annalesse running her first track race ever ran a great 12.55 too.
Norah also doubled up and ran a mighty 32 seconds for the 200m, finishing 2nd in her race and holding off a large pack in the final few meters. With dodgy record keeping in the 80' and 90's this is currently a new club record! What a way to start your East Cork career!