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!
Ballymacoda and Buttevant 4 Milers:
On Friday night we had 1st and 2nd in Ballymacoda 5k. Brian and Shane literally duked it out for the win from the start . With Martin Drakes live commentary stoking up the fires Brian made a bold dash with 200m to go and outsprinted his training partner to take the glory in 21.54. Shane was only 2 seconds back in 21.56.
Donogh was 7th in 23.32, Jens was 27th in 25.31 and Conor was 32nd in 25.57. Well done all, a great race for a great cause.
At the same time the Buttevant 4 mile was taking place and in a showing of our new extended reach around the county we had 2 runners competing. Eadaoin had a storming last 800m to grab the 3rd spot on the podium in a great 26.30. Donal was 4th overall in 23.07, which should set him up nicely for John Buckley 5k on Tuesday night.
County Masters T&F
We had a 100% hit rate at the county masters in CIT on Sunday. Every single East Cork athlete who ran won a medal. This can only be down to diligent training and superb racing ability!
Stephen O'Brien on his track championship debut won the 1500m overall and took out the M35 title with an imposing performance in 4.41. Frank Hayes was seen with two medals around his neck in the car park after winning the M50 3k in 10.01 then afterwards coming 2nd M50 in the 1500m in 4.54. Tim Crowley won the M35 3000m in 9.43 which is an 11 second improvement on his Leevale Open Sports time from a few weeks back. Denis scooped silver in the M55 3000m and Eric was 3rd in the M50 3000m. Excellent stuff.
National League and Irish Milers Club:
We had three amigos driving all over the county at the weekend. They were in the search for quality track races that are run to an accurate timetable, and they found them.
Firstly on Saturday at the Irish Milers Club in Iirshtown the two Kevins raced the "GV Ryan fastest 5ks". The name lived up to expectations with both running PB's. Kevin O'Brien ran sub 15mins for the first time with a 14.54 and Kevin O'Leary on his 5k track debut ran 15.35 knocking another 5 seconds off his already impressive PB. Fiona, sick of winning all the local road races by a country mile, went in the search of a challenge. She ran an excellent 4.57 for the 1500m which placed her last overall, exactly what she was looking for.
On Sunday then in Templemore, round 1 of the National League was on. East Cork Division (a combination of all clubs in East Cork) have entered a team in Division 1 and to count you need to have athletes competing in 15 out of approx 20 events. Kevin O'Brien ran the 1500m and the 800m and picked up 12 points for the team with 3rd placings in both races in 4.08 and 2.04. Kevin O'Leary had the tougher task of following up his 5k PB from 24 hours earlier to race 5k again. He looked at it as a good test of his strength for the upcoming Cork marathon. Kevin ran 15.45 with a huge last lap to pip Nenagh AC athlete in home straight. This got him 1st place and 9 points for the team.
Fiona having studied track and field racing strategies overnight brought a new game plan to the race. She tucked in wisely to the main pack for 800m then went to the front and wound it up for the last 700m to neutralise the finishing kicks of her crop-top wearing competitors. With a storming last 300m Fiona won her race 6 seconds faster than the day before in 4.51 and got 9 points for the team.
The team results have not been posted yet but it looks likely that the womens team is 1st or 2nd at the moment going into Round 2 and the mens team is in 4th place. Round 2 is set for June 30th in Athlone IT.
The summer season of racing is in full flow with multiple races each week week to choose from. In the last few days we had Brian and Shane running in Bweeng. Brian was back to his old self running a decent 16.42 for 13th overall with Shane just behind dipping under the 17 min barrier by the slimiest of margins for 14th.
Yesterday evening then was the unique annual Cheetah 5k run in Fota Island. We had 4 running. First home and continuing his comeback trail was Kenneth in 17.18 for 7th. Next was Jonathon in 13th with 18.15. Jens switched back from the orienteering for a 5k blast and ran a PB of 19.32 and Niamh ran a great 21.21 for 14th female.
*Race Date Amendments:*
Please note that the County Senior T&F had been deferred to May 26th in CIT. However the County Masters T&F is going ahead as planned this Sunday May 19th. There are no timetables or event listing for these races yet.... These will be posted if available before the day.
National League Round 1; Templemore May 19th:
We have three athletes representing the East Cork division in the National League on Sunday. Fiona is running the 1500m, Kevin O'Leary is running the 5000m and Kevin O'Brien is also doing the 1500m race. Best of luck to the whole divisional team.
Club Gear - Jackets:
There will be one last order of the current club jackets in the coming weeks so if you do not have one already and would like to fit in with the crowd then please let Kevin O'Brien know. The cost is approx €65.
We had three competing in the Munster Half Marathon Championships last weekend. Niall finished 21st overall in 80.06, Frank was 12th in 89.50. This was one second different than last year so looks suspiciously like a he had a balloon attached to him with 90 written on it. Lavinia improved on her Charleville time from September by 3 minutes to finish in 2:04.26. Well done to all for representing the club at the Munster championships.
- Ballymacoda 4 MIle, Friday May 17th
- Irish Milers Club 1500m and 5000m, Saturday May 18th; Irishtown, Dublin
- County Senior and Masters T&F, Sunday May 19th, CIT
- National League Rd 1, Sunday May 19th, Templemore
- John Buckley 5k, Tuesday May 21st, Marina
- John Buckley Graded League 800m and 3000m, Wednesday 23rd, CIT
- Cork Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay, Sunday June 2nd, Cork
We are looking to have both a male and female teams for the Cork City marathon. It is 5 people per team. Most slots are filled now from training regulars but we are looking for one or two more. So if you have any interest make yourself know to the right people.
Fiona regains title:
Congrats to Fiona on winning the Midleton 5 mile again for the 3rd time in 4 years. Fittingly she was wearing the Number 1 bib and most importantly it was run with a new PB too of 29.44. Her recent track racing exploits must be paying off. Michelle was 13th lady and also had a big PB getting around in 34.11 almost a full 6 minutes faster than last years race. Girl Power!
In the mens race Kevin and James renewed their recent rivalry in the final chapter of their East Cork Road Racing trilogy! Kevin came out on top in Ballintotis, James gained revenge, and history, as the first 6 time winner of the East Cork Roads and it was all on the line again last night in Midleton. James had a 20m gap on Kevin at halfway but the marathon man in his Nike Vapour Fly 4% racers regained contact with 2k to go and closed with a sub 5 minute mile (again, like Fiona, no doubt seeing the benefits of recent track racing...) to finish 2nd overall in 25.52. The raider from An Bru, Niall Shanahan, upset the local favourites and took out a fine win in 25.17.
Shane Harrington was back racing again and showed he is still in great form running a swift 28.19 for 9th overall. Stephen O'Brien who is going from strength to strength ran a super race to finish 12th overall with a monster PB of 28.47. Donal was close behind and improved on his Ballynoe time by 45 seconds for 14th in 29.11. Brian Harty went out hard and paid the price a little bit in the latter stages finished in 19th in 29.22. Donogh provided the perfect pacer for Fiona in the last 500m finished on 29.44 too. Denis who is still recovering forma injured knee rounded off the East Cork representation on the night with 35.18.
Well done to all who competed and well done to Midleton AC on organising another fantastic race. It really is one of the highlights of the Summer Road racing circuit.
Munster Marathon and Half Marathon Championships - Limerick, May 5th:
The Munster Marathon and half marathon championships are on Sunday May 5th in Limerick. Best of luck to all taking part.
East Cork AC infiltrated the Leevale Open Sports on Saturday. In an encouraging trend the training squad made up a large portion of the number of competitors in the 3k race. This follows up from a bumper attendance by us at the Graded League 1 mile race midweek.
We had 4 of the 11 athletes in the mens race. Kevin O'Brien took home the spoils leading a controlled pace for the first 6.5 laps then making a move with 400m to go to open up a small gap on Eric Curran of the host club to win in 8.54. Frank O'Brien, on his season opener, ran a nice race for 3rd overall with a big kick in the last 200m to seal a PB of 9.02. A full 10 seconds faster than last year in very windy conditions.
Tim Crowley had split loyalties on the day and was seen warming up and down with old friends. This did not deter him however from racing hard and he came away with 8th in 9.54. A nice 11 second improvement from the Munster Indoors in February. Patrick Kelly having turned his attention to the track now that the schools cross country season is over ran another competitive race in 10.12.
Fiona in her first track race in many years, reignited her rivalry with Aishling Kelly of St Johns. They last did battle in November in a tense Munster Senior Cross Country in Two Mile Borris where Fiona prevailed for 3rd overall. Kelly, however, got her revenge on Saturday. Despite being close together for much of the opening mile Kelly made a decisive break to finish 2nd behind Sinead O'Connor (Leevale AC) with Fiona 3rd in 10.47.
Midleton 5 Mile and Munster Marathon:
Midleton 5 mile is the next big local road race, on this Thursday evening at 8pm. There will also be track training at the cricket pitch at the normal time for anyone not racing.
Also on May 5th in Limerick. The Munster Marathon and half marathon championships are on.
East Cork Road Champs:
Well done to all who competed last night at the 40th East Cork Road Championships on the fearsome course in Ballynoe. James has now become the most successful individual winner of all time with 6 individual titles. He is standing on the shoulders of Denis and Sean who have won 5 each. With Meade brothers Eric and Bryan on 4 each.
In a calm but chilly evening we had 11 athletes in total. James took out the win in 26.41 with trackman Kevin O'Leary 2nd in 27.10. The remainder of our men made up the silver winning team. Congrats to Graham on his debut at this course with 5th in 28.35, former 3 time winner Frank Hayes was 6th in 29.16, Donal also on his debut with a sub 30 7th of 29.57 and Denis who has won medals at this event in the last 4 decades in 35th.
The womens event of 3k and twice up the infamous hill was fast and furious from the start with eventual winner Claire O'Brien (not Liams lovely wife) pushing the pace from gun to tape for a comprehensive win. Eadaoin, former champion from 2012, was our first lady home in 5th with Michelle closing fast not far behind in 7th and Niamh with another good run in 10th. This made up the gold winning team so congrats all. Eibhlin after only just arriving back from a long drive form Dublin was 31st and Lavinia close behind in 36th. Well done to Tamzin Muldowney too for finishing 2nd overall and first Junior.
JB Graded League - 1 Mile
The first round of the John Buckley Graded League was held on Wednesday night in CIT. In all we had 5 athletes from the club running the 1 mile event along with numerous others from the training group. In the first race Kevin O'Brien retained his mens title from last year this time holding off fast finishing Jake McCarthy from Youghal. Kevin O'Leary in his first ever track race ran a controlled 4.49. Tim Crowley continuing his return from injury broke the 5 minute barrier by a second to finish 11th.
The second race was won by John Spellman of Midleton AC in 5.02. John was only just back from a weekend orienteering at the JK in England. He pushed hard from 650m out and maintained this advantage despite strong late efforts from Patrick Kelly and Stephen O'Brien. Stephen on his debut finished 2nd in a PB of 5.04 with Patrick just behind. Donal also on his debut ran a strong race in 5.06 and is showing good range in the last few weeks from 1 mile - 10miles.
Stryker BHAA 4 Mile
Also on Wednesday night was the Styker 4 Mile. Niall Murphy had a storming run to finish 2nd overall in 22.15 with Donogh in 17th om 23.56.
Coming up this Thursday night will be the 40th running of the East Cork Road Championships. A full history of the event from its humble beginnings would require a guest article from John Walshe so I am just going to limit this to the niche group of 7 East Cork AC women who can claim they have worn the East Cork Road Champions crown.
Going right back to 1986 Mary Curtin of Mount Uniake won the title for East Cork AC for the first time, she also regained it in 1989 and 1990 . Eileen Prunty, our women's 10 mile record holder (60.04), was our 2rd winner of the event in 1988 and also won the title for her 2nd time in 1991. Mary Sheehan won back to back in 1992 and 1993 and Helen O'Callaghan stamped her authority on the race and won a unique triple from 1995 - 1997.
On the turn of the millennium Claire O'Brien (Liams lovely wife) won the 2000 event. We then went through another quiet period for 12 years until club stalwart and current competition secretary Eadaoin O'Neill took the title in 2012. Fiona Santry, the current dominant force in East Cork road running, fittingly added her name to this bunch of East Cork AC legends then in 2018. The question remains who will take out this special 3000m road race this Thursday night April 25th in Ballynoe?
Joyce Curtin (daughter of Mary from 1986 and 1989 vintage) won the race in 2004, 2006 and 2008 as a juvenile/Junior representing Glenbower AC. And Niamh Walsh who is a current club member won in 2008, alas representing rivals Youghal AC.
Dromina 10 Mile:
Congrats to Donal on his podium and PB in his home 10 miler of Dromina at the weekend. In a hilly undulating course in poor conditions Donal ran a strong 61.12 for 3rd overall.
Ballintotis 4 Mile:
Ballintotis 4 was another amazing success this year and a lot of credit has to be given to the organisers for the massive effort for all the preparation and attention to detail to make it such an enjoyable experience for all involved. Thank you very much.
From an East Cork AC point of view it was a literal runaway success with the men taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd and Fiona winning the womens for the second year in a row.
Kevin O'Brien was first home over the line in 20.13 and continued the East Cork winning streak, with Kevin O'Leary close behind and smashing his PB in 20.28. James was 3rd and continues his impressive feat of finishing on the podium every year since the race began in 2009.
The race started fast with Barry O'Donovan form Leevale pushing the pace through the sea of spectators outside the church before the race settled down as they hit the country roads. James and the two Kevin's formed a bunch at the 1 mile mark with Frank O'Brien (Midleton AC), Barry O'Donovan (Leevale), Kieran McKeown (Watergrasshill AC) and Damien Kennealy (Eagle AC) forming a chasing pack just behind.
The easterly wind was tough for all between the 1-3 mile stretch and it was halfway along here that Kevin O'B made his move and broke away (after selfishly tucking in behind out of the wind for the previous mile). Kevin O'L pushed hard at the tight hairpin turn and made his bid for home with over a mile to go. He knows these roads better than anyone else and ran 4.57 solo for the last mile to take 2nd. James was 3rd then with Frank O'Brien 4th overall and first junior home next, also with a big PB in 21.00.
Graham, relieved than his nemesis Niall Murphy decided not to race, ran 22.05 for 8th. We then had a big group very close together. Tim Crowley with a typically gritty and strong finish was 18th in 23.00. Stephen O'Brien with a another impressive performance and PB was 21st in 23.05, despite missing three week training in March due to injury. Jonathon Finn was one behind in 22nd in 23.11, a hearty congratulations to Jonathon too as he got engaged last week, no wonder he had a big smile before the race started (although that changed quickly after a sprightly first mile). Kenneth Kelleher made a return to the roads with a steady 23.22 and was quoted after saying "I'm just glad I didn't get chicked". Donogh was 31st in 23.29, Eric won was 3rd O50 was 62nd, Jens on his road back form injury race a painfree 25.28 for 89th and Denis was 3rd O55 with a banjaxed knee so hopefully he will recovery quickly.
Fiona dominated the ladies for the 2nd year in a row with an impressive performance and another PB of 23.26, she had over a minute to spare over Ann Geary of Midleton. It just shows the level Fiona is operating at these days and she keeps going from strength to strength. Hopefully she got the honour this year of actually breaking the winners tape after last year debacle..
Eadaoin in her fasted 4 mile since 2015 was 11th with 26.35, Michelle on her ever improving curve ran a staggering 4 minutes 21 seconds faster than her previous best 4 mile time!! Averaging a cool 6.45 Michelle finished in 27.03 and firmly established herself in the top 20 (16th). Eibhlin and Lavinia had a close battle with Eibhlin using her usual sprint finish to good effect in 32.19, while Lavinia record a PB of 32.40.
- John Buckley Graded T&F, Wednesday 24th in CIT. This is a graded 1 mile race and is a great opportunity to run on the track. It cost €5 and starts at approx 8pm. It is open for all men and women. The range of finish times is large so really is a great chance to run your first track race and experience something different. Last year finish times ranged from 4.30 to 9 minutes and the races are graded so you run with people of a similar ability.
- East Cork Road Championships, Thursday 25th in Ballynoe. This is the 40th running of this event and is usually well supported by the club. The womens race is 3k (and crucially only once up "that" hill) while the mens is 5 miles.
- Leevale Open Sports, Saturday 27th in CIT. There are 800m, 1500 and 3000m races on the day and entry is online. Details on Leevales website (I dare not post that link on here...).
Donogh ran in Waterford in the Ballinroad 5k last Friday night. In a course not quite as quick as Emer Casey he ran a solid 18.05. This should set him up nicely for Ballintotis next week.
East Cork Track and Field Day 1- Sunday April 14th, CIT:
Disappointingly there has been very little information from the East Cork board about the East Cork track and field championships upcoming this weekend in CIT. These championships are an ideal gateway to get athletes used to running track races and experiencing the core disciplines of the sport.
Unfortunately for the senior women there is only one race to chose from (an 800m), while there are two for the men (although at completely opposite ends of the programme!). Perhaps this is due to a lack of an appetite for track and field in the general East Cork region. But after successfully competing in the National Leagues last year and also aiming to field full teams again this year it would be great if there was a little bit more effort put in to promote the Senior races.
So for those who are thinking of competing please see the programme below. The mens 1500m is to start at 11am, with the 800m races to start at approx 2pm. The juniors will more than likely be mixed in with the seniors in the 800m too leading to some exciting competitive racing. You turn up, enter and pay on the day.
This really is an event for all, especially if you have not raced on the track before. And believe it or not if you improve your track speed it means you run faster on the road too :) !