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 :) !
Sean and Lavinia braved racing the never ending straight road at the UCC 10k. Sean was 2nd behind Alan O'Shea with a decent 33.12 and Lavinia ran a 90 second PB of 53.31. Well done both of you. Winter miles = summer smiles!
Emer Casey 5k:
We had a very large turnout in the Emer Casey 5k last night. James ran swift 15.16 to take out the win with Sean in close pursuit 4 seconds behind. Kevin O'Leary had a breakthrough PB with an excellent 15.40 for 4th. There were some road races on in the last week and we were well attended.In other very tight battle NIall edged out Graham once again, this time by the smallest of margin. Just one second separated them at the finish line! Niall ran an amazing PB for 16.42 with Graham at 16.43. Donal also ran a big personal best knocking about 50 seconds off his previous time to run 17.31. Brian Harty was close behind in 17.38.
Eadaoin was very close to breaking the 20 minute barrier with 20.08 although she has held on to bragging rights by nudging ahead of Denis (20.16) and Lorna (20.18). Niamh also had an excellent race running 30 seconds faster than her best time from 2018!
Welcome to new member Norah O'Brien who made the jump from local rivals Midleton AC to East Cork in the latest transfer window. Rumour has it the signing on bonus was large and she will be a strong addition to our female long jump team..
Upcoming Championship Races:
- National 10km Championships - April 14th; Dublin
- East Cork T&F Day 1 - April 14th, CIT (800m and 1500m (men only)) 1500m is at 11am and 800ms approx 2.15pm
- East Cork Road Championships - April 25th, 7.30pm; Ballynoe (5 mile for men, 3k for women)
- National Road Relays - April 28th; Raheny
Well done to the five racing in Mallow at the weekend. Fiona grabbed a podium position of 3rd with an excellent run with a PB of 60.38. This is getting very close to Eileen Pruntys club record of 60.04 set in Ballycotton in 1987.
Niall continued his good form to improve on his Kinsale time by 1.45 running a decent 58.10 for 28th overall. Donal went out hard and in a bid to break away from Fiona early, little did he know of her persistence. However he came home in a very good 61.22 and is improving remarkably with each race, with a long summer to go he will be one to watch out for.
Eadaoin running her first 10 miler for many years ran a solid 70.24 looking comfortable throughout. Michelle on her debut over the classic distance also had an impressive race averaging 7.17 a mile for a tidy 72.55. This is a faster pace than her 4 mile and 5 mile season bests from last year!!! So PB's will no doubt tumble this summer for Michelle, consistent hard work always pays off.
Well done to website sponsor Brian Harty, who won the overall title in the Cloyne Commons 4k series. Brian ran 4 of the 5 races in 54.29 at an average of 13.37. A full minute and a half ahead of second place Ken Ince from Watergrasshill AC.
It is good to see East Cork triumph in the local rivalry and wrestle back the trophy from Midleton AC who won the title last year. Well done Brian.
Congrats to Denis and Sean on winning individual medals in Castlelyons on Bank Holiday Monday. In wet but calm conditions the races kicked off with the womens Novice and Masters at 11am. Eadaoin led the Novice team home to 5th position. Eadaoin was 11th in the Novice race in 27.05, Niamh O'Connor making her 2019 debut ran a strong race to finish 19th Novice and 6th F35. Eibhlin with a last minute entry ran well for 37th place with Lavinia running her second race of the weekend in 38th.
We had a successful haul from the mens races with our Novice team (including two debutantes) winning silver and our wily masters taking out bronze team in the M35's. In a very competitive race Sean was 3rd overall and 3rd Master. The race was won outright by Paul Maloney of Mallow with Alan O'Brien of Eagle in 2nd. Niall Murphy running his first race for the club after joining the training squad over the winter ran an exceptional race in 22.04 to finish 13th overall. Niall had a titanic battle with Graham with only 4 seconds seperating them at the finish (Graham perhaps had used up his finishing kick after outsprinting his wife and son Zach in Cloyne on Sunday morning..)
Frank Hayes ran his usual solid run and added yet another team medal to his already impressive haul, finishing 4th M45 and 21st overall in 22.43. Doanl Giltinan, also running his first race for the club, acquitted himself very well. In another inter club battle he pulled away from Donogh in the last 50m to a mighty impressive 23.11 (25th overall), Donogh finished 4 seconds back. Although it must be said that perhaps they will need to repeat this duel in Ballintotis as Donogh had just finished a night shift in the hospital at 8am in the morning. Without him we wouldn't have fielded a team so a lot of credit is due.
Denis took home 2nd in the M55 category with a very tidy 26.39. About a minute faster than the munsters 2 weeks ago and will no doubt be a major talking point on Wednesdays mid week run.
Cloyne Commons 4k:
Brian Harty continued his good form in Cloyne on Sunday with a solid 13.40. John Hennessy ran close behind in 3rd for 13.45 and Jonathon Finn also ran sub 14 for 4th with a 13.58.
Eric Meade, Denis McCarthy, Graham Swords and Lavinia also ran. Well done all who participated in the series and congrats to Cloyne District Community Council for hosting and organising such a well run event throughout the winter. The hard work and effort behind the scenes is much appreciated by all athletes.
Reading Half Marathon:
Tim O'Donoghue and Kevin O'Leary went international this weekend and flew to Reading in England in search of some good early season times. And they got them. Tim ran his usual excellent performance coming 15th overall in a high caliber field in 67.25. Kevin ran yet another PB of 70.25 in coming 35th overall. Well done both, it's great to see the East Cork singlet being so well represented abroad.
National Indoor Masters:
Congrats to Sean on getting 2nd in the National Masters M35 category in AIT at the weekend. Sean ran 9.12 in a tight battle with Glenn Donnelly from Acorns AC, who ran 9.11. This national medal now guarantees Sean a spot in the much coveted East Cork Awards night next year.
Despite a tactical slow start to the race, Tim Crowley also improved on his time from the Munsters and was 6th in 9.54 in the M35 category.
Killeagh 4 Mile:
In Killeagh, James and Fiona both won in style. James led the race from the start and braved the very strong headwind for the first two miles. He ended up with a 25 second advantage over Leevales Eric Curran.
Fiona also started strong and was leading a large group of men through the first few miles and despite trying conditions still ran a solid 24.08 which gave her 1st lady and 9th overall.
Conor Tierney also continued his comeback with a good race for 22nd in 25.31.
Graham was on 60 min pacing duties in Duhallow and it seems that he performed his duties admirably, running 59.51. Lavinia was also running in Duhallow and ran a strong 92.02. A full 42 seconds faster, in tougher conditions, than Dungarvan a few weeks back.
County Road championships - Novice and Masters county road champs are on Monday 18th March in Castlelyons. Please let Eadaoin know by email if you are competing so she can enter the teams. These are 4 mile races for both men and women.
It seems the results for the Munster Roads have finalised. Please see below chart with details of who has won what. Congrats to all. It is a great haul from a Munster Championships:
The 2019 Munster Road Championships were held in Dundrum, Tipperary in what must be described as horrendous conditions. The temperature was 0 degrees, sleet/snow was falling and a chilling breeze was in your face for the second half of the race! However these cross country like conditions suited our athletes and we came home with some much prized silverware.
A huge run by Fiona on saw her crowned the champion of Munster. Taking control of the race from the gun she opened up a gap on the chasing pack over the first short mile loop around Dundrum village and literally never looked back from there. It was a dominant display of fearless running that demonstrates her excellent improvements in the last few years. In the last few years Fiona has finished 12, 4th, 3rd and now deservedly has the trophy. A brief visit to the ambulance after the race didn't deter her from celebrating with tea and sandwiches in the community hall afterwards. Well done Fi.
Following Fi home with another sterling performance was Michelle who covered the course in 27.47. A massive 4 minutes faster than her fastest 4 mile in 2018! It is no surprise to learn that she was also the U10 County XC champion in Carrig na Bhfear in 1998. That's the sort of quality your born with. Eibhlin made a welcome return to the racing scene after a bit of a lay off so fingers crossed it will be start of a long successful summer season.
The mens race is traditionally where we have been dominant in recent years. With Sean and James winning the race outright 9 of the last 10 years, confidence was high that we could add to the slightly disappointing return of 4 team titles in the same period.
After a cold warm up and a few minutes huddling for warmth in the hall the men were summoned to the start line at 1.40pm. The race started promptly and eventual winner Sean Doyle took the lead going into the first bend. He was stalked by a trio of East Cork vest in James, TImmy and Kevin O'B with Sean and Kevin O'L lurking just behind.
The race stretched out as Doyle pushed the pace. Tim and James made a bit of break from the chasing pack at the 1 mile mark and opened up a 20m gap. Shane was in about 40th position and also at this point Tim Crowley, Stephen O'Brien (on his debut) and Jonathon Finn were packing very strongly in a competitive race. Denis, who was the sole male to brave the conditions and cheer on the womens race, was in top 10 in the M55 category at this point. Tim continued to forge ahead in his attempt to catch the leader but perhaps it being the 3rd weekend in a row of racing had the legs feeling not quite 100%. He still finished in an impressive 2nd, clear of the field. Kevin O'B had a strong last kilometer to move from 8th to 4th. James who had battled valiantly in the wind on his own for most of the race finished 5th with Sean in 11th (2nd Master overall).
Kevin O'L finished in 21.39 in 28th overall. Shane was 41st with Tim C in 63rd, Jonathon in 66th and Stephen 67th. Denis finished 7th in the M55 category.
Now the hard part. The results are still provisional as there seem to be many mistakes and inaccuracies. Yesterday the Master Men were 3rd and now they are in 4th as it seems Leevale were forgotten (God forbid).
One thing that looks certain is the mens Senior team have won the team title. Currently the team that counts is Tim, James, Sean and Kevin O'L. Kevin O'B was entered in the Novice event only it seems but takes the consolation prize of Munster Novice champion although at nearly 32 years of age this may or may not be a proud achievement.
At the moment the master M35 team are 4th and Novice mens team were 4th. I will give an updated results listing when they are finalised later in the week.
On another note it was a great sign seeing us fill 3 competitive mens teams. Again the whole premise of the club when it was set up in 1985 was to give athletes an opportunity to compete in championship races and 34 years later this tradition is still going strong.
With the 2019 Munster Road Championships on this Sunday in Dundrum, Tipperary, it is an opportune time to reflect on the East Corks past 20 years at the event in the Senior grade.
Online records go back about 20 years. Further research is needed to find out club results from the late 80's and 90's.
Since 2000 we have won the Senior Team title 4 times. These were won in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015. 11 different athletes contributed to these scoring teams. See the chart below. The driving forces behind this period of success have been James and Sean. James won 6 titles in a row from 2010 to 2015 and Sean has won the Senior title the past two years in 2017 and 2018 along with the 2009 title in Rathkeale in Limerick.
James has the impressive record of being on the scoring team for all 4 of these team wins. Sean and Tim O'Donoghue have scored on two and the rest of the team winners have scored once each.
Since we last won the title in Kilmallock, Limerick in 2015 we have finished 4th, 3rd and 2nd in 2016, 2017 and 2018. So hopefully that downward trend will continue for one more year this Sunday.
We have not have a womens team compete in a long time at this event and it looks like we will be one short this weekend too. However on an individual level Fiona has raced it 3 of the last 4 years and has seen steady improvement.
She was 12th in 2015, 4th in 2016 with both these races won by Shona Heaslip. And last year she broke into the podium position in Castlelyons with a 3rd place behind winner Jessica Coyne and Michelle Kenny.
Best of luck to all running on Sunday. Womans 4 mile race start is at 1pm with the mens straight after.
Any mistakes or omissions please let me know.
A quiet weekend of racing for the club. The Stryker BHAA section of the club, Tim and Niall, competed well down in a hilly 10 miler in Kinsale. Tim blew the field apart and won by 5 minutes in 51.56. Niall had an excellent run breaking the 60 minute barrier on his very first attempt in 59.56. Well done to both. The early bird catches the worm!
Munster Road Championship March 3rd :
The next championships are the Munster Roads in Dundrum in Tipperary on March 3rd. This is 4 miles for both men and women. At the moment it looks like we will have teams in the Senior, Novice and M-35 Master men categories so if you are available there will be a good club contingent travelling up.
If you have not received an email from Eadaoin regarding entries please let her know and she will add you to the mailing list.
The National Senor Indoors, which were streamed online, took place in Abbottstown over the weekend showcasing the very best athletic talent in Ireland. Unfortunately there will be no update on this, we had no one competing! However we did have a few big fish at the Cloyne 4k on Sunday morning. Graham continued the East Cork streak of winners with a 13.37 performance. He beat December winner and local hero Brian Harty to the top spot by 13 seconds.
Fiona went 10 seconds faster than a month ago to win the womens race again in 14.24. An average of 5.47 miling. Eric finished just outside the top 10 in 14.50 with Conor Tierney not too much further back in 15th with 15.03. Denis was 32nd overall with 16.45. Lavinia was on pace making duties for the next generation of East Cork AC athletes and finished in 26.44.
Tim and Michelle were also attacking the roads on Sunday. Both were at the Carrigaline 5 MIler. TIm in his first outting since the National Senior XC in November ran a solid 25.27 in blustery conditions to finish 2nd behind Sergio Ciobanu. Michelle continued her excellent form with a PB of 35.45. Well done to both.
- Midleton CBS - Congratulations!
The crowning moment of the weekend for the local community was that the long wait is finally over for the return of a Munster title to Midleton CBS. For a school with such a proud sporting tradition, it has been far too long, 14 years in fact since 2005. Thankfully the Munster Schools Senior Boys XC trophy is now back where it belongs.
Congrats to Frank O'Brien (2nd), Cian Horgan (20th), Simon Upton (21st) and Dan McDonnell (31st) on winning the Senior Boys Team title and leading the schools to win the Overall Trophy for best school too.
Also Tamzin Muldowney representing St Marys had an excellent finish to get 5th in the Senior Girls.
- Upcoming Championship Races: Munster Road Championships:
The next championships are the Munster Roads in Dundrum in Tipperary on March 3rd. This is 4 miles for both men and women. We will be looking to field Senior, Novice and Masters teams so if you are available you can let Eadaoin know. She will send a mail about entiries in the coming week.
- Munster Senior/Masters Indoors 3k was in Nenagh last weekend. East Cork had a very good showing in the 3k on Saturday afternoon. It turned out to be a very long day due to very poor race scheduling by Munster Athletics - the adult races were approx 2 hours late and some juveniles who had been there since 10am only raced for the first time after 4pm. Since athletes were pre entered this should not of been the case and seems to be a recurring issue year on year so hopefully gets looked at seriously for next time.
Despite all this it was still a very successful day. for East Cork. Fiona racing indoors for the first time ran 10.36 for 2nd in the womens 3k senior race. This was won by Olympian Michelle Finn who won in a championship record of 9.32. Lorna had an excellent run for 4th in 11.50 despite miscounting the laps at the end! In her defense it was difficult to keep track of this in the very tight and sharply banked 200m Nenagh track, especially over 15 laps!
Kevin took 2nd in the Senior Mens 3k in 9.11. Sean won the Masters M35 race in 9.19, considering he is only finished a break and ran the Masters XC last week in DIT he will go from strength to strength in the months ahead. Tim Crowley also after the XC in DIT ran a controlled race in 10.05 was 4th in the M35 men and had a ding dong battle with former teammate Andrew Hobbs from Leevale. Frank O'Carroll had a good run with 10.22 although the results are not finalised yet for the M40 category. It is likely he will be in the medals too.
On the roads Lavinia ran 30.36 in the Janssen 6k. This was over a minute a mile faster than Dungarvan the prior week so she has obviously recovered well, all the winter training is paying off.
- National Master and Intermediate Cross Country in DIT on February 3rd. Our M35 team had a solid performance in a a typically very congested and competitive race. They placed 9th out of 18 with a total score of 186 points. Third team was 140 points. Sean (15th), Shane (37th) and Brian (47th) all scored on the Silver winning Cork team. Tim Crowley rounded off the team with 88th overall.
Also running for Cork on the day were Eric Meade and Denis McCarthy. Eric was 35th M50 and Denis was 25th M55. Well done all. As we do not have any representatives in the World Cross Country in Denmark in March this signifies the end of the 2018/2019 cross country season. The build and transition to roads and track starts now.
- Dungarvan 10 Mile:
On the roads front the big race of the weekend was the Dungarvan 10. We had 7 athletes complete the course. Kevin O'Brien was 9th in 52.55, Kevin O'Leary who had a break through year in 2018 still seems to be going from strength to strength ran a superb 1 minute PB of 53.18 for 13th overall. Although one must consider the extra 4% he received from his expensive Nike Vapourflys...
Graham, wearing normal runners, also ran 1 minute faster than last year. Clocking an excellent 58.36. These three times added together was good enough for 2nd team overall behind Clonmel.
Next home was out first lady. Fiona had another solid performance on the long distance road races placing 5th overall in 61.37. Donogh in his first 10 miler ran 62.38 and impressively went straight in to a 12 hour shift in Dungarvan hospital after the race. Lorna also running her first ever 10 miler ran a great 71.40 to place 42nd woman overall. Lavinia ran an excellent 92.44. This gave the womans team 11th out of 49. Well done all.
- Munster Senior and Masters Indoors in Nenagh on February 9th and 10th:
The Munster Indoors is on this weekend. The link to enter is https://ireland.entry4sports.com/wp-login.php via the Munster Athletics Website. The 3000m races are on Saturday afternoon and the 800m and 1500m are on Sunday. You have to enter these yourself today. Details were sent on an email this morning how to do this.
- National Master and Intermediate Cross Country in DIT on February 3rd. We have a strong Masters team entered in the Master XC in Dundalk IT on Sunday. It is spearheaded by Sean who was 3rd overall in last years race in Galway. Brian, Shane and Tim have shown good race form in the last month and will hope to pack well to give them a chance of team medals. Last year Rathfarnham won the team with 100 points in the O35 category. Phil is competing in the O65 category where he was also 3rd overall last year so fingers crossed for similar performances this year!
O35 Men: Sean McGrath, Brian Harty, Shane Harrington, Tim Crowley
065 Men: Phil McGrath
- Munster Senior and Masters Indoors in Nenagh on February 9th and 10th. The online link will be on the Munster athletics website in on Tuesday or Wednesday. It is a new provider so hopefully is is simple to use. You have to enter the indoors yourself.
- Dungarvan 10 Mile: We have 9 athletes entered for Dungarvan on Sunday at 1.30pm, although rumors are rife that we will in fact have 10 on the day. We will have to wait and see.
Since the National Novice in December there has not been any championship racing, just a number of road races and the successful training camp in Inch Beach.
Now that the new year is in full swing there is plenty to choose from in the next few weeks:
- National Master and Intermediate Cross Country in DIT on February 3rd. We should have a strong Masters team here so please make sure you have let Eadaoin know via email and she will enter you. The intermediate team that won last year are all ineligible so more than likely we won't have a team this year.
- Munster Senior and Masters Indoors in Nenagh on February 9th and 10th. Please note that the 3000m is on Saturday the 9th at approx 2.30pm and the 800m and 1500m are on Sunday at 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Full timetables below. *You have to enter this online yourself on Munster Athletics website*
- Dungarvan 10 Mile is also on Ferbruary 3rd and seems to have replaced Ballycotton 10 in terms of popularity.
Training is at the normal times: Thursday Nights in Market Green at 6pm and Saturday mornings for Walshtown Hills at 10am.
Cork Athletics have a detailed leaderboard of all registered road races that have taken place on Cork soil throughout the year on their website that is a great indication of where the local standard of road running is at. While the level of these road races is a far cry from the National standard it is a good indication of how you fair against your peers and stirs up some local rivalry (https://www.corkathletics.org/news/1182-cork-road-race-leaderboard-december-2018.html).
Our Top Dogs:
East Cork AC is proud to have three men on top of the leaderboards: Kevin O'Brien (4k - 12.58) , Michael Harty (4 Mile - 19.15) and James McCarthy (5 Mile - 25.14)
- Kevin O'Brien ran 12.58 in January in the Cloyne Commons 4k and since then many have tried but all have failed to match his time.
- Michael Harty ran a rip roaring 19.15 to hold off an Olympian and also the 8 time King of Ballintotis in April to top the 4 mile leaderboard.
- James cruised to a 25.14 on the very first day of the year in Bandon set a mark that nobody has touched in the 355 days since.
4k Overall Leaderboard: Kenneth Kelleher and Brian Harty.
4k Masters Categories: Conor Tierney, Eric Meade, Denis McCarthy and John Walshe.
5k Masters Categories: Eric Meade, Denis McCarthy and Phil McGrath.
4 Mile Overall Leaderboard: Sean McGrath (3rd), James McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, Kevin O'Leary.
4 Mile Masters Category: John Hennessy, Denis McCarthy, Frank Cashman, Phil McGrath
5 Mile Overall Leaderboard: Sean McGrath (2nd).
5 Mile Masters Category: Denis McCarthy, Phil McGrath and John Walshe
10k Overall Leaderboard: Kevin O'Leary
10 Mile Overall Leaderboard: Tim O'Donoghue, James McCarthy and Kevin O'Leary
Half Marathon Overall Leaderboard: Tim O'Donoghue and Kevin O'Leary
Our Lonely Lady:
Fiona is our one and only female representation on the leaderboards placing prominently across a range of distances from 4 miles to half marathon.
She is 3rd overall in the 4 mile with a 23.27 in Ballymacoda 4 in the summer. She also has the 6th fastest 5 mile in Cork with a 29.55 in the Midleton 5 miler. Fiona was 6th and 7th overall in the womens 10 mile leaderboard from Mallow and Duhallow. And last but not least Fiona is 8th overall in the half marathon with a 83.27 in the Cork City half in June.
Interestingly the 5k is probably the gold ribbon event in the calendar and we have nobody in the overall leaderboard. Although Michael did run a 14.43 earlier in the year in Kilkenny and Sean and James ran 14.58 and 15.19 in BHAA races during the year which would place them all high up on the lists.
The National Novice XC in Navan on Sunday lived up to it's billing as the most exciting race of the season. The mens field had over 250 runners and womens over 150. It makes these races ultra competitive and unpredictable.
On what was a wet and wild day the course more than held it's own. It was still quite firm underfoot and it was an example of a well thought out course for both athletes and spectators. You could easily get to numerous spots around the course and this significantly added to the atmosphere as the athletes were always in sight.
Ladies 4k Race:
The ladies race was a short but sweet 4k. Unfortunatly Eadaoin had to pull out injured but our four women that did compete did a fine job. Lorna was first home in 91st with Michelle breathing down her neck coming up the final stretch in 93rd. Eibhlin who ran despite being sick in the lead up to the race had a solid run in 137th with Lavinia running her first ever National XC event in 150th. Well done all this got the club 19th team overall.
Mens 6k Race:
The mens race was fast and furious from the start with everybody trying to get position going around the first corner. We had 6 men competing and they bunched well from the start. Shane came through the field well to finish up in 71st. Kevin, in his 35th race of the year, gave it a really rattle in the first half of the race was 92nd. Graham Swords also running his first National XC for the club ran a very measured race and picked off group by group in the final lap and a half came 114th and TIm Crowley still on his comeback from injury was 150th. Jonathon Finn was 160th and Donogh, who was just trying to get a weekend off babysitting, was 191st. We were 16th team out of 32., with Togher winning the team title.
Other Squad Athletes:
Paul Hartnett had another super run in a big race finishing 2nd overall inhte U-17 boys race. Paul took the race by the scruff of the neck form the gun and lead 90% of the way, grinding ht egroup down as each lap went by. In the end Adam Ferris was just a fraction too strong in the final push up the hill to the finish. Patrick Kelly had a solid run in the Cork singlet with 68th overall.
Frank O'Brien also had a decent run in thr U-19 boys race charging through the field in the middle of the race to get to 5th overall, Jack O'Shea had a fine run to come 13th with the relativly fast underfoot conditions suiting his track speed. Naoise had a good rnu in 35th.
Cloyne Common 4k:
Closer to home we had a good turnout at the final Cloyne 4k race of the year. Local hero Brian Harty won the race in 13.30. Eric Meade cracked the top 10 with 15.11. Conor and Denis battled it out in 16.03 and 16.17 with John Walshe running his first but not last race of the day in 19.45.
James was 3rd in Newmarket on Sunday afternoon in a swift 15.19. Nice to see James get back to his usual self, this bodes well for the 2019 season. Also it was his first sub 5 minute miling race of 2018 which keeps a streak of about 15 years going!
John Walshe wasn't content enough with just his 4k in the morning in Cloyne and literally continued where he left off running the exact same pace in Newmarket!
Reminder - Club Christmas Night Out:
As you know the Christmas night out is this Thursday after training in the Midleton Park Hotel. Please be there at 7.45pm for the mulled wine reception.
Inch training camp is going ahead again this year from 27th-29th with hostel accommodation. Please touch base with Liam if you are interested in going for some or all of it. Dunes session on the 27th, long run on 28th and interval session on the beach the 29th
East Cork Novice:
Well done to the small crew we had running the East Cork Novice at the weekend. Graham had another good run and was only just outside the medals in 4th. Eibhlin was 7th in the ladies race with Lavinia just behind her.
Generally this is a low key race but a good warm up for those running the National Novice next weekend in Navan, which is always a very exciting competitive race.
James and Brian were our only two men running in the BHAA Turkey Trot and took out 1st and 2nd overall. However in this unique race you actually do not wear a watch and you must guess your predicted time in advance and the "winner" then is whoever got closest to this time. Brian was fairly spot on only 10 seconds off his predicted time. James was a little further away being 42 seconds out.
The next big race is fast approaching in Navan next Saturday. We have two strong teams entered in the mens and womens races and based on recent training sessions some other members of the training squad will be eyeing a good individual result on the also!
Mens Team: Donogh Wall, Tim Crowley, Shane Harrington, Jonathan Finn, Kevin O Leary, Jens Waechter, Tim Mahony, Graham Swords
Womens Team: Eadaoin O Neill, Lorna Santry, Michelle Aherne, Eibhlin Cleary, Lavinia Swords
Christmas Night Out:
Also a reminder that the Christmas night out is coming up on Thursday 20th in Midleton Park Hotel. If you want to go but have not confirmed this yet please let the Social Night Coordinator Lorna know beforehand.
The Munster Intermediate XC was held in the Cork County Boards Grounds in Riverstick on Sunday. Again we had full teams for both the mens and womens races. After winning the National Intermediate title back in February we were down one or two that would otherwise have been competing. In years gone by this would of meant no team for a number of years at this level. However, in what is a testament to the growing strength in depth at the moment we had a strong team of Shame Harrington, Tim Crowley, Jonathon Finn and Tim Mahony.
The ladies 5000m race was on first and Eadaoin positioned herself well in the front pack in the top 10 from the start of the race. As the race progressed Eadaoin made some inroads on the wooded section at the bottom of the course and eased up to 8th position which she held onto with a valiant sprint finish up the hill.
Michelle who is going from strength to strength this season had another fine race. Making a very positive start she held her position throughout and finished up in a very commendable 16th. Eibhlin was third scorer on the team in 30th and Lavinia was in 35th. All in all this was good enough for 5th team. In fact it was a tie for 4th on 89 points with Moyne AC but they got 4th on countback.
The mens race was fast and furious from the start until Paul Maloney took control after 4k and eased away from the field to claim a comfortable win. Shane was our first man home, matching Eadaoins position, in 8th. Shane had a strong race and attached himself to the back of the lead group from the start. The Market Green intervals seemed to payoff on the bottom mucky section. In the last lap as lads were getting dropped all over the place Shane held firm and came through impressively to move from 12th to 8th in the last 800m. Tim Crowley on his official debut for East Cork and his first competitive race in 14 month had a fine run in 17th. Tim battled with a few St Finbarr athletes throughout the race with none of them holding back. But again the strength built from his consistent Welchtown Hills paid dividends in the last half a lap where he made a decisive break and held on till the finish.
Jonathon Finn (one of only two East Cork athletes to beat Mick Clohessy this year) was next to count in 24th with fellow fireman Tim Mahony right behind him in 25th. This got us 2nd team overall behind Thurles Crokes and ahead of Dundrum. Also Shane and Tim counted on the silver winning Cork team. Well done all
Waterford Half Marathon:
In other races Graham Swords was out again in Waterford Half Marathon on Saturday running a very tidy 78.01 for 30h in his 4th race since the Dublin Marathon!!!
East Cork Novice:
The next cross country race is the East Cork Novice race in Watergrasshill next Sunday. This is low key but a good sharpening race for anyone coming back from injury or wants a stress free hit out. Entry is on the day.