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.