Firstly the much loved Ballintotis 4 Mile race was on again after a 3 year enforced absence last week. A lot has changed in the world since then but an East Cork AC winner on the trophy remains consistent!
Michael took out his second Ballintotis 4 win in mightily impressive fashion. He made his move on a big bunch of rivals with 1000m to go along the main road and once he got the lead he didn't look back and cruised away to a fine victory in 19.18. Tim was second in 19.25 with Paul 4th in 19.41. James completed the top 5 and sub 20 finishers in 19.57. Our next bunch had evergreen Kenneth securing the bragging rights as Kenneth, Nicky and Matt were 14th, 15th and 16th in 20.59, 21.03 and 21.27.
Chris Kelly was 35th in 22.51 with our newest recruit John Spelman just behind him in 22.55 and winning the 1st Junior Man prize. Diarmaid Collins, former Inter schools 1500m champion and stalwart of the Glenbower generation, made a racing comeback with 23.19 for 44th. Eric Meade was next in 25.22 with training squad member Tamzin running her first race in a few years just behind in an impressive 25.31. Fiona only 4 months after giving birth to baby Holly also made a comeback with a very impressive 25.36. Niamh O'Connor finished like Usain Bolt to break the 27 minute barrier and it worked clocking 26.55.
Avril Crowley, Denis and Claire all had good runs with 28.09, 28.42 and 28.57. Conor O'Driscoll made his long awaited debut for the club and finished with 29.28 with one of the old guard Tom Walsh, National Road Relay gold medalist from 1988, just behind in 29.54. Lorna rounded off our runners with 30.02.
Well done to all who helped out on the night. East Cork had a very large presence on the night helping out with stewarding, results, cleaning up before and after. All mostly unseen work. And finally a lot of credit to the Ballintotis community and organising committee to produce such a wonderful race in the heart of East Cork each year.
National Road Relays:
The National Road relays were on Sunday in Raheny. What was once an annual pilgrimage for the club has been a bit more sporadic over the years. We had a strong Senior team this year with Paul, Frank, Tim and Micheal running well for 8th position out of 25 teams. All the top runners for the big Dublin clubs were running so the standard was very high. The lads averaged 4.44 a mile for the 8 miles which included a grueling 3 mile leg for Tim.
Our M35 team won the gold medal in the Masters race. Stephen led off and sat in the pack nicely bidding his time for a big kick in the final 200m to pass over to James in 4th position. James racing experience played an important part in the team win. He worked with the group to slowly close down the 9 seconds lead that Donore Harriers had and then pounced on his second mile to get the team into the lead and give the vulnerable anchor man Kevin a chance to hold on. Luckily he did and we took away our first medal at the masters road relays since 2006 where Denis McCarthy, Donnocha O'Mahony and Eric Made took home bronze that day in 20.13. Interestingly the team averaged 4.52 a mile for each leg to finish in 19.28.
The East Cork road championships are on Thursday night in the traditional venue of Ballynoe. We will be hoping to fill teams for both the men's and women's races so if you are around please do come along. €5 entry on the night with the Ladies 3k race at 7.15pm and the mens 5 miles at 8pm.
A lot has happened in the last few weeks so a bit of a catch up. Interestingly all the races have been 5ks (If I have missed any race results please let me know)
Track and Field:
Firstly Paul competed in the National Intervarsity's in Carlow IT coming 7th in the 5000m in 15.20. Frank raced in the Comeback 5000m in Battersea Park and finished 15th in 15.41.
BHAA - PWC 5k:
Next up was a welcome return to the winning circle for James. He dominated the PWC 5k to comfortably win in 15.12. Stephen O'Brien tempoed around in 18.18 and Ger Lynch had a massive PB in 20.02. So close to the sub 20 barrier. No doubt he will drop this again in the coming weeks on the back of his consistent Market Green sessions and his recent visit to Welchtown.
Streets of Kilkenny 5k:
The big boys (and Nicky!) came out to play up at the Streets of Kilkenny last Thursday night and they sure did not disappoint. Tims status as number 1 ranked runner is now in ruins. Michael ran the race of his life to clock 14.14 on a perfect evening for running. This time is now also a National Master M40 record. These most certainly do not come easy. This race has been part of a steady build up from about September last year, slowly building the fitness throughout the winter building a big base and then opening up the legs with track intervals in the Maradyke. Not to mention all the behind the scenes recovery and strength work and extra aqua jogging sessions that happen. Congrats to Mike on such a great achievement and hopefully it is only the beginning of a very hot streak.
Tim had a solid run off the back of a block of longer slower marathon specific training finishing 8th in 14.39. Nicky also had a very good run coming very close to his PB running 15.48. This was his first race back since the County Senior XC last year so now with the cobwebs blown off and a consistent spell off training under his belt he will be another to watch in the coming races.
All eyes turn towards one of the most enjoyable and rich in history races in the local calendar, Ballintotis 4 Mile. We will have a big turn out running on the night and if anybody would be available to help out please let Liam or Nicky know. It could turn out to be a classic going by the form of Michael and Tim recently. There is mammoth work put in for this race by the local community council and it really is a pleasure to have such a high quality race on our doorstep so enjoy it and don't take it for granted.
Also this weekend we have the National Road Relays in Raheny. The Senior Men's team is: Paul (2m), Tim (3m), Mike (2m) and Frank (1m). The Masters team is Stephen (1m), James (2m) and Kevin (1m). Best of luck to you all.