East Cork T&F - Day 1
Carrignavar hosted another wonderful night of athletics on the grass track up in Colaiste an Chroi Naofa last Tuesday night. We had 10 competing on the night won 9 individual medals! A haul of 5 gold, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes.
First up were the 1500m's. Norah and Annelise were both racing in the Senior section. Norah running her first 1500m as a Senior athlete won in a great time of 5.28, with Annelise not far behind in 3rd with 5.59. Stephen was our solo man in the masters 1500m and he won the race in 4.40, pipping an ever improving Keith Kelly by a few seconds. Frank O'Brien (Midleton) won the senior section in 4.37.
Next up in the middle distance races was the rarely ran 300m. Norah was 2nd to Katie Walsh of the host club in 49.5 seconds. Stephen doubled his medal haul with another gold in the M35 section running 44.9 (being the only competitor in this category helped with the confidence on the start line) and Fran Hayes made a very welcome return from a long bout of injury to come second in the M45's in 50.5. Frank O'Brien was 2nd in the Senior section in 40.40
The final individual events on the track were the eagerly anticipated 3000m's. Nicky O'Donoghue returned to the winners enclosure with an exciting victory by a mere .4 of a second over local rival Tony Forristal in the senior 3000m, Nicky ran 9.47.5. Frank Hayes and Denis McCarthy also ran but I do not have their times at the moment. Even closer than the mens race was Jen Preston v Sinead Keavany in the womens 3000m. Jen edged Sinead out by a marginal .1 of a second in a very tactical race. Jens time was 11.41. Avril Crowley was first home in the F45 section and broke the 13 minute barrier in the process clocking 12.58 for the gold.
Our 4 x 300m team of Norah, Jen, Nicky and Stephen won the "B" race .
There was a slight inaccuracy in the results for the East Cork Roads mens 5 mile race. It was reported that newest member Liam Leahy wore super shoes in the race. Luckily a reliable eye witness on the night has confirmed that this was not true. So apologies to Liam for tainting his time.
MTU Track Night 2
The second night of action of the MTU track meet was on last Friday June 18th. We had 7 plus 2 athletes competing (Frank and Tamzin are a bit like Northern Ireland, hard to tell what camp they are in). First up was Paul who had an excellent race to finish 2nd in 8.41. Paul lead most of the race and pushed the pace on from current National Senior cross country champion Liam Brady from the start. It is a good springboard for Paul to put down a few more solid races in the next few weeks now that the leaving cert is out of the way too. Kevin O'Leary was next home in his first ever 3000m. Kevin rana solid race competing with James the whole way to finishing in 7th in 9.05 with James on his heels in 9.10th. Stephen O'Brien had a rare off night and didn't commit to the pace set by his rivals, but nobody ever remembers preseason friendly games and no doubt Stephen will spring back with some big PB's this summer.
Jen Preston lead the East Cork ladies in the next 3000m finishing with an excellent PB of 11.16. Tamzin ran a solid effort throughout to get her track season up and running in 11.37 and Annelise ran a massive 1 minute PB in 12.23. Great to see all the lock down training paying off with plenty more to come no doubt!
In the 800ms Frank and Norah were representing the club and training squad. Frank ran a solid 600m but it was not quite his night finishing in 2.02. Mark English did something similar at the Cork City Sports a few years ago so keep an eye out for Frank at the Nationals next week. Norah ran a suberb 800m. With a target of 2.40 she had no choice but to go with the group and went through 400m cruising in 74. As the wheels came off a few in front of her she pushed through and finished in 4th in a new PB of 2.34. Well done Norah another great example of a consistent spell of training
East Cork Roads 2021:
The 2021 version of the East Cork Roads was held in its traditional venue of Ballynoe. With Covid causing destruction to the normal road racing calendar hopefully these championship road races can gain in popularity again as the focus is fully on the athletics side of competition with true racing the key focus.
Ladies Race 3k:
The ladies race was first up at 7.15pm with 3k and the dreaded Ballynoe hill twice. We had 3 ladies competing with Jen arriving just on time for the start of the race with no warm up, although Donal did bring her for a spin to see the mens start line as he bizarrely thought she might be interested in that!
The race started fast with Norah leading with Jennifer Goggin at the top of the hill for the first time. Jen was tucked in behind a few meters back. As they moved down the hill away form the village the group stretched out with Jena nd Jennifer in pole position as they passed the GAA pitch on the steepest gradient. There was still very little in it at the final right turn but Jennifer Goggin finished a bit stronger to take the win with Jen 2nd a few seconds back in 12.09. Norah battle strong up the last hill to run well over a minute faster than last year in 12.24 for 4th overall. Avril had a solid race and picked off a few on the second lap to finsh 18th in 14.20. As Jen was in the top 3 she gets excluded for the team results so unfortunately we didn't have a team (same as last year, Ladies ye need to sort it out!).
Mens Race 5 MIles:
The mens race had a lot of action early on. Tim and Kevin O'L justified their favourite tags and went to the front from the start and it was no holds barred for the first mile. They bombed through the first mile in 4.40 leaving the rest of the field well behind. Kenneth and Frank did offer some small resistance going through in 4.50 but the race for the win was already over at that stage! Tim and Kevin duked it out for the next lap before Tim showed his mountain running prowess and pulled away on the unrelenting hill to open a gap that he kept to the finish, winning in a convincing time of 25.26. Kevin O'L ran a very solid 26.02 with Frank shaking off Kenneth to finish 3rd in 26.27 (Frank was also the first non vapourflyer home too). Kenneth running the course for the first time was 4th in 26.38 with Kevin O'B and James in 5th and 6th. Graham Swords ran his usual tactically astute race coming through the field for 10th in 28.09. Fergus Meade made his return to racing driving down from Carlow to run an aggressive 28.44 for 14th. He was reliably informed by Denis that this was his first time running the Ballynoe course since 2004.
Chris Kelly thought he was in the 100m Olympic final in the home stretch, giving it everything to make sure he beat old foe John Hennessy. Nick O'Donoghue was just behind for 17th in 28.56. John Spelman who was one of the youngest in the field broke the 31 minute barrier by a second and will no doubt improve dramatically over the next year. Mike Cremin was 32nd in 31.26, Eric rolled back the years looking strong for 39th in 32.52 with newest member Liam Leahy striding home for 40th in 32.55. Denis McCarthy was reliable as always broke the 42 minute barrier yet again for 67th overall.
The men retained the team title again. As Tim and Kevin O'L were in the top three and James was involved in some shady late entry none of them counted for the team, so congratulations Kenneth, Kevin O'B, Graham and Fergus for flying the flag.
Friday 18th: Day 2 of the MTU Track Night this Friday. Entries have closed for this so best of luck to everyone running. There is no timetable out yet but this should be email with start lists shortly.
Tuesday 22nd: East Cork Track and Field - This is on in Carrignavar grass track, same as last year. There is 1500m, 3000m and a 4x300m mixed relay on the night. Eadaoin sent an email for entries for this last week.
Friday 25th-27th: National Senior Track and Field - Entries are now open for this with a provisional timetable on Athletics Ireland website. If you want to race enter directly yourself for the event you want to compete in.
It has been a long winter slog since the last official race back in October 2020. It's hard to believe that when the County Senior XC was cancelled that the next race would be on the track in June, you could tell the change of season as there were many dragonflies buzzing around the track. MTU Athletics held an excellently organised meet on Tuesday evening with seeded 1 mile and 5000m races drawing excellent fields. All credit to Ian O'Sullivan, Craig Harrington and all involved in such a well run professional event.
First up we had our newest member Paul Hartnett race in the A mile race. Paul was showing nicely at the head of the field for the first 3 laps before fading a small bit in the final lap but still came away with a strong 4.29 for his efforts and something to build on for the rest of the summer (once he gets the pesky leaving cert out of the way, which he was starting only 14 hours after his race!). Training partner Frank O'Brien ran the opposite, hanging around surveying at the back of the pack for the first 3 laps before making a bit of a move in the final 200m to get 6th in 4.27.
James Mc was 4th in the B mile in 4.38. Incredibly it was his first track race since 2017 so all in all it could set the tone for a good summer ahead. James will probably note that he was, in fact, first M35 in all the mile races...
Stephen O'Brien renewed rivalries with former teammate Tim Crowley in the C mile. Tim put on a convincing final 400m to take the race out and Stephen was not far behind in 3rd with 4.56. In the D mile Jen raced well to finish 7th in 5.46, it was a close battle with speedster Norah most of the way but she just pulled away in the last 300m. Norah was just behind in 10th with 5.52, an improvement of 18 seconds since her last mile in CIT last August.
It was a battle of the Kevin's in the 5000m race. Both had a solid outings, running well together for most of the race. Kevin O'B pulled away a little bit in the final 2k to finish 7th in 15.41. Kevin O'L was right on his tail (and notable wearing an old pair of Saucony flats) in 15.48.
It was an excellent race to blow a few cobwebs off and there are two more coming up next week. Tuesday, June 15th, we have the East Cork Road Championships in Ballynoe. 5 miles for the men and 3k for ladies with the dreaded hill awaiting all. Next Friday 18th is the MTU Track meet Day 2 with 800m and 3k's on.
National Senior T&F:
On top of this and more importantly the National Senior Track and Field is on June 25th, 26th and 27th. The timetable and entries for this should be made available later this week. As a club this is the gold standard event to be competing at and if anyone wants to race the best in Ireland keep an eye on this page for details soon.