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.