Flashback to 1986 - Club Newletter Archive:
Like top secret government documents that are unclassified after 30 years for public consumption we have our own bit of history now digitalised. The very first club newsletter that was created on a typewriter by Fr Liam O'Brien gives a great insight to the foundation of the club and the happenings during the first season. Some interesting takeaways:
- We were promoted to 2nd in the National Road Relays due to a disqualification.
- We were 6th in the National Intermediate XC in Navan.
- We made a profit of £250 in the first Castlemartyr 4 mile race (This money is still sitting in the account unused!)
- Denis won his first Senior Championship race!
- The much anticipated East Cork Social cost £5-£6
- National Leagues teams were entered for both men and women.
If you want to read the full newsletter it is saved in the "Old Club Newsletter" section at the top of the page.
We had 4 athletes competing in the National Senior XC in Abbotstown on Sunday. In a strange quirk we had the same results in both the mens and womens races. Tim and Fiona were 33rd while Kevin and Michelle were both 61st. In a trial run for the European Cross Country next year the course was changed to a 1500m lap. One half was a downhill, fast very runnable section and then things got interesting, through the woods and up the other side by the wall was a long uphill mucky slog. All in all it was an ideal course for cross country running and conditions were good on the day.
Fiona had a another solid run, improving from 41st last year to 33rd overall. Michelle running her very first National Senior XC covered the 8,000m with aplomb, expertly coming through the field in the final 2 laps taking some scalps with her. It was a promising run and great to see two of our ladies compete with the best in Ireland.
Tim and Kevin had reasonable runs, unfortunately not much more to write about except they kept the East Cork presence at the National XC going and Tim was on the scoring silver medal winning Cork team. In an interesting quirk Dublin won the mens event by a whooping 147 point and sealed the top three team places but do not have a single athlete selected on the International team for the Euro XC in Lisbon next month. And the Dublin womens county team won by 30 points and also do not have any international representation.
Hopefully next year we will come again with a strong team(s).
Club Social Night:
The Christmas social night is on Thursday December 19th at 7.30pm in the Midleton Park Hotel. If you have not received an email about it and wish to go please let Lorna know on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Father time might be against them but boy that didn't stop Sean, Donal, Tim and Graham reign supreme down in Beaufort on Sunday. The fact that we only had three for the team Tuesday night makes the team in the end win all the more sweeter. Graham still recovering from Chicago and a stint out at sea put the team ahead of his own goals and offered to also travel so we would have a team. Perhaps it was the opportunity to experience first hand an infamous car trip with Tim Crowley that helped make his mind up. Sean, who had another excellent run and is really racing himself into form at the right time was 3rd overall (and 2nd M35), Donal and Tim have been having ding dong personal battles at every race this season. Donal got revenge from the County Masters and pipped Tim finishing in 11th (4th M35). Tim was 14th (6th M35) and Graham made sure the lads packed well was 16th (8th M35). Not only did the lads win gold but Sean, Donal and Tim all played a huge part on the gold winning County team. Well done to all of you.
Niamh O'Connor was our sole lady in the race and had another good run finishing 27th overall (7th F35).
Cloyne Commons 4k:
We had 5 running the opening race of the Cloyne Commons 4k winter series. Kenneth was our first man home in an impressive 13.02. This was good enough for 2nd place behind the flying Kieron McKeown.. Conor Tierney finished in 15.21, Martin Hennessy in 15.57, Denis 17.39 and Eibhlin was 19.49.
Norah represented the club in the Run in the Dark on Wednesday night in Dublin. Her time of 47.39 gets her on the club leaderboard for 2019 in the 10k.
Norah also ran for UL in the Road Relays in Maynooth on Saturday and anchored their ladies team home in the final mile leg in 6.39.
- National Senior Cross Countries - Sunday November 24th in Abbotstown
Overall since the club first competed in the Munster Senior XC championship we have won an impressive 23 out of 35 runnings of the event.
We have won the individual title 8 times by four men: Donnacha O'Mahoney (1991,1994,1996,2004), Liam O'Brien (1986,1987), James McCarthy (2009) and Michael Harty (2015).
Donnacha on his own has won half of these winning 4 times and hauling an unprecedented 14 team titles along the way stretching over 20 years from 1987 to his final team title in 2010.
Our longest streak was 9 wins from 2004 to 2012 until St Johns won in Limerick Racecourse in 2013.
Of the 23 titles won 22 men have contributed directly to the team by scoring in the top four. As mentioned Donnacha tops this list with 14. Right on his tail is Sean now with 12 and James on 11, both are solely responsible for the consistent run of team results in the mid 00's. Other team medal winners are in the below table.
Note: Traditionally the Munster Senior XC was held in January which fitted naturally in the XC calendar a number of weeks before the Interclub All Irelands. However with the merging of the intercounties and interclubs to one race in December 2015 the Munsters changed to a November date in 2015. Which is why there were two races in that year.
The Munster Seniors were held on home turf on Sunday, in club legend Frank Hayes field. After being a distant third in the Counties a month ago the mens prospects, to add to the 22 team title haul that we have amassed since 1986, were low. However the golden generation from Midleton CBS were to the fore again to spearhead a long shot attempt at the team title.
Back in 2004 and 2005 Tim and Kevin were 1st and 2nd scorers for the schools All Ireland winning Senior Boys teams in Antrim and Waterford and yesterday in Conna, 14 years later, helped lead the East Cork team to another Munster crown. Last year we won the title in nail biting fashion after tying with Ennis Track and the result had to be decided on countback. This year, with James and Michael out injured, we had the bare four to make up a team. Tim as usual had a super run leading from the start and opening up a small gap on the chasing pack. However in a reverse of the counties Sean Doyle from North Cork managed to hang with Tims pace and surged in the last 400m to win by 3 seconds. The birth of his daughter Chloe, 2 weeks ago, was probably to blame for this. Kevin was home next then in 9th overall after a tussle with St Johns Jake O'Regan the whole way around (and importantly got revenge on all the Leevale lads that beat him in the counties). Sean was 16th overall and collected his 12th Munster team title! Only Donnocha has won more with 13 to his name. Kenneth Kelleher was the star of the show running his first cross country in years. All expected him to fade in the last couple of laps but somehow the Midleton CBS 5000m record holder (15.28) responded to Liams encouragement and stayed ahead of Ennis tracks fast finishing Liam Naughton.
This got the team a total of 48 points with Ennis 2nd and Togher 3rd. Tim and Kevin also were on the gold winning Cork team.
Ladies Race - 6k:
Similar to the men the ladies had the bare 4 for their team. Interestingly it was the exact same team of four that have won bronze the last two years. And this year they did not disappoint again. Fiona lead the team (and 98% of the race) home with a mighty 2nd overall. Fiona was in a head to head battle with Amy O'Donoghue of Emerald AC. Amy was 3rd in the National T&F 1500m during the summer, so this really was a race of the XC specialist v the track star. Fiona pushed the pace for the vast majority of the race with Amy tucked in watching and waiting for any move. When they were coming up the long hill leading to the finish for the final time Fiona pushed hard but unfortunately the track speed won out and Fiona took 2nd. Eadaoin showed a turn of pace herself in the closing 100m to gun down Mary Louise Ryan and finish in 17th. Lorna had an excellent run battling in a big group for most of the 6k and finished 24th. Eibhlin Cleary, the rock of the team, showed again her commitment to her team mates by coming straight from a hen in Kilkenny and pushed hard the entire race to finish 27th. This got the girls bronze again as they held off Dundrum in 4th and Clonmel in 5th. Fiona scored on the Cork silver winning team. Well done ladies. For such a small club and we seem to be doing something right!
Well done to training squad members Frank and Jack in the Junior race too. Frank was 2nd overall (and 1st U-19) with Jack 6th (4th U-19). Both have been progressing well in training throughout the winter and have a promising season ahead.
Eyeries 5 Mile:
Shane and Caitriona went west for the weekend to run the Eyeries 5 miler. Shane was 2nd to Alan O'Shea in 28.14 and Caitriona was 6th lady home in 38.19. Being the local hero there was a nice write up on Shane "Bán". In fact, it seem suspiciously like a John Walshe guest article. There is a picture of it below.
County Master and Novice B:
The county masters cross county was on Sunday in idea conditions in Castlelyons. The McGraths from Ballyandreen were the source of most of our success. All three of Phil, Sean and Niamh took home individual medals. Phil was 2nd M65 with Sean and Niamh both bronze winners in the M35 and F35 categories. Sean also lead the mens team to a 2nd team behind Leevale. Brian Harty, Tim Crowley and Donal Giltinan completed the team in 13th, 14th and 15th with only 12 seconds separating them in the end. Eric Meade was our other individual medal winner getting bronze in the M50's. Denis also ran and was 4th M55, just missing out on a medal.
The Novice B race was also on and Jonathon went out hard from the gun and held on to 6th overall with Paul Crotty not far behind in 11th. Well done both.
Next Up - Munster Senior XC:
Next race on the calendar is the Munster Senior XC in Conna on Sunday. Our men won this title in dramatic fashion last year, beating Ennis Track on countback while the women were an impressive 3rd team. Individual ambitions will be with Tim, looking to continue his form from the counties and Fiona who will be trying to improve on her mighty 3rd place overall from 2018 in Two Mile Borris.
Men: Tim O`Donoghue, Sean McGrath, Kevin O`Brien, Kevin O Leary, Kenneth Kelleher
Women: Fiona Santry, Eadaoin O Neill, Lorna Santry, Eibhlin Cleary