Congrats to Tim on collecting the prestigious Cork City Sports athlete of the month award for October. This is given out on merit for outstanding individual athletic achievement. Tim collected the October award but has been building for it since the turn of the year when he came a lowly 4th in the East Cork AC 5k time trial. However since that day he has amassed 9 victories in 12 outings with the pinnacles being the County Senior XC and Munster Senior XC titles. He won both these in style beat some top class opposition both days.
Tim is also the current East Cork Road and XC champion and took masters victory in the competitive Autumn Open XC in October too. Interestingly he was pipped by newest club recruit Frank O'Brien in the East Cork track championship over 5k. But Tim rebounded by going on a rampage in the summer months clocking some truly eye watering times over 5k and 4 miles:
Fermoy 4 mile: 19:30 - 25th July
Conna 5k: 14:55 - 30th July
Rathcormac 4 mile: - 19.28 - 19th August
Bweeng 5k: 14.29 - 22nd August
Cloyne 5k: 14:43 - 19th September
Congrats again for an award that is much deserved. A few pictures below too to mark the occasion:
1) Tim and Liam trying not to laugh as they share a private joke.
2) Tim with wife Eimear and daughters Chloe and Éabha
3) Tim with all the City Sports board and dignitaries
National Senior and Junior XC:
The National Senior and Junior XC was held in splendid sunshine in Santry Demesne last Sunday. The course was in excellent condition and the atmosphere around the very supporter friendly course was brilliant. The mixture of wooded sections, twists and turns, parkland trails and a few small hills makes Santry a delight to run.
Paul Hartnett was first up for us in the Junior Mens race. Paul, suffering from the flu all week, was off his best and finished 22nd overall. His training has been excellent since the end of the summer and his dedication and consistency will show through. He'll have an opportunity to bounce back at the National Novice in a few weeks.
Norah after racing County Novice B last week went to the other end of the spectrum to race double the distance at the national senior level. This was her first XC race at 8km and ran well finishing 87th overall and 19th U23.
Tim, like Paul suffered from the flu all week, was also off the form that won him the East Cork, County and Munster titles. He finished 43rd in the end but can hold his head up high after an exceptional cross country season. Frank made his long awaited debut for East Cork. As has been the case in his races in England recently Frank continued his streak of being closer to triple digits than single digits in the race results with a 79th overall and 24th U23. Kevin also took part and finished in 123rd. Unfortunately we did not have a 4th to field a team. Tim and Paul both scored on the silver winning Cork teams so at least we did take something home with us back down the M8.
Norah put together a new age hip Instagram video of the races. We have now entered the 21st century as a club! Updates of different club activates will be posted here too in future.
- Munster Masters XC: November 28th in Clarecastle. Hopefully our gold medal County team can go and add the Munster title to their resume on Sunday!
County Masters and Novice B:
The county masters and Novice B was held together as one race last Sunday in Dungorney. We had a bumper number running with 18 overall and came away with 3 individual medals and two team medals!
Michael Harty continuing his comeback, ran a strong race to pip fellow M40 Paul Moloney for the overall win. Michael also lead our mens team to the team title. Interestingly Cork athletics used times as the basis for calculating the team results. For the mens M35 masters team it worked in our favour. For the Novice B womens team it worked against them! Scoring on the mens team was James (7th), Graham (12th) and Stephen (13th). Also running on the master teams were Brian Harty (22nd), Chris Kelly (23rd), Donal Giltinan (29th), Oliver Smiddy (53rd), Mike Cremin (64th), Eric Meade (75th), Jens Waechter (92nd), Denis McCarthy (110th). Dan Mc Donnell also made his East Cork debut in the Novice B race and was 106th overall. Well done to all.
Norah having also ran on Saturday in Maynooth in the University road relays, showed her maturity by skipping the after party and made her way down for a crack at another title. Following her East Cork novice win last month she duly delivered again by winning the County Novice B title on Sunday. And to top it off Annelise also won the bronze medal with a huge sprint finish against Ashling Kennedy from the Barrs. The team also won bronze with Avril Crowley (13th) and Lavinia Swords (19th) completing the team. Niamh O'Connor was 15th overall and 6th F40.
National Seniors is on this Sunday in Santry. We are one short of a team in the Senior mens but all eyes will be on Tims individual run after his season to date. Frank O'Brien is making his East Cork debut and will be also eligible for the U23 competition. The Juniors mens race will be one to keep an eye on too, the other young gun Paul Hartnett will have eyes on a big result. Norah will also be looking for a good result in the Senior / U-23 womens race.
Munster Senior XC - Mens:
The Munster Seniors was held in Two Mile Borris last Sunday and despite the very heavy rain all week the course held up pretty good and allowed for some fast running. Tim stole the headlines yet again. After a harrowing experience two years ago where Sean Doyle pipped him to the title in Conna, Tim was not about to let lightning strike twice. After his impressive showing at the County Seniors, Tim was probably the favourite going into the race but with Ryan Creech (Leevale), Liam Harris (Togher), Donal Devane (Ennis Track) and Jake O'Regan (St Johns) all running strong lately it was never going to be plain sailing. After Liam Harris took on the running on his own for the first 3k, the next lap settled into a leading bunch of 5. Tim, never one to leave anything to chance, decided with 5k to go to start pushing the pace and test the will and resolve of the rest. Unsurprisingly after going through 5k in about 15.25 a surge in effort devastated the group and Tim got the gap he was looking for.
However as in Conna 2 years back just having a gap doesn't count for much midway through a XC race. Tim knew this and kept applying the pressure. Hitting 9k the commentator announced the overall time at 27.55 and Tim glanced over his shoulder to see Ryan Creech only a few seconds back, looming in yellow. He also glanced to the crowd and saw his wife Eimear cheering him wildly and daughter Chloe running around in circles playing and completely ignoring the suffering her Dad was going through.
As the two leaders ran the bottom part of the course and took the sweeping bend after the ankle deep muck patch it looked like Tim had Creech covered, a 500m slight uphill all the way to the finish was what was left. However the commentator left nobody in doubt that this race was still well and truly on. Tim's earlier efforts had finally caught up and the last 200m were more guts, heart and determination than a fluid gliding stride (what's new there some might say!). But timed to perfection it was and Creechs last dash up the home straight was just not quite enough and Tim held on to win by about 2 seconds.
Despite paying for chip timing Munster athletics did not release the times of the finishers. Tim was approx 31.10, which shows the high level of performance needed to win this race.
The remainder of the team can be summarised a little quicker. Overall we came third. Leevale won the title for the first time in 20 years. Togher were 2nd and pipped us by 2 points. James was 23rd in 34.44, Kevin 26th in 35.36, Brian Harty, had a great race winning his first Senior XC medal at Munster level, was 28th in 36.00 and Donal Giltinan, despite having raced XC 5 of the last 6 weeks, was 32nd in 36.31.
Norah was our sole representative in the ladies race. She had a solid run for 23rd overall. Aoife Cooke won the race from Ciara O'Neill and Shona Heaslip
Munster Senior XC History:
- Overall since the club first competed in the Munster Senior XC championship we have won an impressive 23 out of 36 runnings of the event.
- We have won the individual title 9 times by five men: Donnacha O'Mahoney, Liam O'Brien, James McCarthy, Michael Harty and now Tim O'Donoghue also.
- Donnacha on his own has won 4 times with 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 23 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 with 12 and James on 11, both are solely responsible for the consistent run of team results in the mid 00's.
* Note: Traditionally the Munster Senior XC was held in January which fitted naturally in the XC calander a number of weeks before the Interclub All Irelands. However with the merging of the intercounties and interclubs to one race in December the Munsters changed to a November date in 2015. Which is why there were two races in that year.