Coming up this Thursday night will be the 40th running of the East Cork Road Championships. A full history of the event from its humble beginnings would require a guest article from John Walshe so I am just going to limit this to the niche group of 6 East Cork AC women who can claim they have worn the East Cork Road Champions crown.
Going right back to 1986 Mary Curtin of Mount Uniake won the title for East Cork AC for the first time and also regained it in 1989. Eileen Prunty, our women's 10 mile record holder (60.04), was our 2nd winner of the event in 1988. We then had a barren spell for 7 years until Helen O'Callaghan stamped her authority on the race and won a unique triple from 1995 - 1997.
On the turn of the millennium Claire O'Brien (Liams lovely wife) won the 2000 event. We then went through another quiet period for 12 years until club stalwart and current competition secretary Eadaoin O'Neill took the title in 2012. Fiona Santry, the current dominant force in East Cork road running, fittingly added her name to this bunch of East Cork AC legends then in 2018. The question remains who will take out this special 3000m road race this Thursday night April 25th in Ballynoe?
Joyce Curtin (daughter of Mary from 1986 and 1989 vintage) won the race in 2004, 2004 and 2006 as a juvenile representing Glenbower AC. And Niamh Walsh who is a current club member won in 2008, alas representing rivals Youghal AC.
Dromina 10 Mile:
Congrats to Donal on his podium and PB in his home 10 miler of Dromina at the weekend. In a hilly undulating course in poor conditions Donal ran a strong 61.12 for 3rd overall.
Ballintotis 4 Mile:
Ballintotis 4 was another amazing success this year and a lot of credit has to be given to the organisers for the massive effort for all the preparation and attention to detail to make it such an enjoyable experience for all involved. Thank you very much.
From an East Cork AC point of view it was a literal runaway success with the men taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd and Fiona winning the womens for the second year in a row.
Kevin O'Brien was first home over the line in 20.13 and continued the East Cork winning streak, with Kevin O'Leary close behind and smashing his PB in 20.28. James was 3rd and continues his impressive feat of finishing on the podium every year since the race began in 2009.
The race started fast with Barry O'Donovan form Leevale pushing the pace through the sea of spectators outside the church before the race settled down as they hit the country roads. James and the two Kevin's formed a bunch at the 1 mile mark with Frank O'Brien (Midleton AC), Barry O'Donovan (Leevale), Kieran McKeown (Watergrasshill AC) and Damien Kennealy (Eagle AC) forming a chasing pack just behind.
The easterly wind was tough for all between the 1-3 mile stretch and it was halfway along here that Kevin O'B made his move and broke away (after selfishly tucking in behind out of the wind for the previous mile). Kevin O'L pushed hard at the tight hairpin turn and made his bid for home with over a mile to go. He knows these roads better than anyone else and ran 4.57 solo for the last mile to take 2nd. James was 3rd then with Frank O'Brien 4th overall and first junior home next, also with a big PB in 21.00.
Graham, relieved than his nemesis Niall Murphy decided not to race, ran 22.05 for 8th. We then had a big group very close together. Tim Crowley with a typically gritty and strong finish was 18th in 23.00. Stephen O'Brien with a another impressive performance and PB was 21st in 23.05, despite missing three week training in March due to injury. Jonathon Finn was one behind in 22nd in 23.11, a hearty congratulations to Jonathon too as he got engaged last week, no wonder he had a big smile before the race started (although that changed quickly after a sprightly first mile). Kenneth Kelleher made a return to the roads with a steady 23.22 and was quoted after saying "I'm just glad I didn't get chicked". Donogh was 31st in 23.29, Eric won was 3rd O50 was 62nd, Jens on his road back form injury race a painfree 25.28 for 89th and Denis was 3rd O55 with a banjaxed knee so hopefully he will recovery quickly.
Fiona dominated the ladies for the 2nd year in a row with an impressive performance and another PB of 23.26, she had over a minute to spare over Ann Geary of Midleton. It just shows the level Fiona is operating at these days and she keeps going from strength to strength. Hopefully she got the honour this year of actually breaking the winners tape after last year debacle..
Eadaoin in her fasted 4 mile since 2015 was 11th with 26.35, Michelle on her ever improving curve ran a staggering 4 minutes 21 seconds faster than her previous best 4 mile time!! Averaging a cool 6.45 Michelle finished in 27.03 and firmly established herself in the top 20 (16th). Eibhlin and Lavinia had a close battle with Eibhlin using her usual sprint finish to good effect in 32.19, while Lavinia record a PB of 32.40.
- John Buckley Graded T&F, Wednesday 24th in CIT. This is a graded 1 mile race and is a great opportunity to run on the track. It cost €5 and starts at approx 8pm. It is open for all men and women. The range of finish times is large so really is a great chance to run your first track race and experience something different. Last year finish times ranged from 4.30 to 9 minutes and the races are graded so you run with people of a similar ability.
- East Cork Road Championships, Thursday 25th in Ballynoe. This is the 40th running of this event and is usually well supported by the club. The womens race is 3k (and crucially only once up "that" hill) while the mens is 5 miles.
- Leevale Open Sports, Saturday 27th in CIT. There are 800m, 1500 and 3000m races on the day and entry is online. Details on Leevales website (I dare not post that link on here...).
Donogh ran in Waterford in the Ballinroad 5k last Friday night. In a course not quite as quick as Emer Casey he ran a solid 18.05. This should set him up nicely for Ballintotis next week.
East Cork Track and Field Day 1- Sunday April 14th, CIT:
Disappointingly there has been very little information from the East Cork board about the East Cork track and field championships upcoming this weekend in CIT. These championships are an ideal gateway to get athletes used to running track races and experiencing the core disciplines of the sport.
Unfortunately for the senior women there is only one race to chose from (an 800m), while there are two for the men (although at completely opposite ends of the programme!). Perhaps this is due to a lack of an appetite for track and field in the general East Cork region. But after successfully competing in the National Leagues last year and also aiming to field full teams again this year it would be great if there was a little bit more effort put in to promote the Senior races.
So for those who are thinking of competing please see the programme below. The mens 1500m is to start at 11am, with the 800m races to start at approx 2pm. The juniors will more than likely be mixed in with the seniors in the 800m too leading to some exciting competitive racing. You turn up, enter and pay on the day.
This really is an event for all, especially if you have not raced on the track before. And believe it or not if you improve your track speed it means you run faster on the road too :) !
Sean and Lavinia braved racing the never ending straight road at the UCC 10k. Sean was 2nd behind Alan O'Shea with a decent 33.12 and Lavinia ran a 90 second PB of 53.31. Well done both of you. Winter miles = summer smiles!
Emer Casey 5k:
We had a very large turnout in the Emer Casey 5k last night. James ran swift 15.16 to take out the win with Sean in close pursuit 4 seconds behind. Kevin O'Leary had a breakthrough PB with an excellent 15.40 for 4th. There were some road races on in the last week and we were well attended.In other very tight battle NIall edged out Graham once again, this time by the smallest of margin. Just one second separated them at the finish line! Niall ran an amazing PB for 16.42 with Graham at 16.43. Donal also ran a big personal best knocking about 50 seconds off his previous time to run 17.31. Brian Harty was close behind in 17.38.
Eadaoin was very close to breaking the 20 minute barrier with 20.08 although she has held on to bragging rights by nudging ahead of Denis (20.16) and Lorna (20.18). Niamh also had an excellent race running 30 seconds faster than her best time from 2018!
Welcome to new member Norah O'Brien who made the jump from local rivals Midleton AC to East Cork in the latest transfer window. Rumour has it the signing on bonus was large and she will be a strong addition to our female long jump team..
Upcoming Championship Races:
- National 10km Championships - April 14th; Dublin
- East Cork T&F Day 1 - April 14th, CIT (800m and 1500m (men only)) 1500m is at 11am and 800ms approx 2.15pm
- East Cork Road Championships - April 25th, 7.30pm; Ballynoe (5 mile for men, 3k for women)
- National Road Relays - April 28th; Raheny
Well done to the five racing in Mallow at the weekend. Fiona grabbed a podium position of 3rd with an excellent run with a PB of 60.38. This is getting very close to Eileen Pruntys club record of 60.04 set in Ballycotton in 1987.
Niall continued his good form to improve on his Kinsale time by 1.45 running a decent 58.10 for 28th overall. Donal went out hard and in a bid to break away from Fiona early, little did he know of her persistence. However he came home in a very good 61.22 and is improving remarkably with each race, with a long summer to go he will be one to watch out for.
Eadaoin running her first 10 miler for many years ran a solid 70.24 looking comfortable throughout. Michelle on her debut over the classic distance also had an impressive race averaging 7.17 a mile for a tidy 72.55. This is a faster pace than her 4 mile and 5 mile season bests from last year!!! So PB's will no doubt tumble this summer for Michelle, consistent hard work always pays off.
Well done to website sponsor Brian Harty, who won the overall title in the Cloyne Commons 4k series. Brian ran 4 of the 5 races in 54.29 at an average of 13.37. A full minute and a half ahead of second place Ken Ince from Watergrasshill AC.
It is good to see East Cork triumph in the local rivalry and wrestle back the trophy from Midleton AC who won the title last year. Well done Brian.
Congrats to Denis and Sean on winning individual medals in Castlelyons on Bank Holiday Monday. In wet but calm conditions the races kicked off with the womens Novice and Masters at 11am. Eadaoin led the Novice team home to 5th position. Eadaoin was 11th in the Novice race in 27.05, Niamh O'Connor making her 2019 debut ran a strong race to finish 19th Novice and 6th F35. Eibhlin with a last minute entry ran well for 37th place with Lavinia running her second race of the weekend in 38th.
We had a successful haul from the mens races with our Novice team (including two debutantes) winning silver and our wily masters taking out bronze team in the M35's. In a very competitive race Sean was 3rd overall and 3rd Master. The race was won outright by Paul Maloney of Mallow with Alan O'Brien of Eagle in 2nd. Niall Murphy running his first race for the club after joining the training squad over the winter ran an exceptional race in 22.04 to finish 13th overall. Niall had a titanic battle with Graham with only 4 seconds seperating them at the finish (Graham perhaps had used up his finishing kick after outsprinting his wife and son Zach in Cloyne on Sunday morning..)
Frank Hayes ran his usual solid run and added yet another team medal to his already impressive haul, finishing 4th M45 and 21st overall in 22.43. Doanl Giltinan, also running his first race for the club, acquitted himself very well. In another inter club battle he pulled away from Donogh in the last 50m to a mighty impressive 23.11 (25th overall), Donogh finished 4 seconds back. Although it must be said that perhaps they will need to repeat this duel in Ballintotis as Donogh had just finished a night shift in the hospital at 8am in the morning. Without him we wouldn't have fielded a team so a lot of credit is due.
Denis took home 2nd in the M55 category with a very tidy 26.39. About a minute faster than the munsters 2 weeks ago and will no doubt be a major talking point on Wednesdays mid week run.
Cloyne Commons 4k:
Brian Harty continued his good form in Cloyne on Sunday with a solid 13.40. John Hennessy ran close behind in 3rd for 13.45 and Jonathon Finn also ran sub 14 for 4th with a 13.58.
Eric Meade, Denis McCarthy, Graham Swords and Lavinia also ran. Well done all who participated in the series and congrats to Cloyne District Community Council for hosting and organising such a well run event throughout the winter. The hard work and effort behind the scenes is much appreciated by all athletes.
Reading Half Marathon:
Tim O'Donoghue and Kevin O'Leary went international this weekend and flew to Reading in England in search of some good early season times. And they got them. Tim ran his usual excellent performance coming 15th overall in a high caliber field in 67.25. Kevin ran yet another PB of 70.25 in coming 35th overall. Well done both, it's great to see the East Cork singlet being so well represented abroad.
National Indoor Masters:
Congrats to Sean on getting 2nd in the National Masters M35 category in AIT at the weekend. Sean ran 9.12 in a tight battle with Glenn Donnelly from Acorns AC, who ran 9.11. This national medal now guarantees Sean a spot in the much coveted East Cork Awards night next year.
Despite a tactical slow start to the race, Tim Crowley also improved on his time from the Munsters and was 6th in 9.54 in the M35 category.
Killeagh 4 Mile:
In Killeagh, James and Fiona both won in style. James led the race from the start and braved the very strong headwind for the first two miles. He ended up with a 25 second advantage over Leevales Eric Curran.
Fiona also started strong and was leading a large group of men through the first few miles and despite trying conditions still ran a solid 24.08 which gave her 1st lady and 9th overall.
Conor Tierney also continued his comeback with a good race for 22nd in 25.31.
Graham was on 60 min pacing duties in Duhallow and it seems that he performed his duties admirably, running 59.51. Lavinia was also running in Duhallow and ran a strong 92.02. A full 42 seconds faster, in tougher conditions, than Dungarvan a few weeks back.
County Road championships - Novice and Masters county road champs are on Monday 18th March in Castlelyons. Please let Eadaoin know by email if you are competing so she can enter the teams. These are 4 mile races for both men and women.
It seems the results for the Munster Roads have finalised. Please see below chart with details of who has won what. Congrats to all. It is a great haul from a Munster Championships:
The 2019 Munster Road Championships were held in Dundrum, Tipperary in what must be described as horrendous conditions. The temperature was 0 degrees, sleet/snow was falling and a chilling breeze was in your face for the second half of the race! However these cross country like conditions suited our athletes and we came home with some much prized silverware.
A huge run by Fiona on saw her crowned the champion of Munster. Taking control of the race from the gun she opened up a gap on the chasing pack over the first short mile loop around Dundrum village and literally never looked back from there. It was a dominant display of fearless running that demonstrates her excellent improvements in the last few years. In the last few years Fiona has finished 12, 4th, 3rd and now deservedly has the trophy. A brief visit to the ambulance after the race didn't deter her from celebrating with tea and sandwiches in the community hall afterwards. Well done Fi.
Following Fi home with another sterling performance was Michelle who covered the course in 27.47. A massive 4 minutes faster than her fastest 4 mile in 2018! It is no surprise to learn that she was also the U10 County XC champion in Carrig na Bhfear in 1998. That's the sort of quality your born with. Eibhlin made a welcome return to the racing scene after a bit of a lay off so fingers crossed it will be start of a long successful summer season.
The mens race is traditionally where we have been dominant in recent years. With Sean and James winning the race outright 9 of the last 10 years, confidence was high that we could add to the slightly disappointing return of 4 team titles in the same period.
After a cold warm up and a few minutes huddling for warmth in the hall the men were summoned to the start line at 1.40pm. The race started promptly and eventual winner Sean Doyle took the lead going into the first bend. He was stalked by a trio of East Cork vest in James, TImmy and Kevin O'B with Sean and Kevin O'L lurking just behind.
The race stretched out as Doyle pushed the pace. Tim and James made a bit of break from the chasing pack at the 1 mile mark and opened up a 20m gap. Shane was in about 40th position and also at this point Tim Crowley, Stephen O'Brien (on his debut) and Jonathon Finn were packing very strongly in a competitive race. Denis, who was the sole male to brave the conditions and cheer on the womens race, was in top 10 in the M55 category at this point. Tim continued to forge ahead in his attempt to catch the leader but perhaps it being the 3rd weekend in a row of racing had the legs feeling not quite 100%. He still finished in an impressive 2nd, clear of the field. Kevin O'B had a strong last kilometer to move from 8th to 4th. James who had battled valiantly in the wind on his own for most of the race finished 5th with Sean in 11th (2nd Master overall).
Kevin O'L finished in 21.39 in 28th overall. Shane was 41st with Tim C in 63rd, Jonathon in 66th and Stephen 67th. Denis finished 7th in the M55 category.
Now the hard part. The results are still provisional as there seem to be many mistakes and inaccuracies. Yesterday the Master Men were 3rd and now they are in 4th as it seems Leevale were forgotten (God forbid).
One thing that looks certain is the mens Senior team have won the team title. Currently the team that counts is Tim, James, Sean and Kevin O'L. Kevin O'B was entered in the Novice event only it seems but takes the consolation prize of Munster Novice champion although at nearly 32 years of age this may or may not be a proud achievement.
At the moment the master M35 team are 4th and Novice mens team were 4th. I will give an updated results listing when they are finalised later in the week.
On another note it was a great sign seeing us fill 3 competitive mens teams. Again the whole premise of the club when it was set up in 1985 was to give athletes an opportunity to compete in championship races and 34 years later this tradition is still going strong.
With the 2019 Munster Road Championships on this Sunday in Dundrum, Tipperary, it is an opportune time to reflect on the East Corks past 20 years at the event in the Senior grade.
Online records go back about 20 years. Further research is needed to find out club results from the late 80's and 90's.
Since 2000 we have won the Senior Team title 4 times. These were won in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015. 11 different athletes contributed to these scoring teams. See the chart below. The driving forces behind this period of success have been James and Sean. James won 6 titles in a row from 2010 to 2015 and Sean has won the Senior title the past two years in 2017 and 2018 along with the 2009 title in Rathkeale in Limerick.
James has the impressive record of being on the scoring team for all 4 of these team wins. Sean and Tim O'Donoghue have scored on two and the rest of the team winners have scored once each.
Since we last won the title in Kilmallock, Limerick in 2015 we have finished 4th, 3rd and 2nd in 2016, 2017 and 2018. So hopefully that downward trend will continue for one more year this Sunday.
We have not have a womens team compete in a long time at this event and it looks like we will be one short this weekend too. However on an individual level Fiona has raced it 3 of the last 4 years and has seen steady improvement.
She was 12th in 2015, 4th in 2016 with both these races won by Shona Heaslip. And last year she broke into the podium position in Castlelyons with a 3rd place behind winner Jessica Coyne and Michelle Kenny.
Best of luck to all running on Sunday. Womans 4 mile race start is at 1pm with the mens straight after.
Any mistakes or omissions please let me know.
A quiet weekend of racing for the club. The Stryker BHAA section of the club, Tim and Niall, competed well down in a hilly 10 miler in Kinsale. Tim blew the field apart and won by 5 minutes in 51.56. Niall had an excellent run breaking the 60 minute barrier on his very first attempt in 59.56. Well done to both. The early bird catches the worm!
Munster Road Championship March 3rd :
The next championships are the Munster Roads in Dundrum in Tipperary on March 3rd. This is 4 miles for both men and women. At the moment it looks like we will have teams in the Senior, Novice and M-35 Master men categories so if you are available there will be a good club contingent travelling up.
If you have not received an email from Eadaoin regarding entries please let her know and she will add you to the mailing list.
The National Senor Indoors, which were streamed online, took place in Abbottstown over the weekend showcasing the very best athletic talent in Ireland. Unfortunately there will be no update on this, we had no one competing! However we did have a few big fish at the Cloyne 4k on Sunday morning. Graham continued the East Cork streak of winners with a 13.37 performance. He beat December winner and local hero Brian Harty to the top spot by 13 seconds.
Fiona went 10 seconds faster than a month ago to win the womens race again in 14.24. An average of 5.47 miling. Eric finished just outside the top 10 in 14.50 with Conor Tierney not too much further back in 15th with 15.03. Denis was 32nd overall with 16.45. Lavinia was on pace making duties for the next generation of East Cork AC athletes and finished in 26.44.
Tim and Michelle were also attacking the roads on Sunday. Both were at the Carrigaline 5 MIler. TIm in his first outting since the National Senior XC in November ran a solid 25.27 in blustery conditions to finish 2nd behind Sergio Ciobanu. Michelle continued her excellent form with a PB of 35.45. Well done to both.
- Midleton CBS - Congratulations!
The crowning moment of the weekend for the local community was that the long wait is finally over for the return of a Munster title to Midleton CBS. For a school with such a proud sporting tradition, it has been far too long, 14 years in fact since 2005. Thankfully the Munster Schools Senior Boys XC trophy is now back where it belongs.
Congrats to Frank O'Brien (2nd), Cian Horgan (20th), Simon Upton (21st) and Dan McDonnell (31st) on winning the Senior Boys Team title and leading the schools to win the Overall Trophy for best school too.
Also Tamzin Muldowney representing St Marys had an excellent finish to get 5th in the Senior Girls.
- Upcoming Championship Races: Munster Road Championships:
The next championships are the Munster Roads in Dundrum in Tipperary on March 3rd. This is 4 miles for both men and women. We will be looking to field Senior, Novice and Masters teams so if you are available you can let Eadaoin know. She will send a mail about entiries in the coming week.
- Munster Senior/Masters Indoors 3k was in Nenagh last weekend. East Cork had a very good showing in the 3k on Saturday afternoon. It turned out to be a very long day due to very poor race scheduling by Munster Athletics - the adult races were approx 2 hours late and some juveniles who had been there since 10am only raced for the first time after 4pm. Since athletes were pre entered this should not of been the case and seems to be a recurring issue year on year so hopefully gets looked at seriously for next time.
Despite all this it was still a very successful day. for East Cork. Fiona racing indoors for the first time ran 10.36 for 2nd in the womens 3k senior race. This was won by Olympian Michelle Finn who won in a championship record of 9.32. Lorna had an excellent run for 4th in 11.50 despite miscounting the laps at the end! In her defense it was difficult to keep track of this in the very tight and sharply banked 200m Nenagh track, especially over 15 laps!
Kevin took 2nd in the Senior Mens 3k in 9.11. Sean won the Masters M35 race in 9.19, considering he is only finished a break and ran the Masters XC last week in DIT he will go from strength to strength in the months ahead. Tim Crowley also after the XC in DIT ran a controlled race in 10.05 was 4th in the M35 men and had a ding dong battle with former teammate Andrew Hobbs from Leevale. Frank O'Carroll had a good run with 10.22 although the results are not finalised yet for the M40 category. It is likely he will be in the medals too.
On the roads Lavinia ran 30.36 in the Janssen 6k. This was over a minute a mile faster than Dungarvan the prior week so she has obviously recovered well, all the winter training is paying off.
- National Master and Intermediate Cross Country in DIT on February 3rd. Our M35 team had a solid performance in a a typically very congested and competitive race. They placed 9th out of 18 with a total score of 186 points. Third team was 140 points. Sean (15th), Shane (37th) and Brian (47th) all scored on the Silver winning Cork team. Tim Crowley rounded off the team with 88th overall.
Also running for Cork on the day were Eric Meade and Denis McCarthy. Eric was 35th M50 and Denis was 25th M55. Well done all. As we do not have any representatives in the World Cross Country in Denmark in March this signifies the end of the 2018/2019 cross country season. The build and transition to roads and track starts now.
- Dungarvan 10 Mile:
On the roads front the big race of the weekend was the Dungarvan 10. We had 7 athletes complete the course. Kevin O'Brien was 9th in 52.55, Kevin O'Leary who had a break through year in 2018 still seems to be going from strength to strength ran a superb 1 minute PB of 53.18 for 13th overall. Although one must consider the extra 4% he received from his expensive Nike Vapourflys...
Graham, wearing normal runners, also ran 1 minute faster than last year. Clocking an excellent 58.36. These three times added together was good enough for 2nd team overall behind Clonmel.
Next home was out first lady. Fiona had another solid performance on the long distance road races placing 5th overall in 61.37. Donogh in his first 10 miler ran 62.38 and impressively went straight in to a 12 hour shift in Dungarvan hospital after the race. Lorna also running her first ever 10 miler ran a great 71.40 to place 42nd woman overall. Lavinia ran an excellent 92.44. This gave the womans team 11th out of 49. Well done all.
- Munster Senior and Masters Indoors in Nenagh on February 9th and 10th:
The Munster Indoors is on this weekend. The link to enter is https://ireland.entry4sports.com/wp-login.php via the Munster Athletics Website. The 3000m races are on Saturday afternoon and the 800m and 1500m are on Sunday. You have to enter these yourself today. Details were sent on an email this morning how to do this.
- National Master and Intermediate Cross Country in DIT on February 3rd. We have a strong Masters team entered in the Master XC in Dundalk IT on Sunday. It is spearheaded by Sean who was 3rd overall in last years race in Galway. Brian, Shane and Tim have shown good race form in the last month and will hope to pack well to give them a chance of team medals. Last year Rathfarnham won the team with 100 points in the O35 category. Phil is competing in the O65 category where he was also 3rd overall last year so fingers crossed for similar performances this year!
O35 Men: Sean McGrath, Brian Harty, Shane Harrington, Tim Crowley
065 Men: Phil McGrath
- Munster Senior and Masters Indoors in Nenagh on February 9th and 10th. The online link will be on the Munster athletics website in on Tuesday or Wednesday. It is a new provider so hopefully is is simple to use. You have to enter the indoors yourself.
- Dungarvan 10 Mile: We have 9 athletes entered for Dungarvan on Sunday at 1.30pm, although rumors are rife that we will in fact have 10 on the day. We will have to wait and see.
Since the National Novice in December there has not been any championship racing, just a number of road races and the successful training camp in Inch Beach.
Now that the new year is in full swing there is plenty to choose from in the next few weeks:
- National Master and Intermediate Cross Country in DIT on February 3rd. We should have a strong Masters team here so please make sure you have let Eadaoin know via email and she will enter you. The intermediate team that won last year are all ineligible so more than likely we won't have a team this year.
- Munster Senior and Masters Indoors in Nenagh on February 9th and 10th. Please note that the 3000m is on Saturday the 9th at approx 2.30pm and the 800m and 1500m are on Sunday at 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Full timetables below. *You have to enter this online yourself on Munster Athletics website*
- Dungarvan 10 Mile is also on Ferbruary 3rd and seems to have replaced Ballycotton 10 in terms of popularity.
Training is at the normal times: Thursday Nights in Market Green at 6pm and Saturday mornings for Walshtown Hills at 10am.
Cork Athletics have a detailed leaderboard of all registered road races that have taken place on Cork soil throughout the year on their website that is a great indication of where the local standard of road running is at. While the level of these road races is a far cry from the National standard it is a good indication of how you fair against your peers and stirs up some local rivalry (https://www.corkathletics.org/news/1182-cork-road-race-leaderboard-december-2018.html).
Our Top Dogs:
East Cork AC is proud to have three men on top of the leaderboards: Kevin O'Brien (4k - 12.58) , Michael Harty (4 Mile - 19.15) and James McCarthy (5 Mile - 25.14)
- Kevin O'Brien ran 12.58 in January in the Cloyne Commons 4k and since then many have tried but all have failed to match his time.
- Michael Harty ran a rip roaring 19.15 to hold off an Olympian and also the 8 time King of Ballintotis in April to top the 4 mile leaderboard.
- James cruised to a 25.14 on the very first day of the year in Bandon set a mark that nobody has touched in the 355 days since.
4k Overall Leaderboard: Kenneth Kelleher and Brian Harty.
4k Masters Categories: Conor Tierney, Eric Meade, Denis McCarthy and John Walshe.
5k Masters Categories: Eric Meade, Denis McCarthy and Phil McGrath.
4 Mile Overall Leaderboard: Sean McGrath (3rd), James McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, Kevin O'Leary.
4 Mile Masters Category: John Hennessy, Denis McCarthy, Frank Cashman, Phil McGrath
5 Mile Overall Leaderboard: Sean McGrath (2nd).
5 Mile Masters Category: Denis McCarthy, Phil McGrath and John Walshe
10k Overall Leaderboard: Kevin O'Leary
10 Mile Overall Leaderboard: Tim O'Donoghue, James McCarthy and Kevin O'Leary
Half Marathon Overall Leaderboard: Tim O'Donoghue and Kevin O'Leary
Our Lonely Lady:
Fiona is our one and only female representation on the leaderboards placing prominently across a range of distances from 4 miles to half marathon.
She is 3rd overall in the 4 mile with a 23.27 in Ballymacoda 4 in the summer. She also has the 6th fastest 5 mile in Cork with a 29.55 in the Midleton 5 miler. Fiona was 6th and 7th overall in the womens 10 mile leaderboard from Mallow and Duhallow. And last but not least Fiona is 8th overall in the half marathon with a 83.27 in the Cork City half in June.
Interestingly the 5k is probably the gold ribbon event in the calendar and we have nobody in the overall leaderboard. Although Michael did run a 14.43 earlier in the year in Kilkenny and Sean and James ran 14.58 and 15.19 in BHAA races during the year which would place them all high up on the lists.
The National Novice XC in Navan on Sunday lived up to it's billing as the most exciting race of the season. The mens field had over 250 runners and womens over 150. It makes these races ultra competitive and unpredictable.
On what was a wet and wild day the course more than held it's own. It was still quite firm underfoot and it was an example of a well thought out course for both athletes and spectators. You could easily get to numerous spots around the course and this significantly added to the atmosphere as the athletes were always in sight.
Ladies 4k Race:
The ladies race was a short but sweet 4k. Unfortunatly Eadaoin had to pull out injured but our four women that did compete did a fine job. Lorna was first home in 91st with Michelle breathing down her neck coming up the final stretch in 93rd. Eibhlin who ran despite being sick in the lead up to the race had a solid run in 137th with Lavinia running her first ever National XC event in 150th. Well done all this got the club 19th team overall.
Mens 6k Race:
The mens race was fast and furious from the start with everybody trying to get position going around the first corner. We had 6 men competing and they bunched well from the start. Shane came through the field well to finish up in 71st. Kevin, in his 35th race of the year, gave it a really rattle in the first half of the race was 92nd. Graham Swords also running his first National XC for the club ran a very measured race and picked off group by group in the final lap and a half came 114th and TIm Crowley still on his comeback from injury was 150th. Jonathon Finn was 160th and Donogh, who was just trying to get a weekend off babysitting, was 191st. We were 16th team out of 32., with Togher winning the team title.
Other Squad Athletes:
Paul Hartnett had another super run in a big race finishing 2nd overall inhte U-17 boys race. Paul took the race by the scruff of the neck form the gun and lead 90% of the way, grinding ht egroup down as each lap went by. In the end Adam Ferris was just a fraction too strong in the final push up the hill to the finish. Patrick Kelly had a solid run in the Cork singlet with 68th overall.
Frank O'Brien also had a decent run in thr U-19 boys race charging through the field in the middle of the race to get to 5th overall, Jack O'Shea had a fine run to come 13th with the relativly fast underfoot conditions suiting his track speed. Naoise had a good rnu in 35th.
Cloyne Common 4k:
Closer to home we had a good turnout at the final Cloyne 4k race of the year. Local hero Brian Harty won the race in 13.30. Eric Meade cracked the top 10 with 15.11. Conor and Denis battled it out in 16.03 and 16.17 with John Walshe running his first but not last race of the day in 19.45.
James was 3rd in Newmarket on Sunday afternoon in a swift 15.19. Nice to see James get back to his usual self, this bodes well for the 2019 season. Also it was his first sub 5 minute miling race of 2018 which keeps a streak of about 15 years going!
John Walshe wasn't content enough with just his 4k in the morning in Cloyne and literally continued where he left off running the exact same pace in Newmarket!
Reminder - Club Christmas Night Out:
As you know the Christmas night out is this Thursday after training in the Midleton Park Hotel. Please be there at 7.45pm for the mulled wine reception.
Inch training camp is going ahead again this year from 27th-29th with hostel accommodation. Please touch base with Liam if you are interested in going for some or all of it. Dunes session on the 27th, long run on 28th and interval session on the beach the 29th
East Cork Novice:
Well done to the small crew we had running the East Cork Novice at the weekend. Graham had another good run and was only just outside the medals in 4th. Eibhlin was 7th in the ladies race with Lavinia just behind her.
Generally this is a low key race but a good warm up for those running the National Novice next weekend in Navan, which is always a very exciting competitive race.
James and Brian were our only two men running in the BHAA Turkey Trot and took out 1st and 2nd overall. However in this unique race you actually do not wear a watch and you must guess your predicted time in advance and the "winner" then is whoever got closest to this time. Brian was fairly spot on only 10 seconds off his predicted time. James was a little further away being 42 seconds out.
The next big race is fast approaching in Navan next Saturday. We have two strong teams entered in the mens and womens races and based on recent training sessions some other members of the training squad will be eyeing a good individual result on the also!
Mens Team: Donogh Wall, Tim Crowley, Shane Harrington, Jonathan Finn, Kevin O Leary, Jens Waechter, Tim Mahony, Graham Swords
Womens Team: Eadaoin O Neill, Lorna Santry, Michelle Aherne, Eibhlin Cleary, Lavinia Swords
Christmas Night Out:
Also a reminder that the Christmas night out is coming up on Thursday 20th in Midleton Park Hotel. If you want to go but have not confirmed this yet please let the Social Night Coordinator Lorna know beforehand.
The Munster Intermediate XC was held in the Cork County Boards Grounds in Riverstick on Sunday. Again we had full teams for both the mens and womens races. After winning the National Intermediate title back in February we were down one or two that would otherwise have been competing. In years gone by this would of meant no team for a number of years at this level. However, in what is a testament to the growing strength in depth at the moment we had a strong team of Shame Harrington, Tim Crowley, Jonathon Finn and Tim Mahony.
The ladies 5000m race was on first and Eadaoin positioned herself well in the front pack in the top 10 from the start of the race. As the race progressed Eadaoin made some inroads on the wooded section at the bottom of the course and eased up to 8th position which she held onto with a valiant sprint finish up the hill.
Michelle who is going from strength to strength this season had another fine race. Making a very positive start she held her position throughout and finished up in a very commendable 16th. Eibhlin was third scorer on the team in 30th and Lavinia was in 35th. All in all this was good enough for 5th team. In fact it was a tie for 4th on 89 points with Moyne AC but they got 4th on countback.
The mens race was fast and furious from the start until Paul Maloney took control after 4k and eased away from the field to claim a comfortable win. Shane was our first man home, matching Eadaoins position, in 8th. Shane had a strong race and attached himself to the back of the lead group from the start. The Market Green intervals seemed to payoff on the bottom mucky section. In the last lap as lads were getting dropped all over the place Shane held firm and came through impressively to move from 12th to 8th in the last 800m. Tim Crowley on his official debut for East Cork and his first competitive race in 14 month had a fine run in 17th. Tim battled with a few St Finbarr athletes throughout the race with none of them holding back. But again the strength built from his consistent Welchtown Hills paid dividends in the last half a lap where he made a decisive break and held on till the finish.
Jonathon Finn (one of only two East Cork athletes to beat Mick Clohessy this year) was next to count in 24th with fellow fireman Tim Mahony right behind him in 25th. This got us 2nd team overall behind Thurles Crokes and ahead of Dundrum. Also Shane and Tim counted on the silver winning Cork team. Well done all
Waterford Half Marathon:
In other races Graham Swords was out again in Waterford Half Marathon on Saturday running a very tidy 78.01 for 30h in his 4th race since the Dublin Marathon!!!
East Cork Novice:
The next cross country race is the East Cork Novice race in Watergrasshill next Sunday. This is low key but a good sharpening race for anyone coming back from injury or wants a stress free hit out. Entry is on the day.
The Munster Intermediate XC is on this Sunday in the Cork County Board grounds in Riverstick. We have strong teams competing in both the mens and womens races. Best of luck to all racing and all support is greatly welcome. The first race begins at 11.30am (this is probably the juvenile start time, more details at training tonight)
Men: Jens Wachter, Kevin O'Leary, Tim Mahony, Shane Harrington, Jonathon Finn, Tim Crowley
Women: Eibhlin Cleary, Lavinia Swords, Michelle Aherne, Eadaoin O Neill
The big race of the weekend was the National Senior XC held in Abbottstown Dublin. This is the course that will hold the 2020 European XC Championships.
We had 4 men and Fiona competing! Conditions for racing were ideal. The surface was like a carpet for the majority of the course with just a small section with a covering of mud. Predictably the pace went out very fast with the lead group covering the first mostly downhill mile in 4.40. Timmy probably ran close to 4.50 in his opening mile and was about 30th in the field. Sean and James were neck and neck in about 50th and Kevin O'Leary was covering the Leevale contingent just behind them.
In what is a very unfriendly spectator course it was hard to see the ebb and flow of the race as you had to choose either the top field of the lap or the bottom to watch the race and then wait 3 minutes for the athletes to reappear. Sean Tobin and Kevin Dooney kept the pace fierce at the front and both had spells leading and pushing the pace on. The only other man able to hang with them was Kevin Maunsell of Clonmel AC. These three had a large gap on 4th and Kevin Dooney of Raheen took the honours in 30.07.
Tim was first home for East Cork with another solid run finishing in a respectable 22nd and very nearly outsprinted (a fading) 4 minute miler, but alas it was not to be. Tim came through strong in the last 4km and passed a few big names that were not able to handle the pace. Sean also ran through the field well and got up to 36th at the end with a trademark hard last 200m that picked off another few places for him. James was next home in 57th and Kevin O'Leary in 107th out of a field of 162.
This got us 9th place overall and 150 places from team medals. Cork were 4th county team also. Well done lads for keeping the flag flying.
Fiona had a good run in the Senior Womens race finishing 41st overall. In a race that was won by track star Ciara Mageean, Fiona was in about 50th with 2k remaining but showed her strength to power through 9 athletes in the last lap. Cork were just outside the top three in 4th as well in the womens. To put this result in perspective there were over a hundred of the best athletes in Ireland in the race and Fiona was well above halfway. This is a very serious standard and all credit to Fiona to be consistently competing at this very unforgiving level.
Other Notable Results from "athletes in the East Cork area".
Frank O'Brien and Paul Hartnett of Midleton AC had a titanic battle once again in the U-18/Junior race. With a finish akin to the famous Cheltenham Racecourse hill, Paul held a 10m lead turning around the last corner with 200m to go but Frank, like Kauto Star in his pomp, chugged right to the end and pipped Paul on the line. This reversed the result from the Munsters and got Frank 4th in the U-18 race and Paul 5th. This went a long way to getting silver for the Midleton AC team also with Jack O'Shea 22nd, Cian Horgan 86th and Patrick Kelly 87th in the team. Well done lads.
Laura Hayes of St Catherines AC, and daughter of club stalwart Frank, was 12th overall in a very strong Junior women's race won by double European champion Sarah Healy. Tamzin Muldowney was 32nd overall and both girls were on the scoring Cork team that won the county competition. Norah O'Brien in her final Junior Race was 81st. Well done all.
The Glenville 4 mile was also held on Sunday with a ig turnout. john Walshe was our sole athlete competing and ran 33.08.
Munster Intermediate XC next Sunday in Riverstick. All wanting to be entered should of let Eadoin know by now.
British and Irish International - Swansea
Congrats to Michael Harty who represented Ireland in the Bristish and Irish Masters Cross country in Swansea on Saturday. In a very competitive race Michael finished 4th overall and 3rd M35. He was the leading scorer for Ireland in coming 2nd to a strong England team.
Munster Masters XC - Nov 20th, 2018
Congrats to Sean McGrath who defended his Munster Masters title on Sunday. Although selected for the British and Irish cross country that was on in Swansea Sean stayed local and dominated the race from start to finish. Frank Hayes was next home in 12th overall and 3rd M45 with Brian Harty and Graham Swords neck in neck in 28th and 29th. Jens continued his packed racing schedule and rounded off the M35 team. This got us 4th team. 5 points behind 3rd place Eagle AC.
Eric Meade was 8th in the M50 category and Denis was 7th in the M55's. Sean, Frank and Eric were all scorers on winning Cork teams also.
Cloyne Common 4k
The very popular Cloyne 4k series was also back on Sunday. We had 6 runners competeting. Kenneth continuing his comeback was 3rd overall. Tim Crowley made his long awaited debut for the club and was 9th.
Eibhlin Cleary improved the ladies club 4k season best time to a more respectable 18.21. Now at least the 4k time is faster than the 5k time!
The National Senior Cross Country is on next Sunday in Abbotstown. This is the pinnacle of the cross country season for the club and if you are around all support is greatly appreciated. It is the race that all senior club athletes should be aiming to race competitively in, as it gives an accurate portrayal of fitness levels up against the best in the country. All the best to everyone taking part.
The mens team secured a remarkable win in Two Mile Borris on Sunday. With ominous storm clouds overhead there was a tense atmosphere in the build up. As is always the case at Munster level you never really know is actually competing until everyone lines up at the start line. As usual Ennis Track had a full compliment and with Clonmel not racing it was set up for another head to head battle Cork v Clare.
The race started off fast and furious with Rory Chesser taking the lead and pushing the group through 2k in 6 minutes. Despite the fast pace a big group of about 10 formed with Sean and Michael in the mix with two Ennis Track. About 50m back were Tim and James who were being man marked by two other Ennis Track athletes.
As the race progressed these positions largely held until Sean Doyle from An Bru made a decisive break off the front off the group. He was shortly joined by eventually winner Damian Landers of Ennis. It was around this stage that Tim, in 11th, decided his legs weren't feeling too bad after Dublin Marathon 2 weeks ago and started getting into his rhythm and clawed his way closer to the back of the chase group.
Sean was yoyoing from the front to the back of the chase group until listening to the wise advice from Liam to tuck in the group against the wind.
Ennis were still "in the virtual yellow jersey" with 4k to go. It was here that James dropped the 4th Ennis runner and opened up a gap. Michael in his first serious hard race back from injury was battling valiantly in the lead group.
Going into the final 2k lap Ennis were still in the lead but Tim had decided enough was enough and tagged on to what was left of the chase group and went straight through the middle of them in a show of strength against the wind. Tim, never too confident of winning in a sprint finish, made his move with about a mile to go and splintered the group apart to end up an exceptional third in the circumstances. Sean hanging on in with Tim for as long as possible found himself in 5th and 10m behind 4th place Kevin Moore and only just ahead of Ennis' second man Rory Chesser with 100m to go but in true Sean grit and determination he put on an almighty kick to power passed Moore in the last 20m and collapse over the line for 4th. Michael cam through in 10th and James close behind in 12th. Frank Hayes and Jens Waechter rounded off the team in 29th and 46th.
With a few calculations on the back of a medals envelope we worked out that it was a tie with Ennis on 29 points each and James was one ahead of their 4th man meaning we won the title in the same style as the County Senior title 12 months ago against Leevale on countback. This was James and Seans 11th title each with Tim and Michael moving onto 3 each.
Munster Senior Bronze for the Ladies!
The womens race was less dramatic but equally competitive. Fiona had a storming race to hold off Aisling Kelly from St Johns and old foe Michelle Kenny. It was nip and tuck the whole way but with 1km to go, Fiona in 4th made a decisive move to get into 3rd. But Kelly wasn't letting up and going into the final turn they were neck in neck again. Fiona turned on the afterburners in the final straight similar to Sean and clinched the individual bronze medal, following up her silver from last year in Gallbally.
The team battle was looking very tight with 4 teams separated by very little. Eadaoin ran strongly to finish 16th and held off the challenge of three Ennis Track girls just behind her! Lorna had another solid race pacing herself well and finishing in 25th and Eibhlin showing well with another good performance in 31st. This was good enough for 3rd team overall and only 8 points off winners Dundrun and 5 off Ennis Track in 2nd. Not long ago this section of the club was non existent and now we are competitive in Novice, Intermediate and Senior competitions all due to a small number of dedicated women. Well done ladies.
In Other News:
Shane was down West this weekend again and picked up the win in the Eyeries 5 MIle in 29.19. If we can get the Nationals XC venue changed to the Beara peninsula, Shane could be our secret weapon at finally getting a top 3 team!
Jonathon Finn was racing again and was 12th in the Thomas Kent 10k in Castlelyos on Sunday in a decent 38.22.