Firstly the club would like to wish all members a happy and prosperous new year. Hopefully gold medals and PB's will be the top stories each week!
We had a few athletes out and about over the holiday period with some standout performances. Tim set the tone on St Stephens Day with a time the club has not seen since Castlemaytr 1986 when Liam ran the same time. Tim equaled Liam's time of 19.02 with a 5th place in the MSD Clonmel 4 mile. Due to the new shoe technology the times today are a little harder to compare with the past so I have created a new club records section where "Super Shoe" records will be captured separately to the pre super shoe ones.
The old club records are still there to be shot at but without carbon plates and fancy pebax foam.
Norah and Claire had a mother daughter day out in Togher then on the 27th. Norah ran 19.46 with Claire running 23.31.
Tim laced up again in the Grange Fermoy 10k and came within 2 seconds of club president Gerry Wallace's track club record of 30.31 but still nearly a minute short of Liam's road time of 29.39. Unfortunately for Tim his rival in the Leevale colours made it 2-2 in their head to head battle for the season. Ryan Creech won in a swift 29.54 with Sergio just behind Tim in 3rd.
Paul Hartnett following on from his excellent 4th in the National Novice was out on New Years Day in Newtownshandrum winning comfortably in 15.20.
We had two racing in the BHAA 5k cross country in Beaumont Park too. Shane made a return to racing with a 26th placing and Avril was 98th overall.
In the midst of the racing we also had our annual training trip to Inch. We had a good turn out for a one day session of the dunes. Some fared better than others.
We had two athletes make the trip to the fast Newmarket 5k course last Sunday. Frank having a mid life identity crisis also debuted his new Vaporflys on Irish soil and ran a PB of 15.21 for 14th place. Claire ran with our fastest female 5k time of the weekend with 23.07.
Christmas Party Parkrun:
We had a good turnout for the Christmas Party this year. We paid a visit to the Pobalscoil Trionoide (Youghal) Parkrun and had 12 competing in the race. Tim won in 15.43, James 2nd in 16.30, Kevin 3rd in 17.06, Graham 4th in 17.18, Donal 5th in 17.20, Stephen 6th in 17.32, Jens 9th in 20.15, Eadaoin 27th in 23.41, Denis 28th in 23.47, Lorna 50th in 26.59, Lavinia 55th in 27.47 and Eibhlin 59th in 28.00.
Coffee in the Boardwalk was had afterwards but nobody braved a dip in the sea.
National Novice XC:
Well done to our 5 athletes who travelled to Gowran Park last weekend for the most exciting and unpredictable race on the calendar.
Norah was our sole representative in the women's race and finished 84th overall (a big improvement on her 299th position from the 5k she ran the day before).
Our men's team was lead by a resurgent Paul Hartnett. After a disappointed National Juniors in Santry he bounced back almost as good as the bad guys in Home Alone with a superb 4th place overall in 18.59. He was in the lead group the whole way through and gave it everything in the final field to hold off William and Evan Fitzgerald. He also got revenge on Leevale pair Gavin O'Rourke from the county seniors and Tommy Connolly in the National Juniors. An oversight on the County Boards selection panel meant Paul was not on the winning Cork team but the good news is he will be eligible to run again next year at all Novice grades. Well done Paul.
Further back in the pack Stephen held off Donal and his last lap demons to finish 79th in 21.10. Donal was only 11 seconds behind Stephen but in this race that translated to 14 positions. Ollie Smiddy courageously stepped up to make sure we had a team and finished a commendable 178th in 23.32. The team was 12th out of 22.
As mentioned above Norah also ran the Jingle Bells 5k organised by Donore Harriers on Saturday. She ran an excellent 19.20 and beat former teammate Jen Preston too.
There will be no Christmas Night Out this year due to Covid. So instead we are going to attend the Youghal parkrun on Saturday morning (December 18th). The parkrun if you are not aware is a 5k run. You can race it hard or just use it as a jog. Meet time is 8.45am at Claycastle Beach carpark (near the start of the boardwalk). We will warm up with a 2k jog to the start, which is Pobalscoil na Trionoide at 9.30am. The entry fee is free but you do need to register online (https://www.parkrun.ie/register/?section=form) first.
We will jog back down to the cars then and grab a sociable coffee and optional dip in the sea. If anyone wants to join just for the coffee after we should be back in Claycastle at about 10.15am.
Munster Masters XC:
We had a very successful day down in Clarecastle last Sunday. Our Masters mens team retained their title that they won at the last hosting in 2019 in Beaufort. With Donal and Graham scoring on both teams and Micheal Harty and James McCarthy added their considerable support to the team they wrapped up the title comfortably with 39 points ahead of Leevale on 82 points.
Michael followed up his county win with another good performance and winning the overall race in 23.17. Michael tracked John Kinsella of Bilboa AC through the first half of the race and then opened up a gap in the final lap to take the title. James was next home in 5th overall (2nd M35). Donal and Graham had a big battle and only 2 seconds separated them in the end. Donal was 16th (6th M35) and Graham was 17th (5th M40). Stephen was just behind the lads in 21st (8th M35). Michael, James and Donal also scored on the gold winning Cork county M35 team.
Niamh O'Connor was our only representative in the womens race and ran a solid run to finish 22nd (7th F40).
Conor Tierney and Liam Aherne ran in the Thomas Kent 10k last week too. Conor ran 43.28 and Liam was on pacing duties.
Liam also ran the Glenville 4 mile and broke the 24 minute barrier with 23.56.And in the longest race so far ran for East Cork Chris McGrath ran in the tough conditions in Clonakilty half marathon in 94.09.
Next up this weekend is the National Novice in Gowran Park.
We will have a mens team with Paul, Donal, Stephen and Chris signed up. We should have a few in the womens section too (but as none of them were at training this week I was not able to find out!)
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.
The Munster Novice was on last weekend on a flattish fast course up in Two Mile Borris in Tipp. We had 4 athletes competing. Donal Giltnan continued his good string of form with a 16th position and was on scored on the gold winning Cork team. Graham was 13 seconds behind in 22nd with a very solid run. Stephen was in the mix with the lads but took a small recovery with 800m to go that cost him a few positions to finish in 31st in 21.30. Unfortunately we were one short for a team.
Niamh O'Connor raced in the ladies race and had a good run finishing 26th in 16.44.
BHAA Road Race:
The Cork business house road races made a comeback at the weekend too. We had two running in it. Michael Harty made a comeback after a considerable amount of time off. He finished 2nd in 15.32. Avril Crowley also ran and finished 80th overall and 11th lady.
Up Next - Munster Senior XC:
The Munster Senior XC is on this weekend in Two Mile Borris. We are the current holders of the title, last run in 2019, but after being well beaten by Leevale in the counties a few weeks ago we have a lot to do to retain the trophy!
County Intermediate - Whites Cross: October 10th, 2021
Tim Mahony was our sole runner at the county intermediates. Regaining fitness with every race he rana solid 34.36 for 22nd place.
East Cork Novice - Whites Cross: October 17th, 2021
We had a great double on Sunday in Whites Cross in the East Cork Novice. Norah won her maiden senior race pulling clear of the field to win with a comfortable 40 seconds to spare on Midletons Eileen Leahy. Annelise continued her fine run of form too with an impressive 4th overall, outsprinting Colette O'Donughue from Watergrasshill to the line. Avril Crowley completed the team in 10th. The ladies got third team but if we had one more runner we would have been shoe ins for the gold!
Donal lead the men home, winning this title for the second time. He last won the race in 2019 and has now joined the two time winners club which also includes: Don Sheehan - Carrignabhfear 1992, 2000 ; Wiilie O'Mahoney - Midleton 1994, 2004 ; Dan Horgan - Midleton 1995, 2001 ; Tim Mahony - East Cork 2005, 2006 ; John Hennessy - Midleton 2011, East Cork 2013.
Hot on his heels again was Stephen O'Brien who came second in 22.28 with Graham Swords 4th in 22.46. We had Chris Kelly make a good return to racing too and he came 7th and rounded off the Gold winning mens team in 23.51. Ollie Smiddy came 13th in 24.29. A side note for the race. John Spelman ran as a guest as he missed his U19 race, he was first to cross the line but is too young to count at Novice grade.
Autumn Open XC - Abbotstown: October 17th, 2021
A dress rehearsal for the European XC was held in Abbotstown on Sunday. Tim O'Donoghue made the journey up as he said he was sick of winning all the local races in Cork... In a high quality field Tim, as usual, worked his way through as each lap passed to finish a highly commendable 6th overall in 23.36. The 7,500m race was won by Darragh McElhinney in 22.59. Tim was also first masters home, beating Sergiu Cibanu and Paul Pollock for the top spot.
After a years break the County Senior XC was back. Tim was aiming for 3 in a row and boy did he not disappoint. All the pre race talk was on Ryan Creech and justifiably so after his 63 minute half and beating some heavyweights (not literally heavy obviously) up in the Antrim Coast International Half last month.
None of this deterred Tim and he set to work knowing a 10k cross country is a very different proposition to a road race. An uneven field, short hills, long hills, hills with a camber, wind in your face all makes cross country a true test of endurance. With Creech pushing the pace early Tim just sat on him and waited. The pressure of being in front and pushing the pace, without dropping your advisory, told halfway through. Tim made a surge on the long hill, broke the resistance and spirit of Creech in one move and that was that. Tim kept pushing the final 4000m to the line for a comprehensive victory in 32.29 taking his 3rd title in three years and cementing his name as the dominant distance runner in the county. Hopefully Tim can take this purple patch of form to the Munsters in 4 weeks and win that for the first time in his career.
Unfortunately our team did not run as well as Tim as we had to settle a distant second to Leevale in the team battle. However a silver lining was the emergence of Paul Hartnett, who is still a Junior, ran a very brave race for 5th overall in 34.46. The rest of the team did pack well but just a bit too far back. James was next home in 18th with 37.01, Kevin 20th in 37.05, Kenneth 22nd 37.40 and Nicky 37.44. Denis our talisman ran his 39th ever County Senior XC finished 43rd in 55.13. To put that in perspective, if Paul trys to beat that record he will have to run every County XC from now until 2060 (go on get out your calculator and see what age you will be then!!!)
The Counties were on a bit earlier than normal this year so with another 4 weeks of training in the legs as a team we should improve for the Munster and hopefully be in a position to put a reasonable team forward for the Nationals at the end of November.
The County Intermediates is on next Sunday in Whites Cross. We only have Tim Mahony running in this so best of luck Tim.
The cross country action is coming up fast and furious now. Last weekend was the County Novice XC held in Riverstick. After a bumper entry last year numbers were unfortunately back to more "normal" field size. None the less the competition was fierce and exciting, as is usually the way for Novice races. Another interesting point was Paul O'Donovan, Olympic gold medalist rower, was racing and acquitted himself quite well. He was running for the Skibbereen branch of Leevale AC.
Donal led the mens team home with a brilliant individual run to come 5th overall in 21.49. Stephen was next at the finishing, stumbling in for 9th position in 22.20 with Graham breathing down his neck 3 seconds back in 10th. Tim Mahony rounded off the team in 30th which was good enough for 3rd team overall, behind Togher and Leevale.
Annelise was our only lady in the Novice womens race and she had an excellent run improving from 18th last year to 9th in a time of 18.27
Also on Sunday was the Intervarsity Cross Country up in DCU. Norah had a great run in the womens race for UL coming 22nd.
Nicky went for a spin west with his vaporflys on Satrurday to comfortably win the Allihies 5 mile in 27.55
The County Senior XC is on this Sunday in West Muskerry. Tim will be looking for the hat trick of individual wins but will face stiff competition from the best that Cork has to offer. Eadaoin is taking entries at the moment for the men's and women's teams so make sure you email her.
East Cork Senior and Masters XC - Golden Oldie Tim still flying high:
The East Cork Senior and Master XC championships were held in Conna again this year curtesy of host Frank Hayes. Unfortunately numbers were down quite a lot on last years bumper entries but we were still treated to high quality races.
Tim might have some grey flecks in the hair, bags under the eyes and some mileage in the tank now but he still showed who was boss, literally winning the race by a country field! The intent was laid bare from the start, the challenge thrown down to the field "Hang with me at this pace for 6k if you dare". Young Paul Hartnett who was aiming to improve on his 2nd position from last year was the only person brave enough to go with Tims pace from the gun. Paul who is still a Junior will no doubt be a future winner at the East Cork but had to settle again for 2nd. Tims winning time of 19.23 was 85 seconds clear of Pauls 20.48.
James and Nicky have been nip and tuck battling against each other all summer on the road and track so cross county bragging rights were up for grabs. Nicky took the pace out for the first few laps before the wily old fox James got a gap just after half way and clinched 3rd in 21.35 with Nicky in 4th just behind in 21.46. John Hennessy of Midleton AC split up the East Cork strangle hold on the individual positions finishing in 5th. Donal was 6th overall (22.20) and satisfaction was etched on his face with his 9 second advantage on rival Stephen who was 7th in 22.29. This also got Donal the final M35 individual medal. Denis was 29th overall in 30.20. We won the Senior mens team (Tim, Paul, James and Nicky) and the M35 team (Tim, James, Donal and Stephen).
Avril was the sole lady running for us on Sunday and she claimed an individual silver in the F45 category. Completing the 4000m course in 19.19. Well done Avril.
Up next in 2 weeks is the County Seniors on October 3rd. This is on in Riverstick and the more we have running the better. We have a good team history in the mens race and would like to put our best team out on the day.
The annual Cloyne 5k was a welcome addition back on the circuit last Friday night. With a slightly amended start and finish line it was all held on the Cloyne Commons circuit traditionally used for the 4k winter series.
With cross country just around the corner we still had good representation with Tim "Kipchoge" O'Donoghue dominating the field to win in 14.43. Brother Nick got his second sub 16 clocking in as many weeks with a 15.55 for 6th overall. Stephen O'Brien making a return to racing was 17th in 17.13 with rival Donal Giltinan just pipped to the post in 20th with 17.16 (with neither wearing supershoes).
Eric Meade was next home in 18.52 with Jen Preston our sole female runner coming 13th in 19.41 after a long season of racing. Liam Leahy was chasing Jen down in the home straight with a 19.42. Denis was 114th in 23.33. Well done all for racing and also to everyone from the club that helped out on the day with all the unseen work to ensure the race ran smoothly.
- East Cork Senior XC: Sunday Sep 19th - Venue TBC later this week
- County Senior XC: Sunday October 3rd - Riverstick
Cork County T&F:
We had 5 athletes competing in the county T&F last Sunday. With a limited program due to Covid there was an 800m and 3000m for middle distances.
There were two heats, in Heat 1 Nicky continued his good form with a third overall and silver in Senior category in a time of 9.29. James who did a lot of the pace pushing in the middle section of the race was just behind Nicky in 9.32. This got him a gold in the M35's.
In Heat 2 Jen was second senior lady home in 11.21. Eric was 5th in the race and first M55 in 11.17 with Denis taking silver in the M55 too in 13.55.
There are still some spots left in the Cloyne 5k on Friday at 7.30pm if anybody is interested. It is held in association with East Cork AC so if anybody is around to help out too on the night that would be greatly appreciated too.
Link - https://register.enthuse.com/ps/event/Cloyne5kRoadRace
Rathcormac 4 Mile and Bweeng 5:
We have had a number of local road races in the past week. Tim O'Donoghue showing there is life left in Master athletes as he won both in style. Supershoes are adding some glamour onto times but they are here to stay and with the vast majority of people wearing them now it is a much more level playing field than previous years. Tim pushed both races from gun to tape and left a lot of classy athletes in his wake, if he can continue and build on this form he will be ominous in the County Senior XC in 6 weeks as he pushes for his 3 in a row of county titles!
Tims winning time was an impressive 19.28, Frank after a long track season was 4th (and commendably is still not wearing any supershoes) in 20.57 with the ever improving Nicky just over his shoulder in 21.08. Oliver Smiddy ran a solid race to finish 33rd in 25.41 and Avril Crowley was 12th in the womens race in 29.31.
Bweeng 5k was on 3 days later and some of the usual suspects turned up again, eager on cashing in on the late season road race prizes and running some good times on a fast course. Tim again pushed the pace from the start and took a comfortable victory in 14.29. Great to see Paul Hartnett back in action too and he ran a mighty last couple of kilometers to finish 2nd in 14.48. Nicky ran a PB as well finishing 8th in 15:47. Well done all.
Cork County T&F:
Better late than never the Cork Country T&F are on this weekend. There are 800m and 3000m middle distance races. If you want to run either of these please respond to Eadaoins email by today.
Training will officially resume again this Saturday, Aug 28th, in Welchtown at 11am. For anyone new please touch base with somebody for directions.
Upcoming Fixtures - XC
- Sep 19th: East Cork XC Day 1, 11am
- Sep 26th: Charleville Half Marathon, 10am
- Oct 3rd: County Junior and Senior XC
- Oct 10th: County Novice and Masters XC
- Oct 17th: Autumn Open XC, 2pm
- ???: Munster Senior XC
- Nov 13th: British and Irish Masters XC, Santry
- Nov 21st: National Junior and Senior XC
- Dec 5th: National Novice XC
- Dec 12th: SPAR European XC
In a hastily organised national league this year, for reasons that everybody is sick of talking about, we had just one athlete representing the East Cork Division. In a high standard womens 1500m Norah scored 4 points with 5th place in 5.40. Frank also ran in the mens 800m finishing 8th in 2.03. Both have had a long season and have been the most consistent at training. A little break and onto cross country for all. Fingers crossed we will get a full season of it this year with the Europeans looming in Dublin for December.
Munster Senior T&F:
Norah represented the club at the Munster Seniors in Templemore last Saturday. Norah came 5th in the 800m in 2.35 just outside her PB set earlier this season. Well done Norah. Frank ran in the 5000m and was 6th in 15.41.
The night before the Conna 5k road race was held on a hilly stretch of roads in Ballynoe. Tim continued his good form with a commanding win in 14.55. Nicky ran a 40 second PB to clock 16.03 and 3rd overall. James was 4th in 16.27. Jen was 4th lady in a new PB of 19.11 with Denis running 24.51.
Norah represented the club at the Munster U23's in Templemore last Saturday. On a hot scorching track Norah raced to a big PB of 5.17 in the 1500m and took home the Silver medal in the process. Well done Norah. Brother Frank won the 1500m U23 tit;le in a time of 4.07.
Fermoy 4 Mile:
On Sunday the Fermoy 4 mile was on with a limit of 200 athletes. We had three competing. Tim continuing his current streak of races was 3rd in 19:30, Nicky was 28th in 22:04 and Jen was 6th lady in 25:16.
Carrignavar hosted the second day of the East Cork T&F championships up in MTU track on Wednesday July 21st. An ideal balmy evening for track racing was instore for the 26 entrants and the East Cork athletes did not disappoint, taking home 4 of the 6 medals on offer!
In the first race there was a ding dong battle for the title between Frank O'Brien and Tim O'Donoghue. Frank lead Tim and James out for the first 3k in a consistent 9.30. With 2k to go Tim tried to make his move but Frank would not leave him pass despite 3 or 4 attempts, the wind sprints in the CBS a few weeks ago paying off. With 400m to run Frank injected a bit more speed and opened up a 30m gap that he held to the finish, winning in 15.32. Tim just behind in 15.37. James was 3rd home in 16.10 with Nicky in 6th in 16.55 and Donal making his racing return in 10th in 18.20.
In Race 2 we had Jen leading the women's race from gun to tape, winning in a time of 19.45. Annelise was 2nd after a titanic battle with Rhona Lynch of Carrignavar in a time of 21.49. Ollie Smiddy made his debut for the club too in a brand new pair of spikes, running a very solid 19.30 for 2nd. Denis McCarthy running his 65th ever 5000m on a tartan track was 14th. The fastest of these he ran 14.58 in back in the 1980's!! Not to be content with a short warm down, Denis was also still clocking some mileage as most people were driving home. Denis has an incredible ambassador for East Cork and Irish athletics over the years.
-Munster Junior & U23 T&F Championships: July 24th, Templemore
- Conna 5k: July 30th 8pm, Conna
- Munster Senior & Masters T&F Championships: July 31st, Templemore
- Irish Life Health National Masters T&F Championships: September 5th, Tullamore
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.
County Novice XC:
The County Novice and U23 XC was held in Riverstick on Sunday October 4th under very tight organised Covid restrictions. The event ran exactly as advertised and all credit has to go to all involved in the organising the event in testing circumstances. Interestingly this was the first county championship of the year. Spoiler: The girls report goes first as they were the only ones who won medals.
There was a big battle to be the number 1 East Cork Novice lady. Michelle and Jen have been training together all summer and this was the first of hopefully many battles to come. Jen went off confidently. With her great news from the day before she probably thought this was her extra lucky weekend. Unfortunately cross country doesn't work like that and after 2 laps the pain started. Michelle, who had no intention of trying to better her 3rd from last year, was hot on the heels of Jen to this point. Success was defined as beating her clubmate. While this duel was developing Annelise, Norah and Lorna served up another delightful battle. This time it was Annelise who was laying down the law in the middle section of the race. Avril Crowley, Eibhlin Cleary and Lavinia Swords were all having fine races just behind the girls. Coming into the final stretch, which was cruelly up a long hill Emily Knox of Leevale took the title in a convincing performance. Not far behind Michelle appeared in 4th with a sly smile/grimace on her face, a quick glance over her shoulder confirmed she had got what she came for - 8 seconds behind her was Jen, finishing her 1st official race for the club in 5th place. Annelise kept the pace going in the closing stages and stayed ahead of Norah and Lorna in convincing fashion. The girls finished in 18th, 20th and 22nd. Norah also was 3rd U-23 and also our only individual medal winner on the day. It is great when age is on your side. Avril had another great finish and was 29th with Eibhlin in 47th and Lavinia in 55th. This was good enough for 3rd team overall and agonisingly only 1 point off Leevale who came 2nd. St Finbarrs won the title.
The mens race was the talk of the place leading up to Sunday with a bumper 160 entrants. With a few not turning up and also a few who found the going not quite to their taste there ended up being 112 finishers, still a massive field for a county mens race.
Our leading man was again Stephen O'Brien, although he must be starting to get worried as Nicky with a block of uninterrupted training behind him has closed the gap dramatically since they last raced in the East Cork Seniors. To be fair both executed the race very well moving from about 14th and 15th positions at halfway to 9th and 10th at the finish. Stephen went for a lie down straight after to contemplate how the race went, while Nicky went in search of the elusive woods to warm down in. Further back Graham Swords and Chris Kelly had a great battle for 3rd spot on the team. At halfway Graham looked like he had done enough to keep Chris at bay but there was no die in this dog on this day. Chris had a monster last kilometer and overhauled about 5 people to get to 21st place with Graham 5 seconds behind in 24th. Paul Crotty suffered a bit after a hot first couple of km and finished in 41st. Tim Mahony was next in 55th and Chris McGrath cracked the top 100 with 95th place, if it was the Ballycotton 10 there would of been a tshirt for them all.
This got the men 5th team overall and heartbreakingly one behind Midleton AC. It was a great battle between the two clubs. Midleton were lead by Frank O'Brien who won the race overall and set a record the time for someone crossing the finish line and driving out the gate almost immediately after. It really was an impressive get away. If Michael Guineys doesn't work out and Liam knows how to operate an JCB then there could be a career in robbing ATM's up the North for the father son duo.
Unfortunately now with Level 3 restrictions all races are on ice until further notice. At best there might be some in November but that remains to be seen. The silver lining is training can go ahead as "normal" in the pod system so that will continue until we hear otherwise.