- 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.
Overall since the club first competed in the Munster Senior XC championship in 1986 we have won an impressive 21 out of 33 runnings of the event.
We have won the individual title 8 times by four men: Donnacha O'Mahoney, Liam O'Brien, James McCarthy and Michael Harty.
Donnacha on his own has won half of these winning 4 times and hauling an unprecedented 13 team titles along the way stretching over 20 years from 1990 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 21 titles won 23 men have contributed directly to the team by scoring in the top four. As mentioned Donnacha tops this list with 13. Close behind are James and Sean on 10 each, who are solely responsible for the consistent run of team results in the mid 00's. Liam O'Brien and Eric Meade contributed 7 wins each and John Kearney 6.
Note: Traditionally the Munster Seniors 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 interounties 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.
Any mistakes or omissions please let me know.
County Masters and Novice B:
Congrats to the mens M35 team on winning the county masters in Castlelyons at the weekend. Michael Hary won the race outright, making a welcome return to racing after over 6 months out and maintaining his 100% winning steak for 2018. Sean was 2nd to Michael with Brian Harty in 5th and Graham Swords only a week on from Dublin marathon in 7th. Well done lads, it was nice to break Leevales strangle hold on most other cross country county titles for this season.
Other Individual Medlal winners - Frank Hayes was 2nd individual in the M45 category with Denis McCarthy and Phil McGrath 3rd in the M55 and M65 catgories.
Tim Mahoney was 4th M40 with Jens Waechter making his official club debut in 6th. In the Novice race Jonathon Finn had another good cross country run finishing 6th with the ever improving Donogh Wall not far behind in 8th.
On the Roads:
There were two road races of note over the weekend also. Jonathon Finn impressively took out the Airport Runway 5k at midnight Friday night in 17.52. This continues from Kevin O'Learys win in the inaugural race last year keeping a hold of East Cork AC winners of the event. Jens Waechter made his unofficial debut with a top 20 after going out hard with the leaders into the wind and finishing in 19.32.
On Sunday morning in Little Island Kenneth Kelleher took to the line in the BHAA HSE 5k. This was Kenneths first race in nearly a year and made a very successful return in 16.45 for 9th overall.
Brickly 5K: John Walshe was in Waterford on Sunday running the Brickly 5k in 25.14.
Normally Parkruns don't make it into the weekly reports but this week might just be the sole exception. We had two runners battling it out in Bere Island and Lees Road, Ennis.
Eibhlin Cleary made her parkrun debut finished 2nd to Ennis Tracks Laura Chesser in a season best time of 23.22 on the undulating forest trail. And down in West Cork, while his teammates were battling Leevale for a county title in Castlelyons, Shane Harrington ran a confidence boosting 17.46 to come 1st by 5 minutes in Bere Island... This should set Shane up nicely for the Munster Seniors next weekend.
*NEW CLUB RECORD*
In a very rare occurrence at the weekend one of the long standing club records was broken. Tim ran a superb debut marathon in Dublin coming 18th overall and 8th Irish finisher and smashed the former record of John Kearney by 5 mins which was set in Mallow in 1996. Tim ran 2.21.02.
His splits were 69.16 through the first half and 71.45 home despite suffering a bit (in his own words) in the closing miles . Tim was in a group with some experienced 2.20 guys for the opening miles but found the going too slow so pushed on up the road passing 10 miles in about 52.45 minutes. Closing in on the half way point Tim was in a great position about 30 seconds behind 4 time national winner Sergio Ciobanu and current national half marathon champion David Flynn. Passing through the half way mark in 69.18 was a little bit faster than the pre-race plan but the legs were feeling good and the race was on. Tim maintained this pace for another 10-15km and closed right up to David Flynn after the 30km mark. The hot early pace did finally catch up in the legs over the last 3 miles and the pace dropped a little but still held everything together to finish with an overall average of 5.23 a mile. Which in other terms is eight 5ks back to back in 16.43 plus another 2km, or 105 x 400 in 80 seconds with no recovery!
Graham Swords also ran an excellent race in 2.40:55 going a few minutes faster than his last outing in Cork and Lavinia ran a massive 20 PB with 4.47:47. Great to see all the training paying off.
Kevin O'Leary also ran an amazing marathon debut running 2.27:48 in Frankfurt for 53rd overall. To put this time into context Kevin only broke 60 mins for the first time last year in a 10 mile race and now has catapulted himself to running a full 26.2 miles in 5.37 average. This is back to back 56.23's for 10 miles and finishing it off with a 35 minute 10km!
Kevin ran a negative split race going through the first half in 74.16 and the second in 73.33. Interestingly Kevin's last 7km was the fastest portion of his race (from 35km to 40km he ran 17.06, this alone would podium in many 5km road races around Cork on a summers evening).
Consistent dedicated training is very much paying off. Also this was Kevins 33rd race of the year. Congrats Kevin
Cork Intermediate XC:
Well done to Shane Harrington with a battling 4th in the Cork Intermediate XC in Conna on Bank holiday Monday. Shane was head to head with training squad member Dave O'Connor from St Catherines for the majority of the race but Dave just pulled ahead in the closing sprint.
The ladies team was unlucky to be one short for a team. With Lavinia in Dublin, Lorna working and Niamh injured we would of had a great chance of a top 2 position if all were running. None the less Eadaoin had a solid run to finish 8th with Michelle hot on her heals in 9th and Eibhlin packing well in 14th. Well done all, it was not an ideal day for a race at the tail end of a bank holiday but great to see 3 in the top 10 in both races.
Irish Master Selections:
The highest honour in any sport is to represent your country and today East Cork AC has four men selected to wear the Irish singlet in Swansea next month in the British and Irish Masters XC. Sean McGrath and Michael Harty have been picked in a strong M-35 team. Frank Hayes is a reserve in the M-45's and Phl McGrath is a reserve in the M-65's. A huge congratulation to all of you from the club. It is a wonderfully achievement for such a small club to have this many representatives on an Irish team. This is a testament to their dedication to training and applying themselves fully to the sport over the years.
Cork Intermediate XC:
Best of luck to Shane and our womens intermediate team competing in Conna on Bank Holiday Monday.
Men: Shane Harrington
Women: Eadaoin O'Neill, Niamh O'Connor, Eibhlin Cleary and Michelle Ahern
Also this weekend is the National Marathon championships in Dublin on Sunday. Despite what the entry list might say East Cork have two athletes competing: Tim O'Donoghue and Graham Swords. Best of luck lads and make sure you wrap up, the forecast is looking chilly. This is Tims debut over the 26 miles and already John Kearneys long standing record is been talked about being under threat. After winning the Cork city 10 miler and destroying the field in the Cork Senior XC confidence must be high. Tim is also the clubs half marathon record holder with a 66.58 from Cardiff a few years ago. Graham ran the Cork marathon in the summer in a swift 2.45 and since then he has joined the club, made his cross country debut and has been training consistently very well. Even when out at sea for 2 week spells Graham finds ways and means to get the miles in.
Another notable racer this weekend is Kevin O'Leary, who is heading International, competing in the Frankfurt marathon also on Sunday. Kevin has been racing strong and has been the most consistent trainer all year. His PB's have proved this so hopefully the marathon debut will follow the same trend.
Munster Novice, Beaufort Kerry:
Congrats to the womens team in the Munster Novice in Beaufort on Sunday, winning a bronze team medal. Eadaoin led the team with a super run for 12th overall, which also was good enough to score on the gold winning Cork team. Lorna improving every week and back on a familiar flat fast course ran her best race of the season to come 16th. Michell and Eibhlin anchored the team excellently then in 22nd and 27th. Well done to all.
The mens team finished 5th overall in a competitive race. Shane had a brilliant 9th place run and scored on the gold winning Cork county team. Jonathon, Tim and Donogh packed very well in 36th,42nd and 45th. All three lads are only getting back into the cross country races so great to see fielding a full team.
Training squad members Frank and Paul had a ding dong battle in the U-18 boys race with Paul taking the honours and leading Midleton AC to the team title.
Autumn Open XC:
Up in Abbotstown at the custom built cross county course Sean, Frank and Phil were battling in their respective age categories to get selected for the British and Irish Masters International XC. Sean had an excellent race finishing 4th M-35, Phil in the 6,000m M-65 category finished a competitive 6th and Frank Hayes got a top 10 ten as well, finishing 9th in the M-45. The fields in this event are very strong with the very best in Ireland competing so well done to the three lads for representing the club with great distinction.
Rebel Run 10km:
John Walshe in between writing up cross country reports for the examiner and taking pictures of James' pasty white legs also finds time to support most other races around Cork in one way or another. This weekend he was photographer and athlete, competing in the 10k Rebel Run race in CIT. The race finished on the CIT track so it was a pretty impressive feat that in late October we had athletes running on cross county, road and track on the same day!
Best of luck to the mens and womens teams competing in the Munster Novice in Beaufort Kerry on Sunday. The programme starts at 11.30am with the juveniles on first. So the Novice Womens race will roughly start at 2pm with the mens at approx 2.30pm.
Mens Team: Shane Harrington, Jonathon Finn, Tin Mahony and Donogh Wall.
Womens Team: Eibhlin Cleary, Eadaoin O'Neill, Lorna Santry and Michelle Ahern.
Also best of luck to Sean and Phil McGrath running in the Autumn Open XC in Abbotstown. This is a qualifier for the British and Irish Masters International race in November in Swansea. Both McGraths won bronze medals in their respective age groups in the Nationals in Clarinbridge in February so have a great chance of being in the mix for an Irish vest.
First Individual winner in 15 years:
Congrats to Tim O'Donoghue who blew away the field to win the Cork Senior XC title for the first time and the first East Cork athlete to claim the individual honours in 15 years since Donnacha O'Mahoney won his 6th and final title in 2003. Tim set a blistering pace in the opening lap and continued to expand his lead throughout comfortably winning in 33.06. Tim is at the peak of his training for Dublin Marathon so hopefully he will go just as well there in 2 weeks time.
Sean was a commendable 2nd overall having a titanic battle throughout with inform and reigning National Masters champion Paul Moloney. Sean outsprinted Paul in the tight closing corners to ensure a 1-2 for East Cork. Unfortunately this still wasn't good enough to retain the team title as Leevale packed very well showing good strength in depth without their talisman Mark Hanrahan. They had 6 athletes in the top 10 with James and Kevin just behind in 11th and 12th meaning we missed out by 3 points. Frank Hayes had a solid run in 16th overall, Tim O'Mahoney in 22nd, Eric Meade in 27th and Denis running his 37th County Senior championship race was 33rd.
Fiona Santry had a tremendous run in the Senior Womens getting 3rd overall in her 6th attempt on this race. Fiona has been consistently knocking on the door for a few years. This should be all the more sweeter this year having come only 9 seconds outside the medals last year. Fiona has been improving year on year with dedicated training so this was very well deserved. I am not sure when the last time an East Cork lady won an individual medal at the county senior championships but has certainly been a long time coming. Congrats Fiona.
This was the first time East Cork had a team in the womens Senior race in many years and they finished in 5th overall so big congratulations to Eadaoin (19th), Eibhlin who had a stormer of a race and has really come into mighty form since recently getting married (23rd), Lorna who is only back training a few weeks in 24th and Michelle the new womens club captain right behind her in 25th.
The next race on the calander is the County Seniors in Whites Cross on Sunday. Estimated start times are Junior women at 12pm, Senior Women 12.20pm, Junior Men 12.50pm and Senior Men 1.15pm. So please time your trip accordingly to include parking, collecting your number and sufficient warm up time.
We have had a rich history in this race since the club formed in 1985 winning the team title 20 times and 8 individual titles from three men: Liam O'Brien (1989), Donncha O'Mahoney x6 (1990,1991,1992,1993,1994,2003) and Garreth Barry (1997)
East Cork are the defending champions having won the team title back from Leevale last year. However Leevale have dominated the individual title winning with three difference winners the last 10 years since Alan O'Shea won in 2007 for Bantry AC. Perhaps this year that might change.
The team titles were won in: 85,86,88,89,90,91,92,94,96,03,04,05,06,07,08,09,10,11,13,17.
Breakdown of team winners below: *6 to count to 1995, 4 to count after
County Novice - Ballyverane, Macroom Oct 7th
Well done to all who competed in the County Novice cross country in Macroom yesterday. It was held on a tough hilly course but underfoot conditions were excellent for fast competitive races.
Our ladies started proceedings and packed extremely well to match their performance last year coming 5th overall. Niamh led the team home in 24th, Lorna 26th, Michelle 28th and Eibhlin, relishing the hilly course, came through the field well was 30th. Lavinia rounded off the team then in 45th. Well done all.
Our mens team was led by a brave Kevin O'Leary in 2nd place. Kevin set a blistering pace going through the first mile in 5.05, splitting all the lead contenders up from the gun. Kevin kept the pressure on and had a lead of about 25 meters at halfway. However Nathaniel Heyward from Leevale came thought strongly in the last lap to close the gap and just pip Kevin for the victory.
Shane Harrington had another excellent team performance finishing in 14th. Graham Swords ran a stormer of a final lap coming from 23rd position up to 16th in the end, obviously the strength from his marathon training coming through. Our firemen came next with Tim Mahoney sealing the bragging rights this day finishing 29th with Jonny Finn not far behind in 36th. Returning from a long stint abroad was Donogh Wall who ran strongly throughout to come 38th. The team finished 2nd overall behind Leevale and ahead of St Finbarrs.
The races will be coming thick and fast now the next few weeks with the County Seniors next Sunday at 12pm where our Senior mens team will try and retain their team title from 2017. Further details to follow when available.
County Novice - Carrigadrohid
Best of luck to our men and womens teams competing in the county Novice Cross country in Carrigadrohid. Please note The Novice & U23 Championships start at 12:00, with the Womens event first.
Mens Team: Shane Harrington, Kevin O Leary, Donogh Wall, Graham Swords, Tim Mahony
Womens Team: Eibhlin Cleary, Michelle Ahern, Niamh O'Connor, Lorna Santry, Lavinia Tait.
2017: Our mens team finished 3rd overall and our womens team was 5th in the County Board grounds in Riverstick. The teams were led home by Kevin O'Leary in 16th and Lorna Santry in 10th.
2016: In Conna our mens team finished 2nd overall and womens teams womens team was one short. Nicky O'Donoghue had a fine run leading the men home in 7th with Eadaoin O'Neill 4th overall.
2015: In Whites Cross the mens team was 4th overall and again the womens team was one short. John Hennessy led the men in 13th and Eadaoin was 17th.
2014: The last time it was held in Carrigadrohid our womens team of Fiona Santry (3rd), Emma Leahy (9th), Eadaoin O'Neill (23rd) and Eibhlin Cleary (29th) won gold beating Leevale on count back. Also that day Michael Harty won the mens individual title and the team finished 4th overall, interestingly with the same amount of points as the womens team.
World Championships - Silver Medal
Firstly congrats to Sean who represented East Cork and Ireland at the World Masters in Malaga at the start of September. Sean was 4th overall in the 8km cross country in the M35 category leading Ireland to a team silver behind hosts Spain. Sean then went one better in the 10km road race coming 2nd overall with an excellent 32.13. This tops of an exceptional year for Sean who has been competitive at every level on all surfaces all year.
Cork City 10 Miler
This doubled up as the Cork 10 mile championships and we took out 1st and 2nd positions. Tim winning in a brilliant 51.29 closely followed by Mr PB Kevin O'Leary in 54.13. Unfortunately we didn't have one more for the team event to make it a clean sweep.
East Cork Cross Country
Well done to all who competed for the club at the East Corks last weekend. Sean followed up with World Silver medal with a gold East Cork medal, improving on his bronze form last year. Fiona defended her title in fine style with a comfortable win in the ladies, leading the team home to a bronze medal.
A warm welcome to new members Graham and Lavinia Swords who have jumped straight in the deep end with the training and racing, hopefully there will be a long and successful season ahead!
Well done Sean on a magnificent silver medal at the National Masters 5000m on Saturday. This medal completes a unique triple, where Sean has won individual medals at National Masters XC (bronze), Indoors (gold) and Outdoor Track (silver) this year. This is a testament to Seans ability to race at an extremely high level across different disciplines throughout the year. He clocked 15.22.
7th for East Cork Division at the AAI National League
Congrats also to the East Cork Division in placing 7th in AAI National League 1st division. The ladies were actually leading after the first two rounds but unfortunately some injuries and absentees meant we couldn't match those feats in the final. It is the first year of this initiative with all clubs in East Cork supporting and leads to a very exciting day of athletics as all races and field events are equally important to the overall placing of the team. I'm sure it will go from strength tho strength. We had one athlete competing on the day. Lorna Santy ran a competitive 5.33 in the 1500m to earn 3 points for the division. Well done to all involved.
Dungarvan 5 Mile:
We had a 1-2 in this race on Friday night. Tim was making his comeback to racing after a long stint out injured and made it a successful one winning in 25.49. Just in time for cross country! Kevin continued his fine vein of form holding off the rest of the field for 2nd in 26.30. Well done lads.
Heir Island 5k:
Eibhlin touring around after her wedding last week came across the Heir Island 5k and over a very difficult hilly course finished 3rd lady. Congrats Eibhlin on the podium and of course to yourself and Ger on the wedding. It's good to see that she remembers where her priorities lie.