Track and Field:
National Masters T&F: Congrats to both James and Stephen who travelled to Tullamore for the National Masters during the month. James took home a bronze medal in the M35 5k in 16.05 and was 5th in the M35 1500m. Stephen was third in the M40 1500m in 4.32 but due to a logistical error his medal was not available on the day. Unfortunately because of this nobody in the car park believed him when he was telling them he really was third! Now you can refer them to the East Cork AC website for clarification at least!
National League: Well done to Paul and Frank who competed in the National League for the East Cork Division also in Tullamore during the month. Paul won the 5000m in 15.03 to take full points and Frank running injured was 5th in the 1500m in 4.16.
Roads: Top performance of the month goes to Michael Harty in the Cork City 10 miler. Michael gapped the field by a large margin early on and powered home to a big PB of 49:39. His first time sub 50 after being so tantalisingly close in the Ballycotton 10 in 2016! Congrats Mike. Tony was 4th in 53.46.
Tim ran in the International Antrim Half marathon and was 27th in a world class field in 66:53 (winner was 58 mins..)
Tony won the St Catherines 5k in 15.38 with James 3rd not far behind. Nicky travelled to Kinsale and was 2nd in a PB of 36.13.
Many more great runs in the past month. All should be listed below.
Other Events: Well done to Tony on winning the Galtee mountain race as well following up his Carrantuohil victory in July. And congrats to Chris Kelly for completing the Ironman in Youghal in 9 hours 35 mins and was 37th overall. Hopefully both them performances will set you up nicely for the cross country season!
Track and Field:
The national U23 individual medalist takes the headlines again this week. Having chipped off 1/10th from his own club 800m record on July 19th in the Eltham BMC Frank let rip a week later in Tooting to crack the 1.50 barrier for the first time in the clubs history. Frank clocked 1.49:71 and was 2nd in the race.
National Senior T&F - Frank was also our only entry in the National T&F championships this year. He was third in his heat in 1.56 and just missed out in qualification for the final by one spot.
East Cork T&F - The other track championship race was the East Cork 5000m championship. James won the mens race in 16.21 and Eadaoin won the ladies in 20.44. John Spelman was 5th in 18.12 and Denis was 26.19. It was held in the Maradyke while the MTU track is still being upgraded.
National 10 Mile - Tim ran the national 10 mile in the Phoenix Park as well and was 5th in 51.06. It is a hilly course and Tim is in the middle of a block of training for Dublin marathon so hopefully some good things to come in the coming months.
Local Races - Locally we had the long running Corkbeg 4 and the brand new Churchtown South 4 mile. We had large numbers from the club racing in both and also helping out as stewards and behind the scenes. a lot of work goes into organising these races so thanks to all involved. James won Corkbeg in 20.36 and Tony won Churchtown in 20.51.
Many many other results and great times and PB's being set. All (I hope) are listed below.
Well done to Tony too for winning the Carrantoohil Classisic Mountain race. Starting and finishing in Cronins Yard and going via the zig zags route Tony clocked 93.30 for the victory.
National U-23 Championships:
Frank continued his excellent track season on home soil over the weekend with a terrific bronze individual 1500m medal in the National U-23 T&F in Tullamore. In a very exciting race the bunch sat behind Dean Casey of Ennis for the first kilometer as the pressure built on the leading contenders to get their tactics right. Frank was hovering in about 5th place in lane 2 watching the pack. With about 450m to go Frank moved around the outside to briefly take to lead at the bell. Mark Hanrahan of Ennis pushed with Frank and settled just ahead of him as the top 4 broke away from the rest of the group. All was up for grabs at 200m to go when eventual race winner Callum Morgan kicked hard. Frank showed his 800m speed as they closed in on the finish line to hold off a fast finish by Matteo Mary and claim a individual national medal. The top 4 were separated by only .9 of a second. Congrats Frank.
East Cork T&F:
The East Cork T&F was on last week in Carrignabhfear. We took home 6 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 3 bronze on the night with everyone who ran taking a medal home. So well done to gold medalists James (x2), Tony(x2), Ollie and Annelise. Silvers and bronzes were won by Stephen (x2), Nicky, Denis and Jonathon.
The National League was on as well and well done to Tony and Frank for representing the East Cork DIvision team on the day. Tony was 2nd in the 5000m in 15.45 and Frank got full points in the 1500m in 4.01. Frank also contributed to the 4*400m team that finished 2nd.
Lots of road races on the past couple of week as well. The list is below (please let me know if any are missed). Well done to James and Michael for their wins. James one the Depuy BHAA 4 mile race in 21.09 and Michael won the local Cloyne 5k in 14.53. Thanks to everyone in the club as well that helped out on the night in Cloyne to ensure another well organised smooth event.
We have the Robbie Steele Corkbeg 4 mile race on Thursday night at 8pm. Anybody who is not running can help out on the night. You can let Liam know if you are free to lend 30 - 60 mins.
Wicklow Way Relay:
Also on was the annual Wicklow Way Relay where finally on the 4th time of trying over a 10 year span we managed to get the win! We have endured a painful 2nd (in 2022), lost runners (Frank Hayes, Frank O'Carroll, Fiona Santry!), missing starts (Frank Hayes...again) but finally in 2023 everything went well with a strong clean run by the whole team. We had a solid start and worked our way through the field to give Fiona a clear run to the finish line completing the 104km route in 7:28.36. Rookies Diarmaid Collins and Matt Horrigan put in storming performances on the day with Eadaoin proving a very able replacement for Annelise on short notice. Donal and Graham didn't have marathons in their legs this year and their times reflected it, each gaining valuable time. Nicky didn't stray onto Military road this year. Tim ran 3 minutes slower than last year so he will have to focus a bit more next year to get back on the team for 2024. And Fiona followed the signposted roads to Shillelagh village with no issues! Matt has written a great report below summing up the race. Well done to all who helped out as well - Lavinia, Hugo, Ava, Zack, Eibhlin, Ger, Briana, Una, Ben, Holly. Ye are the unsung heros!
Matt Horrigan - Guest Article:
On a picturesque day in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, the Wicklow Way Relay 2023 unfolded with teams from all over the country eagerly competing for the coveted title. Amidst a backdrop of breathtaking landscapes and challenging terrains, East Cork AC emerged as the winners of this thrilling race by just 2 minutes.
Graham Swords kicked off the relay on Leg 1, ascending from Kilmashogue Car Park to Curtlestown Wood, covering a distance of 13.6 km and conquering an elevation gain of 556m. Graham's performance set the tone for East Cork AC's victory, handing over to Donal in an impressive time of 61 minutes and 37 seconds.
Donal Giltinan, on Leg 2, displayed remarkable agility as he dashed from Curtlestown to Lough Tay, tackling a challenging route of 15.1 km with an elevation gain of 680m. Donal's determination was evident as he completed the leg in a commendable time of 73 minutes and 39 seconds, over two minutes faster than last year.
Eadaoin Giltinan, Donal's wife and boss, as the team playfully acknowledged, embarked on Leg 3, gracefully maneuvering from Lough Tay to Oldbridge, an 8.3 km stretch with a gentle elevation gain of 126m, in an excellent time of 39 minutes and 52 seconds handing over to Diarmuid.
Diarmuid Collins, a former Inter Schools 1500m champion, took charge of Leg 4, conquering the 10 km stretch from Oldbridge to Glendalough. With a challenging elevation gain of 363m, Diarmuid's speed and endurance shone through, clocking in at 43 minutes and 36 seconds.
Matt Horrigan, on Leg 5, traversed the scenic route from Glendalough to Glenmalure, covering a distance of 13 km and surmounting an elevation gain of 560m. Matt's steady pace resulted in a solid time of 57 minutes and 56 seconds.
Nick O'Donoghue, famously known for his love of coffee, fearlessly tackled Leg 6, traversing the demanding path from Glenmalure to Iron Bridge. Covering a distance of 12.7 km and battling a formidable elevation gain of 533m, Nick's impressive time of 57 minutes and 5 seconds enabled East Cork to claw back approx. a minute on both TT racers and Rathfarnham AC.
Leg 7 saw Tim O'Donoghue, embarked on a gruelling 20.4 km journey from Iron Bridge to Tinahely. With an elevation gain of 610m, Tim's experience and determination were evident as he completed the leg in a commendable time of 75 minutes and 23 seconds, propelling East Cork to a 1 minute and 53 second lead for final leg ahead of TT racers.
Leg 8 Fiona Santry, National Masters XC champion, fittingly took charge of the final leg, racing from Tinahely to Shillelagh, a 10 km course with a modest elevation gain of 147m. Fiona completed the final leg in an impressive time of 39 minutes and 28 seconds, ultimately securing East Cork AC's victory.
Tim O'Donoghue, the team captain, offered sage advice during a dinner at Lynhams of Laragh the night before. The advice basically consisted of don’t get lost, sage words none the less. The team's support crew, consisting of Eibhlin, Ger, and baby Briana, provided invaluable logistical support, in-race position updates, water bottles along the route and ferrying of finished runners. All of which ensured smooth transitions and boosted morale.
It is important to recognise the exceptional efforts of other teams who participated in the race. The TT Racers and Rathfarnham AC pushed East Cork AC to their limits, with all teams having their own battles and should be commended for their efforts. As the dust settled and the celebrations commenced, East Cork AC were delighted to secure a hard-fought victory at the 4th time of trying in 7 hours and 28 minutes.
Track and Field:
Frank ran a strong 3k in the past few weeks clocking a nice PB of 8.31 in the Wimbledon 3k. He backed it up a week later with another strong 800m in 1.53 for 4th in the British League Premiership.
The Cork city marathon was on the bank holiday weekend. Brian Harty didn't get the race he wanted but he'll be back for more and will have learned a lot from the experience, running 3.09. Chris McGrath jumped in last minute and ran 3.41 in his 22nd marathon.
Chris Kelly and Annelise tackled the half and ran 81.41 and 95.36. Chris is in the middle of a lot of ironman training and Annelise was battling a bit of a niggle for a few weeks so great to see both out there.
The 10k replaced the relay this year and seems to have been a great success. Tony was 3rd overall in 32.43, Nicky 8th in 33:41, club captain and city local Stephen 28th in 36.20 and Jonathon Finn making a comeback in 83rd with 39:24..
Other road races on were Carrig na bhFear 5k which Martin ran and finished 14th in 19.21. Grant Thornton 5k with Michael Furlong 4th in 17.32. Musgraves 5k with Stephen 12th in 16.58, Niamh O'Connor ran 20.14 and Avril 20.55.
Annelise and Denis travelled to the 40th running of Donoughmore 7 mile. Annelise ran 50.11 and Denis ran 60.48. Well done both.
Michael Harty travelled to Dublin for the Docklands 5k and finished second in another superb sub 15 - 14.53.
Track and Field:
Frank ran in the Watford BMC last week. After a swift 54 first lap gunning for a big pb the wheels, spikes and singlet came off and ended up with a 2.01. Good to see the ambition though!
St Finbarrs Track Night - No results online for this but we had a few taike to the track for the St Finbarrs track night a few weeks ago. Tony ran 9.00 for 3k, Fiona ran 10.03. John Spelman ran 4.26 for 1500m and Tim Mahony must have lost a bet or something ran a decent 2.18 for the 800m.
Youghal 5k - Bit behind in the updates. Youghal was 2 weeks ago. We had a big turnout, conditions were good and it really turned into a race rather than a time trial at the front with a big pack. Tony was first East Cork man home with an agonising 3rd, pipped by rival Mark Walsh. Surely he'll get him next time they race... Nicky was 5th and looked in good form pushing the pace throughout the race and finished in 16.01. Fiona won the ladies race in 17.14. Tim Mahony was next in 17.44. Ollie ran a big PB with 18.07 with Martin lurking just behind in 18.16. Niamh O'Connor had a suberb run for 19.49 and 3rd lady with Eadaoin also sub 20 in 19.59 for 5th. Avril ran another strong race while in 20.46 waving to the crowd on the streets of Youghal throughout. Lorna is continuing her return to form with another good 21.17. Denis ran 24 flat.
John Buckley BHAA 5k - The John Buckley 5k in the Marina is traditionally well attended and usually a fast race and this year proved that again. Paul Hartnett was 2nd overall in 15:04. Tony was next with a big PB of 15:15 (bitter sweet when you see who was 1 second ahead of him....again). John Spelman had the race of his life knocking 82 seconds off his PB (and also overtaking Donal and Stephen in the club rankings) with a splendidly brave 16.02. Matt Horrigan watched on proudly just behind in 16:09. Fiona had another consistent 17.10 for 4th, she is just waiting for the right race for everything to click now for that elusive sub 17! Avril ran a few seconds faster than Youghal in 20:39 with Lorna closing the gap in 21 flat.
Marathons - Frank O'Carroll ran in Copenhagen and beat his Garmin watch preticted time comfortably. Frank ran 2:44.46, well done Frank. Also the Munster Marathon results were finalised (finally) and Christine was gold in the F35 category!
East Cork Senior and Masters T&F is on June 20th in Carraig na Bhfear. Starting at 7pm there are 300m, 1500m and 3000m along with the Mixed relays of 4*300m. See full time table below.
Frank ran in a highly competitive semi final in the British University track championships and was 7th in 1:58. After qualifying for the semi in 1:53 he will be hoping for a big summer of racing ahead.
Christine ran a very strong marathon in Limerick over the bank holiday. With a great block of training and a cross county season in her legs she ran a suberb 8 minute PB in 3:21.12 for 11th. Well done Christine. There was also a half marathon and 6 mile race on. Frank O'Caroll ran 90:03 in the half and Martin ran 39.43 in the 6 mile.
The Midleton 5 mile was on as well last week and we had a good turnout from the club. Tony Forristal running his first race officially with East Cork came 2nd overall and was in contention for the win the whole way just getting pipped by Mark Walsh in the closing stages. Kenneth ran a solid 26:57 for 8th with Brian deep in a marathon training block running an excellent 27:18 for 9th. Chris Kelly was back on the roads and still has plenty of speed with 28.41 for 12th. Martin ran 30.42, Chris McGrath who seems to have recovered very well from Manchester marathon ran 33.04 with Conor Tierney just behind 33.14. Avril had another great run for 34:02 with Claire next in 39.25. Denis rounded up our numbers on the night in 42.43.
In other road races Claire ran the fast Bweeng 5k in 24.10 and Avril ran in the BHAA 6 mile in Ringaskiddy in 41.43.
Youghal 5k is on Thursday 11th at 8pm. Also we have been invited to run a 3k v St Finbarrs and Cork Track Club Friday May 19th if anybody wants to get a feel for racing a track race.
The National Road Relays were held in Raheny as usual on April 23th. OUr M35 team were looking to defend their title they won for the first time ever last year. We gave a valiant effort but came up just a few seconds short against a strong Brothers Pearse outfit. Stephen improved on his time from last year by 2 seconds to run 4.50 with James running another strong 2 mile leg in 9.42. Donal was in for Kevin and ran well for 4.52. Giving a total time of 19.23 and silver medals in back pockets. Hopefully next year Athletics Ireland invest in slightly larger podiums!
Norah also took a cool video of the race, even including some not to be missed behind the scene footage. It should be viewable below.
First up was the big local race last week Ballintotis 4 mile. This is the 12th running of the race in Ballintotis but it does stretch back to 1989 when it first started in Castlemaytr. Since it has moved to Ballintotis the overall race race has been won by East Cork men: James (8), Michael (2) and Kevin (1). That streak has been broken now in 2023 and to rub salt in the wounds it was by a Leevale man in a course record! Congrats to Ryan Creech on a fine race.
First home for us was Tim in 4th with 19.41. Fiona was the only person to make the podium with a great run for 2nd in a PB of 22.31. The race was so well supported over half our registered runners raced on the night so you can see places and times below.
The organisers added a team competition this year as well. The top 6 individuals are not included in hte scoring and when the dust settled we won both the mens and womens! Congrats to the mens of James, Nicky, Kenneth and Matt. And the ladies Annelise, Niamh, Eadaoin and Avril. Well done as well to the organising committee for hosting another fabulous race and all those from the club who helped out in many ways.
East Cork Road Championships:
The next big local race was held this week in Ballynoe. James won the race for his 7th East Cork Roads title ahead of Tony Forristal who pushed him all the way to the final hill of death. 2022 champion Nicky had to settle for 3rd on the night. John Spelman put in a strong injection of speed with one lap to go to break free from a large group of chasers to claim 4th and be the firdt scorer on our mens team. Donal was next in 6th with Ollie racing the course for the first time in 22nd. Conor Tierney thought he was Tiger Woods teeing it up in Augusta National on a Sunday as he sported a fetching red singlet instead of the maroon of East Cork. All was forgiven though as he finished strongly to help the team win bronze medals. Denis completed his 40th ever East Cork Roads in 57th place.
The womens race was dominated by Fiona who broke the course record by 19 seconds to win comfortably in 11:03. Eadaoin had a great run to overturn the result from Ballintotis and stay ahead of a fast finishing Niamh. They were 5th and 6th. Avril was not far behind them in 8th and that cemented the team titles for the ladies. Lorna had a great run improving vastly from last year to finish 17th.
Chris McGrath also ran in the Karen Fenton Memorial Run in Waterfall in his first race since Manchester. He was 23rd in 19.59.
Track and Field:
Paul was 5th in the IUAA T&F champs last week in the new blue track at DSD. With a strong field entered Paul lead things out for the first couple of k before fading a little. He rallied nicely to finish 5th overall in 14:52.
Frank is racing in the British Universities this weekend. He qualified from his heat in a swift 1:53.98 today to set him up for a competitive semi final tomorrow morning at 11.25am. This is streamed on "BUCS" Youtube channel.
We have had a lot of racing the past few weeks. From 42.2k to 1.6k.
First up the long men. Chris McGrath ran a fine 8 minute PB in Manchester at the weekend to finish in 3:20. Great reward for one of the most consistent trainers that past year. Well done Chris. Michael Furlong hopped on a flight to Boston to take on the infamous Heartbreak Hill. He had a super run and PB's by 11 mins to finish in 2:47. In the lead up Michael ran the Cobh 10 miler as a training run too.
The Kia Series races have been well supported with quality fields the past few years and the Streets of Kilkenny was no exception. Michael had a superb race to finish 3rd overall in 14:23. Tony Forristal having just transferred into the club ran a great 15:36 and smashed his previous PB. Donal had a decent run for 16:15 and Fiona ran a PB and is knocking on the door of a sub 17 with 17.07
The more local 5k recently was the PWC BHAA race. James retained his title (and beat Tonys Kilkenny time) with a great 15:35. Nicky returned from the shadows and ran a great 16:06 to kick start his summer campaign. Stephen in his local course ran a strong 16:55. Fiona was 2nd overall in another great 17:09. Niamh ran well for 20:22 and Avril was first F50 home in 20:26. Rooskagh Coffee have taken on some part time workers it seems as they managed to come 2nd team overall.
There were memories and stories of days long gone last week. The club held it's first trial for the road relay teams since 1997. We had a good turn out and the goal was to be in the top 3 master positions. Frank and Paul led the charge finishing the slightly short course in 4:24 and 4:26. Tony had a strong run to be 3rd in 4:45 with Kevin just behind and first master in 4:46. James was next home in 4:48 with Donal completed the master team with a 4:53. Stephen was just behind him with 4:59 out sprinting Diarmaid (former schools 1500m champ no less).
Annalise was first lady home, and also potentially the first lady to ever finish a club mile trial, Conor ran a strong 6:07 with Lorna also running well in 6:17.
Tonight is the 12th running of Ballintotis. Other communications were sent out for this but if you can help out in anyway please do and you can let Nicky know.
Next Thursday the 27th is the East Cork Road Championships in Ballynoe. Anyone who wants to be entered please let Eadaoin know. The women's race is 3k and the men's is 5 miles with team events in both.
The County Roads were held in Castlelyons on March 19th last. For the first time in a few years the Senior category was back so added to the competition up front. In total we had 14 athletes running and came home with a bag full of medals.
Overall Fiona had the most success on the day. She won the ladies race overall and thus her F35 category as well. She lead the ladies teams to silver medals in the Senior and Gold in the F35 team. Bravo. James finished 3rd overall in the mens race for bronze senior and also picked up first in the M35 category. He lead the mens team to 3rd place in the Senior and 1st in the M35.
The other individual winners were Matt Horigan who got silver in the M35, Eric Meade bronze in the M50 and his sister the up and coming Avril bossed the F50 category winning the gold medal.
Team winners Men: Senior Bronze and M35 Gold (James, Matt, Donal and Graham), Novice Bronze (Matt, Donal, Graham and John).
Team winners Ladies: Senior Silver (Fiona, Annelise, Niamh and Avril), Novice Bronze (Annelise, Niamh, Avril and Lorna), F35 Gold (Fiona, Niamh, Avril and Lorna).
In other races Michael spun up to Portlaois for the Streets of Portlaois 5k and was 11th in 14:59.
In the Mallow 10 Stephen ran 61:03 PB just ahead of Michael in 61:26. Michael was using it as a training run before Boston next month and both did Welchtown hills on Saturday. Annelise had a solid run as well with 68:31.
The popular Cloyne 4k race series for the 2022/2023 season finished up on Sunday. 135 completed the full series with a minimum of 4 out of 5 races. Overall series winners were Aidan Noone (Leevale) and Vicky Spiteri (Midleton AC).
Donal Giltinan was our only overall prizewinner coming 2nd with a total time of 52.14. Congrats to the organising committee in Cloyne for keeping this very enjoyable 4k series going. It is a great asset to the winter racing season. Complete the series you and receive a good technical t-shirt, fast accurate results and a guaranteed PB on the even faster race loop. All this for only €5 per race.
On the day Michael Harty won race 5 with a sizzling 11.34 to take back his course record from young gun Paul. The marker has been reset, we will have to wait and see if it will be challenged again next winter! Next home in a solid time was James in 12.28. Kenneth and Donal also broke the 13 minute mark for 5th and 6th. Michael Furlong got revenge on Stephen from MTU last week finishing 8th in 13.25 with Stephen in 10th in 13.34. Eric Meade was next home in 15.23 just ahead of Martin Hennessy in 15.33.
Eadaoin was 2nd lady overall in a great 15.56 with Avril running a PB for 6th in 16.17. Conor broke the 17 min mark for the first time in 16.59. Lorna also had a seasons best despite only just recovering from illness with 17.32. Zach showed he is now really on the up and coming list with a fantastic 17.40 being paced by Dad Graham in 17.41. Denis and Tom had a battle for Wednesday night bragging rights with Denis using all his experience to come out on top with 18.06 and Tom in 18.28.
County Senior, Novice and Masters is on next Sunday in Castlelyons. It is one race for all and starts at 11am sharp.
Lots of road races the past few weeks. The picks of the bunch were Michael winning Killeagh 4 mile and Tim winning Kinsale 10 mile.
The IUAA XC was held in UL as well with Paul finishing in a strong 6th overall.
The final race of the popular Cloyne 4k series is on this Sunday (March 12th). Best of luck to all those still in the hunt for overall glory. Also Sunday week is the County Road Senior, Novice and Masters in Castlelyons. Please let Eadaoin know if you are racing.
National Masters XC:
The National Masters Cross Country was held in Gowran Demesne at the weekend. In a wonderfully rare result we had the individual winners in both the masters mens and womens races! Fiona took the honours in the 4k womens races and was followed straight away by Tim winning the mens 7k. The mens team also got the bronze team finishing behind Leevale and Rathfarnham.
Fiona took the lead early in the womens race and showed she was the class athlete of the field by pushing the pace out front on her own for the full 4k. There was still pressure being put on her from Fiona Gettings and Edel Gaffney but as they got to the top of the hill by the castle on the final lap Fiona made her final move, showing her track speed, down the hill to the finish and win with a margin of 8 seconds in the end. Eadaoin running her first master race was second scorer on the Cork county team and 42nd overall.
Tim regained his title that he won in 2022 in Castlelyons. Mick Clohisey pushed the pace early on but at about 2k Tim turned the screw and left him and the rest of the field for dead. Tim opened up an insurmountable gap at the 5k mark and held that all the way to the finish winning by 20 seconds. Tim also lead the Cork team to Gold and the East Cork team to bronze. Kevin had a good race coming through well to finish 11th. James ran his fist cross country race in 12 months and was brave in the top 5 for the first few laps. He slid back a little in the end for a 16th place finish to match his result from 2022. Donal was next home in a good positive run for 30th improving on his 47th from last year. Stephen was next home in 72nd and Kenneth, who had shoe problems, finished 78th. Tim and Kevin also scored in the Gold winning Cork M35 team.
So overall a great day for the club with both individual master wins and great support up in Gowran as well.
The 4th race of the Cloyne series was on Sunday as well. John Spellman was 2nd overall in a time of 13.37. Sean was 5th in 13.48. Ollie was just outside the top 10 in 11th in 14.29 with Martin Hennessy in 22nd in 15:58.
Avril was our first lady home in a great time of 16:23 with her shadow Christine ghosting in behind her in 16.24, they were 5th and 6th. Conor ran a great PB of17.05 so will be looking for his first sub 17 at the final race in the series. Lorna was 11th lady in 17.34.
Performance of the day goes to young Zach Swords who broke 18 minutes for the first time with an excellent 17.51. This got him 3rd Junior Man. Zach is only 10 and has another 9 years at this grade so what out for him in the next few years! Dad Graham kept a close watch in 17.51 with Denis keeping a close eye on Graham in 17.54. Frank Cashman ran a solid 18.25 with Lavinia also on the way back with a 21.38.
European Club Cross Country:
The European Club Cross Country was held in Oropesa del Mar, Spain at the weekend. We are the first male Cork senior club to ever qualify for this prestigious event that dates back to 1962. The course was very different to what we are used to however. Instead of cold, wet weather with long grass, hills and cow droppings it was warm, dry manicured course next to a beautiful beach with the sea lapping close by. Despite the scenic views the course itself was actually tricky enough. There were three soft sand sections, lots of winding twists and turns and three jumps to negotiate each lap.
The race started off fast and furious with Paul in the front group leading the charge. Tim, Frank and Kevin were bunched in the middle of the pack for most of the first 2k. After that Tim started his customary meandering up through the field, Frank stayed were he was and Kevin drifted back a little. The speed at the front of the race was relentless. Rodrigue Kwizera, 11th in the 2019 World XC Championships, and Oscar Chelimo, bronze in the 2022 5k at the World T&F Championships, were at the head of the race keep things honest! Paul wisley decided that maybe he should ease off the gas a bit and settled back into the main pack. The race was billed as an 8.7k distance but ended up being 8km exactly. By the end Tim had worked his way up to 42nd place and could have done with another 2k as he was really starting to make up ground as the going got tough. Paul was valiant for the first 5k and then dropped some places in the closing laps for 66th. Frank racing his 2nd cross country race in less than 24 hours (and 1,300kms away) was 72nd with Kevin just behind in 85th.
Overall it was a great novelty for East Cork AC to qualify for this race. With an active membership of approx 30 athletes male and female it is a testament to the dedication of all involved.
Our top four runners for the year of Frank, Paul, Tim and Michael were obviously the key to this success but interestingly we had 9 different scoring members through the Seniors races from East Corks all the way to the Europeans. Paul, Frank, Donal and Eric won gold in the East Corks. Michael, Paul, Tim and Frank won gold at the Counties. Kevin, Donal, Matt and Nicky won silver at the Munsters and of course Tim, Paul, Michael and Frank won silver in Rossapenna at the Nationals. Also Denis, Fergus and Chris also ran on the Senior team during the year
Link to the stream - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKNpJQOe84A
Senior Mens race starts at 2 hours and 20 minutes.
The other big race of the weekend was the Dungarvan 10. With Ballycotton long gone now this has turned into the big race post Christmas to target. We had a very successful outing on hte day with lots of PB's helped by the great running conditions and of course the hundreds of training miles in the legs. Donla and Brian had a ding dong battle for top East Cork spot. Donal got a small gap at thte 7 mile mark and held onto it for dear life, the fear of Brian got him to a massive PB of 55:01. Brian was just behind also in a massive PB with 55.12. That got the lads 24th and 27th places. Michael Furlong was next home in 58:30 with Chris Kelly taking it as a training run in 60:14. Our club captain Stephen ensured things went smoothly for everyone and had a birds eye view of proceedings running 61:19. Chris McGrath in the middle of a big block of marathon training showed his strength with a super 67:15. Annelise smashed her PB by well over 2 minutes with 67:35 and Christine and Avril both comfortably broke the 70 minute barrier for the first time with 69:00 and 69:54. Congrats to all on fast running!
Our top three men of Donal, Brian and Michael also got the bronze team
All roads lead to Gowran this weekend for the National Masters XC. We have the defneding champion Tim racing again and will hope to put a good team around him to challange for the team prize too. Also Fiona will have sights on the big prize after her great masters running earlier this season. Also on Sunday is the 4th Cloyne 4k event of the series, starting as usual at 9.30am sharp.
Cross Cup Hannut - World Cross Country Tour:
Congrats to Paul representing Ireland in the Cross Cup in Hannut, Belgium on Sunday. This race is a World Cross Country Tour Gold Level race so draws very good competition. It also brought competition a bit stiffer than his previous race in Cloyne. Paul had an excellent run coming 40th in a field of about 100. This will give him some valuable race experience for the European Club cross country race next month as well. Congrats Paul on another great achievement.
Highlights of the other races over the past month are:
Frank was 7th in the National U23 indoors on Jan 14th, Paul ran a new course record of 11:49 in Cloyne on January 3rd, Annalise ran an excellent new PB of 19:26 in Little Island Jan 22nd with James running a swift 15:19 for 2nd in the same race. All the rest of the results are below. Zach will get a special mention when he breaks the 18 minute barrier. PS welcome back to racing too Michelle!
Santa came early at the Newmarket 5k of 2022. He brought PB's to 75% of our athletes last week in the north Cork village (some obviously have been bold during the year not getting enough mileage in). First home for the club was Donal in 26th with a really smashing time of 16.05, knocking a considerable chunk off his old PB. Stephen was next in, hunted down by Fiona the whole way. Stephen ran 16.58 for 59th. Fiona was just behind him in 17.10 with a 27 second PB showing a good reflection on her improvements the past 6 months. In a strong field this was good enough for 4th lady overall. Annelise also had a wonderful strong run lowering her PB to an impressive 19:40. Congrats all. Maybe we can convince more to travel next year!
Cloyne Commons 4k Race 2:
The second Cloyne 4k race of the series was postponed due to the icy roads on December 11th and was held on the 18th instead. The club captains decided to have, our now annual, club race here. We had 14 athletes turn up on the morning, although it was noticed nobody wore a Santa hat or any Christmas jumpers. The Cloyne 4k is more serious than a Parkrun though.
In what turned into a cagey first mile with a large pack of 10 going through in 5.15 Tim turned the screw over the final 1.5 miles to record a fine win in 12.20. Kevin was next home in 12:45 for 5th, James 12:57 for 7th, Donal 8th in 13:11, Sean 10th in 13:42, Stephan only 1 second back from Sean in 11th. Fiona was first lady home in 14:02. Eric was next in 15.42 with Martin Hennessy running 16.16. Christine Kelly was 6th lady in 16:40 with rival Avril 11th in 17.30. Conor ran a solid 17.44 with Lorna just behind in 18.19. Denis rounded up our results with a 19.00.
Also below see a sneak peak of the combined results of the first two races of the series. We currently have 3 men and 3 ladies in the top 10 positions. The pressure is on to hold onto it now!
Inch is on as you know on the 28th of December. Warm up jog to the dunes starts at 12pm sharp at the car park.
National Novice XC:
The National Novice XC was held in the fantastic local hinterlands of Conna last week (on December 4th). Clubman Frank Hayes was the mastermind of the event along with the wonderful St Catherines AC and local volunteers everything ran smoothly despite monsoon like conditions in the days leading up the the race.
It would be remiss to start anywhere else but with the superb run of Paul Hartnett. Paul won in very convincing fashion in 18.57. Bustling with all the other leading contenders for the first 3k of the 6k race, Paul then decided to make a long push from home. He extended his lead with every step to the finish line and won one of the most coveted titles of the Cross Country season. This victory for Paul has been years in the making. He has been a wonderful consistent trainer since he turned about 16 and joined in with the training group. He has made incremental improvements each year and has not let any disappointments set him back. After just missing out on selection for the U23 European Championships by 6 seconds he bounced back in the way that we have come to expect of Paul. Congrats Paul, this is a wonderful achievement to have on your CV at such a young age.
Not only did we have the excitement of Paul winning the day was made extra special with Frank also grabbing 2nd place. Frank also had an amazing run and having slipped back to 5th place at the halfway point it looked like he might be out of the medals. But a strong surge and plenty of determination brought him through the field to take 2nd place and cement a day that will be remembered for a long time in the clubs history. Obviously Paul and Frank were instrumental in the clubs silver at the Senior championships recently and now with this exciting one two the new generation have truly broken through for the club. The future is bright!
Next home with another great run was Nicky. Running a very strong race he placed 38th overall. Donal also had an excellent run to crack the top 50 for the first time with 50th place on the nose. Michael Furlong had a breakthrough performance with an excellent 64th place and looked very strong in the closing lap! The finish line came a lap too early for Matt. He was just getting going and making up good ground but the last lap was already upon him, still a good run for 70th place. Club Captain Stephen was next home in 100th place having cruelly outsprinted training partner John in the closing meters.
At the finish line there was a lot of excitement as Paul and Frank were getting their medals presented on the podium and told they are to be drug tested. But also we knew it was a very close result for 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams! As phones were refreshed to see the results it came through it was 4th team! Only 1 place behind Raheny in 3rd and 3 points behind 2nd team. So close!! Paul, Frank and Nicky all scored on the winning Cork county team.
The ladies race was also fast and furious and we had a team for the first time in a good few years. Annelise and Eadaoin had a big battle on the final lap but Annelise had the extra gear in the last 200m to pull away and finish 63rd with Eadaoin 4 seconds back in 66th. Niamh had a good race for 79th overall. Christine running her first National Cross country race will have learned a lot in 97th with Lorna just behind her in 101st. This got the ladies 13th team overall. Well done.
The Waterford Half marathon was on Saturday December 3rd. Brian Harty ran a strong race to finish 23rd in 77.30. Avril had a great run with a 15 minute PB in 95.03 and Chris McGrath was next home in 99.29.
Tim went foreign to run the Valencia Marathon. Going through half way in 67 minutes he was on track for a very good result but unfortunately the wheels fell off a bit in the closing stages so had to settle for a "disappointing" 2.20:52. It shows the level Tim is operating at if that is now a poor run. Roll on the spring for another attempt!
National Senior XC:
National Senior XC:
The National Senior XC was held in the far away reaches of Rosapenna, Donegal last Sunday. In a magnificent setting, among the sand dunes hugging the rugged Atlantic coastline of the Rosguill peninsula, the course was set up for fast but honest running. The grass was like a Persian carpet underfoot and even with thousands of feet racing on it all day it did not cut up one bit. There were three very distinct parts of 1500m lap: A fast flat section at the start, a gradual sustained hill in the middle and a rolling up/down section at the end to test the different muscle groups. The crowds were able to view the race unfolding from any part of the course and with the commentary team providing exciting updates the atmosphere was what a National Championships should be like! Even the odd (cold) shower did not dampen any spirits.
Senior Womens 8k:
Fiona was up first and after some very strong performances in the previous few months expectations were high. After about 2.5k the main group of contenders including Sarah Healy, Ciara Mageean and Michelle Finn had formed the leading group and set a fast pace from the off. Fiona settled into about 40th place but well in the mix with lots of bunches just ahead of her. As each lap went by Fiona was edging further and further up the field, using her big race experience to know to trust her own pacing. With just over a lap to go Fiona had edged into the top 25 and still had the after burners to ignite. The 8k is longer than what was ran at the County Seniors and the British and Irish Masters but the extra distance suited with a strong last lap getting Fiona right up to 22nd and getting her a Silver medal as the 4th scorer on the Cork team. Her first time scoring on the Cork team at the National Senior XC. Also Fiona will be happy to know she matched her rival from a previous generation Eileen Pruntys silver county medal from 1989 in the process! Congrats Fiona, superb result.
Senior Mens 10k:
The mens race was up next and with a bit of wait at starting pens approx 200 athletes charged off from to gun all aiming to get in the best possible position before the first sharp left hand turn after 300m. Some had also spotted the camera for the live stream at the same bend and were trying to get their sponsors some airtime. The mens race had one small 1000m lap and then 6 of the 1500m laps. Paul, Tim and Mike bunched nicely together in the top 20 or thirty for a few laps all having learnt the hard way what it feels like to blow up in one of these races and were waiting for the race t really begin at about the half way mark. Franko, fueled up on a fine feed of fish and chips from the night before, was in the top 50 and was keeping the lads in sight. Kevin and Nick were a bit further back waiting to take up the slack if something happened any of the top 4.
Tim in the midst of a marathon training block for Valencia next month used that strength to his advantage to up the ante at 5k and do what he does best, to pick people off without a care in the world to how it makes them feel. Over the final 3k Tim moved from 20th all the way up to 11th. A fine display of running from Tim who matched his previous best position from 2015. Paul was next home in 19th and also had a fine run and making it look easy to finish in the top 20. He just hung there the entire race rock solid as always. Paul was also keeping an eye on the U23 competition around him as the top 5 were predicted to be selected for the European Champs in Italy next month. Unluckily for Paul he missed out by one position (and only 6 seconds) being 6th U23 in the end. He is now first reserve for the team so not all is lost.
Mike finished just behind Paul in 21st place. Mike has had a golden few months of racing with many PB's and national master records under his belt and he was certainly bucking the age profile trend with his result. If it was a parkrun and the age adjusted %'s were factored in Mike would have been hard to beat! It has been 6 years since Mike last ran this race and his comeback came at a wonderful time with Paul and Frank exploding out of the Junior ranks to bolster our Senior team. Frank was next home in 38th place. Frank has been plying his trade in the UK for the past 18 months and the racing experience that he brought home with him certainly helped him to take some big scalps with his run in Donegal. Frank was prominent the whole race and had a tidy sprint finish to ensure he finished as high up as possible. Kevin was next home in 75th place and Nicky in 121st. Both had solid runs and with a few more months of training under the belts over the winter should be sharp for early 2023.
When the dust settled (5 minutes after the race) the team were hoping they had done enough for 3rd place to match the feat of the 1989 team of Liam O'Brien, Donnacha O'Mahony, Bryan Meade and Tom Owens. Everyone had an opinion and were trying to roughly add up the teams that were in contention. But then an excited Liam O'Brien with a suspected tear in his eye (although it also could have been residue from one of the previous sun showers) announced we in fact had got silver and surpassed anything the club has achieved before at the National Senior XC!
East Cork have had potential for a top 3 team many times over the past 15 years but with so few runners at the level required something always seemed to happen in the lead up to scupper the chances. This year with Paul and Frank coming of age and Tim and Mike having rock solid form and experience we were finally able to bridge the 33 year gap and podium at the biggest team race of the year. Congrats to all who have contributed to this fantastic achievement. This was not just the four who scored on the day but a wonderful amalgamation of efforts from people who have kept the club going in leaner times, training partners on cold Wednesday night runs and early Saturday morning hills, coaches and advisors, supporters who prefer to be back stage. This is a result for all and will hopefully inspire the next generation of East Cork athletes to try and go for one better and land the big one. Hopefully we will not have to wait another 33 years!
On top of the this East Cork have now been selected to represent Ireland at the European Club Cross Country championships in Spain in February. It will be a proud day to see the small club of East Cork AC represented at such an event. For the record we were only 3 points off winning it in the end with Clonliffe Harriers 1st on 86 points, East Cork second with 89 and Mullingar Harriers third on 100 points. Tim, Paul and Mike also scored on the bronze winning Cork team.
On the same day as the cross country was the fist Cloyne 4k of the series. Everyone who attended this is forgiven as it has been agreed that Rosapenna is too far a drive to justify for a supporter. We did have a mighty turn out with Annelise finishing second woman in 16:00.
Donal was first home for the men with a solid performance after his Munster Senior Team silver medal performance, he was 5th in 13:04. Michael Furlong continously improving was 6th in 13:29. John Spelman wished the race finished after 3500m but was still 8th in 13:29. Stephen was next for 10th in 13:36. In a long awaited return Sean McGrath had a solid run for 11th in 13:43. If Sean can get 3 or 4 weeks of training in before hte next Cloyne 4k everyone in the top 10 should watch out. You have been warned! Eric Meade was 35th in 15:25. Annelise as mentioned had a great run for 2nd lady in 16:00. Avril and Christine as usually were close to each other with Avril in 4th in 16:19 and Christine in 5th in 16:35. Eadaoin tempo'd around after injury in a good 17:01 with Lorna just behind in 17:42. Zach Swords made his club debut and could be part of the future East Cork Senior XC team if he keeps up his training, he had a great run in 18:14. Denis was next with 19:28 with Lavinia in 21:33. Well done all. Great to have good club support at our local race.
Next up is the National Novice XC championships. Luckily they are being hosted a little closer to home. St Catherines will be doing the honours in Conna and we have a strong mens and womens teams entered. These are on December the 4t. Best up luck to all.
Also the club Christmas night out is on Thursday December 15th in the Surf and Turf (East Cork Golf Club) at 7pm. If you/your partner are going please confirm with Lorna in the next few days.
British and Irish Masters XC:
The 33rd British and Irish Masters Home XC international was held on Saturday in amazing conditions in Santry. The course was in perfect condition for fast running. Fiona donned her first Irish singlet since 1997 and ran a great race to justify her selection.
From the trial she was 4th fastest on the Irish teams but she ripped up the form book with a powerfully executed race. Back in 12th place after a lap and a half of the 1500m circuit she could see from her vantage point, the lead of Sinead O'Connor growing and the chasing pack struggling to hang on. Fiona started to pick them off one by one. With about 2k left to race Fiona had got up to 5th place and within striking distance of the podium. In a strong move she surged past teammate Laura McDonnell and two Scottish girls to get into 2nd place and took a 10m lead on them into the final lap. With the home support cheering her and Sinead on she battled all the way to the finish line for a memorable silver individual medal and gold national medal. In every single one of the past 32 runnings of this event England have taken home the overall winning trophy. For the very first time Ireland claimed it for there own and Fiona played her part in that too. Congrats Fiona and hopefully that form will follow you to Donegal next weekend too!
In other cross country races Ollie Smiddy ran the Novice B county championships in Riverstick and was 11th overall and Frank ran in the Met League XC in London and was also 11th.
John Spelman ran in the UCC team for the annual Irish Universities road relay championships in Maynooth. He was on the first mile leg and ran 5.38 in wet and windy conditions. Well done John.
In the Thomas Kent 10k in Castlelyons on Sunday we had three running. Michael Furlong had a super run for 4th overall in a time of 35.26. Christine Kelly had a very strong run and finished 5th lady in a great time of 43.30. Chris McGrath had a first hit out after the Dublin marathon with 47.03 for 91st.
The National Senior XC is on in Donegal this Sunday. We have a strong team heading up to compete in the mens race and Fiona will have high hopes in the womens race. Best of luck to all and enjoy the journey!
Also on Sunday is the first race in the Cloyne Commons 4k race series. It starts at 9.30am with registration in Hartys Bar beforehand.
Munster Junior and Senior XC:
The Munster XC championships were held in Limerick racecourse last Sunday. Conditions were tricky with the going soft to heavy. It was a day for the mudlarks rather than the thoroughbreds.
John Spelman was our sole representative in the Junior Mens 6000m race. John finished a solid 19th overall and was also a scorer on the Cork team that pipped Clare for the Gold.
With a lot of teams looking 2 weeks down the track to the Nationals in Donegal, the senior fields were a little less competitive than usual. All four of our Gold medal winning county team were absent for the race so it was great to see the depth of the club shine through as we came home with Munster silver team medals in the end and improved on our bronze team last year.
The race was shortened to 8k just before the start due to the conditions but it was more likely the organising staff wanted to get out of there for a shower and hot cup of tea. Kevin showed good improvement since the Counties with a 5th place finish. Matt on his local stomping ground picked all the good lines and got the better of Donal in the final 2k to finish 20th. Donal was just behind in 22nd with Nicky, who was in bed sick for the week, completing the team in 25th. This got us 72 points and second place behind rivals Leevale who had 47 points. Kevin also scored on the winning Cork team for the County competition.
The County Intermediate and Novice B is on this Sunday in Riverstick. Anyone who wishes to enter please let Eadaoin know by Tuesday night at 8pm.
The new club captains have also hit the ground running, already sending an email to the entire club! They are planning the now annual club run for December 17th and are thinking of using a Parkrun as the event. More details to come in the next few weeks.
Also the annual Christmas social will be coming up. Date with venues are currently being finalised but is likely to be Thursday December 15th. Again details will be sent as soon as confirmed.
County Masters XC:
The County Masters was held in Carrignavar on Sunday in very wet and mucky conditions.
The mens team race was a very close affair with a lot changing during the race but luckily as the dust settled we just snuck the win and retained our title beating Leevale by 2 points and The Barrs by 3. Kevin, still a spring chicken in the Masters ranks, was 2nd overall behind race winner Donal Coakley. Brian Harty had a fine run showing the months of training in his legs with a 5th place and was battling for the podium for a long spell. Chris Kelly continued his good form too with another strong showing for 9th. Stephen O'Brien was well up in contention for a top 10 but a bad fall at the Fairmont Hairpin caused an issue with his DRS in the last lap. He did enough to secure the team medals with a 23rd place finish and was the sole link between the winning team from 2021 and 2022.
Kevin won individual Silver in M35, Brian Bronze in M40 and Chris Bronze in M35. Eric had a battle for the M55 title with John Cashman of Midleton, in the end Eric had to settle for Bronze. Denis was 7th in the M55 race.
Fiona had a powerful run blowing away the field for a comfortable win in the women's 4k event. Avril edged out Christine by 4 seconds for 14th over all with Christine just behind in 16th. Unfortunately we were one short for the team.
Congrats to Carrignavar in organising another great event. The only grumblings that people had was that the business plying it's trade during the event did not offer free refreshments to the gold medal winning athletes...
Well done to Kenneth and Chris on completing the Dublin marathon on Sunday too. Kenneth after a stint out injured was not at his fittest but still ran a very impressive 2.49 for 187th overall. Chris knocked a big 16 minutes off his Cork time for a superb 3.30. Well done both.
Eadaoin ran in the Battersea 5k in London on Saturday and was 2nd lady in 20.17. Great to see her coming back into form for the pointy end of the XC season.
We had the club AGM last week. Thanks to those who turned up on the night and thanks to Rooskagh Coffee for providing the catering. The main updates are the new club captains. Annelise is the Ladies Captain and Stephen is the Mens Captain. Best of luck to both for the coming year.
The next race up on the calendar is the Munster Senior XC in Limerick Racecourse on Sunday. It seems our A team are saving themselves for the Nationals in Donegal so we will see what the B team can come up with on the day. Best of luck to all running.
Munster Novice XC:
The Munster Novice was held in Riverstick on Sunday the 23rd . The course was hilly and wet, a true XC test. First up the women were lead again by Annelise who had a great individual run despite battling sickness all week to get in the top 20 for 19th. Niamh O'Connor ran very strong for 27th overall just ahead of Eadaoin in 32nd. Christine completed the scoring team with another good and ever improving run for 38th. Avril was 47th but had also ran in the Rebel Run 5k earlier in the day and was 17th overall in 21.22. This got the ladies team 6th overall.
The men had a solid team that packed well. Donal was first home for the club with a decent run for 23rd overall. Matt Horrigan showed all his experience as he really came through the field in the final 2k picking off about 10 positions for 25th. Chris was next home in 33rd with Michael Furlong completing the scoring team in 42nd. John Spelman was 47th and Stephen was 52nd. The mens team was 5th overall.
Road Racing - National M40 record:
Michael took flight to Leeds to run a competitive fast 5k also on Sunday morning. In sparkling form at the moment his momentum kept on going with a superb 29.42 and with it became the first man in Ireland over 40 years of age to ever run a sub 30 minute 10k. With the speed in his legs and his proven cross country pedigree the National Senior XC will be a big target in 3 weeks time and with a strong team out with him perhaps a top three team could be on the cards! Well done Michael from all in the club.
Brian made a welcome return to racing, his first in over 3 years at the Rebel 10k. Brian was 11th in 36.31 and will most definitely kick on from here now with a good block of training under his belt.
The County Masters XC is on in Whites Cross Monday the 31st and the Munster Senior XC is on in Limerick Racecourse November 6th. Best of luck to all running and representing the club.
Autumn Open XC:
We had two athletes venture up to Abbotstown last Sunday to compete in the Autumn Open XC. This race is also used as the masters qualifying race for the British and Irish Masters International where we have had some successes in the past. Fiona was up first and the under foot conditions were set up for a fast race. Fiona used this to her advantage and ran a very strong race coming 4th master overall and 3rd F35 which qualifies her for her first Irish vest on November 12th. Congrats on a very big achievement, lots of miles and dedication over many years have gone into getting to this level.
Paul ran in the mens race but with 15 years to go before being eligible, he did not have much interest in the Masters. He was focused on the Senior position and ran an exceptional race to come 10th overall in a high quality field beating quite a few heavy weights (not literally) and really mixed it with the best in the country. It will be a great confidence builder going into the national Senior and U23 XC in Donegal next month. Well done Paul.
On Saturday Shane Harrington made his first race appearance since the 2019 National Novice XC in Dunboyne. His running certainly seems to have tapered off since saying "I do" but luckily his East Cork singlet still fits and it was great to see him back in action. He came 3rd overall and in typical island fashion the 5 miles turned into 5.25 miles as the lead car got distracted chatting to a local and went the wrong way. The times were slow in the race but the route was more akin to the Wicklow Way route with a savage hill to contend with mid way through.
Avril raced in the Defence Forces 5k in Haulbowline and broke the 21 minute barrier for the first time with a PB of 20.59. One year ago Avril ran 22.57 in her first 5k for the club so a full 2 minutes improvement in 12 months! Outstanding!
On Sunday the Munster Novice XC is on in Riverstick. We have full teams in the mens and womens races so best of luck to all.
Tough Conditions for County Novice in Ballynoe:
The county novice was help in Ballynoe last Sunday alongside the famous East Cork Road Championship route. Conditions were a bit wild. Strong winds and a lot of rain meant XC season is truly on us now. The Women's team was lead by Annelise who was 9th overall closely followed by Eadaoin in 10th. Christine and Avril had another close battle with Christine shading it this time by 1 second in 23rd with Avril 24th. Lorna was 40th. The team came 4th, six points behind Cork Track Club.
The mens team was lead by Chris Kelly who had a battling performance for 16thwith John Spelman not far behind in 20th. Stephen just back from his nice holiday was 25th with Michael Furlong, running out of steam in the final 500m, in 28th. Ollie had a solid run for 48th with Padraig improving with each race in 66th. He probably would have been higher up the rankings but only had a pair of runners, which could not have been easy in such conditions! The mens team was 5th overall.
Michael also ran the Rosscarbary Steam Train on Saturday in a fine PB of 17.01.
Michael wins gold, Fiona bronze and mens team dominate!
The county senior XC was on in Carrignadrohid again last Sunday. It was a very warm and calm October day with the ground in perfect condition for running. The course lap changed quite dramatically from past years, this time the course organisers decided to make it hilly...and they did!
The mens race was an interesting tactical battle with a large contingent of Leevale singlets leading the way for the first few laps. Micheal and Paul were sitting in the bunch watching and waiting. The three time champ Tim was at the back of the group testing out the body after a few months of easy running after a hamstring injury with Franko running his first County Senior race also in the mix. Kevin, Donal, Fergus, Chris and Denis were further back having their own battles!
As the race progressed the leading group whittled down to three with Gavin O'Rourke of Leevale taking on the pace. He was stalked by Michael and Paul who were just behind him watching and waiting. Frank and Tim were in the chasing group with Leevale duo John Shine and Conor McCauley. Nathan O'Leary was coming strong just behind so over half way through the race the top 8 positions were held by East Cork and Leevale. It was primed for another classic dust up for the team title.
A unique feature of the Carrignadrohid course over the years is the 1500m laps for the 10k. Here it was 1 small lap and 6 big laps. So for tired minds there is a lot of counting. Leevale lost the 2019 team title to North Cork due to this and lightning struck twice again last Sunday. Gavin O'Rourke pushed hard on the 5th 1500m lap, most thought it was a long run from home to break Mike and Paul but when they passed the turn off for the finish funnel and were directed for "one last lap" that unfortunately was the end of his race. It didn't effect the East Cork lads at all both were there to win and were still very comfortable and cruising at this stage. For the record Mike is twice the age of Paul so it was set up for a great classic last lap of youth v experience. The previous 6 weeks Mike has been training in Iten, Kenya and he showed that he didn't just pick up a nice bronzing tan over there but some fitness too! Over the final 1000m Mike put a spurt in that showed he was a class apart on the day and in the end won with 20 seconds to spare and joined Liam, Donnacha and Tim as County Senior XC champions.
With the battle for 1st and 2nd taken care of just behind them Tim was steaming through the field and finished a comfortable 3rd. Frank had a great battle with the Leevale lads to finish 5th over all and sowed up the team title for the club, one we have not won since 2017. Kevin was next home in 19th, Donal 25th , Fergus 27th, Chris 33rd and Denis 44th. Paul and Frank also were 1st and 2nd U23's.
This was Denis' 40th running of the County Senior XC championships. He has been on the scoring winning team twice. Rumour has it this could be his final running of the event and if this is true it was a fitting finish to such a great servant of Cork athletics by receiving a loud round of applause as he crossed the finish line from a large group of East Cork athletes and also many other clubs. To put it in perspective this was Franks first County Senior XC, for him to emulate Denis the earliest he could match this tally is in 2062!
John Spelman ran in the combined U18 and Junior Mens race and was 16th overall.
Spoiler - the womens team took the bronze team medal behind Leevale and St Finbarrs.
Fiona had a storming race to finish 3rd overall. Sinead O'Connor always looked a big favourite to win but Leevales newest memebers, transferred in from Tipperarey last month, were looking to make it a clean sweep of the podium. The race set of with Sinead and Fiona Everard (Bandon AC) taking a lead with a large chasing pack including Fiona. The womens race was 6k so four hilly 1500m laps. Fiona sat at the back of the group knowing the hills would play to her advantage and as the race went on and people were dropping back and dropping out, the group whittled down to a battle with Martina Kiely, Michelle Kenny and Shona O'Brien. With just over 1500m to go Fiona (who did count the laps right) made her move and went hard up the long hill and down into the final lap pushing strongly to open a gap and break those eager to get their hands on the last remaining individual medal. Her half marathon strength showed as none of the group behind could close the gap and Fiona powered on to extend her lead and take 3rd overall.
Annelise had a good run to beat training partner Eadaoin with Avril and Christine also having a great battle just behind them. In the end the ladies team score was 57 points to take the bronze team medals. Well done all.
Thanks to Ray and John too for taking some great photos of the action.