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!
November 27th, 2022
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: October 20th, 2022
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.
County Novice XC: October 13th, 2022
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.
Cross Country season is on us again and our mens teams made a dominant statement winning both the Senior and Novice team titles.
Senior and Masters:
Firstly in the Senior and Master in Ballynoe on Sep 17th Paul finally got the monkey off his back and got his individual win, having to deal with the unfortunate bridesmaid tag the past two years. Frank stepped up last minute having already done his training for the day to help the team and came third overall. One time leader of the race Donal finished 5th overall (and 2nd M25) with Eric Meade rolling back the years to claim his 12th East Cork Senior team title in 15th. Denis was 22nd in the race and continues a 41 year active streak of competing in this race.
Niamh O'Connor was 4th overall with Christine Kelly making her debut with an excellent 8th. NIamh was 1st F35 and Christine was 3rd F35.
The East Cork Novice race was held in Whites Cross. Just before the start we looked like we would be just short in having a team but as the women started their race Michael, Stephen and Padraig all arrived fashionably late.
John, Stephen and Michael lead the race out the first 3k with Watergrasshill athlete Brendan Healy in close pursuit. As the race wore on Michael got a little dropped from the pace and John made his move with 1k to go. All was looking good for John until the orange Watergrasshill vest came storming past him with 300m to go. Stephen was following closely but John had just enough of a lead to hold on for 2nd with Stephen in third. Michael battled for 4th with Ollie Smiddy having a good run on his way back from injury to finish 8th. Padraig running his first race for the club was 18th. This was good enough to win the team title comfortably.
Avril Crowley had a great run to finish 5th in the womens race with Claire O'Brien coming 13th.
Fiona had a great run in the Womens Mini Marathon 6k to come 4th in 21.17. And Chris ran a strong race in Charleville on Sunday morning to get a PB or 92.11.
All roads lead to Carrigadrohid next Sunday for the County Senior XC. The womens race will start at approx 2pm and the mens at 2.45pm. If you want to enter please make sure you have told Eadaoin as the entries are on the Entry 4 Sport website.
Kevin O'Leary made a fine return to racing after a significant time out injured with an impressive 71.33 in the Waterford Greenway half marathon. Kevin was 3rd overall.
Michael Furlong had a busy week coming 4th in the Grant Thornton 5k on Tuesday night in 17.35 then backed it up on Thursday in the St Lukes 5k in 17.13. Donal, Stephen and Eadaoin ran in St Lukes too. Donal edged Stephen out by 9 seconds for a 10th place in 16.41 with Stephen 11th in 16.52. Eadaoin ran a competitive 20.24 for 5th lady.
Cross Country Calendar - Winter 2022:
See fixture list below. I will update this if any changes.
Stryker 4 Mile
The BHAA Stryker 4 mile was on last Thursday night on a good evening for racing. James was 3rd overall in 20:41. Michael Furlong was our next home in 22:41. Paul Cleary was 48th in 24:49 and Claire was 200th in 31:07.
Glengarriff 5 Mile
Fiona was first lady home and 2nd overall in the Glengarriff 5 Mile at the weekend. Interestingly she was 2nd to Darragh McElhinney. There are a few in the club that would give a lot to be second to Darragh in a race later on in the winter!
Cross Country Training and Races - Winter 2022:
We are back training in the normal winter venues now again. Market Green on Tuesday at 6pm and Welchtown on Saturday at 10am.
The East Cork Senior and Masters is on this Sunday hosted by St Catherines. The Junior and Senior Races will start approx 1pm.
The County Board will confirm their fixture list later this week and I will add a full schedule on the next post.
August Round Up - Aug 29th, 2022
Fiona Santry - National Masters Track Gold!
The National Master Track and Field were on in Tullamore on August 13th. Fiona ran in the womens 3k and was 2nd overall and first F35 bagging herself a national individual track medal. To add some icing on the cake she also got a 2 second PB of 10.11.
Stephen and Donal ran in the mens 1500m and both ran strong competitive races. Stephen edged out Donal for 5th in 4.26 with Donal an agonising 1 second and 1 place behind his training partner.
Updated Club Record - Frank O'Brien
Frank continued his rich vein of form with another storming 800m at the Eltham BMC. Frank ran a gutsy 1:52.30 (hand timed) to win the B race on the night and lowers his own record by another second.
Lots of road races and great performances as well the last two weeks with people signing off their summers and others trying to limber up for cross country. The results of these are below.
Like a fine Wine - National Senior Medal on the Track for Mike! - August 8th, 2022
Mike Harty - National Track Bronze!
The big news over the last few weeks was Mike Harty coming third in the national 10k track championships. It has been 9 years since James won our last Senior track medal, a bronze in the 5k in 2013. Mike was up against young guns Mathew Neil (Current U23 5K national champion) and Paul O'Donnell (who was 3rd in last years National Senior XC) in a tactical race that really hotted up over the last couple of laps. Just over 1 second separated them when the dust settled. Mike gamely hung right in there till the final meter and showed that age is just a number crossing the line in 30:44.71. Well done Mike you certainly deserved such a result, the past few years have been littered with many set backs but perseverance and determination shone true and you have clearly reaped the rewards this summer. Long may it last!
Fiona has certainly made her comeback felt locally gobbling up 1st places for fun at the Ballinameela 5k (17.43) and St Catherines 5k (17.58). Interestingly she also came 3rd overall in St Catherines the same position hubby Nicky came last year in the same race.
Tamzin was 3rd in St Catherines in 19.59 and Denis was 53rd in 23.21. Paul Cleary raced in Novartis and was 35th in 19.26. Annelise continued her strong form too with a 5th place in Mitchelstown at the GR8 8k with a time of 33.25. And finally Tim won a race in York at the weekend. Beating over 2500 in the process with a time of 30.48.
Currently training for the next few weeks is continuing at Welchtown on Tuesdays at 6pm and Saturday mornings at 10am. Towards the end of August we will transition Tuesday back to Market Green.
Frank O'Brien - Club Record:
The British Milers Club is always a race to get good fields and fast times. Frank took full advantage of this last Wednesday night running a 3 second PB and in the process breaking the long standing club record from Santry Stadium August 17th, 1986. It remains to be seen if Liam will be pleased or otherwise to see one of his club marks chalked off. However his PB of 1.51 still will be brought up at family dinners for the time being no doubt.
Frank ran a tactically astute race sitting at the back of the group conserving energy but still went through in about 57 seconds. As he kicked around the pack with 300m to go the long time leader started to fade and Frank was in perfect position to pounce on that weakness. He held his speed and form right through the line to stop the clock in an impressive 1:53.89. For the record books legitimate dragonfly spikes were used. The Youtube video is below.
The Gas Networks Ireland 5k was held in the Marina on Wednesday night as well. Kenneth had a great race to clock 15.50 and finish 3rd. Interestingly and impressively he first broke 16 mins for 5k about 25 years ago and is still going strong. Lot to be said for healthy living! Stephen ran a PB of 16.35. Donal will have to counter that when he's home again. Paul Cleary was next home in 19.37. Annelise was in the hunt for a PB form the very start and was rewarded with her first (official) sub 20 min clocking of 19.47. From winning a beach half marathon last week to a sub 20min 5k is showing some great range. Niamh also broke the 20min barrier for the first time too with a 19.50 just behind Annelise.
Championship Races (Two Victories):
On the championship side of things we had the East Cork 5k champs on in MTU track last Wednesday night. We took gold and bronze in both the mens and womens races. Frank won his first medal for the club running a controlled race to finish in 16.04 (with a 59 second last lap). Michael Furlong opened his account with East Cork with a well executed run for 3rd overall in 17.24. Fiona was next home and in the process won the womens section in a superb time of 18.03. Niamh O'Connor and Annelise had a ding dong battle for 3rd with Niamh edging away in the final couple of laps to take the bronze in 20.17. Denis was 14th in 25.20.
The National U23's took place on Sunday. Frank was our sole representative and ran a solid race for 5th in the 1500m with a time of 4.08 in a slow tactical race with a last lap burn up.
Road Racing (Three Vicories):
Michael had another excellent run and win in the Dundrum 10k last week. Stopping the clock at 30.13 it sets him up really well to have a right good crack at the National 10k coming up soon.
Frank also ran and won the Corkbeg 4 mile last week in 20.30 with Niamh taking out 3rd in 27.13. Others running were Nicky 3rd, Kenneth 4th, Eric 20th, Avril 5th and Tom 71st. Thanks to all in the club who helped out on the night.
Annelise had a well deserved sandy victory in Kerry in the Brandon Bay Half Marathon on Saturday too and Michael Furlong ran the Dungarvan 10k in 36.32 for 6th.
Many many races to catch up on. The summary below should have most on it.. If there are any missing please let me know.
The main highlights were from the championship races. Paul and Frank went to Santry for the National Championships on June 25th. Frank was one place off making the final in his very competitive heat coming 5th in 4.02. Paul ran a 4.03 for 10th in his heat. Well done lads this is the place to aiming for especially as the 1500m is probably the deepest event in the whole programme.
The other championship race was the other end of the spectrum. Held on Carrig na Bhfears fine grass track we were very successful on the night. The main winner was double gold medalist Donal who doubled down in the 1500m and 3000m M35 category. Stephen won the 300m and was second in the 1500m. Annelise and Eadaoin were 2nd and 3rd in the Senior 3000m with Nicky 2nd in the mens senior 3000m.
Cork City Sport:
Frank was our sole representative in the Cork City Sports were he recorded a nice PB of 8.39 for 6th place in the Open 3k.
- Corkbeg 4 Mile: This is on tomorrow night July 7th with a 8pm start in Whitegate. This is hosted and organised by East Cork AC so if you are not running and have a hour to spare to help out please do. Also it must be noted this is only a €5 entry on the night. One of the rare races left that still is held to a high standard but for a low price. Even more of a reason to support.
- St Catherines 5k: Our friends in St Catherines are having their annual 5k on July 29th. Tim has the mens course record from last year and there is a prize for breaking it. Race starts and ends in Ballynoe and is always well organised and supported.
Weekly Update June 16th, 2022
Frank has been limbering into the track season the last few month and showed again some good for the past week. Firstly at the Birmingham BMC meet Frank ran 4.00 for the 1500m and then the Watford Open 800m he nudged his PB down another little bit to a very respectable 1.56. Paul had a big breakthrough in the 1500m too at the Leevale Open Sports, breaking 4 mins for the first time with an excellent 3.57 for 4th.
Stephen and Donal ran in the Musgrave 5k last night up in the Marina. Stephen broke the 17 min barrier for the first time with a 16.49 for 17th and Donal broke 17min for the second time with 16.57 for 19th. The last time was over three years ago in May 2019 at the John Buckley 5k. Hopefully he won't have to wait as long again!
Eadaoin also ran a 21.34 for 122nd.
East Cork T&F:
Reminder that the East Cork Athletics Division Senior, Junior & Master T&F Championships is on Tuesday, 21st June at Colaiste an Chroi Naofa, Carraig na Bhfear. List of events and start times below.
Entries should be sent to Eadaoin by Friday 17th June.
Munster Masters T&F:
Stephen was again our sole representative at the Munster track and field on Monday in MTU. He ran the 1500m and got the bronze medal in the M35 category, running 4.35 on the day in damp conditions.
Cloyne 5 Mile:
The inaugural Cloyne 5 mile was held last Thursday night. Michael continued his great recent form with another convincing win in 24.27. Donal and John battled for 11th place with Donal besting John on this occasion. Eric was next home in 31.26. Tamzin finished 8th in 33.10. Avril had a great run to beat Annelise and clocked 34.41 with Annelise just behind in 35.00. Lorna was next in 36.17 just ahead of Denis in 36.30. Claire O'Brien and Dave Muldowney rounded off our results with 37.27 and 40.14 respectively. Also running very impressively was Emma Leahy McGrath who has won numerous cross country medals with us over the years. Emma was third on the night and interestingly was the only person on the podium for men and women who was not wearing supershoes.
June Bank holiday weekend in Cork and marathon fever took over the city as usual. This is one of the few races each year that brings the athletic community and the general public together on the same page. Tim took full advantage of this and proceeded to improve his finishing position from 2019 by one place to step at the top of the podium this time. Tim set a course record and convincingly broke the 2.20 barrier with his 2:18.37 finishing time. His splits were 10k 33.48, Half 69.08, 30k 1:38.28, 40k 2:11.20. This is the second time we have had a winner at the race. Roy Fahy won it as well back in 2008 with a time of 2:33.55.
Kenneth also had an excellent race finishing 8th in his first ever marathon in 2:35.39. Chris McGrath (without much training) ran around in 3:46.03. Well done all.
We also had an East Cork (and Friends) ladies relay team who finished 3rd ladies team. Fiona ran the first leg to Silversprings, Avril the second to Mahon and passed the band to Tamzin who had a fine run to past to Jen Preston for the 4th leg and Lorna took the glory leg and brought them home in 2:59.
Thanks to all those who helped out from the club on the day with stewarding and assisting at the relay changeovers.