East Cork Roads 2021:
The 2021 version of the East Cork Roads was held in its traditional venue of Ballynoe. With Covid causing destruction to the normal road racing calendar hopefully these championship road races can gain in popularity again as the focus is fully on the athletics side of competition with true racing the key focus.
Ladies Race 3k:
The ladies race was first up at 7.15pm with 3k and the dreaded Ballynoe hill twice. We had 3 ladies competing with Jen arriving just on time for the start of the race with no warm up, although Donal did bring her for a spin to see the mens start line as he bizarrely thought she might be interested in that!
The race started fast with Norah leading with Jennifer Goggin at the top of the hill for the first time. Jen was tucked in behind a few meters back. As they moved down the hill away form the village the group stretched out with Jena nd Jennifer in pole position as they passed the GAA pitch on the steepest gradient. There was still very little in it at the final right turn but Jennifer Goggin finished a bit stronger to take the win with Jen 2nd a few seconds back in 12.09. Norah battle strong up the last hill to run well over a minute faster than last year in 12.24 for 4th overall. Avril had a solid race and picked off a few on the second lap to finsh 18th in 14.20. As Jen was in the top 3 she gets excluded for the team results so unfortunately we didn't have a team (same as last year, Ladies ye need to sort it out!).
Mens Race 5 MIles:
The mens race had a lot of action early on. Tim and Kevin O'L justified their favourite tags and went to the front from the start and it was no holds barred for the first mile. They bombed through the first mile in 4.40 leaving the rest of the field well behind. Kenneth and Frank did offer some small resistance going through in 4.50 but the race for the win was already over at that stage! Tim and Kevin duked it out for the next lap before Tim showed his mountain running prowess and pulled away on the unrelenting hill to open a gap that he kept to the finish, winning in a convincing time of 25.26. Kevin O'L ran a very solid 26.02 with Frank shaking off Kenneth to finish 3rd in 26.27 (Frank was also the first non vapourflyer home too). Kenneth running the course for the first time was 4th in 26.38 with Kevin O'B and James in 5th and 6th. Graham Swords ran his usual tactically astute race coming through the field for 10th in 28.09. Fergus Meade made his return to racing driving down from Carlow to run an aggressive 28.44 for 14th. He was reliably informed by Denis that this was his first time running the Ballynoe course since 2004.
Chris Kelly thought he was in the 100m Olympic final in the home stretch, giving it everything to make sure he beat old foe John Hennessy. Nick O'Donoghue was just behind for 17th in 28.56. John Spelman who was one of the youngest in the field broke the 31 minute barrier by a second and will no doubt improve dramatically over the next year. Mike Cremin was 32nd in 31.26, Eric rolled back the years looking strong for 39th in 32.52 with newest member Liam Leahy striding home for 40th in 32.55. Denis McCarthy was reliable as always broke the 42 minute barrier yet again for 67th overall.
The men retained the team title again. As Tim and Kevin O'L were in the top three and James was involved in some shady late entry none of them counted for the team, so congratulations Kenneth, Kevin O'B, Graham and Fergus for flying the flag.
Friday 18th: Day 2 of the MTU Track Night this Friday. Entries have closed for this so best of luck to everyone running. There is no timetable out yet but this should be email with start lists shortly.
Tuesday 22nd: East Cork Track and Field - This is on in Carrignavar grass track, same as last year. There is 1500m, 3000m and a 4x300m mixed relay on the night. Eadaoin sent an email for entries for this last week.
Friday 25th-27th: National Senior Track and Field - Entries are now open for this with a provisional timetable on Athletics Ireland website. If you want to race enter directly yourself for the event you want to compete in.