Firstly the much loved Ballintotis 4 Mile race was on again after a 3 year enforced absence last week. A lot has changed in the world since then but an East Cork AC winner on the trophy remains consistent!
Michael took out his second Ballintotis 4 win in mightily impressive fashion. He made his move on a big bunch of rivals with 1000m to go along the main road and once he got the lead he didn't look back and cruised away to a fine victory in 19.18. Tim was second in 19.25 with Paul 4th in 19.41. James completed the top 5 and sub 20 finishers in 19.57. Our next bunch had evergreen Kenneth securing the bragging rights as Kenneth, Nicky and Matt were 14th, 15th and 16th in 20.59, 21.03 and 21.27.
Chris Kelly was 35th in 22.51 with our newest recruit John Spelman just behind him in 22.55 and winning the 1st Junior Man prize. Diarmaid Collins, former Inter schools 1500m champion and stalwart of the Glenbower generation, made a racing comeback with 23.19 for 44th. Eric Meade was next in 25.22 with training squad member Tamzin running her first race in a few years just behind in an impressive 25.31. Fiona only 4 months after giving birth to baby Holly also made a comeback with a very impressive 25.36. Niamh O'Connor finished like Usain Bolt to break the 27 minute barrier and it worked clocking 26.55.
Avril Crowley, Denis and Claire all had good runs with 28.09, 28.42 and 28.57. Conor O'Driscoll made his long awaited debut for the club and finished with 29.28 with one of the old guard Tom Walsh, National Road Relay gold medalist from 1988, just behind in 29.54. Lorna rounded off our runners with 30.02.
Well done to all who helped out on the night. East Cork had a very large presence on the night helping out with stewarding, results, cleaning up before and after. All mostly unseen work. And finally a lot of credit to the Ballintotis community and organising committee to produce such a wonderful race in the heart of East Cork each year.
National Road Relays:
The National Road relays were on Sunday in Raheny. What was once an annual pilgrimage for the club has been a bit more sporadic over the years. We had a strong Senior team this year with Paul, Frank, Tim and Micheal running well for 8th position out of 25 teams. All the top runners for the big Dublin clubs were running so the standard was very high. The lads averaged 4.44 a mile for the 8 miles which included a grueling 3 mile leg for Tim.
Our M35 team won the gold medal in the Masters race. Stephen led off and sat in the pack nicely bidding his time for a big kick in the final 200m to pass over to James in 4th position. James racing experience played an important part in the team win. He worked with the group to slowly close down the 9 seconds lead that Donore Harriers had and then pounced on his second mile to get the team into the lead and give the vulnerable anchor man Kevin a chance to hold on. Luckily he did and we took away our first medal at the masters road relays since 2006 where Denis McCarthy, Donnocha O'Mahony and Eric Made took home bronze that day in 20.13. Interestingly the team averaged 4.52 a mile for each leg to finish in 19.28.
The East Cork road championships are on Thursday night in the traditional venue of Ballynoe. We will be hoping to fill teams for both the men's and women's races so if you are around please do come along. €5 entry on the night with the Ladies 3k race at 7.15pm and the mens 5 miles at 8pm.