The big race of the weekend was the National Senior XC held in Abbottstown Dublin. This is the course that will hold the 2020 European XC Championships.
We had 4 men and Fiona competing! Conditions for racing were ideal. The surface was like a carpet for the majority of the course with just a small section with a covering of mud. Predictably the pace went out very fast with the lead group covering the first mostly downhill mile in 4.40. Timmy probably ran close to 4.50 in his opening mile and was about 30th in the field. Sean and James were neck and neck in about 50th and Kevin O'Leary was covering the Leevale contingent just behind them.
In what is a very unfriendly spectator course it was hard to see the ebb and flow of the race as you had to choose either the top field of the lap or the bottom to watch the race and then wait 3 minutes for the athletes to reappear. Sean Tobin and Kevin Dooney kept the pace fierce at the front and both had spells leading and pushing the pace on. The only other man able to hang with them was Kevin Maunsell of Clonmel AC. These three had a large gap on 4th and Kevin Dooney of Raheen took the honours in 30.07.
Tim was first home for East Cork with another solid run finishing in a respectable 22nd and very nearly outsprinted (a fading) 4 minute miler, but alas it was not to be. Tim came through strong in the last 4km and passed a few big names that were not able to handle the pace. Sean also ran through the field well and got up to 36th at the end with a trademark hard last 200m that picked off another few places for him. James was next home in 57th and Kevin O'Leary in 107th out of a field of 162.
This got us 9th place overall and 150 places from team medals. Cork were 4th county team also. Well done lads for keeping the flag flying.
Fiona had a good run in the Senior Womens race finishing 41st overall. In a race that was won by track star Ciara Mageean, Fiona was in about 50th with 2k remaining but showed her strength to power through 9 athletes in the last lap. Cork were just outside the top three in 4th as well in the womens. To put this result in perspective there were over a hundred of the best athletes in Ireland in the race and Fiona was well above halfway. This is a very serious standard and all credit to Fiona to be consistently competing at this very unforgiving level.
Other Notable Results from "athletes in the East Cork area".
Frank O'Brien and Paul Hartnett of Midleton AC had a titanic battle once again in the U-18/Junior race. With a finish akin to the famous Cheltenham Racecourse hill, Paul held a 10m lead turning around the last corner with 200m to go but Frank, like Kauto Star in his pomp, chugged right to the end and pipped Paul on the line. This reversed the result from the Munsters and got Frank 4th in the U-18 race and Paul 5th. This went a long way to getting silver for the Midleton AC team also with Jack O'Shea 22nd, Cian Horgan 86th and Patrick Kelly 87th in the team. Well done lads.
Laura Hayes of St Catherines AC, and daughter of club stalwart Frank, was 12th overall in a very strong Junior women's race won by double European champion Sarah Healy. Tamzin Muldowney was 32nd overall and both girls were on the scoring Cork team that won the county competition. Norah O'Brien in her final Junior Race was 81st. Well done all.
The Glenville 4 mile was also held on Sunday with a ig turnout. john Walshe was our sole athlete competing and ran 33.08.
Munster Intermediate XC next Sunday in Riverstick. All wanting to be entered should of let Eadoin know by now.