Cork County T&F Champs (Day 2):
Day 2 of the County T&F was on last week. Stephen O'Brien was our sole representative. He ran in the 1500m and wsa 11th in 4.34.
Other Track and Road:
Frank was 5th in the Eltham BMC 1500m running an impressive 3.56. With his 800m PB as well recently this is a nice breakthrough spell for him so let the good times keep rolling!
The Ballymacoda 4 Mile was the main local road race on last week. Nicky continued his purple patch and won the race in convincing fashion, leading from the gun to the tape in a new course record and PB of 20.30. John Spelman took some time out from his studies to finish 8th overall and first junior in 22.30. Donal was just behind him in 22.41. Stephen was next in 23.00 with Tim O'Mahony racing for the first time this year and showed he still has a bit of fitness with a solid 21st in 23.56.
Niamh O'Connor was our first lady home just outside the 27 min mark (by a mere 2 seconds!), Lorna was next and had a nice improvement from Ballintotis in 28.33. Conor launched his trademark sprint finish to keep Denis at bay and finished in 28.56 with Denis just behind in 29.18.
Cloyne 5 Mile:
The Cloyne 5 Mile is on this Thursday at 8pm sharp. It is being supported by East Cork AC so if you would like to race/help out etc please let Liam or Brian Harty know.
Wicklow Way Relay - May 25th, 2022
Follow the yellow man they say!
Where to start.. Firstly well done to all from the club that helped make this work. While this might not be a championship race or even an Athletics Ireland event (God forbid!) it is one of the few events that as a club we get big numbers together with a common purpose. The Wicklow Way Relay brings out all the best characteristics of East Cork AC. The race is long, hard, tricky to get right and needs a big team effort to pull off a result.
Luckily on our 3rd attempt we managed to have a clean race with nobody getting lost or missing the start. In the end we finished 2nd overall just behind Rathfarnham AC.
We had two route records on the day. Congrats to Kenneth on Leg 4 and Tim on Leg 7. There is comprehensive database on the IMRA site with course and route times over the years.
The Race itself:
The race started just outside Marlay Park at 7am on Saturday May 14th. Graham only 2 weeks after the Limerick marathon was on the first leg and completed it 62.02 in touching distance of the leaders in 5th position. Graham handed over to his marathon friend Donal who maintained the 5th position on the 2nd hardest leg of the route, a 15km mostly uphill run from Prince Williams Seat to Lough Tay carpark. Donal ran a decent 75.58. Fiona was on the third leg and luckily had reccied the route the night before as apparently there were some questionable junctions.... Fiona made up one place for the team and got us into 4th 12 minutes down on the leaders TT Racers. Kenneth over the years has owned leg 4 and this year proved no different. Kenneth blitzed his leg to get us into 2nd with only a 7 minute deficit on Rathfarnham with still more than half of the way to go.
Kevin was up next and ran a solid 61 mins up and over Mullacor to hand to Nicky still in 2nd place. Nicky during his reccie had assessed the route and knew the fastest way to go. He had a great run in 57 mins to claw back another few minutes on the leaders and then it was down to set loose our trump card Tim to see how much damage he could inflict on the longest leg of the course. A 21km leg with about 600m of climbing. Tim failed to disappoint. He had a 9 minute disadvantage when he took off from Iron Bridge and started as if he was running the Cloyne Commons 4k. At the 14km mark of his leg he had completely closed the 9 minutes and had 7km left to go. At the final handover point Tim had clawed us to first place with a buffer of 4 minutes. Tim ran the leg in 72.30 (a sickening 3.33 min/km) Annelise on the anchor leg had a tough task ahead of her as despite the lead, she was up against Laura McDonnell a 35min 10k runner. Annelise gave it everything to stay ahead but was passed on the very hilly road section coming into Shillelagh village, the finish of the race.
In the end we finished in a well deserved 2nd position in an very exciting tight race in 7 hours 34.
A huge thanks also goes out to Lavinia, Lorna and Eadaoin who supported during the race and volunteered for some car parking duties that was necessary. Eibhlin and Ger were a massive help too providing logistics on the day and keep a close eye on the splits and keep the whole crew aware of the race situation as it was unfolding. At one point Ger got so caught up in the event he must have thought we were competing in the Tour De France, as he was roaring in French out the car window. And last but not least a huge thanks to Rosemary Hutch for provide sponsorship towards the race entry fee too.
Hopefully we can get another team together again next year and give it another go.
National Road M40 5k Record:
Micheal had a sense of history correcting itself where he reclaimed the national M40 road record that was cruelly taken away from him after Kilkenny when they realised the course was 50m short course. In another top quality field Michael was 3rd home in 14.20. Congrats again Michael and well deserved.
MTU and National League Round 1:
Paul raced in the MTU Day 2 in the 1500m. Paul had a solid run in 4.04 for 7th.
Paul also represented the East Cork division in the 800m at the National League in Templemore, where he ran another sub 2 (1.59:67) for 4th. Matt stepped up after his holidays to run the 5000m. He was also 4th in 16.45.
Frank ran in the Watford Open in the UK. He won his 800m race in a new PB of 1.57:46.
Again the summer season of road racing is hectic this year. We had a good few race the Cheetah Run 5k (organised by Eagle AC). Nicky had a solid run for 4th in 16.05. Ger Lynch was next in 20.54. Lorna reversed the result from Ballintotis and pipped Conor by 7 seconds this time finishing in 22.10. Eibhlin ran 27.38 but would have finished faster if she wasn't too distracted by the animals along the very scenic route.
The John Buckley 5k was also on last week. Usually a well organised fast race and this year didn't disappoint again. Donal ran 17.08 for 35th, Stephen 17.40 for 47th and Avril ran a huge PB of 21.27 for 206th.
Updated on Limerick Last Week:
This was actually a Munster championship event. So congrats on Tim, Graham and Donal who all won individual medals. Graham was 2nd and Donal 3rd in the marathon and Tim with his club record was 1st in the half.
As quirks have it they all won their medals in the M35 category but they would have also won the exact same medals if they were in the Senior category.
Cork T&F Champs (Day 1):
The Cork County Track and Field day 1 was on last Monday. John Spelman was there to improve his speed and won the bronze medal in the Junior Mens 100m (in 14 seconds) and silver in the 800m with 2.16. Denis won silver in the mens M55 3000m with 14.09. Paul Hartnett also ran and won the A 3000m race in 8.44. This was not a championship event on the night however.
Lots of road racing the last couple of weeks. We had two podium finishes with Michael dominating and winning the Midleton 5 mile with a superb solo 24.21 on Thursday the 5th. Nicky was 2nd in the Youghal 5k Thursday 12th in 15.56. Hopefully everyone else is building fitness and shooting for PB's!
East Cork Road Champs:
The East Cork road championships were held in Ballynoe last Thursday night. We had 11+1 athletes running on the night. The 3k ladies race was up first and Fiona lead the team to a gold medal finishing 4th overall. Niamh O'Connor was next in 9th with Eadaoin just pipping Avril for the final medal in 15th. Avril was 16th, Lorna 17th and Claire 23rd. Well done for winning the team title. It is a pity the press corps did not get a picture of the team accepting the trophy. They will have to win it again next year now!
The mens race was split in two. Nicky was in one race and the rest of the field were in the other. Nicky comfortably took out the win with an impressive solo run in 27.09. I will have to trawl through the record books but this might be the first time in the East Cork roads that the trophy was passed from one brother to another. John Spelman, the +1 in the above was running as an individual until his limbo period ends on May 1st, was second home after a good battle with Chris Kelly in 28.47. Chris faded a bit on the last lap and gave the ever present Stephen a chance to snipe past him in the final 100m for 6th with Chris just behind in 7th. Diarmaid Collins was 11th with Denis in 32nd. This was good enough for the team silver medal.
National M40 track Record:
Some unfortunate news came in this week that the Streets of Kilkenny course was a bit short and the Road natoinal record that mike won was scrapped. However that might of provided more motivation to go get another one. This time Mike got the National M40 record on the track while racing in the high quality IMC meet in Dublin on Saturday. Mike was 5th and ran a time of 14.24. Congrats Mike.
Great Limerick Run and Club Record:
We had four runners competing in this event. Firstly Graham and Donal (affectionately known as "the splinter group") completed the marathon. Graham showed his experience at the distance to clock a very impressive 2:38.52 for 6th overall. And Donal who only decided to chance the marathon a couple months ago ran a very competitive 2:44.45 for 11th.
Tim and Chris McGrath ran in the half marathon. Tim was 2nd overall and ran a new club record of 65.04. This is 4.58 miling for 13+ miles. Super going. Chris ran in 1:44.17.
James ran the first MTU track night of the year in the 3k and ran a solid 8.49 for 7th overall. And Eric was 9th Bartlemy 6k in 23.46.
- Tonight is the long standing Midleton 5 mile race. Starting at 8pm.
- A part of the County Track and Field championships are on next Monday night in MTU. Championship events are 800m, 3000m (for all women and masters men only). Enter online per Liams email.
- The Wicklow Way relay - On Saturday May 7th at 7am. You should know your route by now and have reccie done or planned. More details to follow by email.
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.
A lot has happened in the last few weeks so a bit of a catch up. Interestingly all the races have been 5ks (If I have missed any race results please let me know)
Track and Field:
Firstly Paul competed in the National Intervarsity's in Carlow IT coming 7th in the 5000m in 15.20. Frank raced in the Comeback 5000m in Battersea Park and finished 15th in 15.41.
BHAA - PWC 5k:
Next up was a welcome return to the winning circle for James. He dominated the PWC 5k to comfortably win in 15.12. Stephen O'Brien tempoed around in 18.18 and Ger Lynch had a massive PB in 20.02. So close to the sub 20 barrier. No doubt he will drop this again in the coming weeks on the back of his consistent Market Green sessions and his recent visit to Welchtown.
Streets of Kilkenny 5k:
The big boys (and Nicky!) came out to play up at the Streets of Kilkenny last Thursday night and they sure did not disappoint. Tims status as number 1 ranked runner is now in ruins. Michael ran the race of his life to clock 14.14 on a perfect evening for running. This time is now also a National Master M40 record. These most certainly do not come easy. This race has been part of a steady build up from about September last year, slowly building the fitness throughout the winter building a big base and then opening up the legs with track intervals in the Maradyke. Not to mention all the behind the scenes recovery and strength work and extra aqua jogging sessions that happen. Congrats to Mike on such a great achievement and hopefully it is only the beginning of a very hot streak.
Tim had a solid run off the back of a block of longer slower marathon specific training finishing 8th in 14.39. Nicky also had a very good run coming very close to his PB running 15.48. This was his first race back since the County Senior XC last year so now with the cobwebs blown off and a consistent spell off training under his belt he will be another to watch in the coming races.
All eyes turn towards one of the most enjoyable and rich in history races in the local calendar, Ballintotis 4 Mile. We will have a big turn out running on the night and if anybody would be available to help out please let Liam or Nicky know. It could turn out to be a classic going by the form of Michael and Tim recently. There is mammoth work put in for this race by the local community council and it really is a pleasure to have such a high quality race on our doorstep so enjoy it and don't take it for granted.
Also this weekend we have the National Road Relays in Raheny. The Senior Men's team is: Paul (2m), Tim (3m), Mike (2m) and Frank (1m). The Masters team is Stephen (1m), James (2m) and Kevin (1m). Best of luck to you all.
County Road Champs:
The County Novice and Master road championships were on last Friday the 18th. This was organised by Liam and turned out to be a great success. James was 2nd overall in the race and 1st M35 in 20.41. Our newest recruit Matt Horrigan had a great run finishing 6th novice in 22.04. Conor Tierney rolled back the years and was 5th M40 in 26.40. Denis wearing Super Shoes for the first time knocked off 93 seconds from his time in Killeagh last week. Although a a championship race and a normal road race would have significant motivational differences!
Annelise Hutch who is our form lady at the moment had another great run and lead the Novice womens team to a bronze team medal with her 7th Novice finish in 27.05. Avril was next home for the ladies team in 14th with Claire and Lorna battling it out in 21st and 22nd. This was Lornas first race back since the County Novice XC in October 2020. In her post race interview with John Walshe she said her training is going from strength to strength and will probably beat Claire easily enough next day they race.
Michael travelled to the Streets of Portlaoise on St Patricks Day and not just for the parade. There was a high quality 5k race there too. Michael was 5th overall in an excellent 14.48.
The Mallow 10 Mile race was on Sunday then and we had two of our Novice stars from Friday racing. Annelise again had another great run with a 70.46 and Avril running her 5th race of the year was home in 78.56.
National U23 Indoors:
On Sunday we had Paul Hartnett who travelled to Athlone to compete in the National U23 Indoors championships. Paul was 5th in the U23 mens 800m and broke the 2 minute barrier for the first time while he was at it, Paul clocked 1:59.68. Again always good to see the club represented at National Championships.
Killeagh 4 Mile:
More locally on Sunday we had 4 athletes compete in the Killeagh 4 mile. James was 3rd in 20.59, Eric 20th in 24.44, Denis McCarthy 77th in 29.49 and Ollie Smiddy was on pacing duties running 33.51. For the records James still was wearing "normal" racers for the race but the big question is how long more will he withstand the pressure... In fact Denis has over 2000 races without supershoes to his credit but rumours are rife that this might also be about to change. Watch this space!
The County Road Novice and Master championships are on in Castlelyons this Friday. We are one short for a Mens Novice team so if anyone would like to enter they can do so on the day. Best of luck to all competing.
Curtesy of an anonymous observation we realised that we had omitted one of the 1997 National Road Relay gold medal winners from the post a few weeks ago. Thanks to some hard work behind the scenes researching this, we can reveal that Rob Fitzgearld ran the one mile leg on that team and can now be properly recognised for his effort. He also held off some top East Cork athletes in the trial that year for the coveted spot on the team and was rewarded with a national gold medal.
First up was Frank last week running in the English XC championships on the world famous Parliament Hill course in London. In a very high caliber field Frank completed the 12k muck run in 45.13 for a credible 53rd overall.
Our other young gun Paul, ran in the Irish University XC championships in Santry for UCC on Saturday and had a solid run for 17th overall. For a 1st year this is an excellent result. Assuming he passes his exams he still has 4 more years running at this level.
Tim was our sole representative at the Munster Road Championships in far away Quilty, Co Clare. Tim won the race and had a good battle with former winner Kevin Moore. Tim won in 19.45. Again the course was measured to counter act the current shoe technology. Tim was entered in the Senior and M35 categories so he took home two individual gold medals and a gold M35 County team medal.
The BHAA had a race in Bishopstown on Sunday morning organised by MTU. Kenneth was 2nd overall in 16.20, Eric 38th in 19.08 and Avril 135th in 23.01.
Next Up is the County Novice and Masters Road championships in Castlelyons on March 18th.
Entry link is here - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSew0_7-Jd_ZlUXyBKNL-62pkQ3tLbRC-ry4C6vRDYjhnSes9g/viewform
Enter yourself and pay on the day.
Carrigaline 5 Mile:
Michael Harty laced up for the Carrigaline 5 mile road race last weekend and continued his good form by winning the race and beating his current O40 nemesis Paul Moloney for the 3rd time this season. Great to see Michael back to winning ways especially with many big races coming up.
Upcoming Team Events:
- National Road Relays:
The National Road Relays are on Sunday April 24th. We are aiming to have a Senior mens team and also a Masters mens team entered for this. The Senior team will take priority if someone is eligible for both. If the ladies would like to enter a team that would be good too.
The relays are a prestigious club event held in Dublin each year. In the past East Cork AC have won this on three separate occasions. Back in 1988 for the first time, on the team that day was Tom Walsh, Bryan Meade, Gerry Wallis, Laurence McCarthy, Liam O Brien, and Donncha O Mahoney. We also won it in 1991 with John Kearney, Donncha O Mahoney, Gerry Wallis, Bryan Meade, Liam O Brien and Martin Drake.And finally our last win was in 1997 with Liam O Brien, Donncha O Mahoney, Garreth Barry, John Kearney, Diarmuid Geary and Rob Fitzgerald..
In the past the Senior was 6 people per team now it is 4 with the order of the legs - 2 mile, 1 mile, 3 mile and 2 mile. The Senior Womens and Master O35 mens team is three people with the legs 1 mile, 2 mile and 1 mile.
If you are interested in this and want to be part of one of the team please let Liam or Kevin know. Trials might be needed.
- Wicklow Way Relay:
The other team event we are looking to enter a team in is the Wicklow Way Relay on May 14th.
The is an eight person relay along the Wicklow Way from Marlay Park in Dublin to Shillelagh village in Wicklow. It is 105km in total with legs ranging from 8km to 21km. The team of eight needs a minimum of two vets (O40's) and two ladies. The other four can be of any category you like. The trails are hilly but mostly fire trails so very runnable. Generally some of the running clubs in Dublin enter teams so it is competitive.
If you are interested please let Timmy or Kevin know. Entries open for this on April 9th and sell out quick enough. One requisit is that you must recce your route at least once (and preferably twice) before the race to make sure you are familiar with it for race day. Similar to the road relays trials might be needed if enough interest.
National Masters XC:
The National Masters XC was held quite locally on Sunday in nearby Castlelyons. As a club most travel farther to the East Cork XC races, so this was a treat to have a national championships at our doorstep! A credit to St Nicks for organising such a large event so well.
Home advantage certainly played a part in a wonderful day for the club. We won two gold individual medals and we were silver M35 team. Tim led the charge with another dominating performance to add to the National Masters M35 title to his CV. Tim broke from the field after about 3k and Michael was the only person brave enough to go with him, leaving some big names back in the chasing pack. Tim kept turning the screw however and proved just a bit too strong on the day winning by 22 seconds from old foe Sergio Ciobanu. Michael battled valiantly on tried legs for the final 2k and finished 6th overall and first M40, a super performance for a man who is on the comeback from a long spell out. Fingers crossed this is a springboard for him to have a big summer of racing.
James was next home for the team with a strong finish over the final 500m to pick off a few Rathfarnham athletes and finish 16th. Donal and Graham had a big battle for the final spot on the team. Donal got a gap and came through in the final 2k to get a few very important places in the final 100m to finish 47th for the team. We were 2nd only on countback to arch rivals Leevale so every place mattered more than normal! Graham was just behind in 56th. Stephen O'Brien also on the way back from injury had a solid run in 94th and Ollie Smiddy should some great game finishing in 136th and is improving at a rapid rate. Tim and Michael also scored on the gold medal 35 Cork team.
Niamh and Eibhlin ran in the ladies race. Niamh was 57th overall and Eibhlin was 131st. Well done to all, It is always a big moment representing the club at the highest levels and taking medals home is a bonus. Long may it continue!
Frank O'Brien has been racing away for his college St Marys throughout the year but togged out at the Podium 5k on Friday night in Battersea Park at a very high caliber race. He was 138th in the race with a time of 15.15. A sub 15 is surely not far away.
In Little Island on Sunday morning we had two of our masters that must have taken a wrong turn to Castlelyons running in the BHAA 6k. Kenneth was 4th overall (3rd man) in 19.48. Eric was first O45 home in 23.27.
In other non racing news training last Saturday at Welchtown was taken over by a Wilderhen. The less said about it the better but a picture paints a thousand words.
There have been a few races on the last couple of weeks. Eric Meade ran in the BHAA 6k in Little Island finishing 36th in 22.56. Paul Hartnett running for UCC ran in the Irish Intervarsity's Indoor Championships in AIT. He was 10th overall in 4.03, with the race being won by Darragh McElhinney in 3.42.
Tim O'Donoghue was up in Raheeny looking for a super fast time in a very high quality race but the course was measured 500m long. Perhaps it was the racing Gods getting fed up with all the new Supershoe times exacting some revenge. Either way it added approx 90 seconds to Tims time. He finished 5th in 25.15.
The Dungarvan 10 was back as well on Sunday and it was great to see full fields again finally. We had 7 runners racing in the very windy conditions. Tim was 3rd overall in 49.45. Kevin O'Leary making a comeback after being out for 7 months ran 53.26 for 11th. Donal Giltinin was next home with a PB in 58.07. Chris Kelly was back in action too and ran a solid race in 62.02. Annelise Hutch was our first lady home and ran a massive 70.28, great to see all Annelise's training paying off she has barely missed a Tuesday or Saturday training all winter. Avril and Lavinia had great runs too with Avril finishing in 76.44 and Lavinia in 89.59.
The National Masters and Intermediate XC is on next Sunday in Castlelyons. All support would be most welcome. We have a strong mens team entered which will hopefully give us some interest at the pointy end of the race.
Ballintotis 4 Mile:
Registrations have opened for Ballintotis as well. This will probably sell out soon so get in there if you wish to run in an excellent local race.
Firstly the club would like to wish all members a happy and prosperous new year. Hopefully gold medals and PB's will be the top stories each week!
We had a few athletes out and about over the holiday period with some standout performances. Tim set the tone on St Stephens Day with a time the club has not seen since Castlemaytr 1986 when Liam ran the same time. Tim equaled Liam's time of 19.02 with a 5th place in the MSD Clonmel 4 mile. Due to the new shoe technology the times today are a little harder to compare with the past so I have created a new club records section where "Super Shoe" records will be captured separately to the pre super shoe ones.
The old club records are still there to be shot at but without carbon plates and fancy pebax foam.
Norah and Claire had a mother daughter day out in Togher then on the 27th. Norah ran 19.46 with Claire running 23.31.
Tim laced up again in the Grange Fermoy 10k and came within 2 seconds of club president Gerry Wallace's track club record of 30.31 but still nearly a minute short of Liam's road time of 29.39. Unfortunately for Tim his rival in the Leevale colours made it 2-2 in their head to head battle for the season. Ryan Creech won in a swift 29.54 with Sergio just behind Tim in 3rd.
Paul Hartnett following on from his excellent 4th in the National Novice was out on New Years Day in Newtownshandrum winning comfortably in 15.20.
We had two racing in the BHAA 5k cross country in Beaumont Park too. Shane made a return to racing with a 26th placing and Avril was 98th overall.
In the midst of the racing we also had our annual training trip to Inch. We had a good turn out for a one day session of the dunes. Some fared better than others.
We had two athletes make the trip to the fast Newmarket 5k course last Sunday. Frank having a mid life identity crisis also debuted his new Vaporflys on Irish soil and ran a PB of 15.21 for 14th place. Claire ran with our fastest female 5k time of the weekend with 23.07.
Christmas Party Parkrun:
We had a good turnout for the Christmas Party this year. We paid a visit to the Pobalscoil Trionoide (Youghal) Parkrun and had 12 competing in the race. Tim won in 15.43, James 2nd in 16.30, Kevin 3rd in 17.06, Graham 4th in 17.18, Donal 5th in 17.20, Stephen 6th in 17.32, Jens 9th in 20.15, Eadaoin 27th in 23.41, Denis 28th in 23.47, Lorna 50th in 26.59, Lavinia 55th in 27.47 and Eibhlin 59th in 28.00.
Coffee in the Boardwalk was had afterwards but nobody braved a dip in the sea.
National Novice XC:
Well done to our 5 athletes who travelled to Gowran Park last weekend for the most exciting and unpredictable race on the calendar.
Norah was our sole representative in the women's race and finished 84th overall (a big improvement on her 299th position from the 5k she ran the day before).
Our men's team was lead by a resurgent Paul Hartnett. After a disappointed National Juniors in Santry he bounced back almost as good as the bad guys in Home Alone with a superb 4th place overall in 18.59. He was in the lead group the whole way through and gave it everything in the final field to hold off William and Evan Fitzgerald. He also got revenge on Leevale pair Gavin O'Rourke from the county seniors and Tommy Connolly in the National Juniors. An oversight on the County Boards selection panel meant Paul was not on the winning Cork team but the good news is he will be eligible to run again next year at all Novice grades. Well done Paul.
Further back in the pack Stephen held off Donal and his last lap demons to finish 79th in 21.10. Donal was only 11 seconds behind Stephen but in this race that translated to 14 positions. Ollie Smiddy courageously stepped up to make sure we had a team and finished a commendable 178th in 23.32. The team was 12th out of 22.
As mentioned above Norah also ran the Jingle Bells 5k organised by Donore Harriers on Saturday. She ran an excellent 19.20 and beat former teammate Jen Preston too.
There will be no Christmas Night Out this year due to Covid. So instead we are going to attend the Youghal parkrun on Saturday morning (December 18th). The parkrun if you are not aware is a 5k run. You can race it hard or just use it as a jog. Meet time is 8.45am at Claycastle Beach carpark (near the start of the boardwalk). We will warm up with a 2k jog to the start, which is Pobalscoil na Trionoide at 9.30am. The entry fee is free but you do need to register online (https://www.parkrun.ie/register/?section=form) first.
We will jog back down to the cars then and grab a sociable coffee and optional dip in the sea. If anyone wants to join just for the coffee after we should be back in Claycastle at about 10.15am.
Munster Masters XC:
We had a very successful day down in Clarecastle last Sunday. Our Masters mens team retained their title that they won at the last hosting in 2019 in Beaufort. With Donal and Graham scoring on both teams and Micheal Harty and James McCarthy added their considerable support to the team they wrapped up the title comfortably with 39 points ahead of Leevale on 82 points.
Michael followed up his county win with another good performance and winning the overall race in 23.17. Michael tracked John Kinsella of Bilboa AC through the first half of the race and then opened up a gap in the final lap to take the title. James was next home in 5th overall (2nd M35). Donal and Graham had a big battle and only 2 seconds separated them in the end. Donal was 16th (6th M35) and Graham was 17th (5th M40). Stephen was just behind the lads in 21st (8th M35). Michael, James and Donal also scored on the gold winning Cork county M35 team.
Niamh O'Connor was our only representative in the womens race and ran a solid run to finish 22nd (7th F40).
Conor Tierney and Liam Aherne ran in the Thomas Kent 10k last week too. Conor ran 43.28 and Liam was on pacing duties.
Liam also ran the Glenville 4 mile and broke the 24 minute barrier with 23.56.And in the longest race so far ran for East Cork Chris McGrath ran in the tough conditions in Clonakilty half marathon in 94.09.
Next up this weekend is the National Novice in Gowran Park.
We will have a mens team with Paul, Donal, Stephen and Chris signed up. We should have a few in the womens section too (but as none of them were at training this week I was not able to find out!)
Congrats to Tim on collecting the prestigious Cork City Sports athlete of the month award for October. This is given out on merit for outstanding individual athletic achievement. Tim collected the October award but has been building for it since the turn of the year when he came a lowly 4th in the East Cork AC 5k time trial. However since that day he has amassed 9 victories in 12 outings with the pinnacles being the County Senior XC and Munster Senior XC titles. He won both these in style beat some top class opposition both days.
Tim is also the current East Cork Road and XC champion and took masters victory in the competitive Autumn Open XC in October too. Interestingly he was pipped by newest club recruit Frank O'Brien in the East Cork track championship over 5k. But Tim rebounded by going on a rampage in the summer months clocking some truly eye watering times over 5k and 4 miles:
Fermoy 4 mile: 19:30 - 25th July
Conna 5k: 14:55 - 30th July
Rathcormac 4 mile: - 19.28 - 19th August
Bweeng 5k: 14.29 - 22nd August
Cloyne 5k: 14:43 - 19th September
Congrats again for an award that is much deserved. A few pictures below too to mark the occasion:
1) Tim and Liam trying not to laugh as they share a private joke.
2) Tim with wife Eimear and daughters Chloe and Éabha
3) Tim with all the City Sports board and dignitaries
National Senior and Junior XC:
The National Senior and Junior XC was held in splendid sunshine in Santry Demesne last Sunday. The course was in excellent condition and the atmosphere around the very supporter friendly course was brilliant. The mixture of wooded sections, twists and turns, parkland trails and a few small hills makes Santry a delight to run.
Paul Hartnett was first up for us in the Junior Mens race. Paul, suffering from the flu all week, was off his best and finished 22nd overall. His training has been excellent since the end of the summer and his dedication and consistency will show through. He'll have an opportunity to bounce back at the National Novice in a few weeks.
Norah after racing County Novice B last week went to the other end of the spectrum to race double the distance at the national senior level. This was her first XC race at 8km and ran well finishing 87th overall and 19th U23.
Tim, like Paul suffered from the flu all week, was also off the form that won him the East Cork, County and Munster titles. He finished 43rd in the end but can hold his head up high after an exceptional cross country season. Frank made his long awaited debut for East Cork. As has been the case in his races in England recently Frank continued his streak of being closer to triple digits than single digits in the race results with a 79th overall and 24th U23. Kevin also took part and finished in 123rd. Unfortunately we did not have a 4th to field a team. Tim and Paul both scored on the silver winning Cork teams so at least we did take something home with us back down the M8.
Norah put together a new age hip Instagram video of the races. We have now entered the 21st century as a club! Updates of different club activates will be posted here too in future.
- Munster Masters XC: November 28th in Clarecastle. Hopefully our gold medal County team can go and add the Munster title to their resume on Sunday!
County Masters and Novice B:
The county masters and Novice B was held together as one race last Sunday in Dungorney. We had a bumper number running with 18 overall and came away with 3 individual medals and two team medals!
Michael Harty continuing his comeback, ran a strong race to pip fellow M40 Paul Moloney for the overall win. Michael also lead our mens team to the team title. Interestingly Cork athletics used times as the basis for calculating the team results. For the mens M35 masters team it worked in our favour. For the Novice B womens team it worked against them! Scoring on the mens team was James (7th), Graham (12th) and Stephen (13th). Also running on the master teams were Brian Harty (22nd), Chris Kelly (23rd), Donal Giltinan (29th), Oliver Smiddy (53rd), Mike Cremin (64th), Eric Meade (75th), Jens Waechter (92nd), Denis McCarthy (110th). Dan Mc Donnell also made his East Cork debut in the Novice B race and was 106th overall. Well done to all.
Norah having also ran on Saturday in Maynooth in the University road relays, showed her maturity by skipping the after party and made her way down for a crack at another title. Following her East Cork novice win last month she duly delivered again by winning the County Novice B title on Sunday. And to top it off Annelise also won the bronze medal with a huge sprint finish against Ashling Kennedy from the Barrs. The team also won bronze with Avril Crowley (13th) and Lavinia Swords (19th) completing the team. Niamh O'Connor was 15th overall and 6th F40.
National Seniors is on this Sunday in Santry. We are one short of a team in the Senior mens but all eyes will be on Tims individual run after his season to date. Frank O'Brien is making his East Cork debut and will be also eligible for the U23 competition. The Juniors mens race will be one to keep an eye on too, the other young gun Paul Hartnett will have eyes on a big result. Norah will also be looking for a good result in the Senior / U-23 womens race.
Munster Senior XC - Mens:
The Munster Seniors was held in Two Mile Borris last Sunday and despite the very heavy rain all week the course held up pretty good and allowed for some fast running. Tim stole the headlines yet again. After a harrowing experience two years ago where Sean Doyle pipped him to the title in Conna, Tim was not about to let lightning strike twice. After his impressive showing at the County Seniors, Tim was probably the favourite going into the race but with Ryan Creech (Leevale), Liam Harris (Togher), Donal Devane (Ennis Track) and Jake O'Regan (St Johns) all running strong lately it was never going to be plain sailing. After Liam Harris took on the running on his own for the first 3k, the next lap settled into a leading bunch of 5. Tim, never one to leave anything to chance, decided with 5k to go to start pushing the pace and test the will and resolve of the rest. Unsurprisingly after going through 5k in about 15.25 a surge in effort devastated the group and Tim got the gap he was looking for.
However as in Conna 2 years back just having a gap doesn't count for much midway through a XC race. Tim knew this and kept applying the pressure. Hitting 9k the commentator announced the overall time at 27.55 and Tim glanced over his shoulder to see Ryan Creech only a few seconds back, looming in yellow. He also glanced to the crowd and saw his wife Eimear cheering him wildly and daughter Chloe running around in circles playing and completely ignoring the suffering her Dad was going through.
As the two leaders ran the bottom part of the course and took the sweeping bend after the ankle deep muck patch it looked like Tim had Creech covered, a 500m slight uphill all the way to the finish was what was left. However the commentator left nobody in doubt that this race was still well and truly on. Tim's earlier efforts had finally caught up and the last 200m were more guts, heart and determination than a fluid gliding stride (what's new there some might say!). But timed to perfection it was and Creechs last dash up the home straight was just not quite enough and Tim held on to win by about 2 seconds.
Despite paying for chip timing Munster athletics did not release the times of the finishers. Tim was approx 31.10, which shows the high level of performance needed to win this race.
The remainder of the team can be summarised a little quicker. Overall we came third. Leevale won the title for the first time in 20 years. Togher were 2nd and pipped us by 2 points. James was 23rd in 34.44, Kevin 26th in 35.36, Brian Harty, had a great race winning his first Senior XC medal at Munster level, was 28th in 36.00 and Donal Giltinan, despite having raced XC 5 of the last 6 weeks, was 32nd in 36.31.
Norah was our sole representative in the ladies race. She had a solid run for 23rd overall. Aoife Cooke won the race from Ciara O'Neill and Shona Heaslip
Munster Senior XC History:
- Overall since the club first competed in the Munster Senior XC championship we have won an impressive 23 out of 36 runnings of the event.
- We have won the individual title 9 times by five men: Donnacha O'Mahoney, Liam O'Brien, James McCarthy, Michael Harty and now Tim O'Donoghue also.
- Donnacha on his own has won 4 times with an unprecedented 14 team titles along the way stretching over 20 years from 1987 to his final team title in 2010.
- Our longest streak was 9 wins from 2004 to 2012 until St Johns won in Limerick Racecourse in 2013.
- Of the 23 titles won 23 men have contributed directly to the team by scoring in the top four:
As mentioned Donnacha tops this list with 14. Right on his tail is Sean with 12 and James on 11, both are solely responsible for the consistent run of team results in the mid 00's.
* Note: Traditionally the Munster Senior XC was held in January which fitted naturally in the XC calander a number of weeks before the Interclub All Irelands. However with the merging of the intercounties and interclubs to one race in December the Munsters changed to a November date in 2015. Which is why there were two races in that year.
The Munster Novice was on last weekend on a flattish fast course up in Two Mile Borris in Tipp. We had 4 athletes competing. Donal Giltnan continued his good string of form with a 16th position and was on scored on the gold winning Cork team. Graham was 13 seconds behind in 22nd with a very solid run. Stephen was in the mix with the lads but took a small recovery with 800m to go that cost him a few positions to finish in 31st in 21.30. Unfortunately we were one short for a team.
Niamh O'Connor raced in the ladies race and had a good run finishing 26th in 16.44.
BHAA Road Race:
The Cork business house road races made a comeback at the weekend too. We had two running in it. Michael Harty made a comeback after a considerable amount of time off. He finished 2nd in 15.32. Avril Crowley also ran and finished 80th overall and 11th lady.
Up Next - Munster Senior XC:
The Munster Senior XC is on this weekend in Two Mile Borris. We are the current holders of the title, last run in 2019, but after being well beaten by Leevale in the counties a few weeks ago we have a lot to do to retain the trophy!
County Intermediate - Whites Cross: October 10th, 2021
Tim Mahony was our sole runner at the county intermediates. Regaining fitness with every race he rana solid 34.36 for 22nd place.
East Cork Novice - Whites Cross: October 17th, 2021
We had a great double on Sunday in Whites Cross in the East Cork Novice. Norah won her maiden senior race pulling clear of the field to win with a comfortable 40 seconds to spare on Midletons Eileen Leahy. Annelise continued her fine run of form too with an impressive 4th overall, outsprinting Colette O'Donughue from Watergrasshill to the line. Avril Crowley completed the team in 10th. The ladies got third team but if we had one more runner we would have been shoe ins for the gold!
Donal lead the men home, winning this title for the second time. He last won the race in 2019 and has now joined the two time winners club which also includes: Don Sheehan - Carrignabhfear 1992, 2000 ; Wiilie O'Mahoney - Midleton 1994, 2004 ; Dan Horgan - Midleton 1995, 2001 ; Tim Mahony - East Cork 2005, 2006 ; John Hennessy - Midleton 2011, East Cork 2013.
Hot on his heels again was Stephen O'Brien who came second in 22.28 with Graham Swords 4th in 22.46. We had Chris Kelly make a good return to racing too and he came 7th and rounded off the Gold winning mens team in 23.51. Ollie Smiddy came 13th in 24.29. A side note for the race. John Spelman ran as a guest as he missed his U19 race, he was first to cross the line but is too young to count at Novice grade.
Autumn Open XC - Abbotstown: October 17th, 2021
A dress rehearsal for the European XC was held in Abbotstown on Sunday. Tim O'Donoghue made the journey up as he said he was sick of winning all the local races in Cork... In a high quality field Tim, as usual, worked his way through as each lap passed to finish a highly commendable 6th overall in 23.36. The 7,500m race was won by Darragh McElhinney in 22.59. Tim was also first masters home, beating Sergiu Cibanu and Paul Pollock for the top spot.
After a years break the County Senior XC was back. Tim was aiming for 3 in a row and boy did he not disappoint. All the pre race talk was on Ryan Creech and justifiably so after his 63 minute half and beating some heavyweights (not literally heavy obviously) up in the Antrim Coast International Half last month.
None of this deterred Tim and he set to work knowing a 10k cross country is a very different proposition to a road race. An uneven field, short hills, long hills, hills with a camber, wind in your face all makes cross country a true test of endurance. With Creech pushing the pace early Tim just sat on him and waited. The pressure of being in front and pushing the pace, without dropping your advisory, told halfway through. Tim made a surge on the long hill, broke the resistance and spirit of Creech in one move and that was that. Tim kept pushing the final 4000m to the line for a comprehensive victory in 32.29 taking his 3rd title in three years and cementing his name as the dominant distance runner in the county. Hopefully Tim can take this purple patch of form to the Munsters in 4 weeks and win that for the first time in his career.
Unfortunately our team did not run as well as Tim as we had to settle a distant second to Leevale in the team battle. However a silver lining was the emergence of Paul Hartnett, who is still a Junior, ran a very brave race for 5th overall in 34.46. The rest of the team did pack well but just a bit too far back. James was next home in 18th with 37.01, Kevin 20th in 37.05, Kenneth 22nd 37.40 and Nicky 37.44. Denis our talisman ran his 39th ever County Senior XC finished 43rd in 55.13. To put that in perspective, if Paul trys to beat that record he will have to run every County XC from now until 2060 (go on get out your calculator and see what age you will be then!!!)
The Counties were on a bit earlier than normal this year so with another 4 weeks of training in the legs as a team we should improve for the Munster and hopefully be in a position to put a reasonable team forward for the Nationals at the end of November.
The County Intermediates is on next Sunday in Whites Cross. We only have Tim Mahony running in this so best of luck Tim.
The cross country action is coming up fast and furious now. Last weekend was the County Novice XC held in Riverstick. After a bumper entry last year numbers were unfortunately back to more "normal" field size. None the less the competition was fierce and exciting, as is usually the way for Novice races. Another interesting point was Paul O'Donovan, Olympic gold medalist rower, was racing and acquitted himself quite well. He was running for the Skibbereen branch of Leevale AC.
Donal led the mens team home with a brilliant individual run to come 5th overall in 21.49. Stephen was next at the finishing, stumbling in for 9th position in 22.20 with Graham breathing down his neck 3 seconds back in 10th. Tim Mahony rounded off the team in 30th which was good enough for 3rd team overall, behind Togher and Leevale.
Annelise was our only lady in the Novice womens race and she had an excellent run improving from 18th last year to 9th in a time of 18.27
Also on Sunday was the Intervarsity Cross Country up in DCU. Norah had a great run in the womens race for UL coming 22nd.
Nicky went for a spin west with his vaporflys on Satrurday to comfortably win the Allihies 5 mile in 27.55
The County Senior XC is on this Sunday in West Muskerry. Tim will be looking for the hat trick of individual wins but will face stiff competition from the best that Cork has to offer. Eadaoin is taking entries at the moment for the men's and women's teams so make sure you email her.