The National Road Relays were held in Raheny as usual on April 23th. OUr M35 team were looking to defend their title they won for the first time ever last year. We gave a valiant effort but came up just a few seconds short against a strong Brothers Pearse outfit. Stephen improved on his time from last year by 2 seconds to run 4.50 with James running another strong 2 mile leg in 9.42. Donal was in for Kevin and ran well for 4.52. Giving a total time of 19.23 and silver medals in back pockets. Hopefully next year Athletics Ireland invest in slightly larger podiums!
Norah also took a cool video of the race, even including some not to be missed behind the scene footage. It should be viewable below.
First up was the big local race last week Ballintotis 4 mile. This is the 12th running of the race in Ballintotis but it does stretch back to 1989 when it first started in Castlemaytr. Since it has moved to Ballintotis the overall race race has been won by East Cork men: James (8), Michael (2) and Kevin (1). That streak has been broken now in 2023 and to rub salt in the wounds it was by a Leevale man in a course record! Congrats to Ryan Creech on a fine race.
First home for us was Tim in 4th with 19.41. Fiona was the only person to make the podium with a great run for 2nd in a PB of 22.31. The race was so well supported over half our registered runners raced on the night so you can see places and times below.
The organisers added a team competition this year as well. The top 6 individuals are not included in hte scoring and when the dust settled we won both the mens and womens! Congrats to the mens of James, Nicky, Kenneth and Matt. And the ladies Annelise, Niamh, Eadaoin and Avril. Well done as well to the organising committee for hosting another fabulous race and all those from the club who helped out in many ways.
East Cork Road Championships:
The next big local race was held this week in Ballynoe. James won the race for his 7th East Cork Roads title ahead of Tony Forristal who pushed him all the way to the final hill of death. 2022 champion Nicky had to settle for 3rd on the night. John Spelman put in a strong injection of speed with one lap to go to break free from a large group of chasers to claim 4th and be the firdt scorer on our mens team. Donal was next in 6th with Ollie racing the course for the first time in 22nd. Conor Tierney thought he was Tiger Woods teeing it up in Augusta National on a Sunday as he sported a fetching red singlet instead of the maroon of East Cork. All was forgiven though as he finished strongly to help the team win bronze medals. Denis completed his 40th ever East Cork Roads in 57th place.
The womens race was dominated by Fiona who broke the course record by 19 seconds to win comfortably in 11:03. Eadaoin had a great run to overturn the result from Ballintotis and stay ahead of a fast finishing Niamh. They were 5th and 6th. Avril was not far behind them in 8th and that cemented the team titles for the ladies. Lorna had a great run improving vastly from last year to finish 17th.
Chris McGrath also ran in the Karen Fenton Memorial Run in Waterfall in his first race since Manchester. He was 23rd in 19.59.
Track and Field:
Paul was 5th in the IUAA T&F champs last week in the new blue track at DSD. With a strong field entered Paul lead things out for the first couple of k before fading a little. He rallied nicely to finish 5th overall in 14:52.
Frank is racing in the British Universities this weekend. He qualified from his heat in a swift 1:53.98 today to set him up for a competitive semi final tomorrow morning at 11.25am. This is streamed on "BUCS" Youtube channel.