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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Kevin Donovan begins 32 County John Walshe

The following article was written by John Walshe of Ballycotton and appeared in the Midleton & District News on the 11th of January.

KEVIN BEGIN’S HIS 32-COUNTY CHALLENGE (Midleton & District News, January 11th)

While many of the 170 or so runners at the Bandon road race on New Year’s Day were happy just to get another year underway, for Kevin Donovan it was the start of what promises to be a hectic 12 months, writes John Walshe

Kevin’s goal is to run a race in each of the 32 counties on this island and it’s something that very few people have achieved in a calendar year. On well-known local runner, Denis McCarthy of East Cork AC, did compete the challenge a few decades ago but in his case, as they were very few races around at that time, it took him a number of years to achieve it.

Kevin, who grew up outside Ballycotton and now lives in Midleton, explains how the idea came about: “Since I have gotten into running over the last two years, I like to set myself various challenges. For 2017, I thought about what I could do. I started looking around at various races and came across a 32 county challenge in which you have one year to run a race in each of the 32 counties.

“I started running over the last two years and attended many races, from 4km to half-marathon, from Ballycotton to Windsor. The main reason I got into running was when my father passed away in July 2014. He used to do a lot of running back in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. In 1980, my father, Dan Donovan, ran his first Ballycotton ‘10’. It was always an ambition of mine to be the next generation to run this race which I successfully did I in March 2016. It was a big moment for me when I crossed the finish line.”

Over the last few years, Kevin has competed in many races, both home and abroad. “I did races like the Silverstone 10km (interested in F1!), Run Norwich 10km (avid Norwich City supporter!), along with my first half-marathon in East Cork. Over the two years, I have averaged 25 races a year,” he says.

But it’s not all about running the 32 counties as Kevin’s challenge will also benefit two charities, the Irish Deaf Society (IDS) and Cork Deaf Association (CDA).

“The main reason I have selected these charities was when I was young, I had Specific Speech Disorder. This meant I found it hard to say the words even though there was no problem with the brain. I was brought to different special centres and schools but with no success.

“It wasn’t until a decision was made for me to go to the School for the Deaf in Douglas, which changed my life. It was the staff that got me talking and made the gradual process of improving my English. Even though I was never deaf, I made many great friends during my time there. Thanks to them, I could go onto mainstream secondary school and onto college where I got my Honours Degree in Chemistry in CIT.”

Kevin has a special word of praise for Sr. Pauline Casey, who is also originally from the Ballycotton area. “I owe a lot of my success to Sr. Pauline and the staff who took me on and recognised the problem I have and worked very hard with me. My disorder is not obvious anymore, but there is the odd hint!

“For me personally, I feel IDS are working very hard to make the Irish Sign Language (ISL) recognised by the state. I also feel there are many charities that often get overlooked for other better-known charities or many people may not know these charities exist. I hope by doing this challenge that it will brings ISL to the forefront. I consider ISL to be my second language, ahead of French as I never studied Irish. I choose CDA as they are local and many of my friends are from Cork,” he concludes.

With just a week of 2017 gone, Kevin’s daunting challenge is already underway. Along with Bandon, he also ran the Ferrycarrig five-mile in Wexford last Sunday and next in line is the Banner County on January 28th where he will take part in the Resolution Run 5km.

The following is Kevin Donovan’s 32-County Challenge itinerary:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Notice...Carrigaline 5 mile road race - Sun 19th February 2017

This 5 mile road race is coming up in Carrigaline on Sunday, the 19th of February 2017 at 11am. Coming three weeks before the Ballycotton '10', it is ideally placed as a test run to check your fitness level before the big day itself.

While you can enter on the day of the race, you can also pre-enter from the end of January.

All those who pre-enter will be put into a draw for a €30 One4all voucher.

The race is organised by Eagle AC, has an Athletics Ireland permit and has been accurately measured by Jones Counter. More info on the Eagle AC race page.

Location...The town of Carrigaline is only five miles south of the South Ring Road so it is within easy reach of Cork City. Race HQ is at the local community sports hall where runners can enter on the day. For those who pre-enter in advance, they can skip the queues there and pick up their numbers at the pre-entry desk.

The race is co-sponsored by The Edge Sports Shop

Route Preview.........A preview with maps, directions and details of the course can be seen HERE

Monday, January 16, 2017

Emer Casey 10k in Youghal changes to a mid-week 5k!

One of the most popular 10k races in Cork has been the Emer Casey 10k in Youghal. This was held on a Sunday in late May every year and was always well supported.

This year, it's all change! It will now be a 5km race around the streets of Youghal and  it will be held on Thursday the 6th of April 2017 at 8pm.

This will now become the first evening race on the 2017 calendar, ahead of Ballintotis.

One obvious question will be how dark will it be? Normally for a race in the countryside and starting at 8pm, mid April is about the limit as the sun sets at 8:32pm.

On the 6th of April, the sun sets at 8:16pm so it will be getting dark not long after the race starts. As the course is two and a half laps in the centre of the town, the street lighting should easily make up for any loss of daylight. 

So what are your thoughts? Did you prefer the 10k race on a Sunday in late May or would you prefer to have it as a 5k on a Thursday at the start of April?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Results & photos of the Cork BHAA FMC 6km road race in Little Island...Sun 15th Jan 2017

A total of 373 runners turned out for this year's Cork BHAA FMC 6km road race in Little Island. The weather conditions were perfect with a temperature of about 10 deg C and a light wind.

This is always the first road race on the Cork BHAA calendar every year and gets a good turnout. The figure of 373 is very good for a local road race but is still down 7% on last year. As you can see from the chart, the numbers are well down on a few years back and is probably a reflection of the greater choice of events on the calendar at present. A few years back, the BHAA race would have been the only race on that weekend. This weekend, there was a choice of a 5k parkrun in Ballincollig, a trail race near Fermoy and the BHAA race in Little Island.

1 Anthony Mannix M1  18:53 Dell-EMC
2 COLIN MERRITT 0/45B M2  19:03 Army
3 Alan O'Brien M3  19:28 McCarthy Insurance Group
55 Joan Ennis 0/50K F1  23:35 Avondhu MF
57 Carmel Parnell 0/60M F2  23:40 Cork Shops
58 Joyce Wolfe 0/35H F3  23:46 Joyce Wolfe Physiotherapy 

The full results can be seen HERE

Photos...(Updated 16th Jan @23:08)
1) Derek Costello of Eagle AC has a gallery HERE
2) Peter Howie has some nice photos of the finish line HERE
3) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a gallery HERE 

Phil Healy of Bandon AC qualifies for the European Indoor Championships

Phil Healy of Bandon AC was in action on the indoor track in Athlone where she posted two qualifying times in the 60m sprint for the European Indoor Championships.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Events on Sunday the 15th of Jan 2017

There are a number of events on Sunday the 15th of January.

Cork...Sun 15th (11am)...Cork BHAA FMC 6km...€5 reg/€10 non-reg...Little Island... 
Cork...Sun 15th (11am)...MMRA Corrin Hill Trail Race...€10...
Tipperary...Sun 15th (11am)...St.Joseph's CBS Nenagh Secondary School 10km & 5km fun run/walk...10km €15 / 5km walk €5... 

Waterford...Sun 15th (12 noon)...29th Annual Kiely Monumental Cup (5 miles)...€8...Colligan ...  

Record numbers take part in the Ballincollig 5k parkrun

A record 397 people took part in this weeks 5k parkrun in the Ballincollig Regional Park on Saturday the 14th of Jan 2017. This was due mostly to the level of publicity from the Operation Transformation TV programme and it's likely that the numbers should stay high for the next few weeks.

1 Michael MORGAN    17:37    VM40-44    M1    St Finbarrs AC
2 Jonathan MURPHY    18:39    SM30-34    M2    Leevale AC
3 Paul HARTE        19:26    SM30-34    M3
4 Niamh MOORE    19:31    SW20-24    F1
27 Mary SWEENEY    21:30    VW55-59    F2    St Finbarrs AC
43 Louise SHEEHAN    22:38    VW40-44    F3    Ballincollig Athletic Club

The full results of the 31st Ballincollig parkrun can be seen HERE

Photos...(Updated 15th Jan 2017 @19:43)
1) Nessan Frawley has 5 small galleries on Facebook... #1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5
2) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a gallery of 500+ photos HERE 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Club membership numbers in Cork for the end of Dec 2016

Athletics Ireland have recently released the 2016 year end membership stats for clubs in Cork and they show club membership on the rise. This is largely due to new clubs being established in the northern part of the county as well as existing clubs running successful Couch to 5k programmes.

As you can see from the chart above though, the club membership increase is totally due to masters i.e. those aged 35 and above. These would be referred to as 'recreational runners' as opposed to say athletes involved in track and field.

The thing here though is that people just don't get to the age of 35 and then decide to start running. It's safe to say that a large percentage of the 'Seniors' are probably in the 28 to 34 age bracket and that probably grew in line with the masters numbers. That being the case, those aged between 20 and 27 must have declined. This is the very age bracket  for those involved in track and field.

Cork Clubs........These are the clubs in Cork with more than 80 adult members....

Mallow AC have been very successful in attracting lots of new members in 2016 and this was due in no small part to their Couch to 5k programme. They now replace Ballymore Cobh AC as the largest club.

Ballymore Cobh AC and Eagle AC are down a bit while Leevale AC see an increase.

Togher AC is another club with a successful Couch to 5k programme as they pile on the members to take the 6th spot.

As you can see, the rest are up and down a bit while the Dromahane Couch to 5k programme puts them in 12th spot.

These are some of the clubs with 30 to 80 adult members...

As always, numbers aren't everything. Some clubs like East Cork AC are more involved in the serious side of running and their numbers are small as a result. The charts above just show the relative sizes of each club, not how good or bad they are.

The charts also don't show non-AAI clubs like Happy Feet and the Wibbly Wobbly Wonders who are very successful with their own programmes.

The full figures for all the clubs in the country can be seen on the Athletics Ireland website.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Notice...FACE 5k road race, Kilworth - Sun 12th Feb 2017

Fermoy Action Children's Education (FACE) is a charity whose aim is to help children with learning difficulties. They are holding their annual 5k road race in Kilworth near Fermoy on Sunday the 12th of February 2017. The course has been accurately measured by Jones Counter and the race has an Athletics Ireland permit.

The race also has its own website where you can find out more about the charity as well as maps, prizes and directions.....

You can also find a more detailed preview of the course HERE

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Couch to 5k Programme in Banteer

Duhallow AC are holding a Couch to 5k programme in Banteer Sportsfield from the 10th of January 2017 on Tuesday and Thurday nights for 6 weeks. This is ideal for complete beginners or for anyone that wants to get fit.

It will cost €5 per nite and start @ 8 o'clock and run for about an hour. This year they will collect the money when you register. Reg will be at the dressing rooms in the pitch at 7 45 on the 10th of January,

Results of the Fight for Fionn 5k in North Cork...Sun 8th Jan 2017

The 5k charity run near Banteer was held on Sunday the 8th of January 2017.

1 Kellian O'Sullivan, 1st Juv. 18.35
2 John Dumphy, Eagle, 1 Man 18.48
3 David Barrett. 19.29
18 Margurite Murphy 1st lady. 25.00
20 Catherine Ring Duhallow 26.18
24 Breda Barrett. 28.49

Full results below...

Monday, January 09, 2017

Nominations for the best 10m and half-marathon race in Cork & Munster in 2016???

Now that the new year has started, it's time to look back and consider what were the best races of the year? In this post, we'll look at the best 10 mile and half-marathon races.

As some of the really big races like the Dungarvan 10 are outside Cork but attract a lot of Cork runners, we'll include nominations for any race in Cork and Munster. In your opinion, what were the best 10m and 10k races in 2016 and why?

Leave a comment and we'll start the poll very soon.

Entry Stats for the 2017 Mallow 10 mile road race

Now that the entries to the Mallow 10 mile road race have closed, here are some of the stats...

Of the 1250 entries, roughly 55% are members of a club. That compares to 56% last year so there is little change.

Last year, nearly 43% of the entries were women. This time around, it's up to 46% which is high as 10 mile road races go. It tends to be around the 40% mark usually.

The chart above shows the age profile. There are no suprises there as it shows that most runners are in their late 30's or early 40's.

The next chart shows the breakdown of the top clubs by entry (10 or more)...

The host club as expected take the top spot with 78 entries. In second spot, Eagle AC have 43 with Grange Fermoy in third with 32.

A full list of the club entries can be seen below...

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Results & photos of the Cork BHAA Cross Country race...Sun 8th Jan 2017

The weather conditions were cloudy and mild for this years Cork BHAA Cross Country 5k race in Beaumont Park in Cork City on Sunday the 8th of January 2017. A total of 164 people took part which is up on last year but down on 2015. It's probably the type of event where the weather has a big bearing on numbers.

1 Evan Byrne M1 00:17:37 Douglas Credit Union
2 Rory Casey 00:17:49 Temp Reg
3 MICHAEL HARRINGTON 0/40A M2 00:17:58 Harrington Upvc Ltd
15 Louise Shanahan 00:19:58 Temp Reg
30 Ronnie Barry 0/40I F1 00:21:32 Cork County Council
33 Deirdre Ansbro 0/35H F2 00:21:47 Travel Ireland

The full results can be seen HERE

1) There are 220 photos up on the Running in Cork Facebook page HERE
2) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a gallery HERE 

Mallow 10 Entries now closed

Entries for the 2017 Mallow 10 mile road race have now closed. All 1250 places have been filled. The only places left now are for elites which will be taken up to Monday 20th March (Male sub 56 mins and female sub 61 mins).

The level of demand this year for entries has been well up on previous years. The race notice for the March 2016 race went up on the 8th of December 2015. By the 5th of January 2016, it was at 500 entries. It passed the 700 mark on the 17th of Jan 2016, the 1000 mark on the 7th of February and the 1200 mark on the 25th of February 2016.

Contrast that to this time around. The race notice went up on the 14th of December 2016. All 1250 places were gone by the 8th of January, over 700 places ahead of the same time last year.

If you have already entered or want to enquire about elite entries then have a look at the race website...