Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: BALLYCOTTON ‘10’ elite John Walshe

Friday, March 06, 2015

BALLYCOTTON ‘10’ elite John Walshe

The following article from John Walshe gives an outline of the elite field next Sunday at the Ballycotton 10 race....

Going for an unprecedented five-in-a-row on Sunday is Sergiu Ciobanu. Although Noel Berkeley won the race on six occasions between 1996 and 2002, nobody has claimed five titles in succession. Ciobanu, of Clonliffe Harriers, ran his fastest time of 48:58 in Ballycotton last year and finished second last Sunday to Mick Clohisey at the Inter-Clubs C-C.

The last man to win Ballycotton before Ciobanu was Greg Roberts from the City of Derry AC. He ran 50:17 on that occasion five years ago and is back again this year.

Second last year and first back in 2007, Alan O’Shea has returned from injury with two wins in recent weeks, over five miles at Carrigaline and 10km at Adare.

Winner of the Dublin City Marathon in 2013, Sean Hehir is also in good form having won a five-mile race last Sunday in his native Clare by over two minutes, recording a time of 25:03. He also finished third over 10 miles at Dungarvan a month ago in 49:09.

Also in the line-up is James McCarthy, third in 2012 and who ran close to his best when finishing fifth at Dungarvan (51:35). His East Cork team-mates Tim O’Donoghue (third last year) and Sean McGrath should also be up there.

Others to watch out for include Colin Merritt (Carraig na bhFear), Chris Harrington, Tim Twomey and James Grufferty (Leevale), Donal O’Callaghan (Riocht), Elton Heffernan (Togher), along with John Meade and Rory O’Sullivan from St Finbarr’s.

A new women’s course record is possible on Sunday as Maria McCambridge returns after missing last year. Holder of the two fastest times of 54:48 (2012) and 55:01 (2013) on the Ballycotton all-time list, McCambridge is coming off the back of National victories over 3000m indoors and Inter-Clubs C-C these last two weeks.

Both of McCambridge’s times are faster than the likes of two previous Ballycotton winners, Olympic marathoners Marian Sutton and Karen McLeod, along with Sonia O’Sullivan who ran 55:37 in the summer race of 2001.

Last year’s winner, Siobhan O’Doherty, is back again and she boasts an impressive record in the race having also finished second in 2010 and 2013 and she won the Dungarvan race last month in a time of 58:00.

Also entered are Ann-Marie Holland (St Finbarr’s), third last year, and Claire McManus (North Shields Poly), fifth last year.

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