Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: January 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mallow 10 entries now closed!

All 1,200 entries for the 2014 Mallow 10 mile road race on the 23rd of March have now been filled.

It's interesting to note that in 2013, the 1,200 entries closed around the 6th of March.

You'll find more info about the race in this earlier post.

Reminder...Polls for the best races of 2013 close on the 31st of Jan

Just a reminder that the polls for the best road races in Cork and Munster close at midnight on Friday the 31st of January.

See the right hand side of this page for the various options.

Guest article...Cork Cross Country Victory of 1974

The following article was written by John Walshe for the Evening Echo and is republished here with his kind permission.

CORK CROSS-COUNTRY VICTORY OF 1974...By John Walshe (Evening Echo, Tuesday January 28th 2014)

It’s been all of 13 years since a Cork team last won the National Senior Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championship. In that period Dublin have won an amazing 11 successive titles and look set to continue that trend for the near future.

Things were different 40 years ago and this month marks a famous Rebel victory which took place at Mallow Racecourse on January 27, 1974. It was a day also notable for the conditions endured and the individual win by a man who is still very much involved in the local athletics scene here in Cork.

All Ireland Cross Country Championships at Mallow race course

The weather during all of January 1974 was something akin to that experienced in recent weeks, with heavy rain and storms an almost daily occurrence. As competitors and spectators made their way to Mallow on that Sunday morning, the bright sunshine had given way to steady rain. As time moved on to the main attraction of the day, conditions continued to deteriorate.

Deirdre Foreman had led Dublin to an easy team win in the opening race which saw the Mellerick sisters from Fermoy – Maura and Dervla – finish fourth and fifth. As the 170-strong men’s field toed the line, they faced the prospect of seven-and-a-half miles of heavy and undulating terrain in torrential rain and gale-force winds.

Donie Walsh of Leevale
On the second lap of five, Danny McDaid, Tom O’Riordan and Des McGann had prised open a slight gap on the large chasing group. Shortly after, they were joined by the ominous figure of Cork’s Donie Walsh.

Like McDaid and McGann, the Leevale man had run the Olympic marathon a year-and-a-half before though the streets of Munich and was now back living and working in his native city after a four-year scholarship at Villanova.

Passing the racecourse’s grandstand for the third time, Walsh took the lead and stayed in front for another mile, before McCann, running the race of his life, drew level. As conditions continued to worsen, the pair ran shoulder to shoulder until a surge by Walsh proved decisive, gaining him a vital 20 yards advantage.

McCann tried all he could to regain contact but the 26-year-old Corkman was not to be denied in front of his home crowd and eventually crossed the line with 13 seconds to spare over the gallant Meathman with O’Riordan, representing Kerry, just another five seconds back in third.

Every bit as exciting as the individual battle was the team contest and when the points were tallied up, Cork had come out victorious by seven points (89 to 96) over Galway with Dublin third on 174. The Cork scoring sextet were: Donie Walsh (1st), Richie Crowley (8th), Freddie Down (14th), Finnie Long (15th), Dick Hodgins (24th) and Denis Manning (27th).

As the victorious Cork team made their way home amidst the rising floodwaters around the town of Mallow, they were able to reflect on a famous victory achieved in the most appalling of conditions.

But for Donie Walsh, it marked the end of a remarkable month of January that had produced four brilliant achievements the likes of which wouldn’t even be contemplated nowadays by any of our full-time athletes.

On the first Saturday of the month, along with colleagues Tony Shine and Tim Donovan, Walsh had travelled by train to Belfast where he won the prestigious Miskimmon Cup cross-country over a very tough six-mile course.

The following day, he was back in Ballincollig for the Cork senior championship which, like all championships at the time, was over a distance of seven-and-a-half miles. A steady start saw Walsh back in 10th position in the early stages as clubmate Ray Treacy set a gruelling pace but after two miles Walsh – wearing his familiar headband – had opened up a gap on his nearest challenger, Richie Crowley of St Finbarr’s.

At the finish, the margin of 15 seconds was sufficient to give Walsh another title ahead of Crowley with Finnie Long holding off Treacy for third. Leevale easily took the team title on 41 points, 14 ahead of St Finbarr’s, with the scorers being Walsh (1st), Treacy (4th), Gene Mealy (5th), Dick Hodgins (8th), Jerry Murphy (9th) and Wally Young (14th).

Two weeks later, January 21, was the day of the Quinlan Cup road race at Tullamore. Road races today may revolve around times and accurate distances, but Tullamore was all about competition. Winners over the years would read like a who’s-who of Irish running with the likes of Eamon Coghlan, John Treacy, Ray Treacy and John Hartnett tasting victory around the streets of the Midland town.

For once in that month, conditions were good as the huge field of around 400 headed off on a course of approx 11,000 metres (the acronym ‘10k’ had yet to be invented). Six runners broke away shortly after the start – Walsh, Crowley, McGann, Paddy Murphy, Tom O’Riordan and his namesake, Pat O’Riordan. The latter, also a Leevale man, soon suffered an injury and had to drop out.

This was the signal for Walsh to take the lead and in a fiercely contested last mile he withstood the tremendous challenge of the chasing bunch to reach the sanctuary of the tape just six seconds ahead of former winner and fellow Corkman, Richie Crowley. Murphy, from Kildare, took third with McGann fourth, John Scanlon from Galway fifth and journalist Tom O’Riordan sixth.

Walsh’s performance no doubt inspired his clubmates and despite Pat O’Riordan’s mishap they packed magnificently to take coveted Quinlan Cup ahead of holders Donore on a scoreline of 69 points to 100 with Clonliffe third on 151. Those six Leevale scorers were Walsh (1st), Dick Hodgins (9th), Ray Treacy (10th), Pat Duggan (14th), Gene Mealy (16th) and Tony O’Leary (19th).

The headline on the Cork Examiner the following day read ‘Day of glory for Walsh and Leevale’, and so it was. And there was to be further glory for Walsh the following month at Tuam Racecourse when, on February 24, he retained his BLE Inter-Clubs crown ahead of Joe Scanlon, Fr Paddy Coyle and Danny McDaid.

However, Donore gained revenge over Leevale when taking the team title by nine points, 33 to 42. Remarkably, given all their achievements over the four decades since, it’s still the one national honour that has eluded the Cork club.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Event notice...Trail race in Curragh Woods in Midleton next Sun 2nd Feb 2014

The second race in the MMRA Winter Trail League is coming up on Sunday morning, the 2nd of February with a 5 km trail run in Curragh Woods near Midleton.

Details below from the IMRA...Race 2: Curragh Woods Midleton.....The second round in the Munster Winter Trail League takes place this Sunday, 2nd Feb in Curragh Woods, Midleton, Co. Cork (Grid reference: W 860 765). The wood can be accessed from the Midleton-Fermoy road.

The race will be 5km along a fully marked route taking in some forest road and woodland trails. Parking is limited at the event, so please try and carpool where possible.

Registration will take place in the car park between 10am and 10.40am. Please stick to this time frame. The race will start at 11am.

There will not be a junior race at this event. The cost of this race is €5. There will be no prize giving afterwards.

To speed things up at registration, can all those who have not run an IMRA race in 2014, please print and fill out the following IMRA registration form:

Anyone who ran in Ballyhouras last weekend must bring their number with them. This number is for the full year. In addition, ALL runners must sign the race registration form on the day.
Detailed maps and directions can be seen HERE

Percentage of women in Dunarvan 10 up...

This time last year, I had a look at some of the stats for the 2013 Dungarvan 10 mile road race. This year, we'll have a look at the growth in numbers of women taking part.

In most events in general, the longer the distance the race is then the number of women taking part is smaller. For example in a 5k race, the number of women may sometimes be just ahead of men while for the marathon distance, the number of men is usually much higher.

The graph below shows the very strong growth in the number of women taking part in the Dungarvan 10 mile road race...

Between 2010 and 2014, the percentage of women has gone from 28.5% to 40.9%. If the numbers were to continue to grow at that rate then parity would be reached around 2018.

The increasing number of women obviously has implications for the organisers. For example, women are generally smaller than men so the number of smaller dry-fit tops should be changing to change this. Looking at the comments left for the race then it would seem as if there is a higher number of large sizes at present.

Another important aspect is of course the prize structure. For most races, the percentage of the total prize fund allocated to women should at least match the percentage of women that make up the total field of runners.

For the 2014 race, 40.4% of the total prize fund was allocated to women which is slightly behind the 40.9% that turned up. Last year, women made up 38.2% of the field.

If the numbers of women continues to grow...and the strong growth as shown by the graph suggest that it might...then more prizes should be allocated to women. Perhaps adding in prizes for the top 8 instead of top 6 women might do the trick? This would bring the womens prize fund from 40.4% up to 42.6% which should cover any increase in numbers in 2015.

As to why there are more women running in 2014 as compared to 2010???

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mallow 10 entries filling up fast!

Just a reminder about the entries to the Mallow 10 mile road race on Sunday the 23rd of March...

1) As of last night, entries were at the 890 mark and will pass the 900 mark today. That means that there are 300 places left! If you are going to do this race then enter asap.

2) The cost of entries go up after the 31st of January by a further €2.

More details in this earlier post. Enter now and don't put it off.

Update...Wed 29th Jan @2pm...200 places left.

Results of poll...Should Martin Fagan return to athletics?

At the start of last week, I had a post up about whether Martin Fagan should make a return to  athletics following his two year ban for using EPO, a performance enhancing drug. Someone suggested that I put up a poll which I then did.

I kept the question for the poll as bland as possible..."Should Martin Fagan make a return to athletics?"

As with any poll, the question can have a large influence on the results obtained so I didn't mention drugs, bans or anything else. Just a straight simple question.

120 people answered the poll which is large enough to give a reasonably accurate answer to the question.  I didn't bother looking at the votes until the poll had closed and I was somewhat suprised to see that the 'Yes' answer was at 71%. After reading through various forums last week, I thought it might have been around 50:50.

It would seem as if most people are willing to accept Martin Fagan at face value, acknowledge that he took EPO at a time when he said he was suffering from depression and that he served the two year ban. There are obviously others who while in a minority don't accept that taking performance enhancing drugs is ever acceptable whatever the circumstances.

The current situation as I understand it is now up to Martin Fagan. He admitted his guilt, served his two year ban and can now compete as an international athlete again if he achieves the relevant qualifying times.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Irish international athlete Rose-Anne Galligan in action last weekend

Following on from her second place in Iceland just over a week ago, the Irish 800m record holder Rose-Anne Galligan was in action again last weekend. This time, she was acting as a pacer for the womens indoor mile race in Boston which was won by the US sensation 17 year old Mary Cain.

Cain's time was just one one-hundredth of a second off the World Junior Record.

1 Cain, Mary Nike Oregon Project 4:24.11
2 DAgostino, Abbey Dartmouth 4:28.31
3 Hasay, Jordan Nike Oregon Project 4:28.37
4 Browning, Charlotte Ragged Mount 4:33.80
-- Galligan, Rose-Anne Unat-Nike Or DNF (Pacer)
-- Herrick, Stephanie Cptc New Balance DNF (Pacer)

The race video can be seen HERE

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Results of the Dungarvan 10 mile road race...Sun 26th Jan 2014

The big race today was of course the John Treacy Dungarvan 10 mile road race in West Waterford. Almost 1,600 people completed the 10 mile course in what could be described as fairly brutal conditions. I think we got all 4 seasons in the space of 30 minutes with wind, rain, sleet...sometimes almost horizontal, calm and sunshine. I remember looking at people at the side of the road at the two mile mark tying their laces and thinking I was glad I didn't have to do it as I could no longer feel my fingers ;o)

As always, a well organised race by West Waterford AC.

These are the top 3 men and women...
1  FITZPATRICK THOMAS Male TALLAGHT A.C. Male Senior  49:48 
2  HEHIR SEAN Male Rathfarnham WSAF AC Male Senior  49:59 
3  MC CARTHY JAMES Male EAST CORK Male Senior  50:23
34  O' DOHERTY SIOBHAN Female BORRISOKANE A.C. Female Senior  56:53
56  HODGINS JILL Female N/A Female O/35 58:36 

L-R...Jill Hodgins, Siobhan O'Doherty & Gladys Ganiel

The full results can be seen HERE

Photos...(Updated Mon 27th Jan @10pm)
1) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a slideshow of photos near the start and early stages HERE
2) Joe has another gallery HERE mostly of finishers under 64 mins.
3) Joe's third gallery are finishers over 64 mins. See HERE
4) Gearóid Ó Laoi has a gallery HERE 
5) Derek Costello has a gallery HERE

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Belgooly AC present cheque for €3,730 to cancer charity

The annual Belgooly 4 mile road race was held on St.Stephens Day last December with €5 from each entry going towards charity.

Recently, Belgooly Athletic Club made a presentation of a cheque for €3,730 to Bowel Cancer Treatment Fund at Cork University Hospital.

Here is a statement from the club...
Belgooly Athletic Club would like to thank all athletes, joggers, fun runners and walkers who competed, Our Main Sponsor, Belgooly Farm Store, Belgooly G.A.A. Club, Belgooly Hall Committee, Kinsale Gardai, Emerency Services, Kevin O'Donovan, Noel Allen, Timmy O'Donovan, Stewards, Officials and the catering staff. Some prizes are still unclaimed, please contact 086-8411193

Friday, January 24, 2014

Event notice...Carrigaline 5 mile road race - Sun 16th Feb 2014

This 5 mile road race is coming up in Carrigaline on Sunday, the 16th of February 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.

The town of Carrigaline is only five miles south of the South Ring Road so it is within easy reach of Cork City. The entry fee is €10 and the organising club Eagle AC will be taking pre-registrations closer to the date if you want to avoid the queues on the day. Please note that entering online is €10, there are no extra handling charges or hidden commissions.

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 sponsored by The Edge Sports Shop and they will be giving out discount vouchers to all runners on the day. These will entitle you to 20% off on running items and nutrition products. Obviously, the discount may well exceed the cost of the race entry so it might be worth doing for this reason alone.

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

Updated 3rd Feb....Online pre-entry is HERE

More details as we get closer to the date...

18 year old wins Dubai Marathon in 2:04

18 year old Tsegaye Mekonnen Asefa from Ethiopia won the Dubai Marathon today in an amazing time of 2:04:32. This was a world junior best for the Marathon distance although the IAAF does not have a world junior record for this distance. The previous best was by Kenya’s Eric Ndiema who ran 2:06:07 in the 2011 Amsterdam Marathon. His time was also just nine seconds outside the course record.

In the race, he was part of a large group of about 20 athletes who went through the halfway mark in 61:37. After the 35 kms mark, he put in km splits of 2:51, 2:52 and 2:54 to leave everyone behind and to finish first.

Mekonnen has a half marathon personal best of 1:02:53, and he also finished fifth in the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships 5000m. 

In a post race interview, he said..."The pace was changing a lot during the first half, which was quite tough. I think I could have run faster with an even pace but I am of course very happy and proud of my performance. I had no idea about the world junior record, so this is a bonus for me.”

First 5 men
1 Mekonnen Asefa, Tsegaye (ETH) 2:04:32
2 Geneti Guteta, Markos (ETH) 2:05:13
3 Birhanu Gebru, Girmay (ETH) 2:05:49
4 Tola Adera, Tamirat (ETH) 2:06:17
5 Bekele Molaign, Azmeraw (ETH) 2:07:12
First 5 women
1 Seboka Seyfu, Mula (ETH)     2:25:01
2 Melkamu Haileyesus, Meselech (ETH) 2:25:23
3 Dado Tufa, Firehiwot (ETH) 2:25:53
4 Hailu Debele, Meseret (ETH) 2:26:20
5 Moges Cherenet, Betelhem (ETH) 2:26:42

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Zola Budd Wins Charleston Marathon in 2:59

Former South African athlete Zola Budd was back in the news again this week when she won the womens race in the Charleston Marathon in South Carolina in a time of 2:59:42. Now aged 47, this was just 4 minutes slower than her own personal best of 2:55:39.

Zola Budd is a former South African athlete who used to run barefoot and competed for Britain at a time when South African athletes were banned due to apartheid in that country. She is of course as famous for her involvement in an incident in the womens 3000m race at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics when the home favourite Mary Decker tripped and crashed onto the track. The video of that race can be seen in this old post.

Preview of the Dungarvan 10 mile race...Sun 26th Jan 2014

The big race next weekend is of course the John Treacy Dungarvan 10 mile road race on Sunday. Hopefully the weather will be a little bit dryer this year ;o)

Full preview of the course here...

Leevale Track & Field Meet...Sat 5th & Sun 6th Apr 2014

For those of you with an interest in athletics, Leevale AC will be holding their annual Track & Field meet at the CIT track in Cork City on the weekend of the 5th & 6th of April 2014. Entry and fixture details will be available at a later date.

Park Runs to start in Clonakilty on the 1st of February 2014

For the last three years, I have been covering news about Park Runs on the site. Back in August 2011, I had an initial post which explained what Park Runs were and asked if they could come to Ireland? They eventually arrived in Dublin after which I asked in January 2013 if there was a potential for them to come to Cork? In May, I had a post about the new weekly 5k Park Run which had just started in started in Macroom.

The latest news now is that a new Park Run is starting in Clonakilty in West Cork. As with all Park Runs, the distance is 5 kms, it's on at 9:30am every Saturday morning, entry is free and you should pre-register online before you take part. 

The weekly runs will be at the Showgrounds which is on the N71 main road that runs south around the town.

Last November, the Macroom Park Run had been running for six months and I had a post which looked back at the numbers. On average, it was getting about 40-50 participants every week.

To get some idea of how well the Clonakilty event might do, it might be handy to have a look at some stats. It's probably likely that for Park Runs, most of those taking part are likely to live reasonably nearby.

The town of Macroom has a population of about 3,900. Other population centres in the general vicinity are Millstreet (pop of 1k5, 13 miles), Ballincollig (pop 17k, 19 miles) and Cork City (pop 100k+, 22 miles). As can be seen, the population in the general Macroom area is relatively small while there is a large of potential pool of participants to the east but they are about 20 miles away.

Clonakilty by comparison has a population of about 4,800. Population centres in the vicinity are...Bandon (pop 6k6, 13 miles), Dunmanway (pop 2k4, 13 miles) and Skibbereen (pop 2k, 18 miles). Cork City with it's large population is 28 miles away.

Going on the above stats, if the organisers in Clonakilty can get the same participation levels as Macroom then the numbers should be good. Going on a very simple ratio basis of comparing the two towns then the average should be about 55 per week.

The one caveat is whether the Macroom numbers are in fact largely boosted every week by people traveling out from Ballincollig and the city? In that case, the Clonakilty numbers may well be smaller. Only time will tell.

The next question is will there be a third Park Run in Cork???

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Can you limit your sitting & sleeping to just 23.5 hours a day?

Now that the whole country seems to be going mad with Operation Transformation fever, it is is perhaps no harm to highlight the benefits of exercise as outlined in the video below from Dr. Mike Evans...

Former 5000m record holder Chris Chataway dies age 82

Back on the 6th of May 1954, Roger Bannister ran the first ever sub 4 minute mile. On the day, his two pacemakers were Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway. Last Sunday the 19th of January, Chris Chataway passed away aged 82.

Although he will possibly be best remembered for playing a part in breaking the 4 minute barrier, he had a short but successful athletics career of his own. Bannister's coach at the time Franz Stampfl also coached Chataway who went on to become the 4th man to break the 4 minute barrier in 1955. On the 13th of October 1954, Chataway set a new world record for the 5,000m when he ran 13:51.6. In the European Championships in 1954 in Switzerland, he won silver.

Even though he retired from international athletics back in 1956, he continued to be involved in the  athletics and running with his club. As recently as 2006, he ran the Great North Run Half-Marathon in Newcastle in 1:38:50 aged 75.

The BBC have an article on the late Chris Chataway here...

Event notice...Mealagh Valley Ring 10 mile road race, Bantry - Sun 9th Feb 2014

This 10 mile road race is coming up in the Mealagh Valley near Bantry on Sunday the 9th of February 2014. Organised by Bantry AC, it has been measured accurately by Jones Counter and has an Athletics Ireland licence.

It's probably best described as a small but well organised 10 mile race in a small secluded valley near Bantry in West Cork.

Funds raised from the race go towards The Mealagh Valley Community and the Build4Life Cystic Fibrosis charity.

You can pre-enter HERE for €15 or on the day for €20.

Preview...You can see a preview of the route with maps, directions, photos, etc HERE

5 k Fun Run......For those who may find the thought of a hilly 10 mile race too tough then there is also a 5 km fun run on offer for runners, joggers and walkers.

Event notice...Bandon Half-Marathon & 10k - Sat 3rd May 2014

The Bandon Half-Marathon & 10k is still some time off but it might be one to consider. The Bandon Half-Marathon and 10k races will be on Saturday the 3rd of May 2014.

It's worth noting however that the cheapest entry fee of €20 for the Half-Marathon and €12 for the 10k is before the 31st of March.

One of the main reasons for these two races is to raise funds for the long term goal of building a proper athletics track which will be a great asset for future athletes in the West Cork area.

From Bandon Athletic club...
Bandon Athletic Club, in a joint venture with Bandon Rugby Club, are again organising two races on the running calendar for 2014. The Half Marathon and 10k races are taking place on Saturday 3rd of May 2014, ideally positioned 4 weeks before the Cork City full and half marathons.

The Half marathon gets under way at 9.30am and the 10k begins at 10.15am and both races have AAI approval. Online entries are now open for both events with early entry prices on offer until March 31st.

Early entry fee up to March 31st for the half marathon is €20 and €25 after that date. On the day entry cost for the half marathon is €30. Early entry fee up to March 31st for the 10k is €12 and €15 after that date. On the day entry cost for 10k is €20. Further information at

A preview of the 10k course can be seen HERE

A preview of the Half-Marathon can be seen HERE

Entries...You can enter online HERE

Mallow 10 entries pass the 600 mark...

As of last weekend, entries to the Mallow 10 mile road race had passed the 600 mark. Note that the cheapest entries are before the end of January.

With entries to the Dungarvan 10 next Sunday and the Ballycotton 10 in early March both closed, the Mallow 10 is the next big 10 miler in the province.

More details about the race in this earlier post.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Fagan considers return to athletics after drugs ban

Back in January 2012, Irish international athlete Martin Fagan tested positive for EPO. At the time, he said that he was suffering from depression. After testing positive, he admitted to taking EPO and did not contest the tests findings. He subsequently received a two year ban.

The story was covered in these previous posts...
a) Jan 14th...Fagan faces ban for doping offence.
b) Jan 18th...Fagan gets ban
c) Jan 22nd...Sunday newspaper reaction
d) Jan 25th...TV debate on Fagan

This is obviously going to create a lot of debate in athletics circles. Some may say that he has served his sentence and he should be given another chance. Others will no doubt say that once he doped, he crossed a line from which there was no way back.

Update...See poll on the right hand side of the site.  Should Martin Fagan make a return?

The interview on RTE radio can be heard here...

Irish athletics round up from the weekend...Sat 18th & Sun 19th Jan 2014

Sun 19th...At the Reykjavik International Games in Iceland, Rose-Anne Galligan of Ireland finished in second place in the womens indoor 800m in a time of 2:03:69. This was just outside the 2:03:00 needed to qualify for the World Indoor Track and Field Championships which takes place in Sopot Poland in March.

Rose-Anne has a personal best of 2:00.58 for 800m outdoors which she set in London last July.

800 m   
Athletes    Nationality    Date    Time   
1    Aníta Hinriksdóttir    ISL    13 Jan 96    2:01.81
2    Rose-Anne Galligan    IRL    9 Dec 87    2:03.69
3    Aline Krebs    GER    5 Sep 88    2:06.24

Video of the race HERE

Sun 19th...At the Munster Indoor Athletic Championships in Nenagh, Co.Tipperary, Sinead O'Connor of Leevale AC won the womens 3000m in a time of 10:18.10. James Grufferty of Leevale AC won the mens 3000m title in a time of 9:04.93.

The track results are HERE and the field results are HERE

Sat 18th Jan...At the Hunter Track Classic in Glendale, Australia, several Irish athletes were in action.

In the mens 3,000m, Paul Robinson of St.Coca's AC finished second while Mark Hanrahan of Leevale AC finished fourth.

Hunter Track Classic 2014 - 18/01/2014. Athletics Australia National Series. Hunter Sports Centre, Glendale                    
Men 3000 Metre Run
  1 Batt, Kevin               23 Nsw                    7:57.11       
  2 Robinson, Paul            23 Ireland                7:58.56       
  3 Wright, Joshua            23 Nswis                  8:05.13       
  4 Hanrahan, Mark            29 Ireland                8:05.73       
  5 Saunders, Philo           38 Act                    8:09.40       
  6 Hansen, James             21 Nsw                    8:11.38       
  7 Fawthorpe, Tom            24 Vic                    8:17.78       
  8 McDonald, Morgan          18 Nsw                    8:20.21       
  9 Hunter, Charlie           18 Nswis                  8:20.34       
 10 Connor, James             22 Nsw                    8:21.46       
 11 Cox, Matthew              24 Nsw                    8:22.42       
 12 Roeger, Michael           26 Sasi                   8:24.53       
 13 Gebreselassie, Dejen      21 Nsw                    8:39.20       
 14 Walters, Guy              20 Nsw                    8:40.49       
 15 Williams, Hugh            22 Nsw                    8:40.85  

In the womens 1500m, Laura Crowe of An Riocht AC finished in third spot in a time of 4:11.49, an improvement on her previous personal best of 4:12.06 which was set in Italy last September.
Women 1500 Metre Run
  1 McKnight, Kaila     28 Vis                    4:09.87 CGB         
  2 Duncan, Melissa     24 Vic                    4:09.98 CGB         
  3 Crowe, Laura        27 Ireland                4:11.49             
  4 Hetherington, Kell  25 Vis                    4:14.11             
  5 Laman, Anna         19 Nsw                    4:19.55             
  6 Wellings, Eliose    32 Nsw                    4:22.23             
  7 Delaney, Bridey     25 Nsw                    4:22.81             
  8 Powell, Courtney    19 Vic                    4:23.39             
  9 Powell, Laura       15 Vic                    4:24.99             
 10 Davies, Rose        15 Nsw                    4:31.52             
 11 Lord, Arianna       17 Nzl                    4:31.68             
 12 Augustine, Emily    17 Nsw                    4:33.17             
 13 Witchard, Melinda   28 Nsw                    4:36.42

Sat 18th Jan...At the guest mile at the Athlone indoor track, John Travers of Donore Harriers can close to the 4 minute mark.

Place Heat Posn Elite Mile Club Time
1 F 1 John Travers Donore Harriers AC / AIT AC 4:01.47
2 F 2 Danny Mooney Letterkenny AC 4:02.88
3 F 3 Joe Warne Doheny AC / DCU AC 4:04.06
4 F 4 John Coghlan MSB AC / DCU AC 4:10.65
5 F 5 Emmet Dunleavy Sligo AC 4:12.10
6 F 6 Richard Owens Sli Cualainn AC / UCD AC 4:13.97
7 F 7 Kevin Kelly St. Coca’s 4:26.46

Race video...

Sat 18th Jan...At the Scottish Open Athletics indoor meet in Glasgow, Kelly Proper of Ferrybank AC ran 24:01 in the 200m, not far outside her PB of 23:58. In the Long Jump, Kelly jumped 6.26 metres.

200m...2 24.01 Kelly Proper SEN    W Ferrybank/Ireland 23.58

LJ...1 6.26 Kelly Proper     SEN    W Ferrybank/Ireland 6.48

Clonakilty Road Runners AGM Wed 22nd Jan 2014

Clonakilty Road Runners are holding their AGM next Wednesday the 22nd of January 2014 at 7:30pm. If you are living in the Clonakilty area and are interested in joining a club to improve your fitness or your times thencheck out Clonakilty Road Runners.

See their message below...
Just a quick reminder that our AGM is being held this Wednesday night 22nd January @ 7.30pm in the Quality Hotel Clonakilty. Membership for 2014 can be renewed on the night and new members for 2014 are also asked to attend. Membership for 2014 is €40 per adult or €80 for 2 adults and 2 children. If anyone are looking for club singlets then they will also be available on the night €35 each. Hope to see you all there for hopes to be a big year for the club.

Togher AC make €1,000 donation to the Cork Mental Health Foundation & Housing Association

In late December 2013, Togher Athletic Club held the inaugural Togher Christmas 5k and it attracted a field of nearly 300 runners. One of the main reasons for holding the race was to raise funds for the Cork Mental Health Foundation & Housing Association.

At a recent meeting at the Togher AC clubhouse, a cheque for €1,000 was presented.

The Cork Mental Health Foundation issued the the following statement....Thank you to all at Togher AC for their very generous donation of €1000 which was raised from this year Togher Christmas 5k. Hopefully this is the start of a long running partnership (no pun intended!).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Photos & Results of the Cork BHAA FMC 4 mile road race...Sun 19th Jan 2014

The first road race in the 2014 Cork BHAA calendar was held today Sunday the 19th of January with the FMC 4 mile in Little Island. Despite the rain earlier in the morning, things had improved a lot by 11am.

1 John Meade M1 20:57 Joyce Wolfe Physio
2 Michael Harty  20:59 (Non Reg)
3 Con Marshall  21:04 (Non Reg)
94 Fiona Santry 00:25:48 (Non Reg)
123 Annemarie Power 0/35H F1 26:37 HSE
140 Caroline Spillane 27:02 (Non Reg)

The full results can be seen HERE

1) Kieran Minihane has a gallery of photos HERE
2) Derek Costello has a gallery of photos HERE 
3) John Quigley of Eagle AC has photos HERE and HERE

Pat O'Connor of Eagle AC with Rob Heffernan of Togher AC
Above photos courtesy of Kieran Minihane

Video from Ruairi O'Mahony...

Start of the race...

Near the finish line...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Registration evening for Watergrasshill AC on Fri 17th Jan 2014

Watergrasshill Athletic Club started out as a casual running club at the start of 2013 and have now registered with Athletics Ireland to become a formal athletics club. They have a registration night on Friday the 17th of Jan in Watergrasshill itself. Details below...
Our registration night for Watergrasshill AC is on next Friday night the 17th of January upstairs in the FirTree Bar between 8-9pm. Be part of Corks newest AC!! Registration is €50 for the year, for this you receive AAI registration, a team singlet/tee, goody bag on the night and of course enjoy the benefits of a club structure with scheduled training times and types. Registration forms are available on request and will be there on the night.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Guest Article...Remarkable Indoor Performance of the Past

This article by John Walshe appeared in the Irish Examiner 'County' supplement on Tuesday the 14th of January 2014 and is republished here with his kind permission.

By John Walshe (Irish Examiner County, Tuesday January 14)

As the Irish indoor athletics season swing into action at the new Athlone IT facility, it is worth recalling a memorable indoor performance by a Cork athlete which took place 40 years ago last weekend.

Treading the boards at the Knights of Columbus Games in Uniondale, New York, on that Saturday evening of January 12, 1974, John Hartnett from Ballyhooly ran the fifth fastest time on record for the two miles distance when covering the 22 indoor laps in a time of 8:26.6.

He finished almost eight seconds ahead of Grant McLaren from Canada (8:34.4) with another Irishman, Neil Cusack, third in 8:37.2. Hartnett’s time was just two seconds slower than the American record at the time which was held by the legendary Steve Prefontaine who would tragically die the following year in a car accident at the age of 24.

The two-mile was one of the most popular races on the indoor circuit back then and although the distance is rarely run nowadays, the time by the Corkman is the equivalent of around 7:50 for 3,000 metres.

It is worth noting that the fastest 3,000m by an Irishman last year, indoors or outdoors, was the 7:50.40 by Ciaran Ó’Lionáird which won him the bronze medal at the European Indoors in Gothenburg.

John Hartnett at the time was on scholarship at Villanova University and had just returned to the US two days previously after spending Christmas at home in Ballyhooly.

Showing the tremendous form he was in at the time, the Sunday before he left he had established a new course record for the Oman Cup road race in the Phoenix Park with a time of 9:07.4.

Hartnett’s amazing form on the boards of North America continued the following month at the Maple Leaf Indoor Games in Toronto where, before a packed attendance of over 16,000 fans, he ran the first sub-four-minute indoor mile witnessed in Canada.

His 3:59.6 was achieved ahead of a glittering field which included the 1972 Olympic 1500m champion Pekka Vasala of Finland and John Walker from New Zealand, who would win Olympic gold two years later in that event.
John Hartnett with Danny Smith of Ballynonty AC

The previous year Hartnett had broken Ronnie Delany’s Irish mile record with a time of 3:54.7 and he would add the Irish 1500m to that when recording 3:38.1 at Bakersfield in California later in the summer of 1974.

He then returned home and on a magical night at the Cork City Sports at the Mardyke he ran a 3:56.3 mile, one of the fastest times ever achieved on grass.

For the past number of years a 10km road race has been held in John Hartnett’s honour in his native Ballyhooly. A year ago last August, the village’s most famous son – who now resides in New Jersey - was on hand to start the race and present the prizes, as well as reminisce with his many admirers on a remarkable and honour-laden running career.

* More information about the athletics career of John Hartnett can be seen HERE

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Final list of entries for the 2014 Ballycotton 10 race...

The final list of entrants for the 2014 Ballycotton 10 mile road race is now available.

The list in numerical order is HERE

The list in alphabetical order is HERE

As you can see from the graph, the overall numbers are up slightly this year with an extra 70 entries. It's impossible to read anything in that really as the numbers from non-club entrants were limited and the entry process has a huge effect. If the entries were open like they are for other races then it would probably top 5,000 which of course the small village of Ballycotton couldn't handle.

In terms of club entries, these are the top 10...

These are the clubs with more than 10 entries...
Midleton AC 157, St. Finbarrs AC 109, Eagle AC 102, Mallow AC 76, Youghal AC 72
Kilkenny City Harriers A.C. 65, Galtee Runners AC 51, West Waterford A.C. 47, Waterford A.C. 38, Leevale AC 34
Slaney Olympic AC    32, Ballintotis Fit4Life    30, Clonakilty RR AC    22, Donore Harriers    22, Clonmel AC    19
Limerick Country Club AC    19, Sli Cualann AC    18, East Cork AC    16, Newbridge A.C.    16, Ballincollig AC    15
Donoughmore AC    15, St. Catherines AC    15, Tallaght AC    15, Bandon AC    14, Bridge Milers-Olympic Harriers    14
Carrigaline RR AC    14, Celbridge AC    14, Crusaders AC    14, Raheny Shamrock AC    14, Carraig na bhFear AC    13
Navy AC    13, Sportsworld RC    13, Limerick AC    12, Athenry AC    11, Sliabh Buidhe Rovers AC    11

In terms of non club runners, these are the main locations...(20+)
unatt/Cork    514, unatt/Dublin    132, unatt/Midleton    97, unatt/Glanmire    75, unatt/Ballincollig    60
unatt/Carrigaline    59, unatt/Cobh    39, unatt/Limerick    35, unatt/Carrigtwohill    32, unatt/Cloyne    31
unatt/Blarney    29, unatt/Watergrasshill    29, unatt/Bandon    27, unatt/Waterford    27, unatt/Kinsale    26
unatt/Ballycotton    25, unatt/Kilkenny    24, unatt/Mallow    21

Thanks to John Quigley of Eagle AC for the above stats

Note from the organisers...
(1) Please note we *do not have a waiting list or cancellation policy*. We allow for a
certain percentage of ‘no shows’ and therefore accept more than we can accommodate.
(2) We do not refund people unable to take part.
(3) If unable to run, *ON NO ACCOUNT can you give your number to another
runner* (when you signed the form, you agreed to this).
(4) The race packages (number, programme, etc) will be posted out approx two weeks before the race day of March 9th.

Corrections to the entry list below (name, category or club, etc) please email: OR John Walshe at

Please note this is for corrections *ONLY*.

New Meet & Train group starting in Macroom

West Muskerry AC is starting up a regular ”Meet and Train” session for adult runners on Wednesday evenings from 8:00-9:00pm in Tom Creedon Park, Macroom.

The aim is to help local runners improve, in a sociable setup. Club coaches will attend.

First training session is Wednesday 15-Jan-2014, Tom Creedon Park, 8:00pm.

For details contact Seán Ó Lionáird (087-2732874), Jeremy Kelleher (086-3871431), Karena McCarthy (087-9959099).

All adult runners welcome!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Phil Healy of Bandon AC wins 60m race in Cardiff

Just one week ago, Phil Healy of Bandon AC won a 60m indoor race in Athlone in 7.46 seconds, the 10th fastest ever by an Irish woman. Yesterday, Phil Healy won the womens 60m final at the Cardiff Met Uni Grad Prix Wales in a time of 7.43 seconds, an improvement of three one hundredths of a second. Although it's a small improvement, it now moves Phil from 10th to joint 7th on the Irish all time list.

T012-Female 60m Final
Pos Bib Athlete Club Perf
1 58 Phil HEALY (SENM) Bandon AC (G-P) 7.43
2 84 Mica MOORE (SENW) Cardiff AAC (G-P) 7.51
3 70 Hannah THOMAS (SENW) Wrexham AAC (G-P) 7.60
4 80 Rebecca CHAPMAN (SENW) Cardiff Met (G-P) 7.63
5 54 Joey DUCK (SENW) Marshall Milton Keynes AC (G-P) 7.66
6 33 Charlotte WINGFIELD (SENW) enfield & Harringey ac (G-P) 7.70
7 55 Jennifer BATTEN (SENW) University of birmingham (G-P) 7.76
8 89 Claire WILLIAMS (SENW) Swansea University (G-P) 7.85

Event notice...Clonakilty Back to Back Marathons - Sat 15th & Sun 16th Feb 2014

2013 was the inaugural year for this event when it attracted 149 runners on the Saturday and 121 on the Sunday. The Clonakilty Back to Back Marathon is back again this year on Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th of February 2014.

Each Marathon can be entered separately or you can enter for both events together if you decide to try 52.4 mile over the two days. There is a quality dry fit top and a medal for each of the events.

What's the attraction of a Back to Back Marathon? For many if not most runners, they like the challenge of a particular race. In the vast majority of events, people don't take part in them to win. For most, it's the challenge of trying to run a particular time or a certain distance...i.e a personal goal. For some people who have completed one or more marathons, the challenge will be to run a faster time or a longer distance or to do two back to back.

The course itself takes in a coastal route around Rathbarry, Castlefreke, Longstrand, Ardfield with superb views out over the south coast. A lot depends of course on the weather but when I did the director's back the back and the main back to back last February, the weather was very kind. It's just a lovely part of the country for running....even if there are a few hills ;o)

The event has an AAI race permit, has been measured by Jones Counter and will have chip timing.

This is the art work for the dry fit tops with a different colour for each day...

The race website is... 

Entries close at midnight on Friday the 17th of January

Course...The course that will be used is the same as the one used for the main Clonakilty Marathon last December. The only difference really is the numbers of people. The December event is very busy with a large number of people spread out over the Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10k races. The Back to Back by it's very nature is much more relaxed. It has the atmosphere of a small road race rather than a huge event which sometimes makes a nice change.

A preview of the course with photos and maps can be seen HERE

Fionnuala Britton finishes 2nd in Edinburgh International Cross Country

The Edinburgh International Cross Country was held last Saturday with Ireland's Fionnuala Britton putting in a strong finish to take second place.

The results contrast with last year where Fionnuala Britton after winning the European title for a second time went on to win in both Antrim and Edinburgh.

The current European champion Sophie Duarte from France who won in Belgrade last December could only manage 6th in Edinburgh. Gemma Steel who took silver in December, won in Edinburgh but was only 6th in Antrim. The Ethiopian Almensch Belete who now runs for Belgium won in Antrim could only manage 11th in Edinburgh.

Womens 6km...Saturday 11th January 2014
1  20:35 Gemma STEEL GBR
2  20:44 Fionnuala BRITTON EUROPE
3 20:51 Emelia GORECKA GBR
4 20:57 Sophie DUARTE EUROPE
5 20:59 Charlotte PURDUE GBR
11 21:13 Almensch BELETE EUROPE
22 21:39 Sara TREACY EUROPE
The full results of the womens 6 km race can be seen HERE

In the mens 8 km race, Michael Mulhare finished 5th and David McCarthy of West Waterford AC finished in 11th in a field of 29 finishers. 

Mens 8Km...Saturday 11th January 2014
1 34 24:11 Chris DERRICK USA
2 11 24:21 Andy VERNON GBR
3 16 24:27 Bashir ABDI EUROPE
4 39 24:28 Bobby MACK USA
5 23 24:32 Michael MULHARE EUROPE
11 26 24:49 David McCARTHY EUROPE

Team Result
 1 EUROPE 53...Bashir ABDI (3), Michael MULHARE (5), Pieter-Jan HANNES (7), Alemayehu BEZABEH (9), David McCARTHY (11) & Mohamed MARHUM (18)
2 USA 55
3 GBR 63

The results of the mens 8 km race can be seen HERE

In the shorter mens 4 km race, the one suprise perhaps was Kenenisa Bekele only managed 5th spot.

The results of the mens 4 km race is HERE

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Results & Photos of the Cork BHAA ESB X-Country...Sun 12th Jan 2014

Conditions were pretty awful for this years Cork BHAA ESB Cross Country race in Beaumont Park in Cork City. As is often the case with Irish weather, there was blue skies and sunshine just three hours later.

1 Alex O'Shea  18:57 Cork City Council
2 Trevor Woods 0/40 19:20 UCC
3 Darren Molloy   00:19:42 Navy
20 Michelle Kenny  22:24 DEPT OF EDUCATION
22 Maura Regan 0/35 :22:31 HSE
41 Ann-Marie Hayes  24:36

The full results can be seen HERE

1) Kiernan Minihane has a gallery HERE
2) Doug Minihane has a gallery HERE
3) Michael Dunne has a small gallery of five photos HERE 
4) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a slideshow HERE

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Nominations for the best 10 mile, Half-Marathon & Marathon in Munster in 2013

And this time, it's the nominations for the best middle and long distance races in Munster in 2013.

Like the previous post except that this time it's for the best 10 mile, Half-Marathon and Marathon in Munster in 2013. In your opinion, what were the best races in Munster and why?

Nominations are now closed. A poll is now open on the right hand side of this page until the end of January 2014.

Nominations for the best 5m and 10k race in Cork in 2013???

Like the previous post except that this time it's for the best 5 mile and 10k race in Cork in 2013. In your opinion, what were the best races in Cork and why?

There is a wide number of races to choose from, be it BHAA, club and charity events.

Nominations are now closed. A poll is now open on the right hand side of this page until the end of January 2014.

Nominations for the best 5k and 4m race in Cork in 2013???

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 5 km and 4 mile races. In your opinion, what were the best 5k and 4m races in Cork in 2013 and why?

There were a wide number of races to choose from, be it BHAA, club or charity events.

Nominations are now closed. A poll is now open on the right hand side of this page until the end of January 2014.

Woman in Toronto runs a new record time of 2:53 for an indoor marathon

At an indoor marathon in Toronto last weekend, Monika Kalicinska was the first woman to finish in a time of 2:53:53. The previous fastest was 2:57:34 which was set earlier in 2013.

This was Kalincinska's second marathon having run 2:50:52 outdoors last May.

When interviewed after the event, she said that repeatedly passing runners in a tight space and the nonstandard distance of the loop among her biggest problems. "I was pretty confused. I was planning to run 48 seconds per lap but there it took me 57 to 59 seconds. I didn’t know if I was on pace. I couldn’t go too fast at the beginning, didn’t want to hit the wall. On the other hand I had to keep in mind I am going for a world record, so I can’t go too slow."

Even though they changed direction every hour, she did complain of sore calves and shins afterwards probably because of all the turns.

The first indoor marathon in Ireland is coming up in Midleton on the 22nd of February.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

1992 Irish Senior Track & Field Championships

Another old video and this time from the Irish Track & Field Championships in Belfield, Dublin in 1992. Amongst those taking part are a very young 22 year old Sonia O'Sullivan, Catherina McKiernan and Marcus O'Sullivan.

In the mens 3,000m steeplechase, Liam O'Brien took the title and is still very much involved in athletics in Cork today.

Video clip of the Olympic Marathon in 1984...

The John Treacy Dungarvan 10 mile road road is coming up at the end of this month in West Waterford. With that in mind, it might be appropriate to look back at the 1984 Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles and the performance that put the man from Villierstown on the podium.

Guest article...Athletics in Cork mourn the passing of Holden

The following article appeared in the Evening Echo on Tuesday, the 7th of January 2014. It is reproduced here with John Walshe's kind permission...

Athletics in Cork mourn the passing of Holden...By John Walshe (Evening Echo, Tuesday January 7)

The death took place at the weekend of Andy Holden, one of the leading British runners of the 1970s and a man who tasted success on a number of occasions in Cork events.

Aged 65, Holden passed away after an illness and will be remembered for winning the inaugural Grange International Cross-Country race at Fermoy in January of 1976.

There, before an attendance of around 3,000, he won the six mile race from his British colleague Grenville Tuck with Neil Cusack from Limerick third and Leevale’s Donie Walsh in fourth.

Later that year Holden was the star of the Cork City Sports where he won a thrilling 5000m on the grass at the Mardyke, his time that night of 13:59.8 putting him well clear of Irish runners Gerry Deegan and Cusack.

The following night, Cusack – who would run the Olympic marathon a month later at Montreal – turned the tables on Holden in a 10-mile race from Fermoy to Mitchelstown.

This was organised by Tom Burke, the founder of the Grange International meeting, and Cusack’s time of 47:51 put him 47 seconds clear of Holden with Welsh international Bernie Plain third. Hard to believe nowadays, just 27 runners took part on that occasion.

Through his friendship with Donie Walsh, Holden returned to Cork in December 1979 where he won a road race around Ballinlough, organised by Leevale. Over a distance of 7,540 metres, Holden’s time of 21:38 gave him 11 seconds to spare over Des O’Connor from Kilkenny with Cusack once again in the frame, finishing third just a second behind.

Holden ran the steeplechase at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the same year that he set a national record of 8:26.4 at Crystal Palace for the event. It’s a time which still places him 20th on the UK all-time list.

A great servant of the famous Tipton Harriers club, Holden later moved up to the marathon where he had a best time of 2:15:18,

Bermuda Marathon

Showing a great range of ability, he was also the course record-holder for the 36-mile Two Bridges Race in Scotland with a time of 3:21:46.

A dentist by profession, he also held many administrative and promotional posts at club and area level and coached a number of groups of young athletes over the years at Tipton.

Outside athletics he was involved with many charities and good causes and helped out for many years with the ‘Crisis At Christmas’ organisation providing food and shelter for the homeless over the festive period.