Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: June 2020

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

2020 Cork City 10 Miler Cancelled

It has just been announced that the 2020 Cork City 10 Miler has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. It was due to have been held on the 22nd of August this year.

The organisers hope to hold it in 2021.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Guest Post: CORK CITY MARATHONS 1985... by John Walshe

CORK CITY MARATHONS 1985 (John Walshe)

Thirty-five year ago, the Cork 800 celebrations proved to be a blessing for the increasing number of races then appearing on the scene as the once-off ‘Cork 800’ logo on the finishers’ plaque became a special attraction for participants.

To celebrate that 1985 occasion, a couple of new races appeared over the ‘8K’ distance, one organised by St Finbarr’s and the other by the Togher club.

Another popular event was the half-marathon held by the Friends of the Wheelchair Association on St Patrick’s Day. This was seen as the ideal build-up to the fourth adidas Cork City Marathon fixed for April 8.

It took place over roughly the second half of the marathon route and attracted over 1,100 runners. Two Kerry athletes, John Linehan and John Griffin, finished first and second with Tony Ryan from Dungarvan third. Catherine Hourihan of St Finbarr’s won the women’s race, but neither would figure over the full distance three weeks later.

After the excitement and controversy of the previous year, the 1985 marathon was a much quieter affair as the national governing body BLE decided to hold their championship race separately in Limerick at the end of June.

However, there was still a good incentive to attract the top athletes to Cork as the first prize was an all-expenses paid trip to the New York City Marathon the following November.

Almost 1,000 entries were received and speaking at the press conference before the race, Michael O’Connell of adidas said they were pleased with the response as the bad weather over the previous few months had not been conducive to marathon training.

The organisers were also making every effort to make it a value for money event with every participant being rewarded with a special Cork 800 T-shirt while all finishers received the marathon medallion, all for an entry fee of six pounds.

The course had been changed from the previous three versions and now went through Douglas village before doubling back through Church Street onto the main Douglas Road. It made for a faster route as the exclusion of the dreaded Temple Hill made it much easier.

The pre-race favourites were Paddy Murphy from Kildare, fourth the previous year and now the world veteran marathon champion, and Roscommon man, Billy Gallagher.

The 29-year-old Gallagher, who worked as a Department of Agriculture official in Cavan town, had completed over 20 marathons and was considered something of an ‘iron man’. Amongst his accomplishments was winning the Templemore 50-miler just three weeks after finishing third in the National Marathon.

Local hopes rested on John Buckley, then coming to the end of a senior career which saw him winning the Irish Cross-Country title at just 19 years of age.

Reaching veteran status would see him enter another hugely successful sphere, culminating in world titles six years later. Profiled before the marathon, the St Finbarr’s man said: “times have really changed now with events like the Evening Echo Mini-Marathon and the marathons and half-marathons introducing hundreds of people to running,” sentiments that no doubt could be repeated today.

With Lucy O’Donoghue unable to take part due to injury and the non-appearance of British international Sally McDiarmuid, the women’s race was seen as a battle between Shelia Curtin of North Cork (the Munster 10-mile champion) and Catherine Speight of Leevale, who had performed well in the adidas series of 10km races for women around the Tramore Road circuit.

Although the weather hadn’t been favourable in the days leading up to Easter Monday, conditions on the morning were ideal, dry with very little wind. Shortly after the opening mile (reached in 4:58), a group of six had formed at the front. The two favourites Gallagher and Murphy were there, along with Buckley, Michael Carey of Leevale, Christy Ryan (West Tipperary) and regular contender Willie Hayes of Reenavanna.

The three-mile mark came up in 15:38 and shortly afterwards it was down to five as Ryan lost contact. Coming up to eight miles, Carey and Hayes were dropped and after reaching the 10-mile checkpoint in 52:43, Buckley also had to let go.

Gallagher and Murphy passed through the half-way point in 68:22, with still no sign of hurt on either of their faces. Back through the city and down the Marina, Gallagher opened a slight five metre lead but on the climb out of Blackrock, Murphy had regained contact with the clock showing 1:45:05 at 20 miles.

It stayed that way up to 23 miles but then when the leaders hit the roundabout leading into Douglas, Gallagher made his move. Murphy failed to respond and the younger man slowly pulled away.

Approaching the finish, Gallagher realised he had a chance of breaking 2:19 for the first time and a lunge for the line saw him just getting there in 2:18:58.

A tiring Murphy finished almost a minute later in 2:19:51 and then there was a big gap before a delighted Michael Carey arrived to take third in 2:26:42 and, with it, the Munster title.

Willie Hayes, sixth three years before, had another consistent run to improve to fourth in 2:29:29, just 27 seconds ahead of a man who had arguably the performance of the day.

For Derry O’Driscoll from Cobh, running for St Finbarr’s, it was a remarkable personal best time at the age of 47. After running 2:33 in the Sea of Galilee Marathon before Christmas, O’Driscoll thought he might have an outside chance of breaking 2:30 and achieve this he did by four seconds when recording 2:29:56.

Two clubmates of Paddy Murphy from Kildare, Brendan Domican and Stephen O’Toole, took sixth and seventh positions. John Buckley suffered a lot over the final few miles but kept going to eventually finish in 2:45:21 for 26th position.

Sheila Curtin from Newtownshandrum ran an excellent race to take the women’s title in only her second marathon. The Fr Liam Kelleher-coached Curtin – whose sister Maura had finished second two years before – had to stop at 20 miles where she was passed by Catherine Speight.

Regaining her composure, she passed Speight again three miles later to finish in 3:01:23 and but for her bad patch would surely have broken the three-hour barrier.

Speight was rewarded with a credible 3:04:13 for second and Marion Lyons, in her first marathon, took third in 3:06:58.

As in every marathon, there were many tales of courage and inspiration. One such performance was that of Richard O’Mahony from the Crusaders club in Dublin. He finished 15th overall in a time of 2:41:02 despite the double handicap of being deaf and dumb.  



1 Billy Gallagher       2:18:58
2 Pat Murphy            2:19:51
3 Michael Carey         2:26:42
4 Willie Hayes          2:29:29
5 Derry O’Driscoll      2:29:56
6 Brendan Domican       2:31:38
7 Stephen O’Toole       2:32:06
8 Roddy Burke           2:32:37
9 Michael Roche         2:33:20
10 Christy Crowley      2:34:17


1 Sheila Curtin         3:01:23                
2 Catherine Speight     3:04:13
3 Marion Lyons          3:06:58
4 Rose Crockett         3:08:32
5 Triona Kelly          3:16:39
6 Mary Sweeney          3:21:07

Amongst the 733 recorded finishers were:

* George Walsh from Youghal was over eight minutes faster than the previous year when finishing 12th in 2:37:06.

* Husband-and-wife Eric and Rose Crockett (St Finbarr’s) recorded respective times of 2:38:16 and 3:08:32.

* Under the three hours were Pat Motyer from Ballycotton (2:57:06), Joe Murphy of Eagle (2:57:13) and John O’Connell from Passage West who just made it with 2:59:02.

* Just missing a sub-3:00 by 14 seconds was John Brady from Charleville who finished 95th overall.

* Athletics historian Liam Fleming from Ballinascarthy ran 3:06:38 with Tim Geary of Leamlara close behind on 3:07:53.

* Not far away were Maurice Tobin of the Youghal club – now a member of Grange-Fermoy – who finished in 3:08:58 and Christy O’Driscoll from Dublin Hill who clocked 3:09:23.

* Peter Fenlon recorded 3:12:27 with Anthony Prendergast of St Nicholas (Castlelyons) six seconds behind in 3:12:33.

* Dan Nagle from the Mallow club finished in 3:21:59 with Anthony Donnachie from Cobh on 3:24:13.

* Two Cork BHAA stalwarts, Sean Walsh and Eddie Mullane, both of the Quigley Company, finished a second apart in times of 3:27:30 and 3:27:31.

A list of previous guest posts from John Walshe can be seen HERE

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Notice: Greenway Series (Orienteering) - July & Aug 2020

This might be of interest to anyone wanting to get out for a run or for a family activity...

 It's all pretty basic. You are given a map and you just need to find the 'controls' and you write down the code on a piece of paper that you carry. You don't have to touch anything.

There is no need for a compass or anything like that, it's just a case of running or even walking to the various points and collecting the codes.

As you do this on your own or in a family group, everyone is able to maintain social distancing.

Details below...

Interested in a walk, a jog or a run with a difference (courses vary from 5 to 8 km and are on flat paths)?

Then try out the inaugural Greenway Series which takes place every Wednesday afternoon and evening

(3 pm to 7 pm starts) during the months of July and August, using the Greenways of Cork City and County.

All these areas have now been mapped by Sean Cotter and his Bishopstown Orienteering & Hillwalking

Clubs will be organising the series.

You need to Register / Pre-enter at least 24 hours in advance and give us your name and telephone number (in case the HSE requires it).

Entries to Sean Cotter at bishopstownoc AT gmail DOT com

Entry fees (pay on arrival): Adult eur 3, Student eur 2 and Junior eur 1.

The full Government & HSE rules will apply (no touching people or equipment, no hugging, no handshakes; 2 metre distance apart at all times before, during and after the event, practice good cough and sneeze etiquette, know the symptoms, face mask?, etc.).

Park in the public car park just before the old Passage Rowing Club (after the boat yard).

Park in the public car park near Harty's Quay, opposite the Rochestown Inn, on Rochestown Road.

Park in the public car park at Kilnagleary, first car park on the road from Carrigaline to Crosshaven.

Park in Pairc Ui Chaoimh car park.

Park in the public car park near Harty's Quay, opposite the Rochestown Inn, on Rochestown Road.

Park in Drake’s Pool public car park.

Park in Robert’s Bridge public car park.

Park in Hop Island public carpark.

Park in Pairc Ui Chaoimh car park

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Churchtown South 5 mile race cancelled & fundraising for hall

As you might expect, the Churchtown South Community Council 5 mile Road Race on the 25th of June has been cancelled. See message below...

"Due to present circumstances, the Churchtown South RACE, planned for June 25th, has been cancelled. We hope to run it next summer."...Conor Tierney, Churchtown South Community Council

I know a lot of you will have fond memories of Churchtown South and the annual race there every year when it was part of the Ballycotton Summer Series.

Conor mentions that they are now fundraising for their community hall...

Donation link HERE

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Guest Post: Controversy in the 1984 Cork City Marathon as both winners were disqualified over breaking rules on logos... by John Walshe

1984 was probably one of the more famous Cork City Marathons when the two winners were disqualified by petty officials in the BLE, the forerunner of Athletics Ireland.

Controversy in the 1984 Cork City Marathon as both winners were disqualified over breaking rules on logos... by John Walshe

THE Olympic Year of 1984 promised much for Irish athletics.

The previous August, Eamon Coghlan had won the 5000m at the inaugural World Championships with Regina Joyce seventh in the marathon.

At the ’84 World C-C, John Treacy showed he was getting back to his best when finishing a 13th.

The Los Angeles Olympic Marathon was being touted as the most eagerly awaited race ever at the distance. To qualify for this classic was the aim of Ireland’s leading exponents as the year made famous by George Orwell got underway.

A major coup for the organisers and sponsors of the third Cork City Marathon came when the Irish governing body BLE designated it the national championship, incorporating the Olympic trial.

With this added boost, entries showed a big increase to almost 1,500. “It will be the most competitive race of its kind to be held in Ireland for years,” declared BLE President Paddy MGovern in the race programme.

For the elite, BLE had set stiff times of 2:14 (men) and 2:35 (women) as Olympic qualifying standards. The race was seen as the big showdown between Cork holder Jerry Kiernan and three-time national champion Dick Hooper.

Kiernan had already won the national cross-country at Kilmacow in February while Hooper, as was his style, had concentrated solely on the 26.2 mile distance. Ever meticulous with his preparation, the Raheny-man even travelled down to Cork to train on the route.

The weather on this Easter Monday was unseasonably warm, with the date of April 23 being later than normal. The course was unchanged from the previous year and when the gun cracked on the South Mall, Kiernan immediately took the lead.
Action from the 1984 marathon.
Action from the 1984 marathon.

After the first mile he had only Donie Walsh for company, with daylight stretching between them and a group which included Hooper, Ray Treacy, Bulgarian Nemov Stanimar and Galway’s Jimmy Fallon.

Kiernan reached three miles in 14:46 with Walsh dropping back to the chasers. At five miles, reached in 24:36, Kiernan was 150 yards clear with the group now working together in an effort to close the gap.

Nearing the Regional Hospital, Hooper surged clear and started to eat into Kiernan’s lead. The gap was down to 11 seconds at 12 miles with Hooper occasionally checking his watch and the splits written on his arm. Coming into the city, Kiernan started to pull away again and was over a half-minute clear at 15 miles reached in 74:42.

Along with the warm sunshine, the runners also had a strong easterly breeze to contend with as they headed down the Marina. Coming up to 19 miles, Kiernan appeared to be in some sort of distress, almost coming to a halt. After passing 20 miles in 1:40:48, he was forced to stop on two occasions.

Although word of Kiernan’s plight had reached Hooper, there wasn’t much he could do about it. “I was getting reports back but I had hit the wall myself at 12 miles. It was a bad run for me,” he related afterwards.

With two miles left of this epic encounter, Kiernan’s lead was just 28 seconds and it looked like he was just about going to hang on. However, coming into the South Mall with the finish in sight, he had to stop again to ease the leg cramps.

With the large crowd urging him on and the thought of final release in sight, he crossed the line a relieved man, just nine seconds ahead of the equally gallant Hooper.

In the circumstances, the times of 2:14:30 and 2:14:39 were remarkable. “There must have been 50 times when I thought I was not going to finish,” admitted Kieran. “I had cramps everywhere.”

Almost unnoticed, Gerry Deegan had finished strongest of all to take third in 2:18:20.

Once again, the spectacle up front took from the women’s race where Emily Dowling was determined to make an attempt on the standard of 2:35. But the strong breeze coming up to 18 miles slowed her and after reaching 20 miles in 2:03, she realised she wasn’t going to achieve her aim and retired.

Her DCH team-mate Deirdre Nagle didn’t realise she was in the lead until nearing the South Mall and was therefore surprised to take her first marathon win in a time of 2:48:26, over a minute clear of Christine Kennedy from Galway.

In third, after attracting a lot of pre-race publicity as the local hope, 1983 winner Lucy O’Donoghue recorded a personal best of 2:56:06 after moving up from 12th at halfway.

As the remaining finishers struggled to cross the line in various states of exhaustion and exhilaration, they were unaware of the drama unfolding alongside them in the Imperial Hotel.

Because the size of the advertising logos on Kiernan’s and Deirdre Nagle’s vests transgressed the IAAF rules, the two winners were disqualified. The ironic fact was that both were wearing adidas apparel, the sponsor of the marathon.

“It’s not our ruling,” pointed out Eddie Spillane, PRO of BLE. “It is an IAAF rule and all athletes are aware of it. Before the race, officials approached individual athletes and told them they were wearing illegal vests.”

It also put the Cork County Board and its chairman Reg Hayes in a quandary as adidas sponsored the Board, along with most of the races in the county. The decision was also not lost on Michael O’Connell of adidas who called on BLE to clarify the position regarding sponsorship in writing.

But it wasn’t over yet.

At the prize presentation, Dick Hooper was declared the winner of the national championship. When presented with the winning trophy and medal, he turned and handed it to Kiernan and in a brief emotional speech said: “As much as it breaks my heart, I didn’t win this race and I now hand over the trophy to the real winner.”

The packed room broke into thunderous roars of applause and both Kiernan and Hooper were given standing ovations, much to the obvious embarrassment of the BLE officials.

There was a happy ending later when Kiernan and Hooper were both selected for the Olympics. Often much maligned for their selection policies, BLE for once played a trump card by awarding the third spot to John Treacy who went on to take the silver medal on that unforgettable August evening on the streets of Los Angeles.

Running the race of his life, Kiernan finished a magnificent ninth in what was the greatest marathon line-up in Olympic history.

His performance was understandably overshadowed by Treacy’s silver and the publicity he received paled in comparison to the front page news which dominated from that warm Easter Monday four months before.



1 Jerry Kiernan 2.14.30; 2 Dick Hooper 2.14.39; 3 Gerry Deegan 2.18.20; 4 Paddy Murphy 2.19.03; 5 Nemov Stanimar 2.19.25; 6 Martin Deane 2.19.53; 7 John Bolger 2.20.13; 8 Greg Hannon 2.21.29; 9 John Griffin 2.23.26; 10 Murt Coleman 2.23.57.
Deirdre Nagle crosses the line at the Cork City Marathon in 1984.
Deirdre Nagle crosses the line at the Cork City Marathon in 1984.


1 Deirdre Nagle 2.48.26; 2 Christine Kennedy 2.49.46; 3 Lucy O’Donoghue 2.56.04; 4 Audrey O’Brien 2.58.35; 5 Catherine Hennessy 3.00.14; 6 Nuala Logan 3.00.37.

Other well-known names among the finishers included:

Youghal native Christy Crowley won a silver team medal with Raheny when finishing 29th in 2.33.58.

Another Youghal man, George Walsh, just made the top sixty in a time of 2.45.21.

Seamus Casey of the Naval Service, now part of the Cork BHAA committee, ran 3.02.22 in his first-ever race.

Peter Gaffney from Mallow, another regular on the road race circuit, finished in 3.07.26.

Denis Murphy from Glanmire was close behind in a time of 3.08.14 with well-known shoe repairer Noel Muckley recording 3.08.37.

The late Tom Rawley finished in 3.09.18, just ahead of Stephen Murphy - then of Leevale, now with Rising Sun – who ran 3.09.28.

Christy O’Driscoll from Dublin Hill had a time of 3.15.52 with Joe Murphy from Eagle on 3.17.01 and Michael O’Connell of team adidas recording 3.17.15.

Tim-Joe Buckley from Donoughmore ran 3.18.58 with Mary Murphy from Mallow taking the Munster Championship bronze medal in 3.19.50.

Tony Huff from Blackrock (3.32.05) was five seconds ahead of Denis Ryan (3.32.10).

 Patrick Buckley of St Finbarr’s AC, now chairman of the Cork Athletics Board, finished in 3.42.52.

1) Original article in the Evening Echo

A list of previous guest posts from John Walshe can be seen HERE

Monday, June 22, 2020

Coillte withdraw plans to put road in Rochestown Woods

Oldcourt / Rochestown Woods is located in the south-east part of Cork City and is a popular spot for runners and walkers. As well as being a recreational area, the woods has a thriving Red Squirrel population.

Coillte recently published plans to cut down a part of the woods to enable a forest road to be built so that some of the trees there could be cut down and extracted. The proposed road is in Red above on the right. The additional area to be felled is enclosed in red above on the left.

This plan was vigourously opposed by local users of the woods as well as many local councilors.

Today, Coillte announced that they had withdrawn plans to build the road which is good news.It's still not clear though whether they intend to clear the area shown in Red.

The hope now is that the woods will be designated a recreational area by Coillte just like they did for several areas in Co. Dublin.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Guest Post: Flashback - Jerry Kiernan reigned in the rain at 1983 Cork City Marathon

Flashback: Jerry Kiernan reigned in the rain at 1983 Cork City Marathon... by John Walshe

THE year of 1982, following the inaugural Cork City Marathon, saw road running taking off throughout country.

That autumn, over 8,700 finishers were recorded at the Dublin Marathon.

New races sprang up everywhere and Cork was no exception. June, July and August saw 10-mile races in Crosshaven, Belgooly, Charleville, Ballincollig, Bandon, Rathcormac and Castlelyons.

The standards were also at an all-time high.

The BLE marathon at Limerick in June was won by Dick Hooper in 2:12:56 and of the 394 finishers, 138 were inside three hours.

Finishing 20th in 2:26:23 was Willie Hayes, then with Reenavanna Harriers and now a member of St Finbarr’s AC.

He had been to the fore at the Cork City Marathon the previous Easter, eventually finishing sixth in 1982.

He recalled the type of training he was doing back then.

“I used to average around 120 miles a week, and even on one occasion reached 150.

“I was living in Doon [Co Limerick] and along with a few others like Mike Thompson and John O’Brien would do five or six miles in the morning and go out again in the evening.

"We would do a long run on a Sunday and also trained on the track. But most runners were doing that kind of mileage back then.”

With the running boom in full swing, it needed a star, a cult hero that the public and media could relate to.

It found one in Jerry Kiernan.

Born in Listowel, Kiernan was already an accomplished track and cross-country performer before turning to the roads.

He was National 1500m champion in 1975 and the following year broke four minutes for the mile at the Crystal Palace, recording 3:59.1.

After finishing 26th at the 1982 World C-C, he made his long distance debut in sensational style in May, defeating Neil Cusack by over four minutes in a 25km race in Limerick.

Further super-fast times over 10 miles in Belgooly and Bandon followed but it was October’s Dublin City Marathon that made Jerry Kiernan a household name.

A live television audience saw the Kerry native set a tremendous pace, leading by nearly four minutes at 20 miles where a time close to 2 hours 10 minutes seemed on the cards.

But the wheels came off and he was forced to stop a number of times over the last six miles.

Although in an exhausted state, Kiernan held on to cross the line in the sixth-fastest time by an Irish athlete of 2:13:45.

As he was now supported by adidas - also the Cork City Marathon sponsors - Kiernan’s appearance in the southern showpiece on Easter Monday was virtually assured.

Before that, however, he made another trip to Cork when setting a course record of 47:04 for the Ballycotton ‘10’.

Easter was early in 1983 and conditions on Monday April 4 were described as “rain soaked and sun splashed.”

Entries, at almost 1,000, showed a significant increase on 1982.

There were some changes to the route with the race starting as well as finishing on the South Mall.

Along Anglesea Street, South Terrace, Clarke’s Bridge, Washington Street and Grand Parade brought the runners back to the South Mall and the two-mile mark.

They then headed out towards the Kinsale Road, through Togher and five miles at Deanrock Estate before coming in Hartland’s Avenue, Glasheen Road and out to Wilton.

The 10-mile mark was on Inchiggan Lane before a return to the city and along MacCurtain Street to 15 miles at St Patrick’s Church.

Back around Horgan’s Quay and down Centre Park Road and the Marina took the runners to 20 miles on Skehard Road.

Then followed the tough final six miles back by Bellair, past St Finbarr’s Hospital, Boreenamanna Road, Victoria Road, and the City Hall and around by George’s Quay to the welcome finish on the Mall.

Wearing number 699, Kiernan lined up in the miserable conditions amongst what was a much higher standard field.

A group of 10 quickly slipped clear, including Ray Treacy (who had run 47:42 behind Kiernan in Ballycotton), Neil Cusack, Michael Walsh, Paddy Murphy from Kildare, John Griffin, US-based Dessie O’Connor and Cork-born Eddie Twohig from Leamington.

“I honestly was not feeling good over those first ten miles,” admitted Kiernan afterwards.

"The rain was pouring down and there was a strong headwind. We were just sitting in and taking as much shelter as we could.”

Michael Walsh and Ray Treacy lead the field through eight miles in 41:46.

The weather was now improving and passing the County Hall, Treacy surged, taking Kiernan with him. Walsh was off the back and coming into Patrick Street, Kiernan took control.

“The adrenalin was flowing. The crowd was great and I was feeling real good,” he would relate later.

He reached 18 miles in 91:02 and passing St Finbarr’s Hospital and the 22-mile mark, the clocked showed 1:51:31.

A really fast time was now on the cards and so it proved, with the 29-year-old crossing the line looking remarkably fresh, in contrast to his debut in Dublin five months before.

His time of 2:13:20 was the third-fastest ever run in the country and well clear of Treacy who ran a lifetime best of 2:16:54. Paddy Murphy, 39, also recorded a personal best of 2:17:31.

“I love running in Cork, the atmosphere is different to anywhere else and the people seem to appreciate athletes more down here,” stated Kiernan afterwards.

“I will be back for some 10-milers this summer. I still have never been beaten in Cork.”

 With all the attention focussed on the men, there was also a remarkable conclusion to the women’s equivalent.

Lucy O’Donoghue, a native of Tallow and a receptionist with Royal Insurance on the South Mall, had only taken up jogging the previous year when she completed the marathon in 4:11:44.

Now, with 12 months training behind her and a number of quality race performances, she improved on that inaugural run by almost an hour to take the title in 3:13:33, with Maura Curtin from North Cork second in 3:17:04.

“I did not realise I had a chance of winning it until I saw the paper on Saturday morning,” said the delighted O’Donoghue, who no doubt acted as a role model for women as that year only around 40 females took part out of a total of 818 finishers.


1 Jerry Kiernan 2:13:20 2 Ray Treacy 2:16:54 3 Paddy Murphy 2:17:31 4 Michael Walsh 2:20:23 5 John Griffin 2:21:03 6 Dessie O’Connor 2:22:19 7 Michael Treacy 2:22:32 8 Edward Twohig 2:24:07 9 Patrick O’Donoghue 2:25:07 10 Willie Fitzgerald 2:26:57


1 Lucy O’Donoghue 3:13:33 2 Maura Curtin 3:17:04 3 Corinne Reidy 3:23:28 4 Carmel Lynch 3:26:48 5 Mary Murphy 3:35:12 6 Sheila Murphy 3:36:16


Derry O’Driscoll from Cobh, aged 46, knocked over a minute off of his best time to win the veterans award, finishing 19th overall in 2.35.08.

Three places ahead was John Buckley of St Finbarr’s (2.33.43) and in 20th (2.35.12) was Seamus Cawley, Rathkeale, one of just 13 runners who has finished all 40 Dublin Marathons.

Sean Cotter from Bishopstown, well known in orienteering and hill-walking circles, finished 34th in 2.43.19.

Former European 1500m silver-medallist Frank Murphy - running for the St Peter & Paul’s Building Fund which raised in the region of 4,000 pounds – easily broke three hours with his 2.51.34.

Also under the magical barrier was Noel Curtin, now of Youghal AC and father of US scholarship athlete Fearghal, who completed his second marathon in 2.59.10.

The late Luke Philpott, again running in aid of the St Peter & Paul’s fund, finished in 3.06.21 with George Spicer not too far behind in 3.09.07.

Bernard Sisk, still a regular prize-winner in Cork BHAA races, finished in 3.44.27.

Frank Greally, editor of Irish Runner, ran 3.29.26 and wrote of his tussle with another athletics scribe.

“With over a half-mile to go I saw Fr Liam Kelleher up ahead and he looked like he was in trouble. ‘The leg is gone,’ he said. ‘I’m bunched too’, I replied, but let us run in together.’ We began to run the final five or six hundred yards and suddenly Fr Liam took off again. However, he had only gained about forty yards when he began to buckle again and I passed him and kept the head down and ran with great determination to the finish.”

A list of previous guest posts from John Walshe can be seen HERE

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Notice: Touraneena Virtual 5k - Fri 19th June 2020

 If anyone would like to take part in a free virtual 5k on Friday 19th of June 2020, see below...


Race 3 of our virtual summer series takes place this week. It is never too late to start and if you would like to join us for the Touraneena 5k race this is how it works.

During the week of the race we ask you to run the race distance at a time suitable to you. Please follow all HSE guidelines in relation to physical distancing and social responsibility. When you have done this please send on a picture of your watch or timing device to Irene Clark 086 8242348 showing the distance and time taken by midnight on the Friday of the race.

Spot prizes will be given out after each race.
There is no charge for participating in this race, but we would ask that you support our title sponsor Intersport Elverys either online or instore. We have had great support from them in the past and we would now like to return that support.

No results will be published as its ‘You’ against the clock giving a good honest effort to achieve your best performance on the day.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Dungarvan when it is safe to race again.

In the meantime, please join us for some virtual racing.

Greenway Half-Marathon in Dungarvan in September cancelled

Another causality of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Due to the current ongoing challenges with Covid 19 we have come to the decision to cancel our race for 2020.

Our priority is the health and safety of our athletes, volunteers and supporters and we cannot guarantee that with any certainty, at this time.

Training would be starting in the next few weeks, so we have taken the decision now before athletes start their race training.

As a club we would like to continue to offer our athletes and friends an opportunity to stay connected to us but apart via our Virtual Summer Series. Full details can be found on the clubs Facebook page.

We look forward to welcoming you all back to Dungarvan when it is safe to do so.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Guest Post: Cork Marathon in 1982 drew just 700 runners but was deemed a success

This is an updated post from John Walshe about the 1982 Cork City Marathon which appeared in a recent edition of the Evening Echo. The original post appeared on the blog back in 1982.

Cork Marathon in 1982 drew just 700 runners but was deemed a success... by John Walshe

FOR the first time in 13 years, the streets of Cork were empty of runners this Bank Holiday Weekend as the annual marathon and associated events were yet another victim of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When Alan O’Shea led home over 1,300 marathoners back in 2007, it bridged a 21-year gap since the city had last hosted such an event as during the period from 1982 to 1986 Cork followed most major cities with a mass-participation marathon.

In October 1980 the inaugural Dublin City Marathon took place, followed in March 1981 by the London Marathon. Cork did have a marathon that year of 1981, but it was unlike what runners today are accustomed to.

On a wet June Sunday, the BLE National Marathon took place on the western side of the city. Starting near the County Hall, it headed out the Carrigrohane Straight, through Ballincollig and on to Farnanes. Here, the competitors simply turned around a petrol pump before retracing their steps.

With the County Hall like a mirage in the distance, the final two miles weren’t the most appealing. However, it didn’t deter Dick Hooper from winning his third national marathon in a time of 2:15:37 with Carey May recording 2:42:39 to take the women’s title.

Six months later, Brendan Mooney wrote in the Cork Examiner: “Cork city will at last have its own marathon,” going on to say that the Management Committee of BLE had given the County Board the go-ahead. The event, launched at the Imperial Hotel, would be sponsored by adidas through Three Stripe International who marketed the brand in Ireland.

Reg Hayes, Chairman of the Cork BLE Board, stated it would be the first of a series of such events. He added it would be a people’s marathon for the people of Cork and would depend largely on voluntary effort.

Michael O’Connell, Manager of Three Stripe International, announced that invitations would go out to a number of countries and that runners rejected for the second London Marathon would receive an invitation.

The Examiner and Evening Echo, along with RTÉ Cork Local Radio, were to promote the marathon. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Paud Black, said the event would be of tremendous benefit to the City of Cork.

Stevie Bolger and Donna O’Sullivan, two presenters on Cork Local Radio, volunteered to train from scratch to run. Michael Joyce, the Associate Editor of Irish Runner, was given the task of compiling their training programme.

A number of courses were submitted to the Garda Authorities for consideration. Jack O’Leary, one of the country’s leading marathon runners of the 1960s and 70s and an engineer with Cork Co Council, measured the selected route.

Start of the 1982 Cork City Marathon on the Old Mallow Road
It started on the old Mallow Road and came through Blackpool, MacCurtain Street, Penrose Quay, North Gate Bridge and down the Mardyke to the five-mile mark. Out the Carrigrohane Straight, on to Rossa Avenue and Wilton before returning to the city centre and Patrick Street at 11 miles.

Halfway was reached on the Marina, then through Blackrock and Ballinlough and out the Douglas Road and on to Tramore Road and the 20-mile mark in Togher. Another two miles brought the runners through Glasheen and down Barrack Street to the finish on South Mall.

Approx 1982 route

Easter Monday of April 12 finally arrived. In ideal conditions at 11am around 700 runners started out in what for many was a step into the unknown. The thousands originally hoped for hadn’t materialised, but it was still a good entry considering - somewhat bizarrely - that another marathon had taken place in Galway the previous day.

Before a mile was covered, eight runners had broken clear. They included Michael Walsh (Leevale), John O’Toole (Tullamore), Willie Fitzgerald (Millstreet), Willie Hayes (Reenavanna), Seamus Cregan (Croom), Tom Jordan (Waterford) and John McNiff, the latter visiting Cork from New York.

At the eight mile mark near the Regional College, Hayes and Fitzgerald were sharing the lead. Shortly after, Walsh and O’Toole started to take control and went through 10 miles together in 52:53.

Coming out of Blackrock and the 15-mile mark, the 23-year-old O’Toole made the move that mattered. He was now in unknown territory, having never raced beyond this distance before. But he did not falter and after running the final 11 miles on his own crossed the finish line outside the Imperial Hotel to a tumultuous reception.

His time was 2:20:40, while Walsh - brother of 1972 Olympian Donie - was closing again on the Tullamore man towards the finish but had to settle for second in 2:21:03. He was well pleased, considering it was only his second marathon.

The late Tom Jordan also finished strongly to take third in 2:24:16. Willie Hayes, the early leader, held on to sixth in 2:27:47.

The women’s race also saw a change of fortune over the final stages. Marie Buckley of Leevale, better known as a cross-country runner, was also making her marathon debut and passed Dublin-based Catherine Sutton around 15 miles to win decisively in 3:08:17.

“It was a perfect day for such a race. I was a bit nervous setting out but when the gun went I really enjoyed every stride, chatting away with other runners and getting loads of support,” Marie recalled. “I must have been good and fit then as it didn’t knock a thing out of me and I went back to work as usual the next day.”

An amazing feat from that first marathon was the accomplishment of Donal Burke from Whitechurch. A colleague of Jack O’Leary’s at the County Hall, Donal had also played a role in laying out the route.

But now he planned a double marathon weekend – to break three hours in both Galway and Cork. With a sub-2:35 best to his credit, he held back in Galway on Easter Sunday to finish in 2:52:16. After travelling to Tuam for physiotherapy that evening, he journeyed back to Cork.

Monday morning saw him lining up on the Mallow road and despite some early stiffness he ran another consistent race to clock a remarkable 2:49:18 for 37th position overall.

The Cork City Marathon had arrived and there would be many more exciting and dramatic stories over the next four years.



1 John O’Toole 2:20:40

2 Michael Walsh 2:21:03

3 Thomas Jordan 2:22:41

4 Seamus Cregan 2:24:16

5 John McNiff 2:26:15

6 Willie Hayes 2:27:47

7 Roddy Burke 2:29:43

8 Michael Culligan 2:32:17

9 Pat Kerrigan 2:32:30

10 Willie Fitzgerald 2:33:37


1 Marie Buckley 3:08:17

2 Catherine Sutton 3:19:08

3 Teresa Dwane 3:31:27

4 Noreen O’Brien 3:38:53

5 Lucia O’Sullivan 3:43:25

6 Carmel Lyons 3:45:24

Other well-known names amongst the finishers included:

Liam O’Leary of the Cork Fire Brigade – who’s son Cillian would go on to win the 2015 marathon - finished 18th in 2:41:51. “That was my fastest; I ran the first mile which passed Blackpool Fire Station in 5:10 as all my colleagues were out cheering!”

One place behind was Michael Joyce in 2:41:59 with Jack O’Leary finishing first veteran in 2:45:32

Army-man Willie O’Riordan, still winning prizes in Cork BHAA races, ran 2:48:44

Another regular on the local scene, Batt Kearney of Leevale, was just 34 seconds outside three hours when finishing 63rd

Michael Dunne from Blarney made the top 100 with his time of 3:10:00

Two well-known GAA referees taking part were John Motherway from Aghada (3:12:42) and Charlie McAllister from Midleton (3:15:10)

Well-known BHAA official John Mohally finished in 3:16:35 with his good friend Alex Crowley recording 3:20:34

Dick O’Brien from Castlelyons had a time of 2:58:07 while his brother Donal recorded 3:24:16

Michael O’Connell of sponsors adidas finished in 3:18:38 with his 11-year-old son Brendan recording a remarkable 3:42:48

Eamonn McEvoy, now one of the leading masters’ in the country with St Finbarr’s, finished in 3:25:15

Original post from 2012...

Evening Echo post with a few photos...

A list of previous guest posts from John Walshe can be seen HERE

Monday, June 15, 2020

New park proposed for Blarney...

Cork City Council have purchased 6.5 acres of land in Blarney with the intention to develop an amenity park there. It will include wildflower meadows, a play area as well as a looped path for walking and running.

The 6.5 acres of land is situated between the River Martin and Waterloo Road in the centre of the village, just north of Blarney Woolen Mills.

In a statement, the Council said that the current grassland area would be “maintained and enhanced in the context of biodiversity and the natural environment.” 

While full development of the park will depend on available resources, it is hoped that some works to improve access will take place in the coming months.

The Council now intend to consult with the local community and Councillors as to how the park might be developed. 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Work on new running path in Carrigaline begins...

Back in September of 2019, I had a post up about how approval was given for a public running path in Carrigaline. The good news is that work on this has now commenced.

Press release from Cork County Council.... Contractors working on behalf of Cork County Council have this week commenced work on the new hybrid Running Track in Carrigaline Park. Access to the park is also being upgraded with additional seating areas being added in response to suggestions from the Carrigaline community, businesses and elected members at recent meetings for Cork County Council’s Project ACT.

An area in the park has been fenced off to allow a safe working zone for the contractor for the duration of the works. Cork County Council advises that it is still be possible to enjoy the other walks, green areas and facilities in the rest of the park during the period of construction.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said,

“As one of the county’s nine Metropolitan Towns, Carrigaline supports a large population, a strong community and a wide variety of businesses.  Through the Council’s Project ACT, investment in public amenities like these improvements to the park, as well as a number of infrastructural projects planned for the area, will ensure Carrigaline is well placed for a bright future.”

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Ian Doyle welcomed the news of the start of works saying,

“Cork County Council avoided closing any section of this amenity while local residents were utilising it within their 2km zone. With restrictions on movement easing and other amenities now accessible work can continue onsite which is great news for local residents. This will be a fantastic addition to the park in Carrigaline and the project is expected to be completed within 6 weeks which should allow for the full reopening of the park before the August Bank holiday.”

The running track is a 1.2m wide path circling the lagoon in Carrigaline Park and replaces the existing gravel and tarmac path with a new surface of black rubber flex which is porous and helps drainage. It is also softer to run on and has better grip.

Notice: CUH Charity Run/Walk - Sat 20th June 2020

This virtual event takes place on Saturday the 20th of June 2020 and aims to raise funds for equipment to test for cancer at Cork University Hospital.

"In CUH we are fundraising for a 'next generation sequencer'. It's a piece of equipment that allows a patient's cancer to be tested for a large number of mutations using a single sample. The aim is to identify mutations that can then be targeted with new drugs.... Dr. Linda Feeley"

Just run or walk on the day and make a donation. Link HERE

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

John Buckley Sports reopens for business..

As the COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, John Buckley Sports in Cork City reopened its door on Monday the 8th of June.

"John Buckley Sports is delighted to be reopening Monday 8th of June
The shop will be open from 10.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and we will be working under all the government & HSE guidelines."

Friday, June 05, 2020

Ardmore Virtual 5 mile - Fri 5th June 2020

In the absence of any actual road races, maybe consider doing a virtual race...

From West Waterford AC... 

5TH JUNE 2020

Its never too late to start and if you would like to join us for the Ardmore 5 mile race this is how it works.

During the week of the race we ask you to run the race distance at a time suitable to you. The only rule is that you must stay within 5km of home as per the current HSE guidelines. When you have done this please send on a picture of your watch or timing device to Irene Clark 086 8242348 showing the distance and time taken by midnight on the Friday of the race. Spot prizes will be given out after each race.

No results will be published as its ‘You’ against the clock giving a good honest effort to achieve your best performance on the day.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Dungarvan when it is safe to race RACE 2 VIRTUAL SUMMER SERIES ARDMORE 5 MILE 5TH JUNE 2020

Well done to all our club members and friends who took part in the Ballinroad 5k. This was the first of our virtual summer series races and we are delighted that so many athletes supported it.
Its never too late to start and if you would like to join us for the Ardmore 5 mile race this is how it works.

During the week of the race we ask you to run the race distance at a time suitable to you. The only rule is that you must stay within 5km of home as per the current HSE guidelines. When you have done this please send on a picture of your watch or timing device to Irene Clark 086 8242348 showing the distance and time taken by midnight on the Friday of the race. Spot prizes will be given out after each race.

No results will be published as its ‘You’ against the clock giving a good honest effort to achieve your best performance on the day.
We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Dungarvan when it is safe to race again. In the meantime please join us for some virtual racing.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

2020 Limerick Marathon in October cancelled

The list of cancelled events continue. The original Limerick Marathon was due to have been held on Sunday the 3rd of May 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed until the 4th of October.

Now the organisers have followed in the footsteps of Cork and Dublin and cancelled the marathon until 2021.

Anyone who has entered will be automatically deferred to the 2021 date. If you want a refund then you must request it before midnight on the 7th of June 2020.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Sanctuary Runners mark the date of the cancelled Cork City Marathon

Sunday the 31st of May 2020 was the date for the 2020 Cork City Marathon before it had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's fair to say that if it had taken place, it would certainly have been a hot one.

Where I live in Cork harbour, the sea breeze meant that the thermometer never got above 20 deg C but I'd imagine it must have been into the low to mid 20s in places like Ballyphehane and the Model Farm Road by around midday. A great day for spectators but not great for running fast times.

To mark the date, the Sanctuary Runners have put together this short video...