fter the celebration of Friday night’s 10 year anniversary social Sunday morning dawned and this means cross country. However this was no ordinary cross country but the All Ireland Even Age, Junior and Senior cross country championships held in the National Sports Complex in Abbotstown. For any athlete to qualify to compete in a national championship takes months of dedication and training. These athletes finished in the top of their provincial championship to qualify.
St. Catherine’s a.c. had 8 athletes representing them last Sunday and so early Sunday the athletes, their families, and supporters left for Dublin in anticipation of a great days racing.
First up for the club was Charlotte Norman in the girls u12. This is Charlotte’s first year competing and to get to the All Ireland’s is a huge achievement in itself. Despite a slight hiccup on the journey up Charlotte arrived in plenty of time to warm up and join her Cork team on the starting line. The sight of 180 u12 girls sprinting off the starting line is a sight to behold and Charlotte in the middle of them. The course for this race was still in good condition but it deteriorated rapidly as the day went on. Charlotte made little of her inexperience and finished in 42nd place of the 178 finishers and 7th Cork finisher. Well done Charlotte.
Next up for St Catherine’s was Conor Hayes. This was Conors second time qualifying for the All Ireland’s. 3000m was the challenge awaiting him on a course where the surface was deteriorating badly. Despite getting hampered in the starting charge Conor battled through the race to finish in 50th position of the 164 finishers and 4th Cork finisher. Unfortunately the Cork team finished 4th, just outside the medals. A great run by Conor who also has the uneven ages to look forward to and prepare for.
After Conors race we had a chance to draw a breath before the girls u18 and junior race which was run as a single race. St. Catherine’s a.c. had a club team here of Laura Hayes, Natalie Nicholson, Sarah Mulcahy, Sara Barry, Caoimhe Hayes, and Meghan Carr. Laura, Natalie and Meghan were also on Cork teams. By now conditions on the course were tough and slippery and ankle deep in places but the 4000m that awaited our girls did not phase them in any way. The girls ran strongly throughout and fought for every position. The team was led home by Laura Hayes followed by Natalie, then Meghan and Sarah, Sara,and Caoimhe. Unfortunately a team prize eluded them again this year. The Cork junior team was also outside the medals but Meghan also on the Cork u18 team earned a bronze medal being 4th finisher on the Cork u18 team.
This group of girls have been a model of inspiration and example to all in St Catherine’s ac and as they begin to move up to the adult ranks they have many more years ahead of them with new challenges. 4 of the girls have been part of the club since it’s inception 10 years ago, with juveniles inspired on the night by Rob Heffernan and Steve Macklin. As a team they have won many team prizes over the years and individual as well. A great achievement by all. Best of luck to Meghan, Natalie and Sara in the uneven ages cross country on December 15th
Our club distinguished themselves yet again with another great day in Limerick racecourse last Sunday.
Our athletes have to step up every race at the moment and after contesting the 2 County Championship event days, our next challenge was the Munsters.
I t was a cold and dry at the racecourse but when the runners were warming up, they found the underfoot conditions to be wet and slippy. Strangely enough, testing conditions can be to our advantage as our athletes train hard a few times every week in all conditions, so we were hopeful that the girls and boys would get around without incident and hopefully, be the shake-up at the finish.
Our first runners were the under 10s and Aimee Kearney finished a superb 13th place and this was good enough to secure a County team Gold medal for Cork. Well done Aimee!
Next up were the boys at under 10s and Conor Ronayne, Kenneth O’Connell and Adam O’Connor also tacked the tough course and ran a cracking race. Conor got off to a great start and was in the leading group going up the hill, moving to the front going down the hill and he powered to the finish line to win the race. Absolutely brilliant stuff, Conor. The County Champion and the Munster Champion!! Kenneth and Adam finished very strongly and finished in the middle of the 100 strong pack. Conor led the County team to first place overall, so another gold medal. Wow!
The under 12 girls were represented by Charlotte Norman and Ciara Hayes. In a huge field of over 160 competitors, Charlotte finished in 21st place, an excellent performance once again. Ciara finished strongly, as always, in the middle of the pack.
The sole representative for the under 12s boys was James O’Connor who ran another great race.
The next big race was the boys under 14s where we had three entries but unfortunately, Senan O’Reilly had to pull out due to a chest infection. Conor Hayes and Charlie Nicholson tackled the racecourse with grit in their teeth and Conor had another super race finishing 16th overall and securing a county Silver team medal. Charlie also had a fine race finishing in the top half of the field.
Our last competitor in the juveniles was Meghan Carr in the under 18s race. She continued her comeback with a solid run finishing 15th overall and also securing a county Gold team medal. Fine running, Meghan!
Our sole representative in the adult races was Dave O’Connor who tacked the Nivice race. Dave had yet another outstanding performance finishing 9th overall and also capturing a county Gold team medal.
The runners who won county team medals now have the very great honour to run in the All Ireland Championships in the county colours. What a proud moment for you all!!
Next up are the County B’s in Dromtariffe, outside Mallow, next Sunday, the 27th.
Hope to see you all there.
Information on all upcoming Cross Country events can be found at Cork Athletics Cross Country Autumn Fixtures 2019.
Well done to all 44 juveniles who took part in our 1 Mile Road Race last night. Results as follows:
|Number||Name||Club||Time||Overall Position||Category Position|
|1861||Sennan O’Reilly||St Catherines AC||05:46||1||1|
|1840||Conor Hayes||St Catherines AC||05:49||2||2|
Carrig na Bhfear
St Catherines AC
|Number||Name||Club||Time||Overall Position||Category Position|
|1867||Lucy Ahern||St Catherines AC||06:39||13||1|
|1834||Charlotte Norman||St Catherines AC||06:52||17||2|
|1833||Sarah O’Connell||St Catherines AC||07:00||18||3|
Full results below:
|Number||Name||Category||Club||Time||Overall Position||Category Position|
|1861||Sennan O'Reilly||Male Juvenile||St Catherines AC||05:46||1||1|
|1840||Conor Hayes||Male Juvenile||St Catherines AC||05:49||2||2|
|1864||Darragh Ronayne||Male Juvenile||St Catherines AC||05:49||3||3|
|1870||Aidan Maher||Male Juvenile||Carrig na Bhfear||05:49||3||3|
|1875||Paul Kelly||Male Juvenile||Carrigaline AC||05:56||4||4|
|1857||Shane Byrne||Male Juvenile||Togher AC||06:01||5||5|
|1876||Tom Kelly||Male Juvenile||Carrigaline AC||06:08||6||6|
|1843||Charlie Nicholson||Male Juvenile||St Catherines AC||06:20||7||7|
|1848||Ronan O'Shea||Male Juvenile||Carrigaline AC||06:20||8||8|
|1849||Eoin Dylan||Male Juvenile||n/a||06:28||9||9|
|1842||Cian McCarthy||Male Juvenile||n/a||06:29||10||10|
|1860||Noah Switzer||Male Juvenile||n/a||06:29||11||11|
|1867||Lucy Ahern||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||06:39||12||1|
|1868||Billy Ahern||Male Juvenile||St Catherines AC||06:41||13||12|
|1865||Conor Ronayne||Male Juvenile||St Catherines AC||06:43||14||13|
|1838||James O'Connor||Male Juvenile||St Catherines AC||06:45||15||14|
|1834||Charlotte Norman||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||06:52||16||2|
|1833||Sarah O'Connell||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||07:00||17||3|
|1869||James Geary||Male Juvenile||St Catherines AC||07:04||18||15|
|1862||Ellie Barry||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||07:13||19||4|
|1872||Saoirse Corrigan||Female Juvenile||St Nicholas AC||07:15||20||5|
|1859||Andy Switzer||Male Juvenile||n/a||07:17||21||16|
|1874||Sean Finn||Male Juvenile||Grange Fermoy||07:18||22||17|
|1841||Ciara Hayes||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||07:23||23||6|
|1871||Henry Wagner||Male Juvenile||Grange Fermoy||07:27||24||18|
|1866||Jacob Simms||Male Juvenile||n/a||07:33||25||19|
|1850||Kelly Dylan||Female Juvenile||n/a||07:38||26||7|
|1839||Cillian Harte||Male Juvenile||n/a||07:39||27||20|
|1854||Katelyn Hickey||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||07:39||28||8|
|1856||Anna Byrne||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||07:45||29||9|
|1853||Marie O'Connor||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||07:47||30||10|
|1863||Chloe Carr||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||07:52||31||11|
|1873||Jack Darrer-Dalton||Male Juvenile||Blackwater Tri Club||07:53||32||21|
|1858||Orlaith Byrne||Female Juvenile||Togher AC||07:58||33||12|
|1846||Sean Morrison||Male Juvenile||St Catherines AC||08:05||34||22|
|1845||Cathal Higgins||Male Juvenile||St Catherines AC||08:19||35||23|
|1836||Layla McNamara||Female Juvenile||n/a||08:20||36||13|
|1852||Chloe Higgins||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||08:23||37||14|
|1844||Teegan Murphy||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||08:29||38||15|
|1835||Ali Quirke||Female Juvenile||n/a||08:34||39||16|
|1851||Thomas Kaskiewicz||Male Juvenile||Grange Fermoy||08:40||40||24|
|1837||Julia Witnik||Female Juvenile||n/a||09:36||41||17|
|1855||Juliette Ahern||Female Juvenile||St Catherines AC||09:37||42||18|
|1847||Emily Cotter||Female Juvenile||Grange Fermoy||09:57||43||19|
It was a Midsummer Run with a difference. St Catherines decamped from our usual haunts in East Cork and pitched up on Bere Island, in the heart of West Cork.
We were there to take part in not one, not two but three running events happening on Saturday last, the 13th of July.
Bere Island is one of the most popular ParkRun events in the country and many of our runners and walkers, both young and old, started the event at 9.30. It was beautiful and warm, not a cloud in the sky, as our club athletes wound their way around the hilly terrain. Chris O’Connell was off like a hare, “running at marathon pace” who came home first. Many of our first timers to the island remarked on the beautiful course set in the most picturesque countryside.
The Midsummer Run events at 5k and 10k took place in the afternoon which gave the ParkRun participants, a bit of time for a coffee and cake in the village café. Thanks to Edel and Brendan Murphy for the warm welcomes, the genuine hospitality and for making us feel right at home.
As the temperatures soared into the high twenties, the races began and our club athletes prepared to battle in the very humid conditions. The most welcome sight, besides the finish line, was the many water stations dotted throughout the course. Some of us were shedding buckets of sweat trying to get around the course, never mind trying to keep up with the leaders. As per usual, our club was very well represented in numbers and yet again, we featured in the medals. Well done to Chris O’Connell who finished second in the 5k; Roisin Ronayne who finished second in the 10 k; Trevor Geary who came home 3rd in the 10k and the one and only Brenda Hickey who was declared first female veteran in the 10k. That last one may have been a clerical error!!
Yours truly had the pleasure of accompanying the legendary wheelchair athlete, Jerry Forde, around the 10k race. Not surprisingly, Jerry put on an incredible display of pure strength and determination to conquer the very difficult road conditions for a wheelchair and triumphed in a time of 1 hour 51 minutes. Thanks Jerry!
While we tucked into the post-race tea and sandwiches at the GAA club, the children’s races took place on the pitch. Well done to all the children and congrats to Aimee Kearney, Mark Geary and Sarah O’Connell for getting onto the podium as well.
And to cap it all, we then descended to Lonehort Cove, where we spent a lovely few hours swimming in the azure blue water—if felt and looked like we were in the Mediterranean Sea.
All the club, including the Kearneys, Murphys, Dunnings, O’Connells, Clancys, Gearys, Hayes, Linehans, Hickeys, Hartes and Ronayne families, finished the night off in the pub being entertained by Doireann Hayes and Sadie & Grainne Linehan playing us some traditional tunes that they learnt in County Clare last week.
Thanks as ever, to Kevin Hayes for organizing this excellent weekend away.
Looking forward already to next year.