How long have you been running what made you take it up:
I started running in 2011. I started running because my god daughter Béibhinn O Connor was born with a serious heart defect. At the time she needed a surgery which would require funding. So I decided I would do something crazy and run the Cork City Marathon to raise what I could. At the time some of my friends laughed because they couldn’t imagine me finishing. But they soon got behind me and with Béibhinns inspiration I did run my first marathon in Cork in 2012. Also brook the 4hr barrier which was brilliant, cut it close though 3:59. By the time the marathon came around Béibhinns brilliant parents Eoin and Irene had secured funding through the HSE for the surgery. So I donated the money I raised to the heart ward in Crumlin Children’s hospital
Favourite thing about running:
My favourite things about running are the headspace you get while running. The fact that you only need to compete against yourself and your own goals and times. Also I love being outside and the obvious health benefits running gives you.
Favourite race distance to run:
My favourite distance to run is the Marathon. I love the training for a marathon over a 12 to 14 week plan, the way you can see week by week improvement if you do it right. But most of all I love the event itself, it really feels like a big deal when you arrive at the start line and you know you will normally get out of it what you put into it.
What is your main goal for this year:
To be honest my biggest goal for this year is to get back running constantly and improving. The last 18 months has been the most difficult in my life. Béibhinn sadly passed away in September 2020 at 9 years of age due to complications after her latest heat surgery. I can’t tell how much that rocked our world, and changed our lives forever. Béibhinn is an inspiration to us all and her parents Eoin and Irene are absolutely amazing. Béibhinn will never be forgotten and now she even has a charity formed in her name www.theheartangle.com.
7 months after Béibhinn passed, in April 2021 my Dad died at the age of 67. My dad to me was also a very good friend and work colleague and you could say life coach, always supportive and on my side in a crises. We were left in shock and devastation after his passing.
So my goal this year is to get back racing and to use the inspiration from Béibhinn and my Dad to live life to the fullest while we can.
I will be Running Boston Marathon this weekend in their honor, it will be a very emotional race for me but I hope I do them proud.
Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date:
My best race was probably the Berlin marathon in 2019. Everything seem to click on the day, I felt good throughout which I never experienced in a marathon before. So I felt in that race the I got what my training deserved which often doesn’t happen in a marathon.
My most memorable racing experience was my first marathon in Cork in 2012. When I came (fell) across the finish line I saw all of my close family and friends including Béibhinn and my Dad.
Tell us something most people might not know about you:
Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting):
Well my biggest heroes in my life would be Béibhinn and her parents Eoin and Irene. If you met Béibhinn you would understand why, she was dealt a really difficult hand from day one. She never let it set her back though. She was always smiling and happy and you would never know she was sick because she didn’t show it, ever. She has also an amazing group of friends. Her mom and dad really amaze me with there strength and determination that Béibhinn will not be forgotten and she will continue to do good. They raised around 100k for The Make A Wise charity in Béibhinns 6 months after she passed. Heroes doesn’t even come close to describing them.
One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running:
My advise to someone taking up running is be patient, don’t let the knocks get you down. Take it easy on the easy days and don’t push it in training if your body says no. Thake a step back and go again.
3 things you would take with you onto a desert island:
I would take my runners ofcouse, lol. I would definitely bring an ipod, really love listening to music, and my wife ofcourse 😉. Who it has to be said without her I would never be able to do what I really love doing.
My Boston Marathon story began in January, when I decided to focus all of my training on the 126th Boston Marathon 2022.
Training for the Boston Marathon
I wanted to build my weekly mileage steadily from January. That meant avoiding shorter races, the only races I entered in the run up were Dungarvan 10 and Mallow 10. The idea for those 2 races was, to run them as my long run with a 10 mile easy warm up, then for the race itself, run it at marathon effort at first, and aim of hopefully discovering my marathon pace. The idea was to gain confidence running at that marathon pace over long periods of time. January block of training went well, I was building mileage every week, without pushing the pace too hard. I managed to get my first 20 miler done on the last Sunday of January which was nice. The first Sunday in February was Dungarvan 10, so I got to put my first 5 weeks of training to the test. I started with 10 easy and then tried to run the race at marathon effort. I was disappointed with it, as I lost discipline in the first 3 miles of the race. I went off too quickly, settled down around 5 miles and held on after that. Not ideal and exactly what I wanted to avoid doing, but lesson learnt, a slap on the wrist and move on. I steadily increased my mileage in February, also increasing my long interval speed sessions. By the end of February I had built a nice base with a consistent block of training. I was getting in the speed on the track and hitting 20 to 22 miles on my Sunday run every week, and up to 70 miles average weekly mileage.
I continued this progression into March. My main focus at this stage was to make every run count, that meant to work hard in Tuesday track sessions while making sure the easy recovery runs were very easy. I also started to add marathon effort miles to my Sunday long run.
Then came Mallow 10 on March 21st. My hope for this was that I would have more discipline than i did in Dungarvan, and comfort and confidence at my marathon pace and effort. Mallow went well on both counts and that was a nice confidence boost. I hit 80 miles that week, which I think was my first time ever. At this stage I was feeling very confident in my training and thankful that it all went so well to this point. I am now 4 weeks out from Boston.
The following week went just as well. I ran 80 miles again including a 24 miler on the Sunday with 12 MP building on my 10 at Mallow the previous week. When I finished that 24 miler though I had a bit of a disaster. As soon as I finished I felt a sore throat, and although the session went well, I was concerned . When I got home I did an antigen test, and yes; I tested positive for COVID! “I’m 3 weeks out from Boston”
This was not a part of the plan.
This was a blow, I was really drained for a few days. It was very annoying, when on the previous Sunday I was running a 24 miler and bursting with confidence, but on Wednesday I was panting walking up a flight of stairs. I had to rest for a few days and my confidence took a big hit. On Friday I tried to do a bit of a progression run, but I was wasting my time. It was very windy and my energy levels were reduced, my confidence was knocked further. By Sunday I was feeling a bit better but obviously not where I was.
I was 2 weeks out at this stage, and very worried that my dream of breaking 3hrs in Boston was gone. I tried a small bit of speed work, it was difficult because I was supposed to be tapering but I had to do something to try and build my confidence back up.
I knew I had the training done; but I had run Boston in 2019 in good shape and blew up after 10 miles. So for me Boston was all about confidence in running at marathon pace and the discipline to stick to it early on.
On the Wednesday before the race I tried 4 miles at marathon pace, this felt good, I even had to slow down a few times. This was great, but still only 4 miles. I flew to Boston on Thursday, not as confident as I had been 3 weeks earlier but kept trying to tell myself to trust the training. Mallow, 4 weeks earlier at this stage felt like months ago. I knew at this stage that the race was going to be a mental battle as much as anything else.
Making it to the Start Line.
Once I arrived in Boston straight away you can see and feel that this race really is a big deal. It’s on the news and weather updates constantly, people are genuinely excited to talk to you about it and wish you well. I went for a walk to Boylston Street to have a look at the finish line and the excitement was palpable. Deep down, I was still wishing I was at the same level of confidence as I was 3 weeks earlier. The race day has arrived, ‘Marathon Monday’. I am dropped to Hopkinton where I get on a yellow school bus filled with other excited Marathoners; some are quite and some are looking to chat. I was quite, trying to focus on the race and going over it in my head. I had run this 3 years earlier but it’s a blur, as I blew up and it was very humid, so don’t remember much. What I do know, is that it’s a quick start, the first 3 miles are pretty much rolling hills, but much more down than up. I have decided at this stage that my marathon pace is going to be 6:40 minute miles. I said I would go ‘all in’, trust the training and muscle memory etc.
I am in the holding area before the race starts, on a lovely sunny morning, but a bit chilly so I’m glad a brought a tracksuit to donate. You wait in this area for an hour or 2 before the race, so it’s best to put a bit of thought into it. I arrived at 7:30am, the race start is at 10am. I am in wave 1 & coral 5, due to be called to the start line at 9:15am. Sure enough we are called on the button. This race is conducted to military precision, really well organised. So we start to move to the start line, it’s about a mile walk and the place is buzzing. The whole town of Hopkinton is closed off. There are people in their gardens and driveways, in party mood and cheering us on. Again it hits you, this is a big deal. Not only is this the Boston Marathon but it is the first one in 3 years, people are excited to see a crowd and to be in a crowd. I am getting a bit of a spring in my step. I arrive in my starting pen, and cannot believe I have made it, after all the ups and downs over the last 2 years, and there have been a lot of downs.
The announcer asks us to please face our nearest American flag for the national anthem. It is sang with passion and emotion and you can’t help but get caught up in it. As soon as she is finished there is a fly over – WOW, This is really is a special race!
The Boston Marathon
We are off! I know it’s going to be a slow start because of the crowd of runners, so I tell myself to take it handy, don’t worry to much about pace in the first mile, it’s pretty much down hill anyway so the pace well sort itself out, which it did.
The first 5 miles I was telling myself to hold back, don’t over run it, keep the head. I said if I felt good at 6:40 pace in the first 5, I would do another, be honest with myself and don’t push it. I know from experience if you are struggling at 10 miles your walking at 20.
After 5 miles I have all of the downhill sections done, I know it’s going to level out. This can cause havoc with your calves if you have over run it. I am feeling good tough. The crowd is unreal, never a quite spot, and I can see why people over run it, and get carried away. With this in mind I notice that a couple of my miles were quick, and I tell myself to “cop on and keep the head”. I am heading for 10 miles feeling good, but there is a long way to go. I am happy with my pace at this stage and consistently in or around 6:40 pace. If anything I am still holding back, so there is belief creeping in. Heading towards Wellesley college, know as the scream tunnel and about a half mile away I can hear it, it’s like running towards a stadium. The hairs are standing on the back of my neck, I am getting emotional, hard not to, it’s going well, I go through the scream tunnel and it’s electric. That was definitely a quick mile. So again I chat to myself, calm down, don’t over run.
I get to half way in 1hr 27 min and I know I have now banked a nice cushion, but the hills are coming, miles 16 to 21 are the tough ones. They are known as the Newton hills. I hit 16 miles, and see the sign that I am entering Newton. I make the conscious decision to just keep going on the hills, try and run strong but forget about 6:40 pace for a bit. The first hill is OK, not too bad, I am now heading for 17 miles and feeling good in Newton. Once again I get emotional as the crowds are just awesome, the support is amazing.
I am constantly talking to my Dad who I lost nearly exactly 12 months to the day and he was always very supportive, also to Béibhinn my goddaughter who died 19 months ago at 9 years of age and was the reason I started running in the first place. Now I am trying to control my emotions, maintain the pace and get through the toughest part of the course.
I am at 18 miles, I have passed a couple of the hills at this stage and my calves are starting to burn. I do have heartbreak hill ahead, but I’m now counting down, single figures left. I am also happy, that although the pace has dropped in places I do still feel in control. I hit the 20 mile mark and heartbreak hill. There is no doubt about it, it’s tough, and longer than I thought. There are people stopping and walking everywhere, the crowd is amazing as usual, urging you up. I say to myself, “it’s only a hill, get over it”, but my pace has dropped right back, and I get worried for a second, as I am really feeling it. But then, I see the top and an end to it, that gives me encouragement to push on over it. I reach the top and 21 miles, delighted with myself. I lost a bit on that mile, so I try straight away to find my 6:40 pace again, and I do. By mile 22 the pace is back, but I am now really having to fight. My calves and thighs are burning, but it’s only 4 miles, no chance than I am stopping. I would love to push, on but decided to hold what I have, and through miles 23 to 25, I am just holding on. Then in the distance I see the famous Citgo sign by Fenway Park. I know this marks 1 mile to the finish, I am nearly in disbelief, this is the last mile of the Boston Marathon. It’s difficult to know exactly what my time is because I am reading about 0.2 of a mile out on the course markers, but I know it’s good. I turn onto Boylston, an absolutely amazing atmosphere, and yet another WOW moment. I can see the finish line, my legs are cramping but I don’t care. Nothing is stopping me at this stage.
I cross the finish line, what a relief. The most emotional I have ever been crossing a finish line, thinking about my Dad and Béibhinn. Mission accomplished 2:56:17. Absolutely delighted!
An Amazing Experience.
Boston Marathon to me was an amazing experience. I have not run New York or London, but I don’t imagine a city or a community could be as excited or passionate about their marathon anywhere else, as they are in Boston. The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual city marathon in the world, and this year marked 50 years since the first ladies competed at Boston. There is the obvious passion and desire to maintain it’s importance as an event, while remembering the victims of the Boston Bombing in 2013.
For me it was a massive event, really special. Will I run it again?? Probably!
Anne’s favourite thing about running? ‘The high you get after a good race, and having a great chat with the rest of the runners over a cup of tea’. When Eagle AC said goodbye to one of its longest-standing members on Sunday April 10th, we said goodbye to a runner, a photographer, a parkrunner, wife and best friend to Joe and a wonderful club member.
Anne Lucey Murphy joined Eagle AC in 1984. Like so many, Anne’s initial intention was to run a 10km, but soon found herself completing the full Dublin Marathon. She turned her hand (or feet) to many distances, taking part in everything from track races to road races to cross country. From the early days as an athlete to her final running days, Anne valued all aspects of running and threw herself into the running community in many ways. A true team player, she stepped up many times to take part in championship races for Eagle AC, including the last pre-covid County Road Championships in Castelyons 2019, where Anne won Silver in the F60 Category. Later that year she was part of the Eagle AC marathon relay team, where Anne ran the anchor leg to bring the mixed team home in 8th position out of 400 teams.
In recent years, Anne made her biggest mark on the Saturday Parkruns. Herself and Joe went the length and breadth of Munster, and often further afield, taking in parkruns in such places as Macroom, Bere Island, Killarney and Tramore. Their participation locally was of course huge also, with Anne completing a massive 93 runs in Ballincollig. The Tralee parkrun held special significance for Joe and Anne, where they did their first parkrun and also where Anne reached the outstanding milestone of 100 parkruns. In total, Anne ran a whopping 148 parkruns!
Even the pandemic and race shutdown did not stop Anne and Joe’s club involvement. Both took part in the Club virtual 5 mile series in Summer 2020, as well as completing the Eagle AC 12 Runs of Christmas challenge (of which Joe was the lucky winner!) There was no shortage of photographic evidence from either of them!
Running was central to Anne’s life. Even on holidays she was never one to slack off-the running shoes were always packed and Joe and Anne often fitted a race abroad into their holiday schedule. Indeed, they had no sooner touched down in the USA in 2016 on a visit to their late son Joseph when they scooped category prizes in a race in Midlands Park, New Jersey!
Perhaps even bigger than her participation as a runner was Anne’s contribution as a photographer. Anne’s encouraging words and the click of the camera have pushed many runners over the final stages of a race. Their facebook page is undoubtedly the first port of call after a race for many participants. The quality and volume of photographs taken by Anne and Joe have provided athletes with a fantastic record, wonderful memories and a sense of belonging to the running community.
A true pillar of the running community, Anne will be missed by her clubmates, her fellow parkrunners and the wider running community. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam.
Eagle AC are delighted to announce that race entries to our Cheetah 5K will open this Friday the 8th of April at 10 am. This is always a hugely popular event and places have sold out within the day in previous years. There will be NO entries available on the night.
Our Olympian Aoife Cooke was in Fota Wildlife Park this week to launch this years ‘Cheetah Run’, together with our race sponsor John Buckley Sports and Brooks running. This promises to be a fantastic event, a rare opportunity to run a 5K race (adults & over 16 years) or a 1 mile race for those aged 11-15 years, through the grounds of Fota Wildlife park. Perhaps you’ll have a chance to race a Giraffe or an Ostrich, you will certainly run past Cheetahs, Lions, Tigers, and so many more of Fota’s famous inhabitants! This is a unique event, one not to be missed.
The entry fee for the 5k event will be €15 (+ processing fee), entry fee for the 1-mile junior race will be €8 (+ processing fee) places for the 1-mile race are limited to 100. Each runner can bring a maximum of four visitors along with them free of charge to watch the race. Access will be controlled on the night and gates open at 6:30pm
The Fota Wildlife Park press launch article can be found on the link below:
The Eagle AC Cheetah Run Returns To Fota Wildlife Park.
Eagle AC together with Fota Wildlife Park and with the co-operation of the OPW, are delighted to announce the return of the Eagle AC Cheetah Run 5km race for 2022. We are very grateful to our sponsors John Buckley Sports & Brooks for helping to make this possible.
During the Covid pandemic, last year’s Cheetah run was held as a virtual event. This was hugely successful. So many of you took to the roads and raised much needed funds for Fota Wildlife Park, who had to close their doors to the public during that time. As 100% of the funds raised through the virtual event were donated directly to FOTA we were delighted to raise total of €4,540. Thank you for your unbelievable support.
However, nothing will make us happier than seeing you all back in Fota Wildlife Park to run the 2022 Eagle AC Cheetah Run on the evening of May 19th.
Online entries will open on the 8th of April 2022.
There will be NO entries available on the night, indeed entries usually sell out well in advance of the night. Options will be available either for number postage or number collection on the night.
There will be 2 events running on the evening of May 19th. The juvenile 1-mile race is open to 11-15 year olds. Prizes are not awarded in this race, but medals will be presented to all participants. Start time for this race is 7:15pm
The 5k race is open to everyone aged 16 years & older (as per Athletics Ireland permit recommendations). Start time for this race is 8pm. In this event there will be prizes for the first 5 men and women as well as the usual age categories prizes.
The entry fee for the 5k event will be €15 (+ processing fee), entry fee for the 1-mile junior race will be €8 (+ processing fee) places for the 1-mile race are limited to 100. Each runner can bring a maximum of four visitors along with them free of charge to watch the race. Access will be controlled on the night and gates open at 6:30pm
Both the 5K & 1 Mile course are accurately measured by John Quigley AIMS/IAAF Grade ‘A’ Measurer. This event is run under an Athletics Ireland permit.
Both events will be chip timed, and we are happy to once again be working with myrunresults.ie as our chip timing company.
This is always a hugely popular event that sells out quickly, save the date & be ready to click your entry into one of the most unique races in Cork!
A few important reminders, for your safety & the safety of the animals in the park.
• No children’s bikes or scooters are permitted in the park • Participants cannot run with buggies or strollers • No pets are permitted • No drones or balloons permitted in the park • No race flyers to be circulated during the race or placed on cars in the carpark. • No headphones/ air pods etc are permitted, please listen to the stewards. • Number transfers are not permitted.
Save the date: Entry Link goes live on April 8th, 2022, at 10am!
Fota Wildlife Park has been listed as one of Ireland’s Top Ten visitor attractions (CSO 2010) and is the most popular tourist destination in Cork. Hundreds of thousands visit the park every year. Fota is a non-profit organisation and is also a registered charity. It is completely self-financing, relying entirely on gate receipts and membership fees for its income, and any financial surpluses generated are reinvested in order improve infrastructure and promote the company’s core objectives of conservation, education, and research. Their website is http://www.fotawildlife.ie/
The club would also like to acknowledge the continuing sponsorship of John Buckley Sports for this year’s race. John Buckley has been a great supporter of road races and athletics in the Cork region over the years and is one of the main shops in Cork for running gear. Their website can be found at http://johnbuckleysports.com/
The club welcome the continued support of Brooks Running as a sponsor. Brooks Running are one of the major brands for running gear worldwide and have a wide selection of running shoes and apparel for men and women. Their website for the UK and Ireland is http://brooksrunning.co.uk/
European Masters Indoors Championships, Braga, Portugal 20th-27th February 2022.
Report by Ken Higgs.
Last week I spent several days competing in the European Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in Braga , northern Portugal. I went out there with a mix of excitement and trepidation, as this was my first time on the European stage and a huge step up (well out of my comfort zone). Thankfully, I was in the company of clubmate Hugh McSweeney who had been and done it before. All week, Hugh was great company, quietly composed but with a steely determination. His calmness and focus (not to mention his dry sense of humour) kept me on track.
National Record, Sliver & Gold Medals.
Despite a major disruption to his training (Hugh had Covid in January), he had an incredibly successful week. A silver medal in the M75 400m, 4th place in the 200m with a Irish national record and then the icing on the cake.. a gold medal in the M70+ 4 x 200m relay. It was great to see the very high regard the other Irish team athletes have for Hugh. There is no stopping him now and I suspect he has his eye on the World Masters indoor championships in Canada next year!
Pipped to the post by a Football Legend.
An interesting side story to Hugh’s 400m final is that he was pipped to the gold medal by a Romero, apparently a Spanish football legend who played for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the 60’s and 70’s.
A Wonderful Experience.
From a personal point of view I was truly delighted to make the M70 400m final, where I came 5th with a PB. I am so glad I went to Braga to test myself and to learn more about what is needed to compete at this level. It was a real blast. Finally, I believe there are many runners in the club who could have success at both national and International masters track events. So I say …just give it a go!
EXTRACTS FROM THE IRISH MASTERS ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION BRAGA 2022 REPORT
The Irish Masters Team Ireland returned from the European Masters Track & Field Championships in Braga 2022 with a massive total of 59 medals. Ireland finished 7th overall in the medals table out of the 43 participating countries It is very hard to single out any Individual performances without acknowledging the triple Gold won by Anne Gilshinan over 800, 1500 and 300ms. Double Gold for Denise Toner, 3000m and 1500m plus Annette Quaid (Leevale AC) 400m & 800m. Double Gold also for Sean McMullin over 5km Road Race Walk and 3000m RW. Perennial winner, Joe Gough overturned the tables on 800m winner Paul Forbes when capturing the 1500m title. What made this all the more remarkable is that Joe is just a few months shy of his 70th birthday and Paul had broken Joes 1500m WR just a few weeks beforehand. A special mention to the 2 oldest team members, Michael Kiely (Rising Sun AC) & Hugh Mc Sweeney (Eagle AC), both 77 returning to the European arena, having last competed in Budapest in the early 90s. Each medalled individually and then dropped down to the M70’s 4 x 200m relay to capture Gold in a very competitive race holding off the Portuguese team by 0.5 of a second. Indeed of the 7 relay Teams, 4 captured gold, 1 silver & 1 bronze, which was a testament to all those who put in the hard work and squad training prior to travelling out to Braga.
Finally in relation to Braga, we would like to acknowledge the generosity of all the athletes from Team Ireland who made a special collection and presented over €2000 plus additional gear & clothing to their Ukrainian compatriots who are still currently stuck out in Portugal, as they are unable to return home due to the Russian invasion. In a very emotional and poignant presentation, the athletes from Ukraine expressed their gratitude to those still present. We can only hope and pray that they can return safely to their families as quickly as possible.
The return of races has certainly brought back a buzz that we have missed over the past two years, with the cancellation of so many events due to Covid-19. The atmosphere on the morning of Sunday 20th of February in Carrigaline was a true testament to this. This could be remembered as the year of the storms, but we managed to find a window and slotted into the alphabet between ‘Dudley’ ‘Eunice’ ‘Eagle Race’ and ‘Franklin’ to hold our 33rd Annual 5 Mile race, a tribute to a former club member Mr Tommy Ryan. This was Ruairi Egan’s 3rd year as race director but the first in-person event that the club has been able to host in those 3 years, & Karen Bevan slotting in as assistant to learn on the job. The race serves as both a club fundraiser and contributes traditionally to 2 charities, Carrigaline Meals on Wheels & Forόige Youth Development Organisation Carrigaline. This year we were delighted to be offered a lead motorbike from the Irish Blood bikes and in thanks added this charity to our race donations. Eagle AC is continually grateful for the ongoing sponsorship of this event by The Edge Sports, Kinsale road.
There was an overwhelming support from the running community with over 400 pre-entries to the race. As Covid still holds a presence over proceedings, the race held as a purely outdoors event. This hampered our ability to host the post-race teas, coffees & chats indoors, but did not take away from the atmosphere. Refreshments were provided at the finish line and the friendly rumble of post-race reviews & congratulations, was lovely to hear. The weather on the other hand served up strong winds and rain, making this year’s event a true test of strength & willpower, and starting numbers were reduced to 289.
We were delighted to have Michael Ryan, Tommy’s brother in attendance and hear stories of some of the racing rivalry that Tommy, it seems, was very fond of. Michael did a fantastic job of giving the runners their starters orders and getting the race underway. Fittingly, the race was a head-to-head battle over the 5 miles by two of Corks talented runners Michael Harty East Cork AC & Paul Moloney Mallow AC. They fought the course, the elements, and the hills together but a powerful finishing kick gave Michael Harty the win at the finish line. The first lady home was St. Finbarr’s Emma Murphy, another talented athlete who led the race throughout. Michael Ryan kindly awarded the trophies on the day and supplied some spot prizes of his own too!
Individual Prize Winners.
Prizes were awarded to the first 5 men and women to cross the finish line, and these were as follows Top 5 Men:
Michael Harty East Cork AC 25:30
Paul Moloney Mallow AC 25:34
John Meade St. Finbarr’s AC 26:46
Damian Kenneally Eagle AC 27:19
Donncha Kiely Tracton AC 27:52
Top 5 Ladies:
Emma Murphy 31:11
Linda O’ Sullivan Watergrasshill AC 31:36
Aoife Mahony Eagle AC 32:42
Linda O Connor 32:42
Gwen Conroy Watergrasshill AC 34:02 The top 5 cash prize structure is as follows: 1st €100, 2nd €80, 3rd €60, 4th €40, 5th €25.
Team Prize Winners.
Club Prizes were awarded as top 3 finishers as follows: 1st Men’s Team: Mallow AC (Paul Moloney 25:34, Daire O’ Sullivan 29:58, Michael Clancy 31:05) 1st Ladies Team: Watergrasshill AC (Linda O’ Sullivan 31:36, Gwen Conroy 34:02, Lisa Crowley 34:23) 2nd Men’s Team: Leevale AC (Matthew Lee 29:39, Jack Curran 30:18, Alan Harrington 30:24) 2nd Ladies Team: Tracton AC (Fiona O’ Mahony 36:22, Trish O’Sullivan 42:13, Elaine Rodrigues 42:34) First place team prizes €15 Edge Sports voucher each, 2nd place teams €10 Edge sports voucher each.
There were a whole host of Category Prize winners, and they were awarded outside of the first 5 prize-winners as follows:
Female Category Prize Winners
Loveness Hegarty 39:46
Rose Fielding 42:41
Kiara Tanner 42:41
Fiona O Mahony 36:22
Clodagh Creedon 36:50
Grace Hunter 40:27
Lisa Crowley 34:23
Siobhan Holland 34:52
Paula Mulcahy 39:26
Ita Kirwan 38:57
Fiona Downey 39:59
Jane Power 42:25
Kathleen Cronin 38:34
Colette Ryan 42:30
Angela Harrington 45:06
Mary Sweeney 36:00
Mary Lee 50:21
Kay Birch 51:57
Marion Lyons 44:26
Fatima Boukerche 50:02
Norma Harrington 51:22
Maggie Dunne 1:00:51
Male Category Prize Winners
Darren McCann 28:45
Stephen Lynch 29:37
Kevin Corbett 31:28
Keith Kelly 27:58
Daire O Sullivan 29:58
John Lynch 30:15
Garry Clerkin 30:21
Wieslaw Sosnowski 30:27
Michael Clancy 31:05
Seamus McSweeney 29:52
John Kelly 31:52
Joe Coffey 32:29
John Cashman 33:52
Kieran Twomey 34:47
Martin Lynch 35:26
Neil Creedon 41:29
Paul Cotter 42:01
Timothy Leonard 42:49
Jj Murphy 34:54
Mossy Shanahan 39:45
Ger O Connell 49:30
Richard Piotrowski 37:14
Donie O Connell 44:34
Joe Harris 50:39
Ian Kohler 47:49
Category prizes are awarded as vouchers for the Edge Sports 1st place €20, 2nd €15, 3rd €10.
6 free entries to the Cheetah Run at Fota Wildlife Park on May 19th, were awarded on the day at random to the following people:
• Dermot O’ Sullivan Mallow AC • Kevin Mansfield • Marie Marshall • Damian Manning Crosshaven Tri • Eoin McGettigan • Colin Jermy We will be in touch with you to pass on your spot prize.
Lastly, but most importantly we must give thanks to the club members of Eagle AC, along with their families & friends, who can always be relied upon and turned out in force to make today possible. There are too many to mention but each of you played a part in making our 2022 race possible.
We would like to mention a few key members for a special word of thanks
• Elaine Guinane, Chief steward • Pat Murphy, Start/Finish area management • Denis Looney, Course Set Up • Grellan McGrath, Club Chairman • Derek Costello, Club Photos • Joe Murphy, Club Photos • Mick Dooley, Club Photos • Maressa Mills, Instagram on the day • Mairead Lonergan, numerous roles! • Sandra Manning, Post race refreshments • Daniel Luxton, Lead Car • Diarmaid O’ Crowley, The Irish Blood Bikes Escort • Lucy & Vinnie of My Run Results who were very helpful on the day
Thank you all for your support both on the day and in all the messages that have arrived since.
See you again next year!
Ruairi Egan & Karen Bevan Eagle AC Race Directors 2022
This account is based on my own work and the contribution of several club members. Important contributors were Pat Murphy, Denis Looney, Pat Twomey, Colin O’Herlihy and Joe Murphy, but special credit must go to former club member and long-time chairman John Quigley, whose contribution went a long way towards recovering information on the club’s history which was lost in 2014 when the old website, created in 1999, was deleted in circumstances which are unclear. The old site had been full of news, photos, history, videos, and all was lost.
The Early Years
The club was originally known as the Eagle Track Club upon its foundation in the Autumn of 1982. The three founding members were Fred and Sheila Gilbert and Mick Clancy. As stated by Fred Gilbert in an article in ‘Marathon’ magazine in 1984, the sole function of the club was then about training under-age athletes for track and field and cross country. Fred had operated earlier as a well-known coach with the juvenile section of St. Finbarrs Athletic Club. While Eagle TC had adult members from the beginning, their main role lay in coaching the juniors and juveniles. The club was based in the CIT (now MTU) track every Tuesday and Thursday evenings just as we still do today (lockdown allowing).
The following account of the early years of the club is based on several sources, including interviews with Joe Murphy, Pat Murphy, an article written by club member Paddy Lenihan for a book published by club member Colm Murphy in 1993, as well as my own researches. Unfortunately, Paddy was not very explicit in giving exact dates in his article and it is clear that his account spans the period from circa 1985 to 1993, though several references are not dated. As we shall see, the three founders left the club in 1988 leaving it in the care of a number of adult members who had been there from the first few years. These would go on to give many years of service, at least of fifteen years or more duration, some of whom remain members to this very day, 35 years later. This core group, responsible for developing and growing the club over many years, consisted of Liam Doherty, Pat Murphy, Joe and Ann Murphy, Denis Hegarty, Paddy Hegarty, Noreen Lenihan and her father Paddy, Monica Twohig, Hugh McSweeney, Ted Twomey, and Fidelma Kirwan.
Our members certainly kept themselves busy during the festive period as can be seen from the results below from various Christmas and New Years races. A great end to 2021 and a super start to 2022! Well done to all.
Christmas Day 25th December
Siobhan Holland 21.55
Niall McSweeney 22.16
Richard Piotrowski 23.13
Olga O’Sullivan 24.24
Mike McGrath 24.44
Andrew O’Farrell 25.16
Denis Carroll 25.47
Alan Wong 30.10
Shane O’Rourke 30.40
New Years Day 1st January
Damian Kenneally 17.25
Shane O’Rourke 21.48
Gary Gibbons 22.27
Siobhan Holland 23.04
Niall McSweeney 24.06
Pat Twomey 24.46
Elaine Guinane 26.59
Olga O’Sullivan 27.01
Tamara Lopez 27.02
Dolores Gibbons 38.33
( Well done to our club members who acted as pacers for this run also.)