Eagle AC Member Profile:

Name: Ian O’Brien


Member of Eagle AC since: 

Dec 2021. Siobhan Holland was on one of her recruitment drives.


How long have you been running what made you take it up:

Since 2010. Just started doing 5k’s to keep fit as I headed into my late 30’s. Never ran more than 4 miles until 2016.

Favourite thing about running:

The head space when running solo, but more importantly the people when meeting up for weekend runs and races and coffee.

Favourite race distance to run:

10k to 10 miles. None of the pressure of an all-out fast 5k, and not too long to get too sore.

What is your main goal for this year:

I have 3 half marathons lined up for March, April and June. Got the all clear recently from my cardiologist to return to that distance following a little trip to A&E in an ambulance after my last one in 2017 (diagnosed with bicuspid valve / heart arrythmia in 2009). All good for now thankfully.

Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date:

Great Manchester Run 10k last year. Huge event on an out and back course around Old Trafford & back into city centre – the elites pass by on the way back so it’s amazing to see them. I did it with my wife Siobhan last year and enjoyed it so much that around 15 of us from Eagle / Ballincollig parkrun gang are all going back this year. The Eagle Insta page will be busy that weekend.



Tell us something most people might not know about you:

I’m a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and still run a club with a friend twice a week, training kids from aged 7 up to 60. Hence I can’t do Eagle track sessions on a Tuesday night as it clashes.

Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting):

Roy Keane & Aoife Cooke (she’s my coach so I have to be nice to her…)

One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running:

Get good shoes & join a group or club. The social aspect makes a huge difference to your progress. I spent years slogging away at 5k at the same speed all the time and it got very boring. The club, parkrun gang and a good coach make the world of difference to motivation, enjoyment and race times. I absolutely love my running these days…much to the boredom of my family when I start to talk about it over diner. Again.

3 things you would take with you onto a desert island:

  1. My phone
  2. My Garmin
  3. A boat for when the battery goes on 1 & 2

Fred Gilbert

Founding Member of Eagle AC (1982 – 1988)

Eagle AC were saddened to hear of the passing of one of it’s founding members Mr. Fred Gilbert, on December 24th, 2022.

Fred along with his wife Sheila Gilbert and Mick Clancy were the three founding members of Eagle A.C. originally known as the Eagle Track Club upon its commencement in the Autumn of 1982. Prior to this Fred was a well-known coach with the juvenile section of St Finbarr’s Athletic Club.

While Eagle Track Club had adult members from its beginning, the club’s main role lay in coaching the juniors and juveniles. Fred Gilbert was a passionate coach and the club he directed between 1982 and 1988 produced several excellent junior athletes. These included Fred’s sons Tony & Declan Gilbert, who won athletics scholarships to the University of Lowell near Boston. Tony O’ Gorman who won an athletics scholarship to Minnesota University & Fidelma Kirwan, who was a Celtic and schools’ 400 metres hurdles international.

With thanks to Paul Cotter ‘A history of Eagle Athletic Club’ was compiled in January 2022, more about the excellent Junior athletes fostered by Fred within the club at that time can be read here:

Eagle Athletic Club – A History Eagle Athletic Club – A History | Eagle Athletic Club (eagleac.net)

A well-known Eagle AC member since 1983, Mr Joe Murphy was thankful to Fred for giving him an introduction to Eagle A.C. on December 26th, 1982, so he could complete in the Cork Road Championships.

Thank you to Joe for providing this photo of Fred competing alongside Joe & Michael in the ‘Mallow Metric Marathon’ in 1985.

Joe Murphy, Fred Gilbert, Michael Clancy. Mallow Metric Marathon 1985

We are ever grateful for Fred’s contributions to the establishment of Eagle A.C. as no doubt are many Cork athletes who trainer under Fred in their Juvenile years.

We offer our sincere condolences to Fred Gilberts family and friends at this difficult time.

Extracts from:

’Looking Back…25 Years of the BLE in Cork. The book was written and edited by Colm Murphy and was published ~ 1993. Eagle AC by Paddy Linehan

Eagle Athletic Club – A History Eagle Athletic Club – A History | Eagle Athletic Club (eagleac.net)

Contributions from Joe Murphy

AMSTERDAM MARATHON TRIP 2022

Sean Lucey Eagle AC

This Amsterdam Marathon idea started as a prank. My good friend Jack Murphy would constantly send me YouTube videos of Kilian Jornet or Courtney Dauwalter and show how amazing they were completing their 100 mile races over difficult terrain. He would then start saying things like we should sign up to the Jungfrau marathon or the Ultra Trail Mount Blanc. Now don’t get me wrong, this sounds amazing. However over the years I had slowly become bitter and disgruntled with all the injuries I had picked up and was afraid of completing anything. When I joined Eagle AC back in November 2015, I joined because I wanted to complete a marathon. Roll on to the end of 2016 and I had completed 2. From 2017 onwards I then came up with the ingenious idea of injuring myself every summer. Taekwondo, tag rugby (the worlds most dangerous sport) and 5 a side soccer are not good complements for running. Not for me anyway. Would I learn my lesson? As it turns out…No. I decided the best way to prepare for a virtual marathon was to do some mountain biking. Even better, crash the mountain bike, ruin my right quad and do the virtual Dublin marathon 3 weeks later. It didn’t go well. Cue more bitterness. It was at that moment I needed help. I spent a great deal of time annoying Damian Kenneally in the Edge sports telling him my problems (running ones obviously). He gave me crazy advice to give up all this foolish shenanigans and just run. It seemed to work as I hit a 10km PB a few months later. Small bit of confidence restored and it would be around 18 months to the marathon.

When we came out of the good side of Covid and we could go abroad again, my friends and I wanted to do a race abroad, for a while it was looking like a half in Rome but I wanted to try and bring my over enthusiastic friends back down to earth. We booked the Amsterdam Marathon. As well as Jack there was Alan Wong who is no stranger to marathons and David Woods who like Jack would be running his first.

Racing Resumed

So preparation began and i started signing up to races left, right and centre. The year started with the most amazing race in the world. Yes you’ve guessed it, the Valentia Island half marathon. Jack Murphy blitzed it and came 5th also getting sub 90 mins for the second time. Unfortunately, Jack got injured in this race so he was out for a bit. To be fair though Jack always comes back stronger. Alan Wong also is a man that enjoys a come back and was already completing the Cork marathon with Michelle Cheung this year. Not to be left out and also very impressive was David Woods completing a Malin to Mizen cycle in May. Meanwhile I as receiving confidence boosters completing Ballintotis and Limerick 6 mile both at 7:30 a mile pace. The rest of the summer went quite well as we slowly started increasing mileage. As Alan, Jack and David all picked up injuries over the summer I thankfully remained injury free. This was the first summer since 2016 that I didn’t pick up some form of an injury.

There was one more confidence booster to come. As Jack came back from Injury No. 2 (this was from paintballing, less said about that the better), both of us completed the Kilkenny 30km. A really good race. Testing enough with the hills on the course. It measured slightly longer with Polar telling me I ran 30.9km. Jack completed the race in 2 hrs 21 mins and I completed it in 2 hrs 26 mins. I just want to say at this point we had our lunch in Petronellas after the race and it was amazing. Fine spot for food. Not too long later and we were tapering. Alan the poor man still not fully healed but he is made of stronger stuff and was confident of completing the race.

Marathon Weekend

We flew out on the early 6 am Friday morning flight. Dropped our bags at the apartment. We stayed at the cityden bolo district. A fine 4 bed apartment with tram and bus routes right outside. The metro was not too far away. First port of call was the Heineken experience. Very nice tour great way to spend the morning as it had been raining outside. After a few Heinekens we headed to the marathon expo and collected our number, also we collected what I would describe as the nicest race t shirt I have ever received.

The Saturday was a cautious affair. As part of the marathon, we opted to do the pasta party. This would entail an all you can eat buffet and a drink as well. It was a great idea before a marathon. Carb loading is important. We returned to the apartment and watched Forrest Gump – just wanted to watch his form really. We originally thought Tom Cruise in mission impossible but his form is questionable.

The day of the marathon arrived. We were up early, breakfast finished, shower done and gels at the ready. We got the metro fairly near to the Olympic stadium, dropped our bags, completed a warm up and headed inside. Oh my word: the atmosphere was amazing. So many runners eagerly awaiting the start. There was already a crowd gathering in the stands. I couldn’t wait to get going. We started to move to where the 3:20 pacer was. Me and Jack were targeting a sub 3:30, David a Sub 4 and Alan just wanted to finish given the injuries.

We watched as the elites went off. Then it was our turn…….. I have to say the first half of the race went very well. I went through the half in 1 hr 40. Very happy with that. It wasn’t until mile 20 when I thought oh ya I forgot these get tough around now but thankfully did not panic. My pacing had gone well I knew that if I kept it below 9 minute miles I should break 3 hr 30. Unfortunately I hit a 9:25 mile at mile 23, I also stopped for a bit as I found the pace starting to get really tough, took on some energy drink and continued on. I managed a few sub 9 minute miles after but mile 26 I hit another 9:25. At 26.2 miles I checked the watch…30 seconds over. No shame in that, Kaka the Brazilian soccer player has a world cup and champion league medal but when it comes to the marathon I have the edge. The official time was 3 hrs 32 mins. Jack completed it in 3 hrs 24 mins, David Woods getting sub 4 hrs and Alan completing it in 5 hrs 36 mins. As I crossed the line there was a tear or two. A tear because after a few years where I felt I was plagued with injuries then Covid coming I feel like I’m getting back to where I need to be. I can’t wait to start training for my next event. What started as a way to bring my friends back down to earth has shot me to the moon.

So Jungfrau marathon anyone? Here guys that Courtney Dauwalter is amazing have you seen her on YouTube? Yes confidence restored and onto the next adventure.

With that I want to thank David, Jack and Alan. It’s good to have friends, it’s great to have friends that you can run with. I hope ye read this because ye were a big help in getting me there. Another thanks goes to Damian Kenneally. A man I very much admire and has been so good the last few years giving me advice.

Race Weekend Notes

Just a last few notes. Great race, very well organised. Plenty of toilets, water and energy drinks on the course. Great support all round. We flew back the Wednesday so we went to the Nemo Science museum Monday. Very good place with plenty of interactive games. Fantastic place for a family. Not great if you’re like me, an engineer who wants to build a bridge and kids won’t get out of your way. On Tuesday we did a canal cruise with Flagship Amsterdam. The hosts were excellent. They gave a great history of Amsterdam and served drinks on board. When it came to food. We had breakfast at the breakfast club and had it in Moak another day, the latter being absolutely amazing and highly recommend their pancakes. When it came to dinner we ate in Foodhallen – a cheap mans marina market really but still very nice with plenty of culinary delights. Also there was cannibal royale. Fine
place for burgers and steaks. I think the pasta party is well worth adding to marathon ticket. There were various pastas there so catered for all. Plenty of nice bars too. Do yourself a favour and order a Kwak. Overall, a trip I highly recommend.

Berlin Marathon Report 2022

From Dermot Slyne

July 6th 2022 I’m on a bike heading up the Col du Galibier in the French alps, the same type of bike I’ve been on for the previous 12 months because of a stress fracture in my arse caused by over use and glutes not pulling their weight I’m told   ……anyway its day 5 of this trip and the terrain is hard, and getting harder, its incessantly hot ,  I try not to look up ahead as its not great looking up at this point !   I feel like I’m on the edge of not being able to pedal anymore and close to full on bonk and then I start thinking about the London Marathon in 2018 , yes that was harder than this wasn’t it and we still kept going …..after about 10 minutes thinking about something similar but worse I managed to regain some energy and actually “enjoyed” the final 10km of a brutal but iconic climb. Irrespective of such hardship I really enjoy the mountains and the bike but like the lad who’s been off the smokes for years and has a sneaky one after a few pints the brain don’t forget ………..and so it was the following day, I’m on the plane home and I’m thinking about the Galibier and how hard I found parts of it and I remember my remembering the bloody London Marathon ………..

I had an entry for Berlin 2021, in my head it was probably going to be my last serious effort at a PB in the marathon but two months out I got that stress fracture. In October 21 I got an email saying if I wanted to re-enter 2022 ………I paid the discounted entry fee , looked at flights in January 2022 but with still a pain in my ass I said I’d wasted enough money and let it go …………let it go that was until we’re on that plane home from France and my brain had  the taste of “ marotine “ remembering why I was  remembering London Marathon cycling up a mountain ……….the entry to Berlin comes across my mind like the smell of a John Player blue outside mass on a sunny Sunday morning after that inadvertent drag the night before , the smell , fresh and distinctive triggers the  brain like a burger to a Labrador , your left with little choice other than to cave in and take one when offered by a fellow soldier  …………

When I got home I take two or three days to see if the feeling will pass but by Sunday morning its still there so instead of going for the bike I decide to do a 10 mile trail run in Kilmurray woods, its hard, my ass hurts but now thankfully not from the stress fracture but the remnant of too much time on the saddle. So I make a deal with my legs that if we can reach 20 miles by sometime in August we’ll book them flights and do Berlin 2022………..the legs and arse want no stress , so no Tuesday track , no tempo runs , no marathon pace and no cycling so to keep my side of the deal I decided to keep a tab on the effort by keeping all runs under 140 bpm  ……….bit of an  arbitrary figure but it’s around where I feel my breathing change from little effort to some effort …….. The contract didn’t mention no hills so that’s what we were left to work with. Must say the first couple of long runs over the 10 miles were hard going and took quite a few weeks of daily running to get the road resilience back into the legs. However, once that happened things stated to improve and get a little easier so I could again enjoy running

Nearing end of August I was up to 18 miles after few runs around Bandon with Darren Casey and 1 around the city with Dowling and Leahy. Leahy after 5 miles into that 18 miler just looked at me and said u could run 3;30 and look around u or 3:15 and feel a bit of pain which is what you should be feeling running a marathon! I was now under a bit of pressure so kept my mouth shut about my “3:45 will do” LIV marathon training plan which I had been thoroughly enjoying until now!  Anyway, I was now also heading to Croatia for two weeks holidays and 3:45 was back on the agenda as I had made my mind up that no marathon was coming between me PIVO and Dalmatian cuisine ………. decided no long runs on hols but I would get up early every morning knock 1000 calories off the daily 3000 calorie tucker intake, limit my PIVO to 2/3 per evening, fill the void with red wine and eat like I was going to be running two ultras. Reading Jan Ullrich book during the day seemed very appropriate, on one hand I was eating and drinking like Noah’s Ark was leaving while in the morning the search continued for Bombenform !  Amazingly when I got home, I was only up 3kg, approx. half the damage I expected ………..I think the heat helps dissipate the alcohol but that’s only based on reading about Tony Adams, Paul McGrath and Bryan Robson who were players I admired for their ability to operate in a zone only occupied by those on the extreme end of a special bell curve!    …………. still on my first and only 20 miler two days after coming home and two weeks out I noticed those 3KG up Rafeen hill as Dowling disappeared into the torrential rain! I was bate after it and HR had gone way up for last 6 miles trying to keep up with him , Dowling was toying with me and enjoying it but I got dragged thru the 20 when I might have gone for the car earlier ! ………..anyway we had a deal with legs. 20 miles by end of august and we were going to Berlin ………two weeks behind schedule, hadn’t told legs but flights had been booked after the 18 miler before holidays anyway.

23rd Sep 2022

Flight from Dublin airport, meet Conor friend of V O’Sullivan Beara on steps of plane, arrange to meet after, he’s trying sub-3, I’m on the spot now …. I’ll be round 3:20 says I (WTF per mile is that I think?)

On plane we meet Siobhan Holland down the back with all the messers, Siobhan is running marathons like they are going out of fashion, and you know she’s ready as she looks relaxed, carefree and reading a book.!  I’m frantically dividing 200 minutes by 26.2 to see if I’ll be able to meet Conor for pints!  Anyway, off plane and with typical German efficiency we are at the Hauptbahnhof central station within an hour and all for 3:80 euro!  Hotel is next door so very handy for getting round.

Out to an old airport on Saturday morning for the expo………….bit of a queue fest compared to other big marathons, as usual got a couple of Adidas tops and we were back at checkpoint Charlie for 2pm  , coffee, museum tour and walk around , then dinner near hotel in a nice Italian ………usual pasta bread and double expresso . Didn’t sleep very well and rarely do the night before but I’ve banked a lot of sleep over my lifetime so one night never matters!

25th Sep 2022

7:00 am up and at it. Quick bread roll with ham and cheese, new battery in my 1-day battery HR monitor and away we go at 7:30am. Nice fresh cool morning, no wind and perfect conditions. Enjoyed the build-up and the organisation in the TierGarten was excellent, spent a bit of time at the start watching German TV presenter get her make up done, I need some of that stuff that made her hair stand up like she was in a wind tunnel! Wasn’t long till 9:15 and main lads were off. Was in pen two but had dropped back so 9:23 crossed start line …………. having not ran a race in nearly 3 years I had been thinking my best bet to enjoy and finish this in one piece was to go off below same HR I had used to train with. I was also aware this was Berlin and my admiration for the Germans is well known, they are direct , don’t talk shite , have a ruthless streak but at the same time they are straight up and look and sound efficient even if they aren’t…………..in other words I wanted to run this like a German not an American !  ………..I did a test run the previous Tuesday, like a ramp test they call it where I ran six miles increasing effort and HR over the 6 miles, was surprised how well I felt   ………..so my plan was something similar …………5 blocks  (4 x 5 miles and 6.2 miles)  where  I would increase HR by effort (irrespective of pace) every 5 miles until 20 miles and then let it rip like the Swedish covid professor !  So, after two miles my HR was showing 165 but I kind of knew it was wrong as my breathing was fine. I had stupidly bought my phone and put it in my gel belt but it was adding too much weight and was making the belt fall down…………..had to keep holding it till mile 4 when I knew Jacqueline would be near our hotel, pulled over stopped watch and gave Jacq the phone and a thumbs up, she was kind of wondering why I took so long to get this far, a real confidence booster!  When I restarted watch it reconnected to hr Strap and the HR was back to 140 …….threw in a few efforts to verify and it would rise and lower so I now knew it was right and had it on dual screen mile LAP pace/distance and LAP HR. HR to me is running off feel but it just puts a number on the feel and sometimes feel isn’t really feel as you can talk yourself into feeling great when you’re not or vice versa !  ……….the HR don’t lie if accurately measured and understood. AT mile 5 first gel down the hatch, took me ages to open it but felt the caffeine hit immediately, feel my brain can compute like a computer at this stage! HR was still around 145 so I increased effort a little up to but still below 150 till mile 10. Was starting to pass good few runners already so kept an eye on HR and just as long as it stayed below 150 on each mile I just ran away. At mile 10 gel number 2, still felt good so decided to leave HR drift as far as 155 with a bit more effort ………. through halfway in 1:38 this was my first view of any overall time or overall pace ………. Had asked Mark Murphy on last long run what Boston Q was for an auld lad, and he said 3:15 ………Leahy had more or less given me a look of disdain at the same time that morning, his eyes saying I shouldn’t be bothered running it unless I went under 3:15! So, I knew a 1:36 second half would put me around there …………mile 14 and 15 for some reason weren’t the best, I had a few negative thoughts (26 minus 14 being the worst one ) but used previous experience of way worse situations in marathons and this wasn’t long making me forget! Vapor fly’s so much more comfortable than blisters @mile 11 in a pair of concrete hugging Asics DS trainers! ………Mile 15 , gel no.3 and HR range was now going to go from 155 to <=160 ………….took a bit more noticeable effort here to up HR but was now starting to pass more runners, at mile 16 and with 10 to go I notice mile lap pace was now coming close to 7min pace ………….had a thought that maybe I could manage a sub 70 10 mile but then remembered my strategy was 5 mile blocks so under 160 HR till mile 20 and then the final 6.2 miles ………had to be patient here as I was now starting to feel good but having no real hard running done in over 12 months I wasn’t sure I’d be able to increase pace for final block …………gel no 4 at 18 miles and I felt this one in my veins , maybe it’s the caffeine but I hadn’t taken a gel since mile 21 of DCM in 2019 and really get a benefit of them in marathons ………..maybe its in my head but that’s the most important place for marathons  for me anyway ………….so nearly at mile 20 I’m happy to see HR is still holding around 158/9 and I know I can at least hold 165 on the bike for ~ 40 mins as recently as June …………..so when mile 20 beeps I visualise myself leaving Coachford and taking a right for Bealnamorrive on my way to Johns well and the climb to the top of Mushera !  Passing more and more runners now the HR drifts above 160 almost immediately but I keep it steady for a mile or two  dropping last gel at mile 21 until I see mile 22 beep at 6:53 pace ………its time to let the HR rip now and my legs feel a bit more freedom from the increased pace and the bounce from the vapor fly runners now becomes more obvious ……….HR is now at 166 with 3 miles left so I know I can easily hold this if my legs keep turning ………mile 25 and traveling steady , I’m in that part of the marathon now that makes you want it to both finish asap and go on for longer……..this is the part for me anyway that makes you eventually want to  do another one …….its the feeling , the way the miles just pass faster like kilometres  and the freedom to just throw caution to the wind as you cant blow up now and make the thing a real pain fest ! At mile 25 I throw away my Gatorade 500ml bottle that had water and a salt tab, almost empty 500ml was more than enough (carried it from start and avoided all chaos at water tables with cups along with the 90 degree elbow angle at shoulder height technique through all water stops, the amount of people who go right and then make a sudden turn left for water was unreal, only one lad caught the elbow but he’d have taken me clean out otherwise!   ………. nearing the top of Mushera HR was now up to 168 /169, not having to hang on to ROC or Mike Forde this isn’t too bad, I think!  we are running on big wide streets, under the Brandenburg Gate and 200 metres more on near perfect tarmac this is a great finish, still passing runners here like they are standing, I’m thinking I need to go back to the track and do a few 800’s as this is fun!  …………under the banner with a wave to the camera man, stopped and took in the finish line atmosphere for a minute or two, have realised more lately you never know when your last one is ………. stopped watch at  3:12:30 felt very happy with that given where I had been or hadn’t been with running over the previous 14 months ………..really thought I was done and probably would have been only for a deferred entry to a brilliant marathon on what is defiantly the fastest course I’ve ever ran …….pan flat few pulls here and there but compensated for by slight declines as well. Great city, great route and support while not like London or NY is still superb and the feeling of big city marathon with Kipchoge an hour up the same road makes this a super event for sure.

After maths

Went for an immediate analgesic after meeting Jacqueline in the meeting area who was impressed that I had come out of my first 5-mile slumber and actually had done a bit of running ……….no medals handed out here, a tougher agent you’d be hard pressed to find!  Jacqueline had Siobhan on the tracker as well, I’m wondering looking at my Pils is she’s behind me or in front of me! A super run of 3:19 for Siobhan and first Cork woman home I find out since!  Stretched on a beach chair on the banks of the Spree I could have stayed all day, but Jacqueline eventually moved me, and we went back to hotel, quick shower, change and off to the Hackescher market area, a nice area of courtyards with shops, pubs and outdoor cafes.  Met Conor whose first marathon didn’t go to plan but with the help of copious analgesic inducing Pils and discussing the modern LIV marathon training methods for washed GAA players we had Conor down to 2:49 by 8pm and improving rapidly thereafter! Deutschland Uber Alles.  

Eagle AC Member Profile

Name: Ian Roche

Member of Eagle AC since: 2015 (I think)

Ian running the Kilkenny marathon a few years ago-great time!

How long have you been running what made you take it up: I first started running in about 2005 while living in Canada. A friend was a good runner and would meet up for a social run. Took a break when kids arrived and probably been running consistently for the last 8 years now.

Favourite thing about running: Enjoy getting out on a sunny summer morning before a days work. No matter how things go at least you have run that day!!

Favourite race distance to run: The Marathon is my favourite distance. Enjoy the whole build up to it and the relaxation afterwards. I also enjoy a nice 10 miler and was sad when Ballycotton disappeared off the calendar.

What is your main goal for this year: The main goal this year is to finally run Dublin after a 2 year wait. Next year I might have different goals as hit a new age category 🙂

Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date: Without question the best memory was the start of my first marathon that happened to be Chicago. I was at the absolute back of a field of 40,000 runners and when the gun went there were 20,000 t-shirts and hoodies up in the air as people ditched their gear. Would have been an amazing picture.

Tell us something most people might not know about you: Before arriving at running I spent a lot of time Whitewater Kayaking. Its amazing to see the rivers we have here and most people just drive past them not knowing.

Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting): From running it has to be John Treacy. I watch his finish to the Olympic marathon now and then and he is as hard as nails. Outside running it would be Richard Branson. A fantastic businessman that has a sense of fun also.

One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running: Easy does it. When I started I tried to beat yesterdays time. Took a while to realise that slow easy running is the way to stay on the road.

3 things you would take with you onto a desert island: My Campervan, Duct tape, and a Kayak

Eagle AC Member Profile

Name:

Jack Murphy

Member of Eagle AC since:

2019

How long have you been running and what made you take it up:

I started running in 2016 so that I could take part in the Killarney Adventure Race (Cycle/Kayak/Run). I quickly realised that running is a lot more fun than cycling!

Favourite thing about running:

I love the process of following a plan and seeing the progress over time – you get out what you put in. There are so many different goals to chase across all distances and surfaces.

Favourite race distance to run:

5km – breaking 20 minutes was my first real running goal. In particular, I always enjoy racing the Bweeng 5k (one of the fastest 5k routes in Ireland).

I’d like to try a 1500m or mile race someday too!

What is your main goal for this year:

Amsterdam Marathon in October. It will be my first marathon, so I will be happy just to finish in one piece!

Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date:

My best race was probably the Valentia Island Hardman Half Marathon on Easter Saturday this year – breaking 90 minutes on a challenging course, 15 minutes faster than I ran in the same race in 2019.

Even though I was on crutches for a few days after the race, it was definitely worth it!

Tell us something most people might not know about you:

I’m a bit of a running nerd. Most of my media consumption is watching running YouTube and races (from 100m on the track to ultra-marathons in the mountains) as well as listening to all sorts of running podcasts.

Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting):

My dad is a big inspiration. Despite being twice my age, he is undoubtedly fitter than me!

My favourite pro athlete is the ultra-marathon mountain runner Courtney Dauwalter – her laid back attitude to life and ability to endure the ‘pain cave’ is inspiring.

One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running:

Build up slowly – there is no rush. I think that parkrun is the best way to get started – the community is so friendly and all abilities are welcome.

3 things you would take with you onto a desert island:

My trail runners to explore the island, a solar-powered Garmin watch to record it all, and a satellite phone so that I can get home to upload everything to Strava!

Eagle AC Cheetah Run 2022.

The Cheetah Run 2022 raised a fantastic €5,000 for Fota Wildlife Park conservation charity.

The 2022 Eagle AC annual Cheetah Run took place on May 19th on the grounds of Fota Wildlife Park. The Cheetah Run has taken place yearly since 2009 but this year marked a special return to the in- person event following 2 years of virtual events due to the Covid pandemic.

Roisin Fitzgerald the marketing manager in Fota, who also ran the race on the night, explained that “as well as being a fun and uniquely set road race, it is also a fundraiser for Fota Wildlife Park and the monies raised go towards a specific conservation project”. This year’s even raised a fantastic €5,000 for Fota Wildlife Park conservation charity.

The 2022 Cheetah Run was a sell-out event with 900 adult places and 100 juvenile places available. On the night we had a super turn out with 712 runners completing the adult’s race and 86 completing the juveniles’ race; and what an unbelievable night in Fota Wildlife Park it was.

The evening got off to a flying start when the winner of our ‘11-15 year olds 1 mile race’ Connor Looney of Blarney Inniscarra AC crossed the line in 5 minutes and 28 seconds, followed closely by his brother Eoghan in 5 mins 34 seconds. Emma Flynn of North Cork AC was our first girl home in a time of 5 mins 39 secs, and 3rd place finisher overall. Indeed the future of athletics in Cork looks bright with our first 13 finishers running a sub 6-minute mile over a challenging course.

The Adults race was an exciting event also with the top 2 men, Alan O’Shea Bantry AC and Sergiu Ciobanu Clonliffe Harriers battling it out over the course, before Alan made the decisive break in the closing stages to win by 11 seconds. Aidan Noone of Leevale AC, took the third place spot in a time of 16 mins and 2 seconds.
In the ladies’ race Carol Finn of Leevale AC lead from the beginning and ran a strong race to secure the win in a time of 17 mins 49 seconds. Her club mate Michelle Kenny finished in second place in 18 minutes and 6 seconds and 3rd to cross the line was Kealey Tideswell Clonmel AC, and in 18 minutes and 24 seconds.
Both of our winning male and female junior athletes were from Carraig Na Bhfear AC, and they were Timmy Colbert and Sinead Roche.

List of the full results can be found here:

https://www.myrunresults.com/events/fota_cheetah_5k_run/4368/results

https://www.myrunresults.com/events/fota_cheetah_1_mile_run/4489/results

Friday the 1st of July marked the presentation of the €5000 raised to the Fota Wildlife Park conservation charity.

Sean McKeown, Director of Fota Wildlife Park said “We’re absolutely thrilled and humbled by the great fundraising done by the Eagle AC committee, race organisers and supporters year after year. We would like to say a huge thank you to all involved, especially as this was the first year the race could be held physically here at Fota since the pandemic. We’re delighted to announce that the €5,000 raised will be donated to an on-site conservation programme for one of our native species, the Curlew.”

Ruairi Egan, Cheetah Run race director said “We at Eagle AC were thrilled to return to the wildlife park this year to host the real edition of our long-standing fundraising Cheetah Run, following two years of virtual events. The fact that it sold out completely once again is a testament to the uniqueness of the race and the popularity of Fota Wildlife Park. Our thanks go to all of our members who volunteered on the night, the staff of the park, all at Fota House and the OPW. Well done to all who took part on the night and it’s a pleasure to present this year’s donation.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors John Buckely sports and Brooks running for their continued support of this event. Thank you all for your support, involvement & help in getting the Cheetah Run back to the super event that it deserves to be, live and in person on the grounds of Fota Wildlife Park.

We look forward to seeing you all again in 2023.

Eagle AC latest Member Profile



Name: Maressa Mills

Member of Eagle AC since: September 2021


How long have you been running what made you take it up:

2019, when a couch to 5KM kicked off at work – but it was only during lockdowns 2021 that I started to head out regularly myself when the gyms were closed. I signed up to some virtual charity distance challenges too which helped to make sure I completed them!


Favourite thing about running: The post run buzz, especially after a tough track session of a Tuesday! The running community – and friends I have made since joining the club. I still feel a bit of a fraudster at the track, running alongside the talent of other club members but the support & advice has been so helpful. I have really seen an improvement especially when pushing my distance further. I’ll probably always be towards the back of the group 😊 …but will show up at training and put 100% in! I couldn’t imagine my week now without the track, and my long Eagle social runs at the weekends.

Favourite race distance to run: 10 miles

What is your main goal for this year: Dublin Marathon 2022! I signed up through a charity when registrations were closed off thinking there was a half option…no going back now 🙂

Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date:

Clonakilty Half Marathon 2021. I never ever thought completing it was possible, as a 10KM distance was my max and before that I hadn’t completed many races other than 5/10KM fun runs! I had just joined the club in September – with the race in November. The training sessions, long social runs at the weekend and the encouragement from fellow members really helped. The buzz of the race day was something special, while chatting to other runners along the way too. (I had to strike up some conversations to take my mind off the struggle which helped!)


Tell us something most people might not know about you: On some of my earlier runs in Ballincollig Regional Park, I was known to stop dead in the trails at 3/4KM and walk back home!! Thank god for Strava & the accountability of it now.

Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting): Up to recently I could not think of a sporting hero for this piece, but it was right under my nose, my hero & local running legend Mary Sweeney. Mary’s not only a great friend of the club, but has been a little inspiration with her incredible running career to date. We realized after meeting through the club that we lived nearby one another, and have gone on social runs ever since. Mary’s advice & support has been so helpful, along with the encouragement to sign up to races. She is a bundle of fun & energy, full of positivity, and a joy to run with and I’m so glad to know her. Check out this super feature on Cork Running blog to read more about Mary’s incredible running career!


One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running: Go for it! Heading out with a friend, or running group helps to get into a routine also the chats will keep your mind off the run when its tough. Check out upcoming races, or fun runs in your area, signing up for something & setting a goal will help to have something to train for.

3 things you would take with you onto a desert island:

  1. A good desert island playlist
  2. Extra battery
  3. Enough goodies & chocolate one could carry. To keep the sugar levels up obviously 😉

Cork City Marathon Weekend, June 5th 2022

Some excellent running by our Eagle AC marathoners last weekend Sunday June 5th 2022. Damian Kenneally led the club home in 11 place overall and with a 14 minute PB, brilliant running by Damian. Kevin Gilleece was second home and with another superb run; running a 2:45 marathon. Mark Murphy was next up with his second sub 3 marathon in about 6 weeks! More PB’s for Paul O Brien & Jason Crosbie, and a PB by 10 minutes for our first lady home Siobhan Holland! It was the first run over the marathon distance for Michelle Cheung accompanied by Alan Wong. Congratulations to Michelle on a brilliant achievement. Well done to everyone who ran, we are super proud of you all!!

Marathon Results 2022

11 290 DAMIAN KENNEALLY Eagle AC 02:38:42 02:38:38
17 276 KEVIN GILLEECE Eagle AC 02:45:10 02:45:07
69 154 MARK MURPHY Eagle AC 02:59:31 02:59:23
116 34 PAUL O BRIEN Eagle AC 03:06:13 03:05:55
189 2037 KEN MULCAHY Eagle AC 03:15:09 03:15:03
190 2131 JASON CROSBIE Eagle AC 03:15:18 03:14:55
220 1604 SIOBHAN HOLLAND Eagle AC 03:18:42 03:18:23
344 621 DARREN CASEY Eagle AC 03:28:56 03:28:47
362 187 FINBARR LEHANE Eagle AC 03:29:54 03:29:17
389 1689 KAREN BEVAN Eagle AC 03:31:52 03:31:15
421 293 JOHN SHEEHAN Eagle AC 03:33:59 03:33:23
624 1827 HELEN CRONIN Eagle AC 03:47:01 03:46:03
747 1682 SIBEL LEBLEBICI Eagle AC 03:55:08 03:54:15
924 179 DAN KELLEHER Eagle AC 04:02:38 04:01:50
1226 1215 DENIS CARROLL Eagle AC 04:26:59 04:24:55
1301 2886 PATRICK RYAN Eagle AC 04:31:06 04:28:47
1619 1843 MICHELLE CHEUNG Eagle AC 05:22:11 05:19:29
1620 1844 ALAN WONG Eagle AC 05:22:11 05:19:30
Pacer 62 DEREK O KEEFFE Eagle AC 3hr first 16 miles

Cork City Half Marathon 2022

Impressive running in the half marathon by the 28 Eagles who took on this distance. Brilliant times recorded here too, PB’s, strong running and groups working together are always great to see. Some lovely stories shared on social media also of our club members making us proud and helping out other runners on the course requiring some assistance or encouragement along the way. That’s the spirit of running, nice work Proinnsias O Keeffe & Ken Mulcahy. Congratulations and well done to all involved.

Half Marathon Results 2022

13 4091 FERGUS NUGENT Eagle AC 01:14:40 01:14:39
58 5259 PAUL COTTER Eagle AC 01:22:31 01:22:28
78 6853 CATHERINE MURPHY Eagle AC 01:24:51 01:24:36
82 6010 DAVID O’KEEFFE Eagle AC 01:25:19 01:25:03
112 5955 PAT O’ CONNOR Eagle AC 01:27:28 01:27:27
134 7089 MARTIN LEAHY Eagle AC 01:29:00 01:28:40
185 3069 JASON O’MAHONY Eagle AC 01:31:29 01:31:17
340 7098 PHILIP CORCORAN Eagle AC 01:38:38 01:37:41
416 4233 GARY GIBBONS Eagle AC 01:40:28 01:39:57
680 5927 MICHAEL NOONAN Eagle AC 01:46:24 01:45:33
731 4896 DENIS BROWNE Eagle AC 01:47:51 01:46:35
805 3827 AENID DOHERTY Eagle AC 01:49:52 01:47:38
827 6128 OLGA O’SULLIVAN Eagle AC 01:50:12 01:46:49
849 6833 PAT TWOMEY Eagle AC 01:50:30 01:50:08
977 6967 MARESSA MILLS Eagle AC 01:52:16 01:48:42
1092 5448 DENIS LOONEY Eagle AC 01:54:24 01:50:46
1148 6996 EIMEAR CROWLEY Eagle AC 01:55:17 01:50:44
1248 5318 LENNY MC CARTHY Eagle AC 01:56:41 01:54:33
1296 7170 JAMES QUINLAN Eagle AC 01:57:17 01:54:09
1476 3207 ELAINE GUINANE Eagle AC 01:59:19 01:59:19 (Pacer)
1520 5548 DAVID LYNCH Eagle AC 01:59:41 01:56:33
1624 3206 ED FITZGERALD PACER Eagle AC 02:01:09 02:00:22 (Pacer)
1648 3345 KAREN KELLEGHER Eagle AC 02:01:35 01:56:39
1690 4131 DANIEL LUXTON Eagle AC 02:02:21 01:58:47
1825 3455 FRANK COTTER Eagle AC 02:04:31 02:00:49
1688 4523 PROINNSIAS O’KEEFFE Eagle AC 02:02:17 02:01:20
2036 4008 FRANCES O’CONNOR Eagle AC 02:08:15 02:03:31
2203 5449 BERNADETTE LOONEY Eagle AC 02:11:32 02:10:11
2205 5795 OLIVIA HOLMES Eagle AC 02:11:39 02:10:25

Cork City Marathon Relay 2022

Our 2 Relay teams put in strong performances to finish 8th and 18th on Sunday. Mark and Aoife provided a top class pacing team for Damian Kenneally finished with an overall time of 02:38:43. While Grellan McGrath, Ian Roche, Chris Finnegan & Ken Nyhan ran a very strong combined time of 3:11:11.
We had several members who also ran with relay teams outside of the club, joining family & friends on the day. Well done to everyone involved in such a great event.

8 8347 A LESBIAN & A SCOTSMAN WALK INTO A BAR Eagle AC 02:38:42 03m 45s/km
18 8175 EAGLE AC RUNNERS Eagle AC 03:11:11 04m 31s/km

Parkrun 100

An exciting weekend was further improved when two of our Eagle AC runners marked their 100th Parkrun. Congratulations to Mick Dooley running his 100th Park Run at the Glenn River Parkrun & Ian O Brien choosing his local Ballincollig Parkrun to tick off his big100 total.

A special word of thanks to Joe Murphy, Derek Costello & Mick Dooley for all the photos over the weekend.

Member Profile: Jason O’ Mahony

Name: Jason (Jay) O’Mahony

Member of Eagle AC since: August 2020


How long have you been running what made you take it up: Running since 2008 onwards. Did a few Cork City sports in the 80’s representing my school when I was in primary school (St Josephs on the Mardyke)  but never followed up again until 2008 Cork City Mara Relay! Took it up after my buddy ran Cork in 2007. Got me thinking and started for fitness also.

Favourite thing about running: My favourite thing is just to be able to clear my head. It’s a busy life with 3 young kids in the family so I like to just run, and focus on the run – nothing else!

Favourite race distance to run: I like the 10 mile distance. It’s just about right where you can really enjoy it in autopilot mode running and not go flat out like a 5K/10K.

What is your main goal for this year:  I want to try and do a Half Mara in every county in Ireland over the next few years so this year is to successfully complete Cork (again), Killarney (again), Limerick, Waterford and Belfast Half. I also want to try out a few shorter runs in towns in Cork that I haven’t done before. That’s the plan anyway 😊

Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date: Running in the Olympic Stadium in London for the Great Newham 10k a few years back. That was an amazing feeling. Also a close second would be the Malta Half Marathon. Lovely finish along the harbor, that was amazing in the sun!

Tell us something most people might not know about you: I worked in London for 8.5 years returning to Cork in December 2016. Loved London, got to see loads of it north, south, east and west and amazing locations from St James Palace to New Scotland Yard, War Office and Canary Wharf Banks, plus West end with my job (engineer) daily.

Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting): Sporting – Roy Keane – A legend, a rebel and box office! Roys the man. Also Caitriona Twomey at the Cork Penny Dinners.

One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running: start easily and don’t push yourself too hard initially. It takes time to build up strength, speed and endurance. Be consistent with your training and develop a plan for each week. Set a goal distance for each week and try to target it.

3 things you would take with you onto a desert island: Family, a ball to kick, My Alphaflys!