Aoife Cooke Runs Olympic Qualifying Time

Eagle AC would like to send huge congratulations to club member Aoife Cooke on her outstanding performance today at the Run Cheshire Marathon.

Aoife’s winning time of 2.28.36 is nearly a full minute under the Olympic qualification standard and places her 4th on the all time Irish female marathon list – one place ahead of none other than Sonia O’Sullivan! Aoife led from the start of today’s race and consistently ran 5.35 – 5.40 pace for the entire 26.2 miles.

Aoife’s time knocks a full 4 minutes off her previous PB, which she ran at the  2019 Dublin City Marathon, on her way to becoming National Champion.

We have all seen the massive amount of training that Aoife has put in to achieving her Olympic qualification goal over the last few years. Her dedication and commitment has been truly inspiring for her fellow club members. Though (unfortunately!) we all can’t run a 2.28 marathon like she can, Aoife pushes the rest of us to dream big and to achieve our goals also.

A word too for Aoife’s training ‘crew’ who had to watch nervously from home this morning instead of joining Aoife at the race. The guys have logged many hard training miles with Aoife over the last year or more, and know first hand the effort she has put in to achieving her goal today. In fact, we heard poor Damian hasn’t slept since Friday with all the nerves and excitement!!

From the race live stream, it seemed like most of the Cork running community were cheering Aoife on this morning. This just goes to show how popular Aoife is on the Cork running scene – always modest, friendly and encouraging to her fellow runners, no matter what their running level may be.

We couldn’t be prouder to call Aoife an Eagle AC member and we wish her continued success with her training over the coming months.

Enjoy the very well earned celebrations first though Aoife. Coach Stazza will surely give you a day or two off!!

Finish for Aoife in 2.28.36!
1st and 2nd Lady Home
Damian kicking off the celebrations!!!

Marathon and ultra marathon training on Bere Island

Johanna Riddell is a member of Eagle since July 2020
She is originally from London and is now living on Bere Island.

Started running at school around 13 years of age mostly cross country and absolutely loved it and probably the only time I  “broke tape”, just the vast openness, fresh air and muck. Move onwards to 2015 and decided to try the Bere Island Parkrun out out, really enjoyed it and soon my love of running returned not to mention I was so eager to get out the door on 1st January that I cooked the turkey upside down!
Had to take break from running that year due to tearing my meniscus and after keyhole surgery in November 2105, where the surgeon also discovered I  had osteoarthritis of same knee, surgeon said no more running – I just won’t tell him what I’ve ran since ha ha.

So, I decided to enter my first marathon  being the Dublin marathon in 2016 due to the year that was in it. I also signed up to the San Francisco marathon and after running the 10K in Galway on the day of my cousins wedding, sure enough I signed up to the Galway marathon, so three marathons signed up before I even ran one!

The iconic San Francisco marathon in 2017 was spectacular, amazing views and unrivaled atmosphere from start to finish. The highlight was an early start to the marathon around 5am and running over the Golden Gate Bridge was amazing. I decided after that year to enter the Connemara 64K Ultra, a challenge more than anything and it was tough no doubt about it and the hill from the west at the end was brutal, but just being out on the roads winding around Connemara was breathtaking I just loved it me and the outdoors for hours so I say my distance is the longer as it clears the head for sure and the people you run with are just brilliant.

Fast forward to the famous year in history 2020 – lockdown! So when you are in lockdown on an island 10k x 3k, I just carried on training for the marathons London, Berlin an New York but were canceled later on due to the pandemic. I also hired a run coach and fine tuned my running it certainly is paying off. I was the first to complete a marathon on the island being the London virtual and three more after that  and then the Donadea 50K ultra, again first to complete the distance on the island, fairly hard as the island isn’t flat by any means but delighted to get under 5 hours. Also into double digits of marathons since 2016.

I have met a great bunch of runners in Cork and through the club itself, great community, support and encouragement. 
Run a busy acupuncture clinic in Castletownbere  – Beara Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, plus after each run it’s great to self treat.
Also waiting to do a 13,000 ft parachute jump for the last two years but the weather wasn’t playing ball everytime we went to Offaly,  so hopefully soon I will get complete that.