Race Day Information for The 34th Annual Tommy Ryan Memorial, Carrigaline 5 Mile Road Race.

RACE DAY INFORMATION 11 am Sunday 19th February 2023

Important Information:

  • Race Day: Sunday 19th February 2023
  • Race Number: Please wear your race number on the front of your t-shirt & on you outermost layer of clothing.
  • Number Postage: If you selected number postage prior to the 8th of February you should have received your number in the post.
  • Number Collection: For entries received after the 8th of February, or where postage was not a selected option, your numbers will be available for collection from 9:30am in Carrigaline Community Complex, Church Rd, Carrigaline Middle, Carrigaline.  (Map location: RJ77+W4 Carrigaline, County Cork) Eircode P43 TK70
  • Race Parking: Please allow enough time for parking, number collection and getting to the start line. Be aware that there will be up to 400 people looking for parking in a community area so this can take time. Parking at the Carrigaline Community Complex will be exclusively for wheelchair athletes or local community groups who use this on a weekly basis. We encourage all runners to use the Carpark opposite the park on both the bypass road and the Church road sides of the park. (Please see map below)
  • Toilet facilities: Available in the hall, some portaloos outside the hall and more at the start-line
  • The start line is located in the Waterpark Estate, please see map for details. This is a 10-minute walk from the Carrigaline Community complex.
  • Race start time is 11am Sharp!
  • The finishing line is also located In the Waterpark Estate.
  • A map outlining parking, registration, start & finish line and race route can be found here: https://munsterraceroutes.blogspot.com/2013/01/cork001.html
Map outlining Carrigaline Community Complex, Parking options & Start line area.

Prior to the race

  • If you opted for the postal option, your number will have been posted to you.
  • For all on-line registrations after the 8th of February, or where postage was not a selected option, your numbers will be available for collection in the Carrigaline Community Complex from 9:30am
  • Please let us know as soon as possible of any problems with receipt of your number and we can resolve this for you.
  • Please park responsibility and follow the instructions given by the carpark stewards.

At the start line

  • Please listen to the stewards and the safety briefing, prior to the race start.
  • There will be a lot of people in a small space, so take care of each other.
  • There is a very quick downhill start to this race. If you feel there are faster runners in the race, please let them start in front of you to avoid collisions.
  • There will be a lead car at the front of the race and a lead cyclist with the leading man & lady.

During the Race

  • Our race does not permit the use of headphones of any kind, you need be aware of the people around you, you also need to be aware of on-coming traffic.
  • Listen to the stewards, they are there as volunteers for your safety.
  • As this is a 5-mile race there will be no water stops on the course.
  • The course is on main roads open to traffic. Please keep to the left-hand side of the road. The Gardai and stewards will be on hand to ensure your safety, but please do take care and run safely.

At the finish line

  • Water will be provided at the finish line.
  • Refreshments: Tea, coffee, sandwiches, cakes & biscuits will be available in the Carrigaline Community Complex after the race. Please keep the flow of people moving through the Hall to allow all participants to access the post-race refreshments.
  • Please dispose of all waste in the bins provided

After the race

  • The prize presentation will take place at approximately 12.30pm in the Carrigaline Community Complex.
  • There will be donation boxes available for any participants or family members who may like to make an additional donation to our charity partners:  Carrigaline Meals on Wheels & Carrigaline Forόige Youth Diversion Project.
  • Please exit the carpark safely
  • The race results can be found at myrunresults.com.

Our Sponsors

We are very grateful to our sponsors The Edge Spots & Coughlan DeKeyser Architects for helping to make this event possible. We hope you enjoy our event, and we are delighted that we can once again offer post-race refreshments in the Carrigaline Community Complex.  

Thank you all for supporting our Eagle AC club race & we hope you all enjoy the event.

If you have any concerns or queries you can contact us by email on eagleraces@gmail.com

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


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.

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:



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.

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.

My Boston Marathon Experience.

The 126th Boston Marathon, April 18th 2022.

Report by Mark Murphy, Eagle AC.

My Boston Marathon story began in January, when I decided to focus all of my training on the 126th Boston Marathon 2022.

Mark Murphy on completion of 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!

Mark Murphy running the 126th Boston Marathon.

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! 

Mark Murphy Boston 2022: 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 Lucey Murphy: A Tribute

Written by Elaine Guinane 21.04.2022

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 Cheetah Run with Fota Wildlife Park

Entries Open Friday 8th of April at 10am

You can Enter here: https://www.myrunresults.com/events/fota_cheetah_run_2022/4368/details

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:


Ruairi Egan & Karen Bevan Race Directors Eagle AC, Aoife Cooke Olympian, Roisin Fitzgerald Fota Wildlife Park, Lily McCarthy (Douglas), Connor Kavanagh of John Buckley Sports, Hugo McCarthy (Douglas), Lily Bevan-Luxton (Douglas). Photo by Darragh Kane

Image credits: Darragh Kane


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.

Race Details.

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!

Important reminders.

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!

Entry Link: https://www.myrunresults.com/events/fota_cheetah_run_2022/4368/details

In Partnership with:

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/

Braga Blast

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!


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.