Berlin Marathon 2018 Trip Report by Derek O’Keeffe

After Gate

Getting to the start line of a marathon is always risky. It’s usually some sort of injury or illness that stops people getting there. But for some of us, it was so much bad luck it was almost like a sign telling us not to go. Mairead Lonergan’s flight was overbooked, leaving her stranded in Amsterdam. There were rumours of sabotage by fellow passengers Ian Roche and Derek Costello but these were later proven to be false. Luckily Mairead was allowed to board literally seconds before they shut the door. For me, my flight was cancelled, and I needed to stay in Paris for one night. By the way, if anyone needs to stay in the Novotel hotel in CDG airport, do not get the shuttle-bus! Turns out it’s a totally different hotel, with the same name, literally miles from the airport. Google Maps is useful for discovering these mistakes after you have made them. Derek Costello also had some bad luck, suffering 2 hamstring tears just a week earlier. After arriving in Berlin he also discovered that when a menu says Jam-Pizza It really is jam, and not ham. Strawberry jam on an authentic thin crust base with cheese, anchovies and olives is risky business the day before a marathon.


Ian and Derek eventually arrive in Berlin!

Eventually, after making it to Berlin on Saturday, it was straight to the expo for me to get my number. In and out job, no messing about. I didn’t stay there long as I was in search of coffee and chocolate cake. A bunch of us met for a carb loaded pasta lunch and then went to a cafe owned by Karen Bevan’s mother’s cousin. It’s a kind of 70’s retro style cafe, undiscovered by hipsters. The kind of place where you can have an excellent coffee and cake without the bearded men in skinny jeans. I highly recommend the Russian chocolate and pear cake.


Schnittichen on Grobeerenstrabe, Karen’s relative’s cafe

I read somewhere that Berliners don’t eat bratwurst, It’s just the tourists and marathon runners that eat them. But if Berliners don’t support the bratwurst industry, they sure make up for it in support for their home marathon. The crowds along the course were something else. There is nowhere along the course that is not packed with supporters. Things that stand out in my memory of the race was an old lady with a clacker about mile 23 shouting ‘new world record’ causing a standing-wave of cheering by all the passing runners. Another memory I have is a group of locals in an apartment balcony over the course with a massive sound system so loud, their neighbour’s ears must still be ringing.

There were some impressive runs by Eagle AC and other Cork runners on the day. Mark Smith running a PB of 2:32, not far behind Mike Morgan (St Finbarrs) who knocked out a 2:30PB. Vivian Foley ran an incredible time of 2:41 after coming back only recently from injury. Vivian did get beaten very badly by his rival Donal Coakley (Leevale) though, who ran a PB of 2:38. This rivalry goes back to 12 months ago from when Donal got badly beaten by Vivian.

Karen Bevan and Lisa Boland ran a close race, just 12 seconds apart, both finishing in 3:31. Derek Costello, coming into the race with 2 hamstring tears and a stomach full of the jam-pizza, amazingly finishing in 3:57. Mairead Lonergan, who I believe also ate the performance enabling jam-pizza ran a great 3:47.


Derek, Lisa and Mairead resting their legs at the finish line.

Another couple of heroes I have the pleasure to train with, Sean O Keeffe and David Craig (Bandon AC) knocked out solid PBs of 2:42 each.

Ian Roche ran a strong time of 3:37, a good way off his PB but will remain fresh for Dublin in a few weeks.  A couple of us had not such good races. Ronan Boland who was in fantastic shape, unfortunately had to pull out due to a hamstring injury. My own race didn’t go according to plan with me bailing out at 32K with another sore hamstring. I chatted with Alan O’Brien for a bit and he convinced me to get going again and finished what felt like my toughest marathon. Eluid Kipchoge (not Cork) ran a solid 2:01, breaking the world record. It looks like this record may stand for some time so it was a privilege to take part in this historic race.


Eliud Kipchoge (Not Cork) on his way to setting a new world record of 2.01.39.

After the race we gathered by the Brandenburg Gate near the finish line. Drinking Erdinger and eating bratwurst in the sun like real marathon runners, we swapped stories of the race and swore never-again.


Eagles in official marathon jackets. Sales of these from the merchandise shop were directly correlated to sales from the Erdinger truck.


Trampolines – An excellent way to recover tired legs

From here a few of us went to Brlo Brewhouse. Made from old shipping containers with an outdoor deck-chair seating area it’s the perfect place to chill out over a beer with some food. There is even a kids play-sand-pit which would have been perfect for Olympic style long-jump attempts, if we could just get our turn. As I sat in the deck-chair in the last of the evening sun, I thought to myself, we did it, we made it. It felt great. The day reminded me of a quote by Hunter S Thompson – [It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country-but only for those with true grit. And we were chock full of that.]




Derek trying his best to recruit Eliud to Eagle AC  just before the flight home.

Mark Smith Wins East Cork Harbour Half Marathon

Mark Smith recorded his 2nd race win in a less than a week on Saturday morning! Mark won the East Cork Harbour Half Marathon in a time of 1.17.52.

Mark Smith Podium East Cork

Mark Smith, Eagle AC,  top of the podium!

Sean O’Keeffe  finished 4th with a time of 1.20.30. Impressive times from Mark and Sean on what was a very hilly course. Tom Fox was 2nd M50 across the line.  A number of club members were on pacing duty at the event  also – well done to Dermot Slyne, Ruairi Egan, Elaine Guinane, Helen Cronin , Mairead Lonergan, Ed Fitzgerald and Grellan McGrath.  Thanks to Conn O Donovan who organised and looked after the pacers on the day. All proceeds from this  event went to Marymount Hospice, a very worthy cause.

Helen, Conn, Colin

Eagle AC members Helen Cronin, Conn O’Donovan and Colin O’Herlihy before the East Cork Harbour Marathon 2018

Results: (Compiled by Ruairi Egan)

39 John SCANNELL  00:43:36  00:43:39  1206   M (34)   MS (28) Eagle AC

Half Marathon
1 Mark SMITH  01:17:52  01:17:52  685  M (1)  MS (1)  Eagle AC
4 Sean O’KEEFFE  01:20:30  01:20:30  49  M (4)  MS (4)  Eagle AC
22 Tom FOX  01:34:23  01:34:25  762  M (22) M50 (2)  Eagle AC
29 Colin O’HERLIHY  01:36:13  01:36:14  917  M (29) MS (27)  Eagle AC
45 Dermot SLYNE  01:39:29  01:39:33  884  M (44) MS (41) Eagle AC
76 Pat TWOMEY  01:45:36  01:45:38  896  M (70) M50 (5)  Eagle AC
117 Elaine GUINANE 01:49:46  01:49:57  767  F (21)   FS (18)  Eagle AC
118 Ruairi EGAN  01:49:57  01:49:57  752  M (97)  MS (85)   Eagle AC
142 Nora CORCORAN 01:52:39  01:53:05  531  F (27)  FS (24)   Eagle AC
200 Mairead LONERGAN 01:59:56 02:00:23  801  F (41)    FS (36)   Eagle AC
201 Helen CRONIN  01:59:57  02:00:24  732  F (42)  FS (37)   Eagle AC

Mark Smith Wins Castlelyons 4 Mile Road Race

All roads led to Castlelyons last night for the 4th race of the Eagle Summer Series 2018. There was another large Eagle representation at this 4 mile race with 30 members crossing the finishing line. Leading Eagle AC,  aswell as the rest of the field home was Mark Smith who won the race in a great time of 21.21.

Mark winning

Mark Smith, 1st place at Castlelyons 4 Miler 2018

Summer Series organiser Damian Kenneally wasn’t far behind, finishing in 21.38. He finished 3rd, claiming a well deserved podium spot .

Damian 3rd

Damian Kenneally finishing in 3rd place.

Colin Foley and Donal Dowling rounded out the top 10 finishing in 9th and 10th places respectively. Donal won 1st M40, when running 23.51, his first time running under the 24 minute mark.

Donal prize

Donal Dowling picking up prize for 1st M40

The club picked up a number of other category prizes. Darren Casey was 2nd M40, with Tom Fox picking up the prize for 1st M50. The Eagle Ladies were also well represented with Sandra Manning winning 2nd F35 and Elaine Guinane being 1st F40 home. A mention to Anne Lucey Murphy too who increased her normal race distance of 5k to 4 miles with ease finishing 2nd F60 in the race. A very enjoyable and successful night in Castlelyons for Eagle AC.

1. Mark Smith M40 Eagle AC 21.21
3. Damian Kenneally M Eagle AC 21.38
9. Colin Foley M Eagle AC 23.50
10. Donal Dowling M40 Eagle AC 23.51
11. Tom Fox M50 Eagle AC 23.58
15. Brian McGuire M45 Eagle AC 24.39
18. Colin O’Herlihy M45 Eagle AC 24.51
19. Darren Casey M40 Eagle AC 25.05
21. Dermot Slyne M40 Eagle AC 25.15
22. Jerome McCarthy M Eagle AC 25.17
38. Mike O’Connor M Eagle AC 26.23
39. Patrick Walsh M Eagle AC 26.24
40. John Dunphy M45 Eagle AC 26.31
44. Ruairi Egan M45 Eagle AC 26.52
45. Sandra Manning F35 Eagle AC 26.52
50. John Scannell M45 Eagle AC 27.16
53. Elaine Guinane F40 Eagle AC 27.36
62. John Swanton M Eagle AC 28.31
63. Ed Fitzgerald M45 Eagle AC 28.34
70. Ken Nyhan M40 Eagle AC 29.17
71. Mairead Lonergan F Eagle AC 29.21
77. Eddie Trindle M40 Eagle AC 30.00
78. Joe Murphy M60 Eagle AC 30.02
81. Paul Cotter M55 Eagle AC 30.17
87. Ita Kirwan F45 Eagle AC 30.49
93. Denis Looney M50 Eagle AC 31.34
101. Denise O’Brien F Eagle AC 32.19
129. Evan Twomey M40 Eagle AC 35.08
136. Ber Looney F45 Eagle AC 35.30
160. AnneLucey Murphy F60 Eagle AC 37.58

Castlelyons Group

Autumn Club Tempo Runs 2018

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To help club members in their preparations for the autumn marathons and half marathons the club is restarting tempo runs in Rochestown on Thursday evenings.  These sessions were a very popular and beneficial session last year. Each session typically starts with a warm up period, followed by a structured tempo session followed by a warm down.

These sessions are available to all club members. For information on club membership please see …