Busy Weekend for Eagle AC Members – 12th/13th September

Despite the fact that organised races are very very few and far between these days, it has been great to see Eagle AC members still finding ways to motivate and challenge themselves over the past few months. This was especially evident this weekend with lots of members taking part in a number of virtual events and challenges.

Jason, Darren, Catherine, Damian, Mark, Ruairi and Karen at the start of The Cork 50k!

First up on Saturday morning were club members Ruairi Egan and Karen Bevan. Ruairi and Karen put in a great block of training over the summer months which was all geared towards The Tralee Marathon 50k event which was due to take to place yesterday, 12th September. Unfortunately, due to current restrictions, the race organisers were forced to cancel the race a number of weeks ago. However, this small fact didn’t bother Ruairi and Karen who instead decided to the run the event as planned, in Cork, yesterday morning. The guys headed off on the 1st of 5 10k laps of Blackrock and the Marina at 7.30 am and finished their final lap just before midday yesterday. It was great to see the guys achieve their 50k goal and great to see club members Jason, Mark, Damian, Catherine, Darren, Glenn and Derek join them at various stages along the way to provide much appreciated company and support.

Post Race Photo!

Yesterday also saw two of our mountain running experts Olga O’Sullivan and Grellan McGrath heading to Kerry to complete a run up ( and down!) Ireland’s highest mountain , Carrauntouhill . Judging by the photos. the guys chose a great day – they were very lucky with the weather and were rewarded on their climb with spectacular views.

Proof they made it to the top!

This morning, 13th September, saw Dermot Slyne completing the Boston Virtual Marathon 2020. Dermot had been planning to attend the real thing but, unfortunately that will have to wait until another year. Never one to make life easy for himself, Dermot chose to run his Virtual Boston on one of the hilliest marathon routes that he could find and ran the 26.2 miles in the trails and hills of Warrensourt Woods!! Dermot ran a great time of approx. 3.45 on the very hilly course.

A mention to Jacqueline Slyne also, who it seems was an excellent support crew and to Fergus Nugent who joined Dermot for a few loops which we’re sure was very much appreciated.

Dermot competing his 26.2 miles

The weekend came to a close with Vivian Foley competing in the Charleville Invitational Half Marathon 2020, finishing 1st M50 at the highly competive event with a time of 1.21.30.

It’s great to see club members finding various ways to keep themselves running and motivated during these strange times. Great too to see their fellow club members supporting them in their endeavours! Please do share with fellow club members what challenges you are setting yourself , events you are taking part in over the next few months. Its great to hear what others are up to and provides inspiration for the rest of us! You might even find someone willing to complete your chosen goal with you .

Cool down lap with Buffi and Bunch !

Eagle AC @ National Masters Track and Field Championships 2020

It was brilliant to see the Eagle AC singlet back in action once again on Sunday, 6th September at the National Masters Track and Field Championships 2020 at Morton Stadium in Santry.

Eagle AC was represented by 5 athletes – Hugh McSweeney, Ken Higgs, Vivian Foley, Tom Fox and Richard Piotrowski. The 5 guys all put in brilliant performances and earned 4 National Titles between them for their efforts!

First in action on the day was Hugh McSweeney who claimed M70 Gold in the 200m event. Hugh ran a time of 31.12.

Next up was Ken Higgs in the 400m who, with a brilliant run of 1.10.30 won the M70 400m title.

Our last 3 competitors all took part in the 5000m event. Vivian and Tom took part in 4th 5k race while Richard was in the 5th. An amazing run of 16.42 for Vivian saw him claim a comprehensive victory in the M50 category. Tom, with a great run of 18.05 finished in 4th M55 position, very unlucky to miss out on a medal by just one place.

In the final race of the day Richard Piotrowski too had a comprehensive victory when running to M70 5k Gold. Richards time of 21.36 meant that he finished well over a minute ahead of his nearest competitors.

Well done to all our athletes who competed yesterday. It was brilliant to see the club being represented so well on the National stage. Winning a National Title is an amazing achievement – as a club, Eagle AC were delighted to see members hard work, training and dedication pay off in spades yesterday. Their performances will definitely serve to motivate and inspire the rest of us over the coming months! A mention to Competition Secretary Pat Murphy too who organised all of the Eagle AC entries etc. for the Championships. Thanks to Pat for all of the work involved in this.

Eagle AC Summer Series – Race 4 – 19th – 21st August

The Eagle AC Summer Series 2020 (Virtual Edition!) drew to a close this week when the final race of this year’s series was held. Race No. 4 took place between Wednesday 19th – Friday 21st August and saw 63 members in total log an entry. This was a great number once again, especially when we weren’t so lucky with the weather this time around to say the least!

A special mention from this month’s entries must go to Tamara Lopez who managed to log her 5 miles whilst running around her garden! It was great to see Martin Daly back in action after a recent injury also, as well as Derek Costello who logged a brilliant 5 miles and is hopefully well on the road to recovery after a tough year of injuries. For the photos from Race 4 see the album here –https://www.flickr.com/photos/125872653@N04/sets/72157715606774967/

The club committed to donate at least €1 for each run logged throughout the series to Fota Wildlife Park.  A GoFundMe page was also set up in order for members to make a voluntary donation to the cause if they so wished. Between the 4 races there were 293 runs logged. This, combined with the amount of €950 raised through our GoFundMe page translates to a total of €1,243 being raised by Eagle AC for Fota Wildlife Park. We would like to sincerely thank members who contributed so generously to this cause over the past few months. The money raised from the Summer Series will go directly towards the feeding bill and operational costs of the park.

Denis Carroll

This time around, we had two raffles to complete – one for all those who took part in Race 4 and one for all those who completed all 4 races in the Summer Series 2020. In total, we had 53 members who took part in all 4 races. A huge thanks to The Edge Sports who donated the prizes so generously for this series. Their generous sponsorship ensured that we could donate 100% of profits from the series to Fota Wildlife Park.

Race No. 4 Raffle Winners:

Dolores Casey – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

Michelle Traynor – €15 voucher – The Edge Sports

Anne Murphy – €10 voucher – The Edge Sports

Andrew McDonald – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

Ray Harrington – €10 voucher – The Edge Sports

Sean Lucey – €10 voucher – The Edge Sports

Geraldine Corcoran – €15 voucher – The Edge Sports

Mark Smith – €15 voucher – The Edge Sports

Donal Hannigan – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

Ray needs a rest after taking part in all 4 races!!

Overall Summer Series Winners:

Ken Nyhan – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

Frank Cotter – €10 voucher – The Edge Sports

Derek Costello – €15 voucher – The Edge Sports

Ruairi O’Callaghan – €15 voucher – The Edge Sports

Gary Gibbons – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

Karen Bevan – €15 voucher – The Edge Sports

Denis Looney – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

Dermot Slyne – €10 voucher – The Edge Sports

Olga O’Sullivan – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

Congratulations to all of the winners this time around.

Many thanks to all those who have put in lots of behind the scenes work to make this series happen over the past few months. Especially to Damian Kenneally who is the brainchild behind the Summer Series!! And to Ruairi Egan who organised all of the vouchers and photos for each race. A big thanks to Derek Costello also, for putting the Flickr albums together for every race and to Denis Looney who organised the GoFundMe page.

Finally, we would just like to say a huge thanks to all members who took part in the 2020 series in such great numbers . Hopefully it was a way to help keep members somewhat connected and motivated over the past few crazy months!

All that’s left to say is Roll on Eagle AC Summer Series 2021 – Hopefully a non-virtual event!!

Donal Hannigan

Ber and Denis Looney

Eagle AC Member Profile: Mike McGrath

Eagle AC Member Profile:

Name : Mike McGrath

Member of Eagle AC since : 2002 I think thanks to the great Joe Murphy !

How long have you been running? What made you take it up : I started running Cross Country ( because I couldn’t get on the School rugby team ! ) when I was about 14 but have been running consistently and competing in Road Races I’d say for over 40 years. 1st marathon was Dublin 1983 !

Favourite thing about running : The Buzz you get after a long run or speed session and being out in the fresh air !

Favourite race distance to run: Half Marathon

What is your main goal for this year: I haven’t run a Marathon since Dublin 1993 so as I was 60 last December I’ve decided to run the Gap of Dunloe Marathon, as my previous goal marathon, Manchester was cancelled in April.

Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date: Running 3.03 at the California Marathon in Sacramento CA on my birthday in Dec 1990 ( -7C at race start ) to qualify for 1991 Boston Marathon ( sub 3.05 required based on your Age )

Tell us something most people might not know about you : I also play golf  ( Handicap 5 ) and won an All Ireland Medal playing for Muskerry in 2007.

Biggest heroes  (sporting or non-sporting) : Steve Jobs (Apple Inc founder ), Ernie Els ( World Class Golfer ) , Tony Robbins ( Self Help Guru )

One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running : Start slow and increase your mileage gradually , Think long term !– I always say “ it’s better to run 50 x 20 mile weeks rather than 20 x 50 mile weeks !

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

My coffee machine, i phone , and my running shoes of course !

Eagle AC Summer Series – Race 3 – 15th – 17th July

The Eagle AC Summer Series 2020 (Virtual Edition) continued last week with Race No. 3 of the series taking place between Wednesday July 15th – Friday July 17th. 71 members logged their entries this time around – another great turn out.

With the travel restrictions removed there were a few runs recorded from a little further afield this time around – from Kerry to France to the Alps! This last location ensured that Tamara Lopez and Damien Helleboid won the spot prize for highest elevation run for Race No. 3! There was no beating an overall elevation of 538 metres!

Highest Elevation Run – Tamara and Damien

As you all know, the club is donating at least €1 for each run logged throughout the series to Fota Wildlife Park. The Covid-19 crisis of course meant that the park had to close its gates for a prolonged period of time. A large portion of it’s income comes from daily visitors and this of course, has been hugely impacted over the last few months. The money raised from our Summer Series will go directly towards the feeding bill and operational costs of the park. Thanks to all who have contributed so generously to our GoFundMe page so far. Between both members and club donations we have currently raised almost €900 for the park. If anyone would still like to make a voluntary donation they can do so here …. https://gf.me/u/x86vm7 . The suggested ‘race fee’ is  €5 but any amount, big or small is greatly appreciated.

So now onto the prize winners for those who entered Race 3. This month’s winners are :

Anne Murphy – €15 voucher – The Edge Sports

Michael Connern – €15 voucher – The Edge Sports

Ray Harrington – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

Tom Fox – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

There was a draw this time also for all those members who have donated to Fota Wildlife Park through our Go Fund Me page so far. The winner of this draw for this month was Mark O’Keeffe . Well done to Mark who has won a family day pass for Fota Wildlife Park.

As mentioned previously, the winners of our spot prize for highest elevation run were Tamara Lopez and Damien Helleboid with an elevation gain of 538 metres!

The winner of our spot prize for best animal themed photo for this race was a very tough call as there were a number of very strong entries!! Honourable mentions to Michael Connern who drew a picture of a horse on his Strava run route, to Ruairi O’Callaghan’s dog dressed up in his singlet, sunglasses and Garmin, and to Colin O Herlihy and his triathlon fish and cat team!! However, judges agreed that the winners for best animal themed photo this time around were Ber and Denis Looney and their dog, who looks extremely happy to be decked out in the Eagle AC gear!

Best Animal Themed Photo – Denis and Ber Looney

Well done to all our winners– lots more prizes to be won in the last race in the series for anyone who hasn’t been lucky yet!

A huge thanks to both The Edge Sports Shop and Fota Wildlife Park for their very generous sponsorship of prizes for this entire series. It is really very much appreciated and ensures that we can donate 100% of profits from the series to Fota Wildlife Park.

The 4th and final race in the series will run from August 19th -21st and we hope that it will prove just as popular as the first 3 races. Thanks to all for their continued support of the event.

Team O’Herlihy Tri

Eagle AC Member Profile: Martin Daly

Name: Martin Daly

Member of Eagle AC since: 2016

How long have you been running what made you take it up: I’m running since 2013, I managed to give up smoking and took up running to try to keep off them. Became addicted to running instead!

Favourite thing about running: The freedom it gives you to get out and clear your head and the opportunity to meet others in the running community.

Favourite race distance to run: I think maybe the 5 mile distance, The Ballycotton summer series were some of my first races.

What is your main goal for this year: If Charleville Half Marathon goes ahead a PB hopefully!

Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date: I really enjoyed Berlin Marathon last year and the finish near the Brandenburg gate.

Tell us something most people might not know about you: I’m actually not from Bandon!

Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting): John Tracey, love watching Jimmy McGee’s classic commentary in the Los Angeles ’84 Olympic Marathon. Always makes me want to sign up for one.

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

3 things you would take with you onto a desert island: 3 pairs of Vaporflys.

(Photo from Running in Cork blog)

Eagle AC Summer Series – Race 2 – 17th -19th June

Race 2 of the Eagle AC Summer Series ( Virtual Edition) was another great success with exactly 80 members logging their 5 mile runs from Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th June.

With the 5k limit now removed this race gave a chance for some training partners to re-unite and run together which was great to see!

Darren Casey and Sandra Manning

Like Race 1 there was a variety of different reasons for running this time round – some used it to race, some to catch up with friends and family, and some to check progress with recovery from injuries. Photos from this months run can be found here –https://www.flickr.com/photos/125872653@N04/sets/72157714794992261/

Choosing to race certainly paid off for Sandra Manning, Karen Bevan, Martin Daly and Glenn Kenneally who we heard all claimed new 5 Mile PBs this time around! Tim McCarthy had a great run also, taking over 2 minutes of his Race 1 time. Looks like Tim is well on the road to recovery from recent injuries which is great to see! It’s brilliant to see Geraldine Corcoran back in the Eagle singlet also and we wish her continued success with her comeback. Special mention this time around to Tom Fox also who manged to run Race no. 2 in the exact same time as Race no. 1 – we’ll have to reserve a special spot prize for you Tom if you manage to run the same time for races 3 and 4 also! Frank Cotter used this race to perfect his selfie game also as well as recording a great 5 mile run!

Geraldine Corcoran
Tim McCarthy
Mr. Consistent – Tom Fox!

The club will be donating at least €1 for each run logged throughout the series to Fota Wildlife Park. The Covid-19 crisis of course meant that the park had to close its gates for a prolonged period of time. A large portion of it’s income comes from daily visitors and this of course, has been hugely impacted over the last few months. The cost of feeding the 135 species of animals in the park alone is approximately  €30,000 a month. The money raised from our Summer Series will go directly towards the feeding bill and operational costs of the park. As well as the donation from the club, a GoFundMe page has been set up, where members can pay a voluntary race entry fee for each of the remaining races in the series. The suggested fee is  €5 but any amount, big or small would be greatly appreciated. A big thank you to all members who have donated so far. Between both members and club donations we have currently raised almost €600 for Fota. The GoFundMe page can be found here for those who wish to donate – https://gf.me/u/x86vm7

With all that said, prize draw for Race no. 2 was made on Sunday morning and this months winners are :

Trevor O’Donovan – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

Dan Kelleher – €20 voucher – The Edge Sports

Pat O’Connor – €15 voucher – The Edge Sports

Jacqueline Slyne – €10 voucher – The Edge Sports

There was an extra draw this time round for all those members who donated to Fota Wildlife Park through our Go Fund Me page. The winner of this draw was Joe Murphy. Well done to Joe who has won a family day pass for Fota Wildlife Park.

Well done to our winners! Dan, you should buy a lotto ticket – you seem to be on a bit of a lucky streak these days! Don’t worry to those who lost out – lots more prizes to be won over the remaining races in the series!
A massive thanks to both The Edge Sports Shop and Fota Wildlife Park for their very generous sponsorship of prizes. It is really very much appreciated.

The 3rd race in the series will run from July 15th -17th and we hope that it will prove just as popular and successful as the first 2 races. Thanks to all for their continued support of the series.

Ruairi O’Callaghan

Running Book Recommendations

Thanks to all those who sent in book recommendations over the past couple of weeks. We should have enough here to keep us going over the summer months! Below is a list of the most popular books suggested. The ones recommended numerous times are marked with stars. By far the most highly recommended were both of the Adharanand Finn books.

 Hopefully there’s something in here that will suit everyone. Happy reading!

Thanks to Frank for reminding us that Cork City Libraries have a free online lending service available also. See their website for more information.

  • *Let your Mind Run – Deena Kastor – brilliant read from this Olympian Marathon Runner
  • *How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle – Matt Fitzgerald
  • *Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen – Christopher McDougall – New York Times Best Seller
  • Running for Better -A Story about Running to Live and Think Better
  • Running to the Edge – Matthew Futterman
  • Running for the B-team – Mike Bannister ( One man’s obsessive quest to run a marathon in under 3 hours)
  • *The Way of the Runner   – a journey into the fabled world of Japanese running
  • *The Sports Gene- David Epstein Epstein (Not really a running book but a few good nuggets of information in there for runners!)
  • Eat & Run – Scott Jurek
  • North – Scott Jurek
  • Running With Joy – Ryan Hall
  • *The Way of the Runner – Adharanand Finn
  • *Running with the Kenyans – Adharanand Finn -Sunday Times Sports Book of the Year
  • The Rise of the Ultrarunners – Adharanand Finn
  • 2 Hours – Ed Caeser
  • Don’t Stop Me Now – Vassos Alexander
  • The Ghost Runner – Bill Jones
  • The Perfect Mile – Neal Bascomb
  • Marathon Man – Bill Rodgers
  • Today We Die A Little – Richard Askwith
  • Who, Dares Runs – 32 marathons in 32 Days – Gerry Duffy
  • Tick Tock Ten – Gerry Duffy ( His account of running 10 Ironmans in 10 days)
  • A Life Without Limits – Chrissie Wellington
  • To the Finish Line – Chrissie Wellington ( Both of these are mainly Ironman themed but plenty about running in there too – Chrissie is hugely involved with the Parlrun movement in the UK
  • You Pace or Mine – Lisa Jackson ( A good one for back of the pack runners according to the person who recommended this!)
  • Running Like A Girl – Alexandra Heminsley ( Very relatable!!)
  • Finding Ultra – Rick Roll
  • *From Last to First by Charlie Spedding (Spedding finished in third place behind John Treacy in the 1984 Olympic Marathon)
  • The Lore of Running – Tim Noakes ( Very comprehensive on all matters related to running – 900 odd pages)
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Murakami
  • Daniels’ Running Formula – Jack Daniels
  • Advanced Marathoning  – Pete Pfitzinger
  • Endure – Alex Hutchinson
  • Peak Performance by B Stulberg and Steve Magness
  • Dean Karnazes – The Ultra Marathon Man
  • Mark Rowlands – The Philosopher and the Wolf

Eagle AC Member Profile: Tamara Lopez

Tamara Lopez


Name: Tamara Lopez

Member of Eagle AC since: October 2019


How long have you been running ? What made you take it up?: Since 2004. Some friends persuaded me to do a sprint triathlon, I could swim and cycle but couldn’t run at all. Somehow managed the 5k in the tri, and next thing I know we were signed up to a 10k.

Favourite thing about running: How accessible it is.

Favourite race distance to run: Half marathon – I find it easier to maintain a pace and they’re not as tiring as marathons 🙂

What is your main goal for this year: To discover some trail running routes. (The race goals I think are gone for this year)

Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date: Best race was Edinburgh marathon – big PB for me and got me a place in London marathon (my then home marathon), Can’t choose just one for most memorable, but I love short summer races that involve picnic/coffee/beer after.

Tell us something most people might not know about you: I cannot wink. It’s impossible.

Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting): Paula Radcliffe

One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running: Start with couch to 5k.

3 things you would take with you onto a desert island: Kindle, running shoes, hammock

John Quigley: A Tribute

John Quigley: A Tribute (Paul Cotter, with assistance from Pat Murphy)

On behalf of Eagle AC it is a pleasure to acknowledge the great contribution John Quigley has made to the welfare and growth of the club over many years. As John leaves the club it is good to recall his many contributions over these years. John joined Eagle AC in 1998 from Leevale at a time when numbers were falling. The club had been formed in 1982, among its founding members at that time were Joe and Ann Murphy, happily still very much part of the club. Pat Murphy joined a few years later.

John was our chairman from 2000 to 2014. When he was first elected numbers were in freefall and by 2001 there were just 25 members. This situation was not unique to Eagle, back then running was not in any way as popular as it has become over recent years. Perhaps John’s most enduring legacy to the club was his almost obsessional belief in the value of recruitment. Everywhere he went he recruited, at the end of every race, in his social life, at his place of work, and so on. John recruited me in November of 2001 while I was attending a genealogy evening at the Cork Family History Centre. He recognized my face from the races and sold me the idea of the value of club membership over being a mere jogger. Another one of his recruitment tools was a ladies meet and train evening in Douglas every Monday, which brought many members into the club. By 2003 John had gotten the numbers up to 51 and membership continued to grow apace, eventually rising to the high one hundreds (today we have around 140 members). During these years Eagle was one of the fastest growing clubs in the country. Outside of his work in recruitment John was a leading force in encouraging club members to compete in road and cross-country races, especially in championship races.

Over his years as chairman of the club John ‘ate, drank and slept’ Eagle. During his chairmanship John oversaw many honours brought home by the club at national, provincial and county level. During this time Eagle won thirty eight sets of county cross-country medals, including twelve titles, most notable of which was the three in a row county senior women’s titles, in 2008 to 2010. Earlier, in 2002, the women had won all before them, including Intermediate, Novice and Novice B. Among his other achievements for the club was his prominance in the setting up the famous Eagle ‘Cheetah Run’ in Fota Wildlife Park which has run every year since 2009 (until sadly this year). As a qualified course measurer John also made himself available to many local clubs as well as Eagle. John himself was no mean runner. With PB’s of 16:52 for five km, 21:37 for four mile and 27:30 for five mile distances he won many prizes, team and individual. In 2007, at the club’s 25th anniversary celebration in the Cork Cricket Club on the Mardyke, John was presented with an ‘outstanding contribution’ award by the club.

On a personal level John and myself were fierce competitors, despite him being several years older than me. Many is the race that I, eye balls out, was striding to the finish line only to hear behind me a spectator shouting ‘come on John’, thus spurring me on to glory at his expense. My only national medal was won as part of the over-50 Eagle team at the Dublin marathon in 2010 when we won silver. The team was, respectively, Pat Twomey, John Quigley and myself. Another happy memory is the only time I managed to finish the Ballycotton Five Summer Series, back in 2003, coming in at 35th position and winning the coveted top fifty tee-shirt. Who was ten seconds in front of me in 34th position? John Quigley of course. This wonderful rivalry unfortunately came to an end some years ago when John experienced ill-health. He has faced this situation with great courage and remains an example of how important running can be in all of life’s situations.

On behalf of Eagle AC we would like to wish John many more years of running.