Eagle AC Member Profile: Joe Murphy

Eagle AC Member Profile:

Name: Joe Murphy

Member of Eagle AC since: January 1983

How long have you been running and what made you take it up: Cork Road Championships were on in Blarney on December 26th 1982. I was not joined a club so they would not give me a number. I met Fred Gilbert – it was my lucky day! He gave me a number from Eagle so that I could run!

Favourite thing about running: My favourite thing about running is racing which I miss at the moment

Can you remember the first Eagle AC member(s) you ran with:   I ran with Michael Doherty, Declan Gilbert and Martin Crowley.

Favourite Cork race and why:  It has to be Ballycotton!

Ultimate/Overall running goal:  My goal is to try and get back to running better times.

Tell us something most people might not know about you:  I was a scratch pitch and putt player.

Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting): Sonia O Sullivan or Padraig Harrington

One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running: Join a club – you will get great support like I did!

IF you could go on a run with one elite athlete (at your pace!) who would it be and what would you ask them:

Mo Farrah – I would ask if he wants any advice about his marathon running! Ha ha!

Eagle AC Virtual Fota Cheetah Run 2021

Eagle AC are delighted to announce the launch of the ‘Virtual Fota Cheetah Run’ 2021 !

The race will take place from the 7th – 13th June.

As you may know, in May of each year, Eagle AC usually organizes the Cheetah Run in Fota Wildlife Park ,Cork. Since its inception, it has been one of the most popular races in the Cork area and is a sell out every year. Covering a distance of 5km, this is the only race of its kind in Europe, with participants running on the paths through the park. There are normally plenty of furry spectators also – everything from ostriches to wallabies to of course, the cheetahs!

Every year the funds raised from the Cheetah Run are used to support the park’s core objectives of research and conservation.

Unfortunately it is not possible to hold the race in 2021 due to Covid restrictions. So we have decided to go virtual instead! We are hoping that our 2021 race will help raise some much needed funds for Fota Wildlife Park.

The park is a charitable status organisation which is completely self-financing. It relies entirely on gate receipts and membership fees for its income. Of course, Covid 19 meant that the park had to close to the public for much of both 2020 and 2021. Even when they were allowed to open, visitor numbers were restricted. Obviously, this had a huge impact on finances. The operational running costs alone at Fota are approximately €380,000 a month. During the closures, feeding and veterinary care for the 135 species of animals had to continue – the animals in the park received the same excellent level of care as always, regardless of whether the park was open or closed.

The money raised from entries to the Virtual Fota Cheetah Run will go directly to the park.

For this year’s event, we have partnered with MyRunResults. There are a number of different race options available – something for everyone we hope! There is..

– A 5k adult race

– A 1 mile race for juveniles (U16)

– A family entry option ( 2 adults and 2 children)

As well as race entry there is also the option to purchase a variety of bespoke race merchandise – medals, t shirts and running buffs, the choice is yours! An optional, additional donation to Fota can also be made during the registration process.

All entry details and information re the race can be found at …..https://www.myrunresults.com/…/fota…/4107/details

Hopefully we will be back running the trails around Fota in May 2022, but for this year, we hope that you all enjoy our virtual edition! And that we manage to raise some much needed funds for Fota together in the process!

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!!!

Eagle AC Member Profile : Michelle Cheung

Name: Michelle Cheung

Member of Eagle AC since:

Back in January 2019 when I was already beginning to enjoy running, I discussed with my friend Jack Murphy about us joining a club in Cork together. We naturally picked Eagle due to its great reputation and our good friend Sean Lucey was already an active member who spoke highly of the club. We tried out a few sessions and loved it. Soon after we took the plunge of signing up.

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

I started running in the early summer of 2018. I initially took up running because I wanted to lose some weight and I was also looking to improve my overall fitness. I was already going to the gym religiously but I thought regular running would be a good addition since it was cardio based. I first started running regularly with a group in work during lunch breaks and this is where it all began. Soon after I got addicted and needed my regular fix!

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Eagle AC Member Profile: Pat Twomey


Name: Pat Twomey

Member of Eagle AC since: 

At the invitation of Joe Murphy and John Quigley I joined Eagle AC in 2000. At the time I was a member of Belgooly AC but as they didn’t have a Master’s team and Eagle AC were putting one together I decided to jump ship and become an Eagle AC runner.


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

I took up running in March 1994 mainly to lose the extra weight I had put on after quitting smoking the year before. After running on my own for a few weeks I met the Carrigohane (Straight Rd) Road runners who did a long run every Sunday out around Ballincollig and the back Lee Road. They introduced me to road racing and in October that year I did my first marathon and was hooked!

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Eagle AC Member Profile: Mark Smith

Name:  Mark Smith

Member of Eagle AC since:

June 2017

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

I first took up running after work and relocations (and age) restricted my ability to train and play soccer regularly.  It was just as a means to stay fit, but no more than 15 miles a week.  I took up more serious running after the death of my son, Callum, who passed away at 6 weeks old from a rare genetic disorder.  Running became an outlet for me where I could think and try to come to terms with what had happened.  I know I broke down a lot during that time, both physically and mentally.  I decided to run a marathon in his memory and completed the Cork marathon ~6 months later for Féileacáin, a baby loss awareness charity.  I have been running ever since.

Favourite thing about running:

Two things stand out.  The freedom that comes with it.  You can go whenever you have time, where you want and for as long as you want.  You get the freedom to think clearly, away from computer screens and other distractions.  I also like the fact that all runners are equal, if you don’t train and put in the hard work you will be found out in a race.  No matter your ability there is always an opportunity to do better than what you have done before.

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Eagle AC Tommy Ryan Memorial Virtual 5 Miler – Race Results and Report

A race report from Race Directors Ruairi Egan and Tracy Cotter:

A final report for you all on the Eagle AC Virtual Tommy Ryan Memorial 5 Miler which ran for the past 11 days.Firstly, a huge thanks to everyone who took part in and/or donated to the event. As usual, there was great support from both the Eagle AC membership as well as the wider Cork running community.

We are delighted to say that we have ended up raising a lot more money for our two charities (Carrigaline Meals on Wheels and Carrigaline Foróige) than we expected initially! We had 85 donators to the GoFundMe page, raising €1,370 altogether which is a brilliant amount! 100% of this money will be donated to our 2 chosen charities.

There were 70 entries to our virtual race in total which was a fantastic turnout also! (Because of the large number of race entries the club committee purchased some extra vouchers for spot prizes to be raffled between all entrants.)

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Entry Window Extended for Eagle AC Virtual Tommy Ryan Memorial 5 Miler 2021

Due to the bad weather forecast for the coming weekend, and in the interest of all participants, the Race Directors have decided to extend the window for race entries for the Virtual Tommy Ryan Memorial 5 Miler until Sunday 21st February. Runs can now be logged from Thursday 11th February to Sunday 21st February.

All other race details remain the same and can be found here…

https://eagleac.net/2021/02/06/eagle-ac-virtual-tommy-ryan-memorial-run-2021/