The final day of the Cork County cross country season took place in Riverstick on November 13th and in the case of Carraig Na Bhfear AC, the best was certainly kept until last as both our mens and womens teams cruised to team gold in the Novice ‘B” races. The persistent early rain briefly subsided for the running of both races which were combined with the Intermediate grade at the standard novice distances of 4k for women and 6k for men, a fair challenge for all given the stern test that Riverstick always poses. A changed course from the recent novice race included some up and down zig zags with tight turns which saw more than a few athletes lose their footing, with some sticky muddy sections and swamp-like pools (albeit with good underfoot conditions) it was a tough but well thought out course.
In the womens race Siobhan Walsh led the field of novice women with strong running but was likely unaware that this was the case given the intermediate athletes in the race also. Katie Walsh was one of the athletes who succumbed to a tight turn but quickly recovered to keep in touch with Siobhan before eventually using her track speed to kick for home and take the County title with Siobhan taking second place and a memorable individual silver medal. Great running by Eileen O’Riordan, Helen Roche and Orla Gorman, all taking valuable places from the 2nd to 4th place teams to round off a fine team performance, every place counting as only 11 places separated the first 3 teams. As with the mens team, we had two squad members this year in Eileen and Orla who are competing for the first time in cross country bringing depth to our adult teams who have had a very successful year. The growth of our membership and those stepping up for teams has been a highlight of the year.
to all on an excellent county title!The mens team scored a comprehensive victory from the 6 participating teams, Daire O’Sullivan winning individual silver to lay the foundation for the victory. Tadhg Crowley making his debut for the club in cross country led a group of four before pulling away, however not quite creating enough daylight between himself and Willie Walsh. Willie, always tough to beat in a sprint finish but even more so in his natural habitat of leg-sapping mud after the final climb, Willie pipping Tadhg on the line but 5th and 6th places respectively for the club putting the title within reach. Joseph Daly completed the team scoring in 4th place, great to see Joseph regaining his fitness through the season with a strong finish. Jack Ahern, Conor Kelly, and Dave O’Riordan completed the mens squad,congratulations
Thomas Kent 10k: This popular 10k took place on Sunday also, hosted by St. Nicholas in Castlelyons. Conditions were challenging but a well-organized and enjoyable race as always with 397 finishers. We had 3 athletes taking part including 2 new members which again is very welcome. Aidan Cooney was first home in 52:35, Denise Maher bang on the hour mark and Reene Browne dipping her toe back in to racing after a 4- year absence looking forward to building on a solid performance in hopefully less difficult conditions!
Park Run: Great running on Saturday by our U18 Boys crew at the Glen River parkrun. Timmy Colbert was first member home, finishing 3rd overall in a smashing time of 20:10, a parkrun PB for Timmy.
Rian O’ Luasa was next across the line, despite some footwear troubles finishing in 22:11 and 11th place. Michael Mullins made his parkrun debut and a fine first outing saw him complete the course in 24:39. Luke Mullins was also in action on the morning. Luke had an incredible performance during the week at the Run in the Dark 5K, smashing out a huge new PB of 19:26!! Luke did this while beating dad Dave Mullins in a sprint finish. This was also a cracking run for Dave as he broke 20 minutes for the first time. Tired legs for Luke but what a brilliant week for him!
Look Ahead: Next weekend is certainly one of the highlights of our club year with the running of the National Senior, Junior, and Juvenile even ages cross country championships. We will have 9 athletes and a supporting crew of coaches and parents making the long trek to Rosapenna Golf course on the Donegal coast. It promises to be a great day of racing with all our travelling athletes competitive at this level. Best of luck to all! Also, entries close this Friday for the Munster ‘B’ cross country championships in Killarney. This is the final open competition of the 2022 club cross-country season and we hope to field as many teams as possible in the day.
Report by Richard Hawkins
Photos by Michelle Whooley