Lindie Naughton has the full Irish endurance round-up with action on the cross country and beyond.
Biggest cross-country of the weekend was the annual Malcolm Cup Cross-Country held at the Queen’s Dub Playing Field in Belfast, on Sunday (November 26).
In the men’s four mile race for the Malcolm Cup, host club Annadale Striders took the top two places, with Eskander Turki in 21 mins 44 secs the race winner, leading home 177 finishers, and Brandon McKeown second in 22:25.
Third in 22:42 was James Monaghan of St Peter’s AC, while fourth and first U20 was Frank Buchanan of St Michael’s College.
Junior athlete Rebecca Rossiter of the Belfast-based CNCR club led home 168 finishers in the women’s three-mile race, with Elisoa Crawford of North Belfast Harriers second and first W50. The pair were times at 18:45 and 18.54. Third was Sarah McNutt of Lagan Valley AC in 19:07.
In the master men’s three-mile, with 87 finishers, Martin McKenna of Armagh AC was the winner, in 16:52 with Aidan Brown of Newcastle and District six seconds behind for second and Ciaran McKendry of Annadale Striders third in 17:05.
The races were the fourth round of the Northern Ireland Cross-Country League, with nine rounds in all. Next up is the Irwin Speirs Memorial Cross-Country in Cookstown on Saturday December 9.
More mud, more racing
In Dublin, Cristin Scollard of Dublin City Harriers and Eddie O’Connor of Brothers Pearse AC came out on top at the Dublin Intermediate Cross-Country Championships held over a new look course at Tymon Park North also on Sunday.
First up were the women, and from the start, Scollard was part of a leading pack of about six, with Juno Gerolmo-Feeney of Donore Harriers pushing the pace. Scollard broke away in the later stages of the 5km race to win in 19 mins 18 secs. Feeney was second in 19:28 followed by Raheny pair Kate Crowley and Aisling Ahern in 19:41 and 19:48 respectively.
In a closely fought team competition, Civil Service, led by Laura Cullen sixth and Aislinn Ahern seventh, beat Raheny Shamrock by just two points winning a first Dublin title in some years for the Phoenix Park based club. DCH was third.
O’Connor proved the class of the men’s 8km race, pushing the pace from the start. Although he faded slightly on the final lap he held on for victory in 26 mins 3 secs. Fintan Kerins of Clonliffe Harriers finished second in 26:11, with his clubmate Niall Carberry just two seconds behind for third. With three in the top five, Clonliffe Harriers were clear winners of the team title.
Making up the team were Ben Coughlan 5th and Sean Heaslip Owens 11th. Finishing a fighting fourth was Alex Cunningham of Brothers Pearse who was helping his team to second behind Clonliffe. Finishing third was Liffey Valley.
Deserving a special mention is Ronan Wogan of timing company MyRunResults.com. Not only was Ronan on hand to supervise the timing of the days’ races, he togged out himself, finishing a commendable tenth and first home for Raheny Shamrock, who were fourth team.
A day earlier, the the Irish Life BHAA 6km Cross-Country had been due to take place at Santry Demesne, which is managed by Fingal County Council. This was called off to prevent damage to the grassy areas of the park after the recent rain. It’s now re-scheduled for January.
Further south, in Waterford, at the Munster Intermediate Championships, Clonmel’s Kealey Tideswell, in her second race of the weekend, won the women’s title ahead of Anne Marie Connellan of Ennis TC and Aoibheann Lawton of Durrus AC. Clonmel, with four in the top eleven took the team title ahead of Ennis TC with only two teams entered and just eighteen finishers.
The men’s race, slightly better supported with 28 finishers, was won by Andrew Forristal of East Cork AC. Declan Guina of West Limerick AC was second and Brian Murphy of Iveragh AC third. Ennis TC proved best of the teams head of Grange/Fermoy and West Muskerry with only three teams finishing.
For the second year in succession, the women’s course record was broken at Sunday’s Great Glenville Run, organised by Watergrasshill AC, writes John Walshe.
Twelve months ago Aoife Cooke of Eagle ran an impressive 21:30 for the four miles but this time was well and truly smashed as Shona Heaslip improved on it by 47 seconds when finishing fifth overall in 20:43.
Two weeks ago, on another visit to Cork, the Riocht athlete ran 33:05 for the Thomas Kent 10km. Her personal best of 32:14 (achieved at Trafford in March of last year) could certainly be up for revision in two weeks time when the 29-year-old lines up for the Telford 10km, one of the fastest races in the UK which last year saw 18 sub-30 minute finishers.
Cooke, getting back after injury, was well outside her best when taking second in 23:24 with third place going to Linda Kelly from Carrigaline in 24:55.
Denis Hegarty from nearby Watergrasshill led a Leevale clean sweep when coming home a clear winner in a time of 19:53. Conor McCauley – sharpening up for Sunday’s Valencia Marathon – took second in 20:12 with third spot going to Aidan Noone in 20:20
10k to half marathon racing
Former Irish marathon champion Martin Hoare of Celbridge AC was the winner of the Clane GAA 10km in Co Kildare on Saturday (November 25).
Hoare proved the class of the field with his time of 31:18 putting him almost three minutes clear of the chasers led by Lea Fulcher of Plant Based AC, who was also first M50, in 34.12. First woman was Laura McDonnell of Rathfarnham WSAFC in 36:41.
A mixture of young and more mature dominated the 5km races, with junior athlete Riley Connolly of St Michael’s AC the winner in 17 mins 30 secs. He was followed home by Jim McArdle, also first M60, who finished in 17:41. Oughaval AC’s Katie McLoughlin, another junior, was fifth and first woman in 18:43
Clonliffe Harriers won two of the three races at the Clonakilty Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon and 10km held in Co Cork on Saturday(November 24).
In the 10km, Mihai Sprincean owas the winner in a very respectable time of in 29 mins 51 secs while Tudor Moldovan won the marathon in 2 hrs 30 mins 58 secs.
First woman in the 10km was Catherine Murphy of Eagle AC in 36:24. In the marathon, the first woman – and first W50 – was Dolores Duffy of Watergrasshill AC in n 3:39.4.
Winners of the half marathon were Niall Sheil of St Killian’s AC in 76:52 and Leevale AC’s Lorna Wolfe in 86:24. As is becoming the norm, entry fees for this race were steep at €70 for the marathon, €60 for the ‘half’ and €50 for the 10km.
Keealey Tideswell of Clonmel AC was the overall winner of the SEMRA 15km Long Way Round mixed terrain race on Saturday night (November 26) in a time of 66 mins 35 secs. A day later, Rideswerll won the Munster intermediate cross-country title.
Second and first man was Christopher Aylward from Piltown in 67:01, while a close third in 67:04 was Sam Hand of Kilmallock AC. A total of 773 completed the challenge.
The run is a fundraiser for the South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (SEMRA).