Saturday 20 March 2010


Have you sent in your predicted time yet. Join in the fun and do it now. E Mail it here or text 0872403940
Keep On Running


Strong Line Up Set For Ballycotton Spectacle

John Cashman Evening Echo

Many of the top names on the Irish road racing circuit look set to be in Ballycotton on Sunday afternoon to compete in the thirty third edition of the most famous ‘10’ miler in the land. Final confirmation is being awaited by the organisers from some runners in the ‘elite’ category, amongst these being Mark Kenneally who only two weeks ago won the Woodies DIY National Cross Country Championships.

If the Clonliffe Harriers man does make his first visit to the East Cork village he will obviously become a big player in the race in view of his recent excellent form line. An 8th placed finish in the European Cross Country Championships last December kick started a hugely productive period for an athlete who had garnered seven silver medals prior to his gold medal winning performance.

Former Ballycotton winner, Alan O’Shea looks a definite to be on the start line. If he can reproduce the form seen when recording a 52 minute winning display in Bantry over the same distance last month, he could have a major say in an event which he previously won three years ago. Having been on foreign soil for the last twelve months O’Shea showed his qualities with that eye catching performance on what was a very difficult course around the picturesque Mealagh Valley.
Another in-form athlete chasing glory in Ballycotton is last year’s runner up Sean Connolly who finished only7 seconds behind Vinny Mulvey. The Tallaght clubman showed his capabilities by clocking a superb 29:38 when coming home second in the Trafford Run in Manchester last weekend. Connolly who is coached by Dick Hooper also recorded an impressive 14:39 for the 5K distance in Dublin two weeks earlier. Since his last visit to East Cork he has also been crowned National 10K champion and he looks to have all the credentials to produce a big performance this weekend.
Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrocks AC, who finished two places and almost two minutes behind his fellow Dubliner in last year’s race, is also set for a return journey. Sean McGrath finished immediately behind Clohisey and the popular local runner who wears the East Cork AC maroon vest will be guaranteed to have huge support again on Sunday next. McGrath has enjoyed a very productive last twelve months amassing a string of successes over a variety of distances. His club mate James McCarthy (ninth last year) carries similar credentials and goes into the race in excellent shape after capturing the Munster Road title in Ennis only last weekend.
Brian Maher, winner of the Irish Runner Half Marathon last autumn and Corkman Brian McMahon are amongst the strong representation from the ‘marathon mission’ squad that are set to take part in Ballycotton. McMahon who hails from Carraig na bhFear is currently a member of Clonliffe Harriers.

West Waterford AC leading light Sandis Bralitis who won the Dungarvan ‘10’ in 50:57 earlier this year along with club mate Ravis Zakis who was runner up in that race will also be expected to be amongst the higher placed finishers. Meantime, Polish native Wieslaw Sosnowski (54:09 last year) warmed up by winning the Paddy Desmond Memorial ‘4’ miler in Ballinhaassig on Wednesday and he will be one of the many runners wearing the Eagle AC singlet in the big race.

Pauline Curley, ladies winner in three of the last four years will be bidding to embellish her association with the race. The Tullamore athlete triumphed over the ten mile distance in Craughwell only last Sunday and had a comfortable 1:25 to spare over her nearest pursuer when winning in Ballycotton last year.
A big challenge is expected to come from Borrisokane athlete Siobhan O’Doherty, winner of the silver medal in the recent National Cross Country Championships. She also has a 58:49 time to her credit from a good run in the opening ‘10’ mile race of the John Buckley Sports Munster Series in Dungarvan.
Cork lady Jill Hodgins (daughter of Cork City Sports Chairman Dick Hodgins) made a big name for herself when posting 2:52:51 in last autumn’s New York Marathon. However this prominent hockey player’s participation in Ballycotton seems to be in some doubt due to injury.
Rhona Lynch (Eagle AC) is very much in the fold and has set her sights in trying to break the magical hour mark. Third last year in 1:00:31, she has a string of wins to her credit in the intervening twelve months and looks set for another good show this time around.

On a broader note the race’s reputation as an event for all the family will again be borne out on Sunday with several family connections take part. Amongst them the Murphy family from Carraig na bhFear will have a special interest in the big day. Apart from husband Christy and daughter Eimear participating, mother Eileen will bring a new addition to the occasion. The eagle eyed artist has painted a Ballycotton collage which she has turned into a postcard for sale on Sunday as an additional race day souvenir

Midleton AC again lead the way in terms of club representation in this year’s race with over 100 entrants from the thriving club. The family connection is also very evident here with husband and wife combinations to the fore. The names of Patsy and Mary Keane, Tom and Helen Cusack, Danny and Joan McCarthy, Brian and Michelle Nolan, Mark and Mary Walsh, Donie and Kathleen O’Connell along with Adrian and Diane Walsh all appear on the official programme, whilst there are several other family links amongst the club’s huge entry.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.