Monday, 3 October 2011

CORK -COBH +++++++++++
by Peter Gunning
- Joint P.R.O

With the minds of so many members focused on the Dublin City Marathon at the end of the month it was inevitable that all east Cork running roads would lead to Cobh on the 2nd October for the annual BHAA pre-marathon benchmark that is the 15-mile Cork to Cobh. Post-race and en route to the Cobh railway station this column touched base with a member of Raheeny Shamrocks who seemed intrigued by the size of the Midleton entry for this gruelling test of stamina. When he was told that the club now boasts a senior membership of over two hundred and that twenty plus would be on the start line in Dublin his look of disbelief spoke volumes as to how our club has developed into one of the most vibrant athletic clubs in the country.

Such vibrancy was evidenced in many wonderful performances on the wet and challenging course from the Lower Road to Cobh. Although the official results were not published before this column’s deadline, we can report that Darragh Canavan’s bid to join the sub-three hour marathon elite remains on schedule. Darragh finished in a tremendous 1hr 40mins with a 6:40 min/ mile average. Not too far behind and also on track to break three hours (again!) in Dublin is Neillus Aherne whose 1:43 was (again!)a category prize winning performance. Fergal O’Meara has changed his middle name to PB as almost by prediction he came home in a best of 1:48. Breda Cahill too must be feeling very confident about Dublin with a very assured run which saw her home in a comfortable 1:50. Great runs too were recorded by Deirdre Aherne, Anna Doris, Claire Fitzgerald and Marian Aherne who all broke the tape in and around 1:55.The unassuming man from Clare, John Carey continues to perform in the ascent with yet another best of 1:53. Peter Gunning came home under two hours while Danny McCarthy was very pleased with his 8:20 min/mile average to finish in 2:06. Also delighted with their day’s running were Barry Aherne in 2:08, Paul Kearns 2:09 and both Margaret Jones and Ned Ramsell at 2:10. Margaret Rohan and Vincent Connolly both ran steady races and comfortably broke the 2:20 mark. Denis Kelleher also had a great run just twenty four hours after clocking a 90 min half marathon in Valentia Island and taking a first if the 0-45 category. Full results will be emailed to members and placed on Danny’s blog as soon as BHAA post them.

Continuing our theme of vibrancy there was a wonderful atmosphere of friendliness and welcome last Wednesday night in the Community Centre where we enjoyed our annual open night. New members were given both a céad míle fáilte and an overview of the club. Club captain, Edmund O’Sullivan outlined most eloquently the performance balanced with participation philosophy that underpins our club. Essentially all are welcome irrespective of ability with fun and friendship guaranteed. In fact this guaranteed friendship dimension was best exemplified and perhaps taken too literally by Barry and Sinéad who received pógs and flowers after the recent announcement of their engagement. Vincent Connolly assured new members that although he was not in a position to marry any of them, he would treat them gently. National half-marathon medal winner and sports physio, Neillus Aherne did his own version of stand up as he sensitively promised to heal both body and soul without corrupting either. Club registrar Danny McCarthy and PRO John Cashman explained the logistics of becoming a member. New members are welcome to attend two free training sessions. After that the club will need a registration fee of €30 in order to cover both AAI membership and insurance. Training will take place on Mondays at 6pm in Midleton College on the all-weather track and on Wednesdays in Midleton Community Centre at 6pm for beginners and at 7pm for more seasoned runners. We look forward to welcoming many new members and guarantee you support in your future running development.

Until next time ... keep running