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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Results of the Clonakilty 10 mile & 5k races...Sun 28th Aug 2016

A record 330 runners turned out for this years Clonakilty 10 mile & 5k road race in West Cork on Sunday the 28th of August 2016. This represents a massive jump of 48% compared to the total numbers last year and is very much in contrast to a lot of other races in West Cork.

10 mile...
1 Alan OSHEA   Bantry AC    MS    55:00
2 Shane HEALY  Tracton AC     MS    56:31
3 Andrew SHEEHAN    Leevale AC    MS    1:01:19
5 Nollaigh O'NEILL  Leevale AC   F40     1:05:39
10 Caroline KELLY   FS     1:07:22
21 Orla O'ROURKE   Ballymore Cobh AC     F50     1:10:58

1 Eric CURRAN  Leevale AC   MS   14:56
2 John COLLINS  Skibbereen AC     MS     16:01
3 Kevin O'LEARY   MS   17:21
7 Ronnie BARRY   Bandon AC    F40     19:34
14 Caroline BUCKLEY  Watergrasshill AC    FS     20:58
28 Noreen CROWLEY   FS      22:25

The full results can be seen HERE

You'll find a breakdown of the categories on the MyRunResults website HERE

 Photos...(Updated Sun @7pm)
1) Andy O'Rourke Photgraphy has a gallery HERE and HERE 
2) Alan Dromey has some 5k photos HERE
3) Donal O'Regan has an album HERE 

Guest Article...The Life and Time of Dave Bedford by John Walshe

Guest Article.....THE LIFE AND TIME OF DAVE BEDFORD - By John Walshe

There is no doubting the popularity of the 10km distance on the road but running 25 laps around a track is a different matter. Sometimes the 10,000m can be a boring affair but, as the Irish championships last June showed where just five seconds covered the first three, it can also be an enthralling contest.

At the end of May, the ‘Night of the 10,000m PBs’ at Parliament Hill track in London also proved that the event can be both fruitful for the competitors and entertaining for the fans. On a Saturday evening, six 10,000m races were held culminating in the British championships and Olympic Trials. Amongst the large attendance at that London extravaganza was a man who knows a thing or two about 10,000m running and whose greatest moment came all of 43 years ago.

Before the advent of the Coe/Ovett/Cram era, British athletics was at a very low ebb. The man credited with bringing the crowds flocking back to venues like the White City and Crystal Palace was the imposing six-foot tall Dave Bedford, his distinctive long hair and drooping moustache matched by the famous red socks he always wore. With his bold front running – and sometimes even bolder predictions – he was the one they came to see.

Born in Hendon, NW London, on December 30th, 1949, Bedford’s earliest running performances didn’t set the world alight, as his 73rd place at the National Schools cross-country testifies. But by the age of 17 he already had shown his appetite for the longer distances when recording 31:24.2 for six miles on the track, a time he reduced to 29:15.8 the following year.

In March of 1969, he won the International (later to become World) Junior cross-country title at Glasgow. In fourth that day - and leading the Irish team to silver medals behind England – was John Hartnett from Ballyhooly who would go on to take the individual title himself the following year.

A month later, Bedford sensationally made the headlines when he broke the UK 10,000m record at the Southern Counties championships. Going through 5000m in a personal best of 14:14.4, he reeled off the second half in 14:10.0 to knock 1.6 seconds from Mike Freary’s national record. His 28:24.4 was also the fastest ever by a 19-year-old. Two 5000m PBs and a UK record for 10,000m in the one race wasn’t a bad return on a cool April evening.

However, his form didn’t continue into the summer and he failed to gain selection for that year’s European Championship. But the following February came a performance that without a doubt nowadays would certainly deserve the moniker of ‘awesome’. The Southern Counties cross-cross championships were held at Parliament Hill, near to where the recent ‘Night of the 10,000m’ took place. Although having turned 20 five weeks before, due to the age-groups then in existence Bedford was eligible for the junior six-mile race but decided instead to mix it with the big boys over three laps that made up the senior nine-mile distance.   

Against some of the top internationals of the day, Bedford quickly dominated the field of 577 to come home a clear winner, finishing with 55 seconds in hand over the second-placed runner. And then, a mere 20 minutes later with just a change of number and vest, he lined up for the junior race. Confessing to feeling ‘dead’ on the first hill, he was soon in command and finished with an ever bigger winning margin of 61 seconds to take his second title of the afternoon. As if 15 miles of cross-country racing wasn’t enough, Bedford admitted afterwards that he had also ran five miles that morning, along with 3-4 miles warming up.

To put it into context, it should be noted that this period of the late 1960s and early 1970s was the era of the huge weekly mileage. When New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard first advocated 100 miles a week as part of the winter base-building for his athletes from 800m to the marathon and following the Olympic success of Peter Snell (two 800m and one 1500m gold medals) and Murray Halberg (5000m gold), it soon became commonplace. But while Lydiard also placed equal emphasis on hill work and track sharpening, it was the weekly mileage that caught the imagination. The thinking went ‘if 100 miles a week is good, surely 130, 140 – or, in Bedford’s case up to 200 - miles a week is better’.

Just four days of a typical Bedford winter week from that period tells its own story. Monday: (am) 8 miles; (lunch) 6 miles; (pm) 16 miles – all on road. Tuesday: (am) 8 miles; (lunch) 6 miles; (pm) 14 miles including 30 x 200 hill and fartlek. Wednesday: (am) 8 miles; (lunch) 6 miles; (pm) 16 miles including 5 x one mile efforts. Thursday: (am) 8 miles; (lunch) 6 miles; (pm) track session – 12 x 400 (62 sec with 200 recovery), 12 x 300 (47 sec with 100 recovery), 12 x 200 (32 sec with 100 recovery).

Although variously described as a student and sales clerk at the time, he was essentially a full-time athlete considering the amount of time spent training. He once quipped, as he headed out the door for his third (or maybe fourth) session of the day that he met himself coming back from the previous run!

Of course with such huge mileage, injury was never too far away and Bedford spent long periods out of action and consequently missed out on important championships. The summer of 1970 brought him his first AAA 10,000m title on the old cinder track at White City, his 28:26.4 just two seconds outside his best. That race took place on a Friday evening and he again showed his amazing powers of recovery when turning out the following afternoon to win his club’s Shaftesbury ‘10’ in 47:55, knocking 23 seconds from the course record held by Bill Adcocks, a 2:10 marathon man.

The winter that followed brought victories in both the English National and International Cross-Country events and then in June he set a European record over 5000m of 13:22.2. The following month, on a sun-scorched afternoon at Portsmouth, he almost added the world 10,000m best. It was a GB versus France fixture and also incorporated the trial for that year’s European Championships. As the large field went through the opening lap in 71 seconds, Bedford – clearly not happy - took off. Covering the second 400m in 59 seconds, he eventually ended up lapping the entire field at least once and despite badly blistered feet crossed the line in 27:47.0, the second fastest ever recorded.

Only one man – the legendary Ron Clarke – had broken 28 minutes at the time and the Australian had achieved his world record of 27:39.4 six years before in the cool of a Scandinavian evening. A video clip of that epic Portsmouth race can be viewed on Youtube, as indeed can be many of Bedford’s performances.

That August brought the European Championships in Helsinki and the odds-on favourite for 10,000m gold was Dave Bedford. On the opening night of the championships before a crowd of 40,000 in what was described by Brendan Foster (who would finish third himself in the 1500m) “as the best race I have ever seen in my life,” Bedford tried all he could to break the field, but to no avail.

With a lap to go a group of five were still together and with 300m left Juha Vaatainen send the home fans wild as he covered the last lap in 53.9 to win in a time of 27:52.8 with the Englishman having to settle for sixth in 28:04.4. Just as Vaatainen was swept off his feet by the ecstatic Finnish fans, Leevale’s Donie Walsh was heading out on his final circuit enroute to an Irish record of 28:52.6.

Down but not out, Bedford did however have one more high that autumn when, in only his third-ever 3000m steeplechase, he set a UK record of 8:28.6 at Crystal Palace. 

After a quiet winter, the Olympic year of 1972 dawned and the pressure from the British press and public on the Shaftesbury Harrier to bring home at least one, if not two, gold medals, was intense. But once again Bedford didn’t make things easy for himself. The AAA Championships and Olympic trials took place at Crystal Palace in July and on this occasion the 5000m was on the Friday night with the longer distance scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Although selection was assured over 5000m, Bedford decided not alone to run but to make an attempt on Ron Clarke’s world record of 13:16.6. After a first lap of 61.6, he was ahead of schedule until 4000m but at the line was an agonising .6 of a second short, although he did set a European best of 13:17.2.

Behind him in second was Scotland’s Ian McCafferty in 13:19.8 with Ian Stewart – who had won the 5000m at the Cork City Sports a few weeks before and who would go on to take the bronze medal in Munich – third in 13:24.2. Such was the standard of British running at the time that 19-year-old Dave Black ran 13:28.0 in fifth and yet didn’t make the Olympic team.  

But the drama didn’t end there. Barely 19 hours later Bedford returned to produce a time over 10,000m that only he and Ron Clarke had bettered. Apparently oblivious to the heat, as in Portsmouth the year before, he reached halfway in 13:47.6 (inside the Olympic standard for that distance!) before delighting the near 20,000 crowd with a final time of 27:52.8.

Onto the Olympic Games in Munich, and even here Bedford didn’t take the easy route as Emiel Puttemans and himself both broke the Olympic record in their 10,000m heat when clocking respective times of 27:53.28 and 27:53.64. But the final was somewhat a repeat of the Europeans the year before. Bedford again led most of the way, but couldn’t shake off his pursuers. Despite tumbling to the track approaching halfway, the latest of the Flying Finns – Lasse Viren – got back on terms and wound up the pace with 600m to go to not only win but to finally break Ron Clarke’s world record with a magnificent time of 27:38.4. 

Bedford again slipped back to sixth and he fared even worse in the 5000, coming home 12th as Viren claimed the second of what would turn out to be four Olympic distance golds.  On his return to England, Bedford was again lambasted by the British press, but he still held an ace up his sleeve which he would play with dramatic effect the following summer.

On the weekend of July 13th/14th, 1973, the AAA Championships again took pride of place at Crystal Palace. On this occasion the 10,000m returned to its traditional Friday night spot. Although the crowd was only 3,500, those fortunate enough to be there witnessed a unforgettable 10,000m where Dave Bedford finally achieved greatness as he knocked almost eight seconds off of Viren’s world record to set a new global mark of 27:30.8, a time that would stand for four years.

To the legion of club runners who hero-worshipped Bedford, the magnitude of that performance was brought home in emphatic fashion the following week when Editor Mel Watman wrote in Athletics Weekly: “Imagine 25 x 400m in 66 seconds average WITH NO RECOVERY INTERVAL!” 

Although he would return 12 months later to retain his title in slow tactical race, that night was effectively Bedford’s farewell to world class athletics, while still only in his mid-20s. In later years he would become the public face of the London Marathon, first as event director and now as the man in charge of the elite fields.

A proud member of Shaftesbury (now known as Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) all his life, Bedford even brought his own little touch to that event as each year the pacemakers tasked with taking the leaders through halfway in world record schedule all wear the distinctive black and white striped vest of his club.

In one of his earliest interviews, Bedford was asked if he admired any particular athlete. He replied: “At one time I used to like Jim Hogan’s running, partly because he was a very controversial character – I like controversial characters – but also he had guts and said what he thought.”

Hogan was the Irishman who famously declared for Great Britain and won the European Marathon of 1966. When he returned home to his native Limerick in retirement, Bedford still kept up his contact and visited Hogan at the Maria Goretti Nursing Home in Kilmallock where he spent his final days.

When Hogan passed away a year ago last January, Bedford also travelled over for his funeral. On a cold winter’s day, the little country church of St John the Baptist in the village of Athlacca in County Limerick was packed to capacity for the Funeral Mass. Dressed in a long black coat with bowler hat by his side, Dave Bedford cut a sombre and imposing figure as afterwards he posed for photographs alongside the plaque that honours his great friend’s achievements.

The hair and drooping moustache may now be of a different hue, but the dignity, respect and admiration that Dave Bedford commanded as a one of the all-time distance running greats was still very evident for all to see.  

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ciara Mageean records new 1500m PB in Paris

Ireland's Ciara Mageean was in action on Saturday evening in the women's 1500m at the IAAF Diamond League Athletics Meeting in Paris. With her stated aim of trying for a new personal best, she duly delivered with a time of 4m 01.46s.

While the 9th place position might look disappointing, the field was packed with some of the world's best 1500m athletes. This should be seen as a stepping stone as she hopefully improves in the years ahead.

Ciara's time now puts her into 2nd place in the Irish all time list. Here are the current top 10...

1500 m
1 3:58.85 Sonia O'Sullivan     1    Herc    Monaco    25 Jul 1995
2 4:01.46 Ciara Mageean     9    Diamond League Paris 27 Aug 2016
3 4:02.08 Geraldine Hendricken    3     GPF Paris    14 Sep 2002
4 4:04.22 Sinéad Evans         10    VD Bruxelles 28 Aug 1998
...4 4:06.49 Ciara Mageean    5    Rieti 2015 Rieti    13 Sep 2015
5 4:06.69 Monica Joyce         7    Zürich    18 Aug 1982
6 4:07.56 Freda Davoren     2    Cuxhaven 19 Jul 2003
7 4:08.63 Mary Purcell         5h4    Olympics Montréal 28 Jul 1976
8 4:08.89 Deirdre Byrne     7    KBC-Nacht    Heusden 20 Jul 2008
9 4:09.12 Elaine Fitzgerald     2    PapG    Arnhem 10 Jul 1999
10 4:09.95 Orla Drumm         6    Anhalt    Dessau 25 May 2012

As you can see, Ciara's previous best time was 4:06.49 which was set in September of 2015. Her new time is 5 seconds faster which is a huge jump at this level. Only Sonia O'Sullivan has run a faster time.

The chart below shows the times a bit clearer and you can see the relative difference.

Race video...

Results of the Ballincollig 5k parkrun...Sat 27th Aug 2016

As can be seen from the chart above, there is no drop off in numbers for the 5k parkrun in Ballincollig Regional Park on Saturday the 27th of August. A total of 219 runners turned out for the 11th edition of this event, the 4th highest so far.

1 Chris DEVINE 17:16 VM35-39 M 1 Newry City Runners
2 Tim CLARKE 17:59 VM35-39 M 2
3 Brian LINEHAN 19:06 VM50-54 M 3
6 Laura DEVINE 19:42 VW35-39 F 1 Garscube Harriers
27 Elaine GUINANE 22:08 VW35-39 F 2 Eagle A.C.
38 Lynda O'GORMAN 22:56 VW40-44 F 3

The full results can be seen HERE

Photos...(Updated Sat 11:54pm)
1) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a gallery HERE
2) Conor Dolan has 57 photos HERE and 250 photos HERE

Video at 1km mark...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Guest Article by John Walsh...40 years of the Ballycotton 5 mile road race

Guest article from John Walshe where he outlines the 40 year history of the Ballycotton 5 mile road race, one of the oldest in the country.

40th ANNUAL BALLYCOTTON ‘5’ (1977-2016)

August 11th, 1977… WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

IN March of next year the famous Ballycotton ‘10’ will celebrate its 40th birthday. But let us not forget the race that started it all, and without it it’s unlikely that road running in this region would have attained the huge popularity it now has.

The date was Thursday August 11th 1977 and it was another age as far as road running was concerned. From January to August of that year, only six events on the road took place in the Cork region – the well-known Cork to Cobh ‘15’, two four-milers in Ballymore (where 26 ran), and Ballyhooly, a five-mile race in Mallow, a six-mile in Kildorrery (16 runners), and the popular relays around the Lough organised by St. Finbarr’s AC.  

August 11th was a week after that Ballymore Festival race, and commitments had been received there from most of the runners to come to Ballycotton, including winner Ray Treacy. The work in organising the race had started some weeks before, with the local shops and business people being approached for donations. One of the few firms in the area at the time contributed five pounds, as did three of the businesses. Two more gave two pounds and one pound each, and even the 50p from another was appreciated. The total came to £28.50.

Trophies and plaques were purchased as prizes, costing £29.75. Entry fee was either 20p or 30p, and no race numbers were issued. Instead, as each runner finished he was handed a card with his finishing position on it, and he then gave his name to the recorder. We say ‘he’ deliberately, for at that time no women ran such a long distance as five miles!

The race started at the old Post Office (just above where the race now finishes), and the course was the same as is used at present, although the finish was outside the School Gate. As measuring techniques were not as advanced as nowadays, it was slightly short of five miles.

Local interest was a mixture of curiosity and bemusement. Some people asked what a road race was – “is it a cycling race, or what?” When Phil McGrath and John Walshe went out to mark the road, one local person told them that County Council would object, as they considered painting on the road graffiti!

First to enter was Michael Healy from Youghal, one of the top cross-country runners in Cork at the time. Tens of thousands of entries for a myriad of events have been received since, but Michael can take pride of place as the first runner to have ‘No. 1’ alongside his name in a Ballycotton race. BLE County Board Chairman, the late Paddy Hartnett, sent the 34 runners on their way. John Murray from Ballybraher (who has also passed away) was a spectator on that fine August evening and he was asked to act as lead car, which he duly did, accompanied by reporter Joe Duggan (also now deceased) from the ‘News and Star’.

Michael Long of Leevale, along with his girlfriend Ellen, volunteered to time the runners. It is worth noting that virtually no races in those days did this, apart from maybe taking the winners’ time. In fact, in his newspaper report Joe Duggan stated that, “the time of all the competitors was taken, a rare feat in Cork in athletics.” At the finish line the numbered cards were handed out by Seamus Hartnett, there to se the race with his parents, and who would go on to be the area’s top runner in the years to come.

The other locals involved were John Walshe and Dan Donovan (who both ran the race), along with Phil McGrath and his brother Fr Tom, home from England. At the prize-giving in the local hall the trophies were presented by the late Fr Bertie Troy, C.C., Ballycotton.

The race itself saw Ray Treacy, then based in Cork and running for Leevale, wining easily in a time of 23:46, well ahead of Richie Crowley and Donie Walsh. As Joe Duggan’s report put it, “at four miles he was close on 500 yards ahead of the bunch and in parts was travelling at 14 miles an hour, timed on the speedometer of Mr John Murray’s car.”  In fact, both Richie and Donie could have been even further back as a herd of cows came out on the road (after Ray had passed) with over a mile to go and almost brought them to a standstill.

In fourth position and first novice was Noel Shannon, while Liam O’Brien could only manage fifth on the night. Murt Coleman of Liffey Valley, who had ran internationally for Ireland in the marathon and Kevin Treacy from Loughrea, both working in the Cork area at the time, finished sixth and seventh respectively. In eight was another well-known marathoner, Jerry Murphy of Leevale.

At the end of this article we publish the names of the 34 runners. Sadly, Dave Ainscough, Joe O’Flynn, Jerry Martin, Liam Horgan and Dan Donovan have passed away, but the remainder are still around and some still running, although their times (along with their hairstyles) have receded somewhat. A few have gone on to foreign lands and bigger things, such as winner Ray Treacy who is now Head Track Coach at Providence College in the USA.

THE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED…The following year, the race date was moved to June. Only 24 ran, with victory going to Richie Crowley. Of course that was his second local victory in 1978, as in March he had won the inaugural Ballycotton ‘10’. Ray Treacy returned to win in 1979 and the following year Liam O’Brien won the first of his 14 Ballycotton ‘5’ titles. 1981 saw Marcus O’Sullivan, later to become World Indoor Champion on three occasions, take the Ballycotton honours.

     In 1985, Liam O’Brien established the present course record of 23:41, but the previous year of ’84 was also special. Just four days after qualifying for that year’s LA Olympics when setting a new Irish 3000m steeplechase record at Crystal Palace, Liam showed his loyalty and commitment to the sport by turning out and winning yet another local race.

     At this stage the Ballycotton Summer Series, comprising of four races, was well established. Although the Ballycotton ‘5’ had been held in June since 1978, in 1985 it was decided to swap the August date with Shanagarry, as it seemed more appropriate to finish off the yearly proceedings where it had all started from.

     Women ran for the first time in 1979, with just two taking part, Ellen Whelan of Leevale and the winner, one Mary Dempsey from Youghal. She may be better known nowadays as Mary Sweeney and is still a regular prize-winner. Like Liam O’Brien, her enthusiasm and support of local events, as well as her love of the sport, is an example to all.

     Numbers taking part continued to increase, reaching 124 in 1982 and topping the 200 mark the year after. Of course in the past few years we have reached a new level with 500/600 now the norm for each of the Summer Series events. In 1993, 92 runners finished under the 30-minute barrier at Ballycotton and it is a reflection on present day standards that less than half that number (42) did so last year, although the number of participants had doubled.


Nobody involved in that first race could have imagined what lay ahead. The Dublin Marathon was still three years away, with London following six months later. Nowadays, the popularity of the Ballycotton ‘10’ is only too evident to all who try to enter and the numbers taking part in races – especially in the Cork area - along with the variety of events, is at an all-time high.
     A total of 190 five and ten mile races later, the statistics show in excess of 91,000 finishers. With the participation of international stars and Olympic medallists, it can be safely assumed that the Ballycotton events have now reached a global audience.

August 1977 is also remembered for another very different reason entirely. Five days after that Ballycotton race, the world was shocked to hear of the sudden death of Elvis Presley. It was, one could say, the end of a legend; although of course his music still lives on.

In its own small way, that Ballycotton race five days before was the catalyst of a movement which in the intervening years has also gained a legendary status, albeit of a very different nature. 

The ‘King’ may be dead, but road running is certainly alive and well. However, it may never have transpired but for those pioneering men (below) who turned up in Ballycotton village to run five miles on an August evening all of 39 years ago. Yes, that’s WHERE IT ALL BEGAN.

Results & photos of the Ballycotton 5 mile road race...Thurs 25th Aug 2016

A total of 542 turned out for this years Ballycotton 5 mile road race, the 4th and final race in the Ballycotton Summer Series. It was also the 40th anniversary of the very first Ballycotton 5m which was held back in 1977. There can't be too many races in the country that have been going for so long.

One feature of the results this year is the drop in the number of faster runners. Just 30 runners broke the 30 minute barrier, the lowest since 2007 despite the fact that the overall numbers this year were the second highest ever.

It's a bit clearer in the chart above for those 143 runners breaking 35 mins. That's the lowest number since 2007 again.

As for the reason? It probably has to do with the fact that the average age of runners seems to be going up. This can be seen in the club stats in that there are now fewer and fewer U35's joining clubs.

1 24:21    HANRAHAN, Mark    Leevale AC    M    04:52.1
2 26:16    MCGRATH, Sean    East Cork AC    M    05:15.1
3 26:42    CORBETT, Michael    St. Finbarrs AC    M40    05:20.3
17 28:42    COOKE, Aoife    Youghal AC    F    05:44.3   
44 31:06    SANTRY, Fiona    East Cork AC    F    06:13.1
81 32:41    KEVANY, Sinead    Midleton AC    F35    06:32.1

Results....The full results can be seen HERE

Aoife Cooke of Youghal AC..winner of the 2016 Ballycotton 5 mile road race. Aoife also won the overall series.
Mark Hanrahan of Leevale AC...winner of the 2016 Ballycotton 5 mile road race

1) Andy O'Rourke Photography has several galleries... Album 1 ... Album 2 ...
2) There are some presentation photos up on the Running in Cork Facebook page HERE

Summer Series.....

The overall results of the 2016 Ballycotton Summer Series can be seen HERE

With thanks to John Robinson of Mallow AC for compiling these.

As you can see from the chart below, the overall numbers completing the Summer Series peaked in 2014 and is about the same this year as 2015.

The percentage of women completing the series remains at about 36%.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Irish Men in the Marathon at the Olympics...1948 to 2016

Following the men's marathon at the Rio Olympics recently, I had a closer look at the history of the event since the London Games of 1948. As you can see below, it puts into perspective the performance of Paul Pollock with his time of 2:16:24. He is now the third fastest Irish man is an Olympic Marathon.

A total of 22 Irish men have completed the Olympic Marathon between 1948 and 2016. Dick Hooper completed 3 (80, 84 & 88) while John Treacy completed 2 (1984 & 1992). (DNF's excluded)

This is a breakdown per year. Note the numbers between 1968 to 1992 and the complete absence in the following Games.

Year - Venue - Number of Irish Men
1948 - London - 1
1952 - Helsinki - 1
1956 - Melbourne - 0
1960 - Rome - 2 & 1 DNF
1964 - Tokyo - 1 DNF
1968 - Mexico - 2
1972 - Munich - 3
1976 - Montreal - 3
1980 - Moscow - 2
1984 - Los Angeles - 3
1988 - Seoul - 2 & 1 DNF
1992 - Barcelona - 2 & 1 DNF
1996 - Atlanta - 0
2000 - Sydney - 0
2004 - Athens - 0
2008 - Beijing - 1 DNF
2012 - London - 1
2016 - Rio de Janerio - 3 (Max team of 3)

Following the 2008 Games in Beijing, the Irish Marathon Mission was established to improve the standards of elite Irish runners. This has been mostly financed by the organisers of the Dublin City Marathon and as you can see, it has helped in getting a full team for 2016.

An easier qualification standard for the Rio Olympics probably helped as well though.

This chart shows more clearly the times of the 22 Irish men between 1948 and 2016. As you can see, Paul Pollock's performance in Rio was faster than a lot of other Irish men in previous Olympic marathons. Kevin Seaward's time was the 5th fastest.

It''s also worth noting just how fast John Treacy and Jerry Kiernan were relative to other Irish marathon runners.

Note that these times were all set on different courses and with different conditions so we can't do an exact comparison. Still though, they are all Olympic Marathon finals so they are similar in that respect.

As a footnote, the following Irish athletes competed in the Olympic Marathon for these other countries...
1912  Kennedy McArthur (Antrim) 2:36.55 for South Africa
1964  Peter McArdle (Dundalk) 2.26.25 for the USA
1988  Peter Maher 2:24.49   for Canada

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Notice...Glounthaune 4 mile road race - Wed 7th Sept 2016

This 4 mile road race is coming up in Glounthaune just to the east of Cork City on Wednesday 7th of September 2016.

As you can see from the race flyer above, it has an Athletics Ireland permit, has been accurately measured by Jones Counter and has chip timing.

From the organisers.....The Glounthaune Community Association wish to announce the Fitzpatrick's GCA 4-Mile Run Wednesday 7th September 2016 at 7pm.

Parking will be provided at Craig's Field beside, the Community Centre and also at the Glounthaune and Little Island train stations.

The Fitzpatrick's GCA 4 Mile Run - Registration at the new Church Centre from 5:00pm on the day Wednesday 7th September 2016 - opposite the church.

Male and female changing rooms and toilets will be available at the Community Centre in the village.

AAI Permit Approved - Course Measured - Chip Timing by Premier Timing...Entry Fee: Race €10 - ...Category Prizes for first 3 - Spot Prizes...Excellent post race refreshments will be served in The Great O'Neill along with the presentation of prizes.

All proceeds go to the Glounthaune Community...For more information please contact:
021 - 4510470 from 10:00am - 2:00pm Mon - Fri

Course Preview......Full directions with maps, photos, description can be seen HERE

Notice...Kinsale 5 mile road race - Sun 4th Sept 2016

This 5 mile road race is coming up in Kinsale on Sunday, the 4th of September at 11am. The course has been measured properly by a Jones Counter and it has an Athletics Ireland licence.

Registration for the race is at the grounds of Kinsale Rugby Club which is just to the east of the town. The race starts from here and takes in a loop to the north of Kinsale before a long gradual downhill to near sea level and a finish on the main quay in the town.

There is a shuttle bus service after the race to take runners and walkers the two miles back to the rugby clubhouse.

There is a free guided scenic 2 mile walk as well for families from the clubhouse to the finish line where they can then watch the runners come in.

Preview...A full preview of the course with maps, directions and photos can be seen HERE

Dry fit top for the Clonakilty 10 mile & 5k next Sunday 28th Aug

This is the dry fit top for the Clonakilty 10 mile & 5k which is coming up on Sunday the 28th of August. As running tops go, it looks pretty good.

The 'model' is Ronan Wogan of MyRunResults who will be looking after the chip timing and results next Sunday.

For more info on the race and to enter, go to

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

From Sports Ireland...What happens during an athlete drug test?

A new video from Sports Ireland showing how athletes are tested.

Notice...Ballycotton 5 mile road race - Thurs 25th Aug 2016

The Ballycotton 5 mile road race is the last race of four in the Ballycotton Summer Series and it's coming up on evening Thursday, the 25th of August. One thing to note here and it catches people every year........the race starts at 7:30pm

Registration is at the local national school. The distance from the main parking area to the registration is about 800 metres (10 min walk). From the registration area to the start line is about 200 metres. So if you consider parking.....walking to the registration.....the queue to enter.....walk back to the car......walk back to the start........and the 7:30pm start, you can see how people get caught out.

Entries.......If you are under any pressure for time, then get changed first.....carry the entry fee of €6 in your hand.....and go straight to the start line after you register. Please note that it speeds things up a lot if you have the exact entry fee ready. €1 of each entry fee is going to a designated charity.

If you did the first 3 races then you'll find your race number HERE

The overall positions with times after 3 races can be seen HERE

Please note that the race is open to everyone. You do not need to have run in any of the previous races to enter this one. Just turn up with €6.

Post Race...If you have completed all 4 of the summer series......Ballyandreen, Shanagarry, Churchtown South and Ballycotton, you will be given a souvenier plaque.

Back inside the school, there will be tea and biscuits as well as the prize giving. The special series t-shirts for the top 50 men and top 30 women in the overall series will be handed out there.

Preview....More details on the course with maps and photos can be seen HERE

Monday, August 22, 2016

Results of the Irish Masters Track & Field Championships...Sun 21st Aug 2016

The Irish Masters Track & Field Championships were held in Tullamore on Sunday the 21st of August and there were a good number from Cork in the medals. These are some from the track events...

100m Master Men
CORR John Leevale A.C.     1st M45     11.92    
O'DONOVAN Con Rising Sun A.C. 2nd M70     14.75

3000m Master Women
KENNY Michelle     Leevale A.C.     1st W35 10:29.96    

3 km Walk Master Women   
CASHMAN Evelyn     Youghal A.C.     2nd W45 17:19.57    

200m Master Men
DENNEHY Brendan Rising Sun A.C. 2nd M65 28.92    
O'DONOVAN Con     Rising Sun A.C. 2nd M70 32.72    

800m Masters
HEALY Ann-Marie St. Finbarrs A.C. 1st W45 2:31.14    
COUGHLAN Denis     St. Finbarrs A.C. 1st M35 2:03.00    
MURPHY Michael     St. Finbarrs A.C. 3rd M55 2:30.04    
KIELY Michael     Rising Sun A.C. 1st M70 3:12.94    

5000m Master Men

MCEVOY Eamonn     St. Finbarrs A.C. 1st M60 18:11.14
AHERNE Neilus     Midleton A.C.     2nd M60 18:46.83    

400m Masters
HEALY Ann-Marie St. Finbarrs A.C. 1st W45 1:06.99
LYONS Marion     St. Finbarrs A.C. 1st W60 92.55    

KIELY Michael     Rising Sun A.C. 3rd M70 77.66    

1500m Masters
KENNY Michelle     Leevale A.C.     2nd W35 4:52.66
CASHMAN Evelyn     Youghal A.C.     1st W45 5:20.23    

COUGHLAN Denis     St. Finbarrs A.C. 2nd M35 4:09.24    
MURPHY Michael     St. Finbarrs A.C. 3rd M55 4:56.86    
KIELY Michael     Rising Sun A.C. 2nd M70 6:35.68

There were several more in the Field events as well. The full results can be seen HERE

Irish results at the Olympic Mens Marathon in Rio

In the Men's Olympic Marathon on Sunday, Paul Pollock was the first Irish man home in 32nd position in a time of 2:16:24. Kevin Seaward was 64th with 2:20:06 while Mick Clohisey who was suffering from a virus finished 3rd in 2:26:34.

These were the qualifying times posted before the Olympics...Seaward (2:14:52), Clohisey (2:15:10), Pollock (2:15:38).

There was some controversy prior in the selection process in that Sergiu Ciobanu had posted a faster time of 2:15:14 which would have been 3rd fastest. Paul Pollock was picked instead based his recent half-marathon times and the Rio result seems to justify his selection for the team.

At the front of the field, the title was won by Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.

Gamen Rupp of the USA took the Bronze to add to the 10,000m Silver medal which he won at the 2012 London Games. It perhaps dispels the notion that an athlete has to be from East Africa to win a medal in distance running.

Back in 1984, John Treacy won a Silver medal in the Olympic Marathon with a time of 2:09:56 in what was a very hot day in Los Angeles. As you can see above, that was faster than Rupp's time yesterday.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Results of the Skibbereen 10k road race...Sun 21st Aug 2016

A total of 66 runners turned out for this years Skibbereen 10k road race on Sunday the 21st Aug 2016. This represents a drop of 44% on the number for 2015. As you can seen from the chart above, it was also down on previous wet years.

1    0:32:53    O'SHEA, Alan    Bantry AC    M    05:17.4   
2    0:34:08    COLLINS, John    Skibbereen AC    M    05:29.5
3    0:36:49    SHEEHAN, Padraig    Clonakilty RR AC    M    05:55.4   
8    0:40:15    MACKEOWN, Rosaleen    Leevale AC    F40    06:28.5   
11    0:42:00    BARRY, Ronnie    Bandon AC    F40    06:45.4
14    0:42:49    COUGHLAN, Aoife    unatt/Skibbereen    F    06:53.3    

The full results can be seen HERE