TWO course-records by Tim O’Donoghue and Lizzie Lee and many personal bests marked the return to the calendar of the Bweeng 5km road race, excellently organised by the local Trail Blazers AC.
When the race was last held in 2019, international Hiko Tonosa from Dundrum-South Dublin established an impressive winning time of 14:32 but this was reduced by three seconds by the in-form O’Donoghue of the East Cork club.
The winner over four miles at Rathcormac three nights before crossed the line in a massive personal best of 14:29.
The revelation of the race, however, was O’Donoghue’s clubmate, Paul Hartnett, who recently concluded a very successful track and cross-country four years at Coláiste an Chraoibhín, Fermoy.
In recording a time of 14:48, he left many established seniors in his wake and no doubt will be a major addition to the East Cork squad having recently transferred from the Midleton club.
“I tried to gauge the first five or six hundred metres to see who was going to go with me but no-one seemed to take it up so I picked it up a small bit and tried to keep the pace going,” said O’Donoghue.
“It’s a good course as the start and finish are downhill; I’m not as fit as I was two years ago so I’ll try and get a block of training in before the cross-country season and then give that a good go.”
Lizzie Lee reduced the previous course best of 16:15 held by her fellow Leevale athlete (and fellow Olympian) Michelle Finn by 15 seconds, her time of 16 minutes flat not too far outside her personal road best of 15:53.
Men: 1 T O’Donoghue (East Cork) 14:29; 2 P Hartnett (East Cork) 14:48; 3 D Hegarty (Watergrasshill) 14:50; 4 S Doyle (North Cork) 14:51; 5 M Bruton (Leevale) 14:55; 6 K Collins (Donore) 15:23.
M40: 1 J Meade (St Finbarrs) 15:36; 2 K McKeown (Watergrasshill) 15:55; 3 M Morgan (St Finbarrs) 16:04.
M50: 1 L O’Connor (Grange-Fermoy) 16:32; 2 T Woods (unatt) 17:11; 3 C Grayson (unatt) 17:42.
M60: 1 J Collins (Leevale) 18:59; 2 E McEvoy (St Finbarrs) 19:01; 3 M Murphy (St Finbarrs) 19:44.
M70: 1 R Piotrowski (Eagle) 22:49; 2 J Walshe (RRC) 25:59.
Women: 1 L Lee (Leevale) 16:00; 2 N Moore (Leevale) 17:02; 3 C O’Neill (Clonmel) 17:09; 4 M Kenny (Leevale, F40) 17:22; 5 B Gaffney (Mallow, F40) 18:17; 6 R McEvoy (St Finbarrs) 18:23.
F40: 3 N Cronin (St Finbarrs) 18:34.
F50: 1 D Duffy (Watergrasshill) 20:28; 2 R Daly (Tullamore) 20:44; 3 A Amoedo (unatt) 22:25.
F60: M Ui Chonghaile (Donoughmore) 25:38; 2 A Cooney (Midleton) 29:08; 3 C O’Connell (unatt) 32:01.