A fourth win in less than two weeks by Michelle Finn and a fast time by Ryan Creech were two of the highlights at the inaugural Grange-Fermoy 10km which took place in good conditions on New Year’s Eve.
Finn, the national cross-country champion, had notched up three 5km victories at Newmarket, Farranfore and Togher – the latter two in identical times of 16:05 – since the Sunday before Christmas and the longer distance proved no obstacle for the Leevale athlete as she finished over two minutes clear of Courtney McGuire from Clonmel in a time of 34:37.
McGuire recorded 36:42 with Niamh Moore (Leevale) finishing third in 36:56 and Michelle Kenny, also Leevale, taking fourth spot in 37:51.
Ryan Creech seems to having a liking for the roads around Fermoy as back in July, on a scorching Sunday, he recorded an impressive 19 minutes flat for four miles.
On this occasion the Leevale man had another excellent run to break the 30-minute barrier, his 29:54 giving him a clear margin over Tim O’Donoghue.
O’Donoghue recorded 30:33, his fastest-ever for the distance.
After finishing third in that four-miler back in July, the East Cork athlete went on a winning streak on the road and transferred that form to cross-country when defeating Creech in both the Cork county and Munster deciders.
Former national marathon champion Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe was the third finisher at Fermoy, his 31:14 giving him 12 second to spare over the in-form Conor McCauley (Leevale) with Alan O’Shea of Bantry finishing fifth in 31:37.
One of the eye-catching performances of the day came from Eileen Kenny, mother of fourth-placer Michelle.
A former member of the Midleton club, Eileen now competes for Athlone IT AC was first in the F70 category in a time of 48:33.
According to the Irish Masters website, this improves the existing Irish record by a whopping 10 minutes, the previous best of 59:26 credited to Maureen Fitzgerald from Thames Valley Harriers back in 2014.
The race brought another eventual year on the running scene to a close and the first-rate organisation displayed by the Grange-Fermoy club shows just what can be done in keeping such events safe and enjoyable for all.
Men 1 R Creech (Leevale) 29:54; 2 T O’Donoghue (East Cork) 30:33; 3 S Ciobanu (Clonliffe) 31:14; 4 C McAuley (Leevale) 31:26; 5 A O’Shea (Bantry, M40) 31:37; 6 S Collins (Leevale) 32:25.
M40: 2 R O’Sullivan (St Finbarrs) 34:17; 3 K Gillecce (unatt) 34:24.
M45: 1 A Davis (Leevale) 35:37; 2 K O’Connor (Grange-Fermoy) 37:33; 3 W Walsh (Carraig na bhFear) 37:51.
M50: 1 L O’Connor (Grange-Fermoy) 35:30; 2 J O’Sullivan (Galtee) 36:59; 3 S McSweeney (St Nicholas) 38:15.
M55: 1 L Murphy (Watergrasshill) 41:44; 2 R Hahesy (West Waterford) 42:18; 3 D Bartley (Grange-Fermoy) 42:30.
M60: 1 S Dorney (Galtee) 49:09; 2 P Cotter (Eagle) 50:21; 3 N Allen (unatt) 50:52.
M65: 1 S Kelleher (Mallow) 48:22.
M70: 1 J Walshe (RRC) 55:55.
M80: 1 T Dunne (Grange-Fermoy) 61:39.
MJ: 1 D Maher (Carraig na bhFear) 38:49; 2 J Dineen (Grange-Fermoy) 47:43.
1 M Finn (Leevale) 34:37; 2 C McGuire (Clonmel) 36:42; 3 N Moore (Leevale) 36:56; 4 M Kenny (Leevale, F40) 37:51; 5 H Kontro (Limerick) 38:30; 6 L O’Sullivan (Watergrasshill, F50) 38:51.
F40: 2 T Murphy (Kent) 39:40; 3 I Eighan (St Finbarrs) 41:59.
F45: 1 L O’Connor (Carrigaline) 40:14; 2 R Lynch (Carraig na bhFear) 42:48; 3 S Holland (Eagle) 44:04.
F50: 2 G Sohun (Leevale) 47:24; 3 J Power (Douglas M&T) 51:52.
F55: 1 J Ennis (Grange-Fermoy) 43:10; 2 M Buckley (Donoughmore) 44:57; 3 M Cotter (Tracton) 51:51.
F60: 1 S Ilsley (West Waterford) 46:32; 2 N Harrington (Galtee) 63:01.
F70: 1 E Kenny (Athlone IT) 48:33.
F75: 1 M Dunne (Grange-Fermoy) 78:57.
FJ: 1 R Walsh (Grange-Fermoy) 41:24; 2 L Fitzgibbon (Grange-Fermoy) 49:04; 3 C Lynch (Carraig na bhFear) 51:04.