THE Cork BHAA got the year off to a good start with the ESB Cross-Country Challenge, the only non-road event on their calendar, attracting a fine turnout of 166 to the usual venue at Beaumont Park.
Conditions were ideal, although underfoot the going was heavy over the three laps that made up the 5km distance.
Nick Hogan from UCC and Barry Twohig, representing Emerald Fencing, took control of the race from the start and although Hogan had moved well clear with one circuit to go, Twohig fought back to reduce the margin to just four seconds at the line, 18:51 to 18:55.
Alfie Davis, also UCC, took third in 19:04 with Tim O’Connor (Ervia) finishing fourth in 19:17.
Despite having two in the top four, UCC had to give best to Musgrave in the Grade A section on a score of 42 to 58. MTU (formerly Cork IT) were third on 80 points.
Cork-born Niamh O’Sullivan, now Kerry-based, has been to the fore for many years over cross-country, road and track and although now in the F55 age-group – a category she won last November at the Master International in Belfast – she shows no sign of slowing down.
O’Sullivan, representing Tralee Physical Therapy, took first place in a time of 21:36.
Although Sinead O’Driscoll was only nine seconds in arrears, as she wasn’t registered with the BHAA second place went to Linda O’Connor (Musgrave) in 22:01.
Irene Eighan finished fourth in 22:25 and led her Novartis team to first in Grade A on a score of 93 points ahead of Musgrave on 129.
Interestingly, of the first 10 men, eight were either in the M40 or M45 category while the first four women were also all masters – a trend that is all too common nowadays.
The next Cork BHAA event will be on the road over 5km at Little Island on January 23.
This will be followed by the Janssen Pharmaceuticals 6km at the same venue on February 13, both starting at 11am. Full details on the www.corkbhaa.com website.
1 N Hogan (UCC, M40) 18:51; 2 B Twohig (Emerald Fencing, M40) 18:55; 3 A Davis (UCC, M45) 19:04; 4 T O’Connor (Ervia, M40) 19:17; 5 E O’Connor (temp-reg) 20:07; 6 C Prior (Eli Lilly, M45) 20:14; 7 F O’Shea (Musgrave, M40) 20:14; 8 J Cronin (MTU) 20:17; 9 C Marshall (HSE, M45) 20:26; 10 T Grab (Apple, M45) 20:32.
Team: (Grade A) 1 Musgrave 42; 2 UCC 58; 3 MTU 80. (Grade B) 1 Army 84; 2 Apple 88; 3 Dept of Education 189. (Grade C) 1 Musgrave 205; 2 Apple 242; 3 UCC 245.
1 N O’Sullivan (Tralee Physical Therapy, F55) 21:36; 2 S O’Driscoll (temp-reg) 21:45; 3 L O’Connor (Musgrave, F45) 22:01; 4 I Eighan (Novartis, F40) 22:25; 5 A Locke (temp-reg) 22:53; 6 E Holland (temp-reg) 23:48.
Team: (Grade A) 1 Novartis 93; 2 Musgrave 129. (Grade B) 1 HSE 196; 2 Fit4Life 199. (Grade C) 1 Complete Financial 222; 2 Apple 252.