Cork Athletics: Little Island road race draws the crowds 

Next event on the Cork BHAA calendar is the Janssen promotion at the same Little Island venue on Sunday, February 13
Cork Athletics: Little Island road race draws the crowds 

Colm and Krakolina Lehane pictured at the Cork BHAA IFF-FMC 6km at Little Island. Picture: John Walshe

THE Cork Business Houses Athletic Association attracted a fine turnout of 330 to its first road race of the year, the IFF-FMC 6km at Little Island.

In dry but cold conditions, the event saw a clear victory for Gavin O’Rourke of Eli Lilly who covered the seldom-run distance in a time of 18:35 while in a closer women’s race Sinead O’Connor prevailed over Martina Kiely by just five seconds.

Darren McCann and Eddie Barry pictured at the Cork BHAA race at Little Island. Picture: John Walshe
Darren McCann and Eddie Barry pictured at the Cork BHAA race at Little Island. Picture: John Walshe

O’Rourke had a comfortable 43 seconds to spare over Jeremy O’Donovan, who was also representing Eli Lilly, while third across the line was Darragh Mulcahy in 19:23. However, as he was non-registered that prize went to Aidan Noone of the Dept of Education who finished in 19:31.

Four seconds back in fifth (and first M50) was Joe Cunningham of Eli Lilly which ensured the company the first award in Grade A, their total of 8 points giving them a massive 78-point margin ahead of Stryker (86) with UCC third on 120.

Siobhan Healy and Anita Locke at the Cork BHAA race at Little Island. Picture: John Walshe
Siobhan Healy and Anita Locke at the Cork BHAA race at Little Island. Picture: John Walshe

Winner O’Rourke is a native of Rush in County Dublin and has been working at the Kinsale-based Eli Lilly for over three years. 

“It was a good fast first mile and then I held it steady from there, so I’m happy enough with the win. 

"It was a well-organised race so I really enjoyed coming out here,” said the 26-year-old.

A member of Leevale, where he is coached by Donie Walsh, he led the Cork club to the National Novice C-C title in December when finishing a fine 10th overall. 

Looking forward to the season ahead, he hopes to do a few indoor races before concentrating on the outdoor track season.

Two regular winners on the Cork scene, Sinead O’Connor and Martina Kiely, fought out the women’s race with O’Connor coming out on top in a time of 20:39 with Kiely recording 20:44. 

As both were representing the Dept of Education, the team prize was never in doubt as only two scorers count in the BHAA races.

In third was Clare native Sharon Rynne of Kepak in a time of 21:55 with non-registered Carol Finn fourth in 22:03.

The next event on the Cork BHAA calendar is the Janssen promotion, also over 6km, at the same Little Island venue on Sunday, February 13.

Gavin O'Rourke, winner of the IFF-FMC 6km road race, receiving his prize from Stephen Geoghegan of the Cork BHAA. Picture: John Walshe
Gavin O'Rourke, winner of the IFF-FMC 6km road race, receiving his prize from Stephen Geoghegan of the Cork BHAA. Picture: John Walshe

Results:

Men:

1 G O’Rourke (Eli Lilly) 18:35; 2 J O’Donovan (Eli Lilly, M40) 19:18; 3 D Mulcahy (temp-reg) 19:23; 4 A Noone (Dept of Education) 19:31; 5 J Cunningham (Eli Lilly, M50) 19:35; 6 E Downing (Train with Trevor) 19:53.

Team: (Grade A) 1 Eli Lilly 8: 2 Stryker 86; 3 UCC 120. (Grade B) 1 Musgrave 125; 2 Midleton Town Council 147; 3 Avondhu MF 280. (Grade C) 1 Apple 263; 2 Cork Co Council 312; 3 Musgrave 324.

Women:

1 S O’Connor (Dept of Education, F35) 20:39; 2 M Kiely (Dept of Education, F35) 20:44; 3 S Rynne (Kepak) 21:55; 4 C Finn (temp-reg) 22:03; 5 F McCarthy (Dept of Education, F40) 23:13; 6 I Eighan (Novartis, F40) 23:22.

Team: (Grade A) 1 Dept of Education 35; 2 Dept of Education 108. (Grade B) 1 HSE 194; 2 Cork Co Council 262. (Grade C) 1 Musgrave 288; 2 UCC 451.

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