Niall Shanahan and Sinead O’Connor set course records at the John Buckley Sports 5km

Niall Shanahan and Sinead O’Connor set course records at the John Buckley Sports 5km

Niall Shanahan, winner of the John Buckley Sports 5km, receiving his prize from Conor Kavanagh of JB Sports. Picture: John Walshe

IT was a good night for Department of Education runners at the John Buckley Sports (Cork BHAA) 5km on the Marina with victories going to Niall Shanahan and Sinead O’Connor, both in course record times.

After a break of three years the race, one of the most popular races on the BHAA calendar, returned with a fine turnout of almost 600 runners. 

Limerick-man Shanahan has a good record in this event having won it the last year it took place and finishing runner-up to Sean McGrath back in 2018.

Crossing the line a clear winner in a new course best of 14:42, the An Bru runner was happy with his performance which followed on from his third place in the Ballintotis four-mile the previous month.

“I was on my own most of the way, I took it out from the start and tried to keep it going, so I’m happy with the run,” said Shanahan, whose main aim for the season is the national 5000km at the end of June. 

“It’s great to be back after three years, this is such a prestigious race with a bit of history and it’s good to support John Buckley so it’s great to see such a turnout tonight.” 

 Finishing second in 15:16 was Leevale athlete Mark Walsh – also representing the Dept of Education – with his club colleague Shane Collins (Apple) taking third spot in 15:22.

Sinead O'Connor, first in the women's race at the John Buckley Sports 5km, receiving her prize from Conor Kavanagh of JB Sports. Picture: John Walshe
Sinead O'Connor, first in the women's race at the John Buckley Sports 5km, receiving her prize from Conor Kavanagh of JB Sports. Picture: John Walshe

Sinead O’Connor has also been in top form in recent weeks, on April 9 she gained her first senior national title when winning 10km gold in the Phoenix Park in a race held in conjunction with the Great Ireland Run. 

Her time there was an impressive 34:20 while in the John Buckley race her winning effort of 16:18 also established a new course best.

Carol Finn, a regular winner on the Cork scene, had to settle for second on this occasion, her time of 17:38 giving her 10 seconds to spare over Michelle Kenny. All three are members of the Leevale club.

The next Cork BHAA race is the Musgrave S&S 5km which takes place on Wednesday June 15 at 8pm with headquarters at the Cork Boat Club. 

Details can be had from Joe O’Loughlin at: 086-6072893.

Results:

Men 

1 N Shanahan (Dept of Educ, M40) 14:42; 2 M Walsh (Dept of Educ) 15:16; 3 S Collins (Apple) 15:22; 4 J Hayes (temp-reg) 15:32; 5 J Fitzgibbon (temp-reg) 15:38; 6 J O’Donovan (Eli Lilly, M45) 15:42.

Team: (Grade A) 1 Dept Of Education 10; 2 UCC 80; 3 Navy 158. (Grade B) 1 Eli Lilly 165; 2 MTU 170; 3 Army 307. (Grade C) 1 Apple 306; 2 Musgrave 321; 3 Dell Technologies 384.

Women:

1 S O’Connor (Dept of Educ, F35) 16:18; 2 C Finn (Carol Finn Physical Therapy) 17:38; 3 M Kenny (Dept of Educ, F40) 17:48; 4 H Steeds (temp-reg) 17:50; 5 L O’Sullivan (HSE, F50) 17:52; 6 R MacKeown (Run With Ros, F45) 17:56.

Team: (Grade A) 1 Dept of Education 67; 2 Joyce Wolfe Physiotherapy 148; 3 HSE 171. (Grade B) 1 Musgrave 357; 2 UCC 467; 3 HSE 521. (Grade C) 1 Midleton Town Council 582; 2 MTU 688; 3 Complete Financial 703.

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