Cork athletics: Evan Byrne in top form again at Newmarket 5km

Duhallow AC event celebrated 25 years of road racing in the town and despite the wintry conditions elsewhere it went off without a hitch
Cork athletics: Evan Byrne in top form again at Newmarket 5km

Evan Byrne, winner of the Newmarket Christmas Classic 5km, receiving the Jer Murphy Cup from Jerry Murphy of Duhallow AC. Also pictured is Kieran Linehan of sponsors Ayrton Group. Picture: John Walshe

EVAN Byrne made it two wins in as many years at the Newmarket Christmas Classic 5km while Sinead O’Connor added another victory to the many she has achieved over the past 12 months.

The Duhallow AC event celebrated 25 years of road racing in the town and despite the wintry conditions elsewhere it went off without a hitch. This was due no doubt due to its many volunteers and sponsors, in particular the Ayrton Group who looked after traffic management.

Just returned from Butler University in Indianapolis where he is a graduate student, Togher athlete Byrne came home a clear winner in a time of 14:28, 22 seconds outside the course record he set in 2021 when he had the likes of Ryan Creech and John Travers to push him.

Niall Shanahan from An Bru moved up from fourth last year to take second in 14:39 with Gavin O’Rourke, recent winner over four miles at Glenville, taking third in 15:52, four seconds ahead of his Leevale team-mate Shane Collins.

Michelle Kenny, Sharon Rynne, Hannah Steeds and Ciara Ryan pictured at the Newmarket Christmas Classic 5km. Picture: John Walshe
Michelle Kenny, Sharon Rynne, Hannah Steeds and Ciara Ryan pictured at the Newmarket Christmas Classic 5km. Picture: John Walshe

Nowadays, master dominate the top places in most races but the high standard of senior runners at Newmarket was reflected in the fact that you had to go all the way down to 25th for the first M40.

This was Keith Kelly from Youghal who still recorded an impressive 16:04 to just get the verdict over Donal Giltinan from East Cork (16:05), Nick Hogan (16:05) and Ray O’Connell (16:06).

It has been a long and successful year for Sinead O’Connor and the Leevale runner was again in control to win the women’s race when finishing just behind Olympic gold medallist rower Paul O’Donovan, both credited with the same time of 16:27.

North Cork runners Maurice Buckley, John Brady and Michelle Middleton who took part in the Newmarket Christmas Classic 5km. Picture: John Walshe
North Cork runners Maurice Buckley, John Brady and Michelle Middleton who took part in the Newmarket Christmas Classic 5km. Picture: John Walshe

Edel Monaghan from Dublin City Harriers took second in 16:49 with Hannah Steeds (Leevale) finishing third in 16:56 and Fiona Santry (East Cork) taking fourth spot in 17:10.

Results 

Men 1 E Byrne (Togher) 14:28; 2 N Shanahan (An B) 14:39; 3 G O’Rourke (Leevale) 14:52; 4 S Collins (Leevale) 14:56; 5 J Gahan (KCH) 15:00; 6 T Connolly (Leevale) 15:05.

M40: 1 K Kelly (Youghal) 16:04; 2 D Giltinan (East Cork) 16:05; 3 N Hogan (unatt) 16:05. – Ray O’Connell (Togher) 16:06 M45: 1 K McKeown (Grange-Fermoy) 16:11; 2 R O’Sullivan (St Finbarrs) 16:30; 3 A Davies (Leevale) 16:34.

M50: 1 N Collins (unatt) 18:29; 2 C Sheehan (Mallow) 18:33; 3 P Costigan (St Catherines) 18:37.

M55: 1 S Madigan (Kanturk) 17:38; 2 P Sheahan (Millstreet) 17:52; 3 K Twomey (unatt) 19:05.

M60: 1 M Lynch (Eagle) 18:35; 2 D Browne (Eagle) 19:57; 3 K Boag (Mallow) 21:31.

M65: 1 JJ Murphy (unatt) 20:20; 2 DJ Guiney (Duhallow) 22:08; 3 O Kearney (Duhallow) 23:25.

M70: 1 K Higgs (Eagle) 23:05; 2 J Holland (Mallow) 24:15; 3 J Walshe (RRC) 27:08.

M75: 1 R Piotrowski (Eagle) 25:31; 2 M Dunne (St Finbarrs) 26:39; 3 M Daly (unatt) 37:05.

M80: 1 T Feehan (unatt) 29:07; 2 T Dunne (Grange-Fermoy) 30:08.

MJ: 1 D Buckley (Leevale) 15:21; 2 E O’Connor (Belgooly) 15:32; 3 T Hawkins (Carraig na bhFear) 16:07.

Lijana Kurstakiene, Yvonne Twomey and Anne Teape who took part in the Newmarket Christmas Classic 5km. Picture: John Walshe
Lijana Kurstakiene, Yvonne Twomey and Anne Teape who took part in the Newmarket Christmas Classic 5km. Picture: John Walshe

Women 1 S O’Connor (Leevale) 16:27; 2 E Monaghan (DCH) 16:49; 3 H Steeds (Leevale) 16:56; 4 F Santry (East Cork) 17:10; 5 C Keane (DMP) 17:26; 5 C Finn (Leevale) 17:30.

F35: 1 E Desmond (St Finbarrs) 18:52; 2 K Bobka (An Bru) 20:10; 3 K Murray (West Limerick) 20:26.

F40: 1 M Kenny (Leevale) 17:37; 2 M Barrett (Riocht) 21:11; 3 L Guerin (Mallow) 22:33.

F45: 1 S Hoare (Togher) 17:53; 2 L O’Connor (Carrigaline) 18:51; 3 L Crowley (Watergrasshill) 20:08.

F50: 1 B Gaffney (Mallow) 17:55; 2 L O’Sullivan (Watergrasshill) 18:33; 3 S Trunwit (Bandon) 25:24.

F55: 1 C Murphy (Gneeveguilla) 20:12; 2 E O’Keeffe (Doneraile) 20:47; 3 D Duffy (Watergrasshill) 22:00.

F60: 1 M Sweeney (St Finbarrs) 21:01; 2 E O’Loughlin (unatt) 32:21.

F65: 1 C MacDomhnaill (West Limerick) 24:34.

F75: 1 M Dunne (Grange-Fermoy) 35:59.

MJ: 1 H Carroll (Blarney-Inniscarra) 18:01; 2 C Eagar (Star of the Laune) 19:08; 3 S Twomey (West Muskerry) 19:36.

Wheelchair: 1 S Bocquet (Craughwell) 13:56.

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