Evan Byrne retains his Togher 5km title with a very impressive run from the off

Evan Byrne retains his Togher 5km title with a very impressive run from the off

Evan Byrne, winner of the Togher 5km, receiving his prize from Brendan McCarthy, CEO Cork Mental Health Foundation. Picture: John Walshe

FOR the second year in a row, Evan Byrne gave his home club plenty to cheer about as he came home an impressive winner of the Togher 5km.

Despite the wet and windy conditions, almost 600 runners took to the flat course around the city suburbs in the excellently organised race. Sponsored by Ryan’s SuperValu, funds raised went to both the Cork Mental Health Foundation and Togher AC.

Byrne, home on holiday from Butler University in Indianapolis where he is a graduate student, added the title to the Newmarket 5km he had won the week before, also for the second year. 

Katie Dromey, Anthony Walsh and Mary O'Donoghue at the Togher 5km. Picture: John Walshe
Katie Dromey, Anthony Walsh and Mary O'Donoghue at the Togher 5km. Picture: John Walshe

His Togher time of 15:07 was well outside the 14:27 he ran 12 months before but he still had 12 seconds to spare over East Cork’s Frank O’Brien who ran a personal best of 15:19.

Another Togher man, John Durcan, took third place in 15:23, four seconds ahead of Tommy Connolly of Leevale, with two more from that club, Conor McAuley and Ben Leen-Smith, filling fifth and sixth positions.

“It’s a great event, conditions were a bit tough with the rain and wind, Frank was with me for a good bit but when I pulled away it got a bit tougher on my own,” said the winner. 

 Aaron Daly and his mum Patricia pictured at the Togher 5km. Picture: John Walshe
Aaron Daly and his mum Patricia pictured at the Togher 5km. Picture: John Walshe

He was due to go back on January 10 to finish off his degree at Butler University, although he hasn’t any eligibility left to compete at collegiate level.

Aoife Cooke, winner over the half-marathon distance at Waterford three weeks before, showed that her speed hasn’t been blunted by her high mileage when winning the women’s race in a time of 16:12, just five seconds outside of Michelle Finn’s course record.

 St Catherine's runners Chris O'Connell and Keith Barry at the Togher 5km. Picture: John Walshe
St Catherine's runners Chris O'Connell and Keith Barry at the Togher 5km. Picture: John Walshe

This gave the Eagle athlete over a minute to spare over Hannah Steeds (Leevale) who recorded 17:24 with another Leevale member, Carol Finn – second the previous day at the Farranfore 5km – finishing third in 18:01.

“It was tough out there today, I hope to do the Dungravan 10-mile next month and then the Barcelona Half-Marathon on February 19,” said Cooke who represented Ireland in the marathon at the European Championships back in August.

Donal Browne and Niamh O'Riordan who took part in the Togher 5km road race. Picture: John Walshe
Donal Browne and Niamh O'Riordan who took part in the Togher 5km road race. Picture: John Walshe

Results: 

Men:

1 E Byrne (Togher) 15:07; 2 F O’Brien (East Cork) 15:19; 3 J Durcan (Togher) 15:23; 4 T Connolly (Leevale) 15:27; 5 C McAuley (Leevale) 15:30; 6 B Leen-Smith (Leevale) 15:44.

M40: 1 B Murphy (Iveragh) 16:09; 2 B Twohig (St Finbarrs) 16:27; 3 N Hogan (unatt) 16:33.

M45: 1 A Davis (Leevale) 16:57; 2 J O’Mahony (St Finbarrs) 17:39; 3 D Dorgan (Midleton) 18:02.

M50: 1 S McSweeney (St Nicholas) 17:25; 2 G O’Regan (Midleton) 19:14; 3 P O’Connor (Eagle) 19:33.

M55: 1 K Twomy (unatt) 19:28; 2 J Kissane (unatt) 19:54; 3 S O’Brien (unatt) 21:21.

M60: 1 M Lynch (Eagle) 20:02; 2 M McGrath (Eagle) 20:56; 3 E O’Regan (Youghal) 21:51.

M65: 1 JJ Murphy (unatt) 20:42; 2 E McEvoy (St Finbarrs) 20:55; 3 G Down (unatt) 21:20.

M70: 1 K Higgs (Eagle) 23:34; 2 J Walshe (RRC) 27:31; 3 I Kohler (Midleton) 30:14.

Women:

A Cooke (Eagle) 16:12; 2 H Steeds (Leevale) 17:24; 3 C Finn (Leevale) 18:01; 4 M Kenny (Leevale, F40) 18:10; 5 C Murphy (Eagle, F45) 18:51; 6 T Murphy (Kent, F40) 18:56.

F40: 3 J Wolfe (Leevale) 19:56.

F45: 2 L Crowley (Watergrasshill) 20:21; 3 G Murray (Belgooly) 20:30.

F50: 1 H Leonard (Leevale) 22:11; 2 G Sohun (Leevale) 22:19; 3 F Giltinan (unatt) 25:07.

F55: 1 B Cahill (unatt) 24:38; 2 C Clancy (St Catherines) 25:45; 3 M Twohig (Midleton) 26:05.

F60: 1 M Sweeney (St Finbarrs) 22:18; 2 F O’Connor (Eagle) 26:35; 3 D Quinlan (Cork TC) 26:59.

F65: 1 M Lyons (St Finbarrs) 27:10; 2 M Kelliher (unatt) 27:25; 3 M O’Keeffe (unatt) 28:56.

F70: 1 H O’Donoghue (Riverstick-Kinsale) 41:07.

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