Carraig na bhFear AC Report

December 12, 2023

Masterful performance by Carraig na bhFear AC!

On Sunday 10th December Carraig na bhFear AC hosted the final County Championships of 2023 with the running of the Masters and Juvenile Relay Cross-Country on the lands of club member John Ahern in Annacarton, Glanmire. It was the first time an event was held here but hopefully not the last as the feedback was unanimous in praise not only for the course but also in the organization of the event, although late in the year it certainly didn’t lack in intensity or attendance. 

The athlete’s verdict was ‘ouch’! and ‘wow’! in equal measure for an ultra-challenging course. The master’s races began with a tame enough 500m loop or two to warm up before the real work started on the 1500m loops, a ziz-zag climb into a headwind to the top corner of the course before hurtling straight to the bottom over soft ground to start all over again! A mixture of strength and good downhill technique the perfect skill-set to master the course.

Despite a significant injury list Carraig na bhFear AC fielded an impressive 10 masters’ athletes. Hard to believe that in 2019 we had zero athletes competing and were more familiar with the Novice grade, fast-forward to 2023 and we are hosting our second consecutive master’s Championships and are listed on the results as 4th place men’s team in the M35 and M50 categories. Unfortunately, our ladies team were 1 short to score but nevertheless good performances from Siobhan Walsh, Orla Gorman and Anita Casey to get the competition underway. 

Carraig na bhFear AC members
Carraig na bhFear ACs Anita Walsh, Orla Gorman, and Siobhan Walsh at the Cork County Masters Cross-Country Championships, taken by Michelle Wholly.

In the men’s race John Ahern used his local knowledge to good effect to lead the M35 team home with a powerful run and an impressive 25th place overall. The team scoring was completed by Diarmuid Kiely, Sean Gorman and Thomas Hughes, all showing good technique and maintaining their placings during the race. The M50 team was Richard Hawkins, John Maher and Liam Colbert. Richard and Liam placed 1st and 3rd individually in the M55 category. Much credit for the quality of the master’s squad must go to coach Rhona Lynch. Rhona has coaxed and encouraged parents of the younger athletes in from the side-lines with consistent and progressive training week in and week out. I am sure more than a few didn’t ever expect to be competing in a County cross-country championship but full credit to the work put in by coaches and athletes who are leading by example!

The day was rounded off with the Juvenile 4 x 500m relays, the wind had significantly picked up at this stage making it quite an effort, particularly for the younger athletes. The beauty of the relay competition is that the team members and spectators can encourage the runner and there was great excitement as we moved through the competitions. It was a wonderful way to finish what has been an intense period of competition since the East Cork Championships back in September. A big shout out to our teams on the day who all ran superbly; 

U10 Girls: Kate Lynch, Emily Bablena, Caoimhe Hughes, Isabelle Goggin Walsh, Ivy Forde, Siofra Nott, Cliona Collins, Hannah Casey, Ruth O’Sullivan, Rosie O’Reilly, Emma Forde and Sophia Ryan.

U10 Boys: Sean Ryan, Aidan Walsh, Sebastine Sadowski, Ben O’Leary, Sean Collins, Liam Walsh, Fionn Casey, Dara Quinlan, Sam Dawson and Noah Foley.

Boys U12: Cathal Walsh, Finn Dunne, Oscar O’Riordan, Euan Twohig and Sean Hughes.

Girls U12: Laoighse Nott, Roisin Murphy, Lucie McCarthy and Grace O’ Meara.

Girls U14: Allie Phillips, Lily O’Keeffe, Mary-Kate Dawson, Emma Johnson, Rebecca McCarthy, Aisling Tierney, Lucy Davis, Aoileann Boyle, Laila Olotu.

Boys U14: Sam Browne, Harry Browne, MJ Walsh and Kevin Barry.

U16 Mixed: Abigail Geary, Siofra Boyle, Dylan Mulcahy and Cian Ryan.

In Summary: Another memorable day for the club, thanks in particular to the Ahern family for a super venue and also to all the club members who pitched in over the weekend to prepare and dismantle the course, steward and officiate, it is much appreciated.

Other News: MJ Walsh was mixing it up this week with a trip to the Glen River Parkrun, the hilly course adding some nice variety to training. Well done to MJ who was 3rd across the line in a time of 21.44!

Look Ahead: A welcome break from competition for a while, a rest for some while others will have an eye on indoor competition early in the New Year. There will be regular updates on training and activities on the club’s social media channels in the coming weeks.

Report by Richard Hawkins

Featured Image: Members of Carraig na bhFear AC before the start of the Cork County Cross-Country Juvenile Relays, taken by Michelle Whooley.

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