Faye set for Irish Debut in Euro Championships!

April 16, 2024

Despite last weekend heralding the start of the outdoor Track and Field Championships, the headlines belong to young Faye O’Riordan. Faye was having a fantastic season already with several top 3 finishes in the Coillte Spring/summer mountain running league, but the annual Irish trials are a step up in class with the best runners from the 32 counties taking part. This would be Faye’s first Irish Trials race. The courses for Irish trials are quite technical and challenging and the 7.62 km course on Seefin mountain in Limerick had a sizeable 357m of elevation. The prize on offer was an Irish vest in the upcoming European Off Road Running Championships in Annecy, France on the first weekend in June. Faye had a superb run finishing in 4 th place in the Junior Women’s Race in 40:08, a fantastic achievement as Faye is still U18. The first 3 finishers were also the podium finishers in the Uphill race in Seefin on Friday night giving the selectors a wealth of options and indeed Faye was confirmed as selected for the European competition. Huge congratulations to Faye from everyone in Carraig na bhFear AC, so well deserved! Dad Dave also put in a fine performance on the 15km Senior race finishing as first M55 in 1:44:10.

Our first Championship Track and Field outing of the season took place last Sunday, day one of the East Cork Athletics Division track and field championships. Chairperson Wille Walsh reported on the club’s trip to Clonmel ACs newly built Mondo facility for its first official hosting of a championship event. “Having to explain to an interested local while walking up to the facility that clubs travelled there because there was no track in Cork, the local retorted that “you’re taking the p€&@ out of me”. “In the whole county?? “ he squeaked in amazement. “Sure we’ve one in every town “he laughed. Embarrassed and frustrated I trudged on in and paid my €5 for a great day’s competition. We had a small but competitive bunch travel the hour up the M8 to compete in distance and sprint races with shot put and long jump available in the field events. Relay races closed off an enjoyable if somewhat cold day due to a stiff westerly wind blowing up the home straight.
A good spread of medals from our middle and junior groups with our younger under 11 group having great fun finding their feet and learning about competition and making friendships. The standout performance on the day was Amelia O’Donovan who won all the individual events available to her with gold in 80 sprint, 600 middle distance and shot put under 13. She also took silver racing up in age with our under- 14 girls’ squad when they fielded two teams taking silver & bronze in the under 14 relay race. A well worthwhile experience for all involved and hopefully it’ll whet the appetite for some more members to travel to Youghal this Sunday for round 2 where there will be lots of great opportunities for more medals on Youghal ACs grass tracks in Tower Park.”

BHAA: The first of the BHAA evening races took place on Tuesday 10 th April with the running of the PWC 5k on the Monahan Road with a massive turnout of 831 finishers! Congratulations to Aidan Maher with a PB time of 16:10 to finish in 7th place overall in a tight finish. Darragh O’Keefe (Janssen)paced a steady19:32 to finish 113th overall and Siobhan Walsh (Abbvie) ran a fast 21:11 to finish 205th overall.

Look Ahead: A massive turnout is expected in Ballintotis on Thursday 18 th , always a popular race in its own right with up to 1000 finishers, this year it will also incorporate the County Senior, Novice and Masters Championships over the 4-mile course. The Championships were traditionally held as a standalone race in Castlelyons so this is a new departure for the Cork County Board and hopefully will be a success for all involved. Day 2 of the East Cork Track and Field Championships will be held in Youghal on Sunday 21st. This will be a relaxed environment ideal for younger athletes taking their first steps in to competition. Best of luck to everyone competing in Ballintotis and Youghal.

Report by Richard Hawkins and Willie Walsh

Featured Image: Carraig na bhFear AC's Faye O'Riordan in action at the IMRA Seefin Challenge

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