Another March and another trip down to West Cork and the Ballycotton 10. This is a classic road race that has been going for 29 years, and has increased in size from the 30 brave souls who competed back in the 70's to yesterdays 4000 entrants (although only 2800 completed the course).
It was a cold spring day when I left Dublin at 7 am to drive the 175 miles down to Cork, and clear roads meant I made the journey in little over 3 hours, beating the road closures around the small coastal village of Ballycotton, and making the local car park. The race wasn't due off until 1:30, so plenty of time to meet up with friends and take in the coastal air before warming up and stripping down a good hour before the start so as to ensure a good starting position. With narrow roads, and over 4000 entrants, we are all felt it wise to get as near to the front as possible.
John Walshe and his tremendous team in Ballycotton Running Promotions are yet again to be congratulated for another fantastic running of the famous 'Ballycotton 10' yesterday. In bright sunshine and the very odd hail shower almost 3,000 runners took their chances on the roads around the small Cork seaside town. Despite the increase in numbers over previous years the organisation was flawless and the stewarding effecient, professional and polite. All of the athletes here in Athenry AC offer our warmest congratulations to John and the rest of his team for a thoroughly enjoyable race.
As we head for the Ballycotton 10 and the Connemara International Marathon our latest club project is shaping up nicely.
Between January and February, 12 Athenry AC members have attended 6 different events across the country. This is a great start to 2006 for the club as the brighter evenings are only starting to kick-in making training and motivation a lot easier for most of us.
As you can see from our “Clubperson/Athlete of the Year” chart, Alan Burke at 10 points is busy flying the flag wherever he can and 23 of us haven’t even started our racing for the year yet. I’m sure by the end of March more of us will be off the ground and hopefully some injurys will be on the mend.
Four Irish Ultramarathoners put up a tenacious performance in Taiwan over the weekend. The team representing Ireland at the event included Galway's own Richard Donovan as well as Tony Mangan, Martin Rea and Eoin Keith. All four runners took part in the IAU (International Association of Ultrarunners) 24 Hour World Challenge in Taipei (Taiwan). This gruelling event drew together most of the best ultramarathon runners in the world for one day's extreme racing. The event involves athletes completing as many kilometers as possible within the allocated 24 hour time limit. Many athletes will complete the event without any significant breaks.
Athenry AC's Paul McNamara ran superbly well in the National Inter Clubs Cross Country Championships in Santry last Saturday to finish in fourth place in the men's senior event. Paul, who's training has been badly hampered in the early part of this year with both illness and injury, was competitive from the start. An early breakaway group of seven runners, including Paul, would clearly dictate the outcome of the race running clear as they did in the early stages. Athenry's finest also exacted some small measure of 'revenge' over his close friend and training partner Gary Thornton of GCH for finishing ahead of him in the Proactive Fields of Athenry 10k last St.Stephens day. Gary who has run superbly well this year and last posted a fine eleventh place and was followed home closely by his clubmate Mike O'Connor. Athenry AC was also ably represented in this race by Alan Burke who flew the club colours with great distinction. Our congratulations go to both Paul and Alan on fine races against a high quality field.
Tracy O'Mahoney who runs the 'Hot Yoga' Studio in Galway has extended an offer to all Athenry AC members to take part in her classes in Galway. Very frequently runners have difficulty with flexibility and Tracy's classes may be just the ticket for loosening up before your next Marathon or as part of an ongoing flexibility maintenance program.
Tracy says, "We currently have some members who are training for marathons and in the week up to their marathon I allow them to do as many yoga classes as they want for free. The yoga I do is quite strenious and is done in a heated room (not less than 105 Fahrenheight) and the runners find it great for stretching and loosening out before a long run. In the meantime if any of your members would like to try out the yoga please come along to a class for free - make sure that you tell me that your in an Athletics club. If you have any queries you can call me at 087 2642922 or visit my web site at
The final list of entrants has just been published by the organisers of the 2006 Ballycotton 10 Mile Road Race on Sunday the 5th of March next. The final list reveals the largest ever entry from Athenry AC with at least eleven confirmed entrants. These are;
Athenry runners will compete in the largest field ever assembled for this race with over 4,200 entries having been accepted.
Alan Burke's race report.
Waterford Crystal 10 mile road race Dungarvan: 5th Feb 2006
After getting a notion to do all of the Munster 10 mile classics, I thought I had fallen at the first hurdle when I ended up in Austria instead of Mallow.
Luckily for me, while I was practicing my big Airs, 360s and tailspins on a snowboard, the guards in Mallow did me favour and cancelled the race on the line due to heavy fog [thanks lads!].
So it was off to Dungarvan. I managed to secure a lift from Bernie Kelly of GCH, so I didn't have to endure 4 hours of driving just to get there. After a brief and interesting tour of Clonmel, we finally pulled into Dungarvan to find the venue had slightly changed. The local soccer club were actually using their own venue so registration was held in a disused car showroom. An ideal venue as it happens.
Bantry Bay will be the setting for the inaugural “Bay Run”, a 13.1 mile Half Marathon between Glengarriff and Bantry to be held on the May Bank Sunday, April 30th, 2006. Proceeds from the race will benefit Co-Action in West Cork.
The event, which includes both running and walking sections, will see entrants negotiate a challenging route that starts in Glengarriff before entering into the nature reserve, the route then winds its way around the mouth of Bantry Bay and finishes up in the magnificent courtyard of Bantry House. The route will allow participants to take in some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in Europe.