Liam Mycroft's Ballycotton 2006 report

Published in Reports on 7th March 2006

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.

The race start was delayed by 15 minutes to account for the numbers, and despite a few youngsters being up front with us, we were all in good spirit. The marshall who shepherded the youngsters to the sidelines with a couple of minutes to go before the start deserves credit for diplomacy and avoiding the sight of young kids getting trampled when the gun went.

Now, at the start of the year I was aiming at running 80 minutes for this race, given where I was at Xmas, but a good race last month over 5 miles, clocking 36 minutes, saw me changing my goal and looking nearer 75 minutes as a target.

To this event I started off, knowing that the first two miles are downhill, and as this is an out and back course, the last two miles are uphill. So, try and go off steady, hold the middle of the race, saving something for the finish - at least that was the plan!

The first mile was good, ran 7:05, a little fast maybe, but the good positioning at the start line meant little weaving was required, and I maintained this pace thru 2 miles, clocking 7:09 for mile 2. Now this was too fast and I knew I needed to reign back a little, as I didn't want to blow up, so I consciously slowed down, no doubt causing others to wonder what was up, and probably cursing me, but I checked right back running around 8 minutes for Mile 3, and allowing others to pull ahead. I have to confess I wasn't pressing my watch each mile, so the splits are from memory (I wrote them down as best I could recall not long after finishing), but there were clocks at many of the mile markers and timekeepers calling the times at each mile. Mile 3 was actually my slowest mile.

I was around 10 seconds faster for each of the next 4 miles, and feeling good at this pace, around 7:50 and with 3 miles to go I was checking my body out and by now was running alongside a young woman. I'm not sure if I was pulling her along, or she was pushing me, but we were certainly running together. We never spoke but we ran in tandem for most of the second half of the race, and although she wouldn't know it she certainly helped me out, keeping my pace - Thank you..

Knowing that the last mile and a half were up hill, I was ready and raring to take on the challenge. Myself and my new found running partner were pushing up the first climb, passing people, and I was feeling confident. A check of the watch saw that at Mile 9 I would almost have to run sub 7 on the last climb to break 76 minutes, a time I didn't feel comfortable in achieving. But I got my head down, and pushed. I lost my partner, but continued to push hard, passing many runners, and targeting a woman runner I had seen at Mile 1, who was well ahead of me.

Well, I didn't quite catch my woman runner, but I caught everyone else and my last mile was 6:56 seeing me home at 1:15:50 and a new M45 PR. Sadly the official results have me down as 1:16:08 which I know to be wrong, but I hear tonight that the official time clocks went down during the race so they were left with hand timing, but I know what I ran and am pleased with my run. Connemara and the Marathon in 3 weeks is next - I'll keep you posted!


A Great Weekend in Ballycotton

Published in Club News on 6th March 2006

Ballycotton 06
Ballycotton '06

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.

An so to the Athenry results. There were a number of good performances on the day. James Lundon and Brian O'Connor were notable for knocking huge chunks off their previous best performances and Liam Mycroft made a welcome return to something like his best form. Although all three of these three runners can hope to improve on these time as the summer progresses, they must be well pleased with their races yesterday.

The Athenry runners are listed in the official results as follows;

Place Name Time
49 Mick Rice 0:58:28
101 Brian O'Connor 1:00:42
231 Peter Delmer 1:04:59
253 James Lundon 1:05:46
276 John O'Connor 1:06:23
300 Alan Burke 1:06:56
471 Michael Rooney 1:10:14
506 Dave Dunne 1:11:03
835 Liam Mycroft 1:16:08

Congrats also on fine performances to Tommy Joe Whyte from Tuam AC, Bernie Kelly from GCH, and Mark Davis and Mike Tobin from Craughell AC.

Mary Porter's Report from Galway Bay FM is attached Below in mp3 format.

Clubperson of the Year - February Update

Published in Club News on 2nd March 2006

Fellow Comrades,

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.

Good luck to everyone heading to the Ballycotton 10 and “go neirí an bothar leat” at the Connemara International Marathon on the 26th.

Winter miles, Summer smiles,

Ultra Runners Make Their Mark in Taiwan

Published in Other News on 27th February 2006

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.

The Irish foursome racked up some serious distances between them with Tony Mangan proving most to the team total with an impressive personal total of 228.229 Km (141.82 Miles) which was good enough for 16th place overall. Martin Rea completed 192.931 Km (119.88 Miles, 41st place), Richard Donovan contributed 163.958 Km to the total (101.88 Miles, 55th place) and Eoin Keith completed the team scoring with 145.192 Km (90.22 Miles, 66th place).

These were indeed courageous performances and were good enough to place the Irish team 11th in the International Team Competition.

Congratulations to the Irish Team.

Paul McNamara Shines in Santry

Published in Club News on 27th February 2006

Paul McNamara - Inter Clubs 2006
Paul McNamara - Inter Clubs 2006

Photo by Alan Cowzer (

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.

Alan Burke - Inter Clubs 2006
Alan Burke - Inter Clubs 2006

Photo by Alan Cowzer (

Results have yet to be posted on the AAI Site but unofficially the finishing order for the senior men's race was as follows ;

1. Vinny Mulvey
2. Mark Christie
3. Cillian Lonergan
4. Paul Macnamara
5. Peter Mathews
6. Mark Kenneally
7. Joe Macalister
8. Mick Clohissy
9. Mark Hanrahan
10. Joe Sweeney
11. Gary Thornton

Hot Stuff for Marathoners..!

Published in Club News on 22nd February 2006

Yoga - Smaller

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

  • Hot Yoga
  • I would like to extend this offer to your club, i.e. you're more than welcome to attend as many classes as you wish (for free) in the week previous to a marathon. You do not have to be a member previously, nor do you have to join.

    Athenry AC One Mile Race

    Published in Club News on 17th February 2006

    Galway Racecourse
    Galway Racecourse
    • James Corbett and Dave Dunne are organising a one mile race Ballybrit Racecourse on Sunday 12th March at 11am.
    • One week after Ballycotton and two weeks before Connemara.
    • Race is open to everybody. Entry fee will be 2 or 3 euro on the day and there'll be a few spot prizes. If your interested in running please send an e-mail to [email protected] and [email protected].
    • If you want to do a long run then I'm sure there'll be plenty of takers after the race. Please give your usual great support to the lads efforts

    Athenry AC to Decamp to Ballycotton

    Published in Club News on 15th February 2006


    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;

    Alan Burke
    Peter Delmer,
    David Dunne,
    Martin Keane,
    James Lundon,
    Deirdre McGrath,
    Liam Mycroft,
    Brian O'Connor,
    John O'Connor,
    Mick Rice,
    Michael Rooney

    Athenry runners will compete in the largest field ever assembled for this race with over 4,200 entries having been accepted.

    More details of this event can be found at

    See you all in Cork!

    Waterford Crystal 10 Miler, Dungarvan

    Published in Reports on 5th February 2006

    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.

    We met Tommy Joe Whyte from Tuam who had travelled across from Killarney and he made up the Galway representation. A brief warm up and onto the start line, joined by a healthy 400 plus strong crowd.

    I was determined to start off easy, and run even 7:00 splits for my first long run since the Dublin Marathon in October. I ran the first mile with Ollie Gallagher from Kilmurray Ibrikane, who was on the comeback after injury, and as the timekeeper on the mark shouted out 7:15 for the first mile, I pushed on and said good luck to Ollie. I started reeling in all the people who had misjudged pace and ran 7:00 for the second mile, better stuff.

    I was about to hit the three mile marker when I approached someone who looked remarkably like Bernie Kelly. Bernie had left myself and Ollie at the start line and slinked back into the crowd before the start, so I was sure it couldn't be her.
    But no, Bernie had hit out at a blistering pace and was suffering for it now [Get a watch bernie!!]

    And I ploughed on, reeling in people until about the 4 mile mark where I was back on pace. The course was nice clean country roads, with no serious hills. I passed half way , about 10 seconds inside my 35 min pace so things were going well. At about the 7 mile mark, I fell in with a group of 2 others, a local and a woman from England. We stuck together until about mile 9, exchanging a few words and keeping a good pace.

    There was a slight hill just after the 9 mile marker and I started reeling in the runners just in front of me: They didn't fancy the hill, but it suited me grand and I tore away to the finish line, running the last mile in about 6:30 to finish in 69:13.

    I was very happy with that but would hope to beak my PB in Ballycotton with a bit more training.
    The lady from England actually won her Category, F40. Amn't I mighty, out-sprinting a 40 year old woman...

    Tommy Joe missed out on breaking the hour by 40 seconds, still great running though, but the Galway contingent's superstar was Bernie Kelly who recovered after the sprint start to finish in 75:02, and winning the F45 prize. She picked up a nice Waterford Glass clock for her efforts.

    After a feed of Sandwiches and lashings of Tea we hit the road.
    Next time out at 10 miles is Ballycotton. With 4200 confirmed entrants, I'm planning to camp out at the start line in order to get a good start!
    See you there!

    Inaugural 'Bay Run' Set For April '06

    Published in Other News on 31st January 2006

    Bantry House
    Bantry House

    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.

    There is a prize fund of 2,000 euro for the top athletes though runners and walkers of all fitness levels are encouraged to participate as it will be a fun day. Those interested in taking part can register online at _ and registration closes on the 30th of March 2006. The entry costs for runners and walkers is 50 euro and all participants will receive a Timberland Bag containing a specially designed Bay Run '06 Timberland t-shirt and several other items at the finish line.

    This is the first time that such an event has taken place in the area and it is supported by the Athletics Association of Ireland. There will be park and ride facilities from Bantry to the starting line and also from Bantry back to Glengarriff after the race. The website gives useful advice such as a training plan, travel information and registration details.

    The main sponsors of the event are Timberland _ and Bantry Bay Seafoods _.