Leevale Host National Road Relays – Place 2nd in Mens Event

Leevale athletic club played host to the National road relays and 20k walks on Sunday, the first time in over twenty years that the relays were staged in Cork.  Mahon was the chosen area for the relays, with a lap comprising Avenue De Rennes, Ringmahon Road, and Skehard road providing the ideal loop.  A gale force wind ensured that all the runners were well tested, but thankfully the rain held off.  The feature of the day was the mens race, with the biggest number of teams taking part here.  This was also the only race in which host club Leevale was represented.  The lead off runners each had just one lap to run.  Here Brendan Crawford ran a tremendous race for Leevale, clocking the third fastest one lap time of the day with 3:54, putting his club into second behind Raheny Shamrocks of Dublin.  The second runners had a three lap stint to contend with.  Half a mile into their run the Raheny runner had been overtaken by Martin McCarthy of Leevale and Niall Bruton of Clonliffe Harriers.  For the next two laps they remained locked together as they opened up a big gap on the rest of the teams.  However, as they turned off Avenue Du Rennes McCarthy upped the pace with Bruton unable to respond.  He kept the pressure on and finished his run with ten seconds to spare.  His time of 11:56 was the fastest of the day over three laps.  Cillian O’Tuama took over the baton for Leevale, but was soon overtaken by Nigel Brunton for Clonliffe.  After that there was no looking back for Clonliffe as they powered to a clear victory.  Danny Herlihy, Billy O’Rourke and Roy Fahy all tried their hardest and earned Leevale second spot, ahead of Raheny.  East Cork finished fifth with Denis Murphy, just back from Loughborough College in England, running the second fastest two lap leg with 8:30.  UCC were ninth and Togher 10th. University College Cork continued their dominance of road relays with a fluent win in the womens race.  Here Brid Ni Chonaill opened a big lead on the first lap, with Louise Cavanagh increasing it on the second leg, and Maura Prendiville sealing their victory with an effortless run on the final leg.  St. Finbarrs were fourth, while their veteran team took second place in their category.  St. Finbarrs also played a big part in the vet mens race. Paul Dinan opened with a super run that had Barrs in a good lead after the first leg.  Eamon McEvoy ran strongly on the second leg, handing over the lead to Pat Ryan.  A brave run by Ryan saw him outpaced by Rathfarnham and Clonliffe leaving Barrs in third spot.  Eagle were fifth. (More Results)