Road Races Dominate Holiday Period

Road races dominated the athletics scene over the holiday period, although some might say it was the weather that took over.
The annual Belgooly four mile road race on St. Stephen’s Day usually attracts well over 250 entrants, with parking in the village at a premium.  However, this year, thanks mainly to a White Christmas, the race was postponed, and rescheduled for 1pm the following day.  It certainly wasn’t the same thing.  Plenty of parking and a distinct lack of spectators, with just 100 taking part.  Even the Huntsman afterwards failed to attract a crowd.
The race itself saw Jeff Scott from Carraig na bhFear take the lead from the gun and maintain it all the way to win.  Behind Leevale’s Prodigal Son Alan Triggs settled in well in the chasing group.  The birth of a son took it’s toll though and he eventually had to settle for fourth, his highest ever placing in Belgooly.
Carmel Parnell continued her amazing season with another excellent win, with Carraig na bhFear’s Michelle Scott in second.  And to round off the day John O’Leary won the over 65section.
On New Year’s Day the action switched to Bandon for the annual 5 mile road race there.  The morning of the race was wet and windy but the rain cleared in time.  Even the downhill start to this race was not enough to get the runners moving.  A sedate start eventually saw Mark Hanrahan move clear of the field and race on to the finish unchallenged, with Cathal O’Connell of St. Finbarrs and Fergus Meade of East Cork a respectable distance behind.
John O’Leary was once again the winner of the over 65 section.
Mark Carroll experienced New Year’s Eve in New York competing in the midnight run.  Committed to running more of the shorter distances in the coming year he finished an excellent second with a time of 18:32 for the four mile run.
A good start to the new year for some Leevale members, and hopefully a great year to come for all members.