May-June Distance Roundup

We’re in the height of the summer racing season, the evenings are long and bright and the sun hasn’t been shy (and we’ve all got the singlet tan lines to prove it). It’s been very busy but successful few weeks for the club with the next crop of stars, the juveniles, displaying their dominance on the national stage recently, the new high performance centre being officially opened, the 50th anniversary of the club and plenty of strong distance performances on the roads (with a sprinkle of track) including a great weekend for the club at Cork Marathon weekend. It’s time to catch up on some of these results from mid-May up until the end of June with July results to follow soon.

On Tuesday May 16th, Eric Curran was a clear winner in the Glanmire Macra na Feirme 5km running a good time of 15:30. Eric continued his form a few weeks later winning the John Buckley BHAA 5k which continues to attracts a big crowd with 914 runners finishing this year and there was yet another strong showing from Leevale athletes. Eric just about held off the challenge of Mallow’s Paul Maloney to take the win in 15:31. In the ladies, Andrea Bickerdike ran strongly to take 2nd in 17:45 with Niamh Roe not far behind in 3rd. In a race where the standard was fairly high, there were 6 Leevale ladies and 5 of the Leevale men present in their respective top 10’s which emphasises the strength of the club right now. A couple of days later, Carol Finn took a good win running 18:29 in the Mallow AC 5k in Doneraile park. 

The Cork marathon weekend wasn’t long coming around and a great contingent from the club took part in all events with conditions fairly reasonable considering the last few years. The ever-present Nollaigh O’Neill, a two-time winner of the race, took 2nd place this year in 3:03 with Finbarr O’Dwyer first male home for the club in 2:44. In the half marathon, Claire McCarthy ran convincingly to take the win in 1:16:33 with over 2 minutes to spare on 2nd place. In the relay, Leevale dominated proceedings as the ladies (2:45) and the mens (2:21) took the spoils. The 2nd mens team also took 3rd overall (2:33). With the welcomed switch of the event to the Sunday, many of our runners appreciated the Monday off work to recover, and not entirely from running. 

The following Wednesday, Sinead O’Connor took the win in her hometown Belle of Ballincollig race comfortably winning in 18:44 while on Sunday 11th, Helen Leonard took a nice win in the Glanmire 4 mile race with a time of 24:49. On the same day it was the Munster Senior & Masters T&F on a blustery day in CIT where Sinead took another win in the senior 1500m and Annette Quaid won the F35 800m.

On Thursday June 15th, Niamh Roe had a win in the Coolagown 5k running 18:34 and the next day Carol Finn earned yet another win in a 5k in Doneraile park running 19:24.

On Sunday June 25th across the pond in Swansea, Claire McCarthy had a storming run, winning the half marathon in a fantastic PB of 1:14:34. Claire is in superb form heading into the worlds in August where she’ll represent Ireland in the marathon.

Finally, to round up the month of June, on Friday the 30th in Millstreet, Conor McCauley had an impressive win (if this writer may say so) in the Willie Neenan 5 miler running 25:57 on an evening where Leevale men also took the team prize. 

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