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Ballintotis 4-Mile Race - 2010

(John Walshe, Evening Echo)

James McCarthy returned to top form while Rhona Lynch carried on where she left off last season as the first of the mid-week road races got underway at the new venue of Ballintotis.

The massive community effort put into the event, which was a fund-raiser for the building of a local community hall, was rewarded with a huge turnout of 435 runners, double the number that took part last year when the race took place at nearby Castlemartyr.

McCarthy, of the promoting East Cork AC, was having his first race on the road since sickness forced him to drop out of the Ballycotton ‘10’ last month. Sean McGrath and Noel Berkeley forced the early pace and after halfway it was down to McCarthy and former ‘King of the Road’ Berkeley.

Into the last mile which skirted scenic Loughaderra Lake, McCarthy made his move and crossed the line with 11 seconds in hand over the DSD athlete. For good measure, he also broke the 20-minute barrier with the clock reading 19:54.

“Sean and Noel were in front most of the way so I just sat in and got away in the last mile,” said the winner. “Considering everything, I’m well pleased. I had a good blow-out over 3000m at the Leevale Sports last Sunday and I now hope to concentrate on the track with the County and Munster championships coming up over the next few weeks.”

For Eagle athlete Rhona Lynch, it was also her first road race since Ballycotton and on this form she looks set to dominate the local races again over the coming months. She finished in a time of 23:48 with Niamh Walsh from Youghal, continuing her consistent improvement, finishing second in 24:21 and Emma Murphy (St Finbarr’s) taking third in 24:36.

“It’s a nice start to the summer and hopefully now I’ll be able to build on this and do the usual races,” said Lynch. “It was a lovely course tonight, the place around here is beautiful and it is a fabulous setting for a race.”

Results - see link on side panel

New Venue For First Evening Race Of The Season

Athletics – John Cashman

The launch of the Ballintotis 4-Mile Road Race

The first evening road race of the 2010 Cork running season will bring a new venue into the spotlight. East Cork AC has joined forces with Ballintotis Community Council to promote the ‘4’ mile event formerly held in Castlemartyr.

A move of just a few miles West will see Ballintotis host the race for the very first time with a fast course lined up for competitors on Thursday April 22 (8pm start)

Headquarters for the event will be the Church Car Park in Ballintotis which is located beside picturesque Lough Aderra Lake, just off the main N25 Road between Castlemartyr and Midleton.

In the heart of this vibrant community the two main focal points are St Colman’s Church and the local National School. But now the ambitious Ballintotis Area Community Council members are undertaking the task of building a Community Centre and the upcoming race is just one of many planned fund raising ventures.

The fixture, which has been held in Castlemartyr in mid April over the last few decades will take on something of a new look at it’s new venue.

For starters the setting promises to be one of the most charming on the busy Cork circuit. St Colman’s Car Park will be transformed with the erection of marquee for changing on the shores of Loughaderra Lake and competitors will be chasing a top prize of a mountain bicycle for first man and first lady across the line (both kindly sponsored by Trabolgan Holiday Village).

Registration, tasty refreshments and the prize giving ceremony will all be centred at the one venue in the Car Park, whilst a large team of stewards are lined up to ensure the smooth running of a race that is expected to produce some fast times.

The course will predominantly take the participants over scenic country roads with the final section skirting Loughaderra Lake as the competitors run beside this well known beauty spot on the Main Road before finishing just in front of the Church.

Entry fee for the race is €10 and all taking part will receive a souvenir cap to mark the first road race in Ballintotis. There will also be plenty of spot prizes to be won on the night.

East Cork AC have also introduced a new pre registration option for the race. Runners may register in advance by e-mailing in advance (see side panel for details and then pay their entry fee when arriving on the evening. Ballycotton Running Promotions have also kindly come on board to lend their expertise and support to the race.

Last year Sean McGrath (20:29) led home a field of 217 runners in Castlemartyr and the organisers of the new 2010 version of the race hope to build further on that figure. Former Cork City Marathon winner Roy Fahy was second with Con Marshall of St Finbarr’s next home. Rhona Lynch of Eagle AC was the impressive leading lady in 23:24.

All proceeds this year from what promises to be a great sporting and social occasion will go directly towards the Community Centre Building Fund in Ballintotis.

This race is just one of the many attractive fixtures in the east of the county over the summer months with the Midleton AC Joe Hourigan Memorial ‘5’ also on the agenda on Thursday May 6 and the Ballycotton 5 Mile Summer Series due to commence in Ballyandreen on Thursday May 27.


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