The Munster Senior & Masters T&F Championships 2013 take place on Sunday, June 2nd at the CIT Track from 9.30am. Unfortunately, that’s the day before the Cork City Marathon. For those not involved in the Marathon, here’s a perfect opportunity to engage in T&F competition on home turf. For those running in the Marathon relays, especially the Seniors, a double day at the races should present no difficulty at all. Indeed, a good workout on the Sunday would be ideal preparation for the Relays.
This is a AAI event, so participants will be required to wear the club singlet. No entries or changes of entries on the day of competition. Participating athletes must be AAI registered club members for 2013. Please text or email your entries to 0860226895 or email@example.com no later than Friday, May 24th.
The second John Buckley Sports Graded T&F Meeting of 2013 is on Monday, May 20th at 7.30pm at the CIT track. The graded league will also incorporate the Cork County Junior & Senior T&F Championships 2013 with county medals on offer. This evening’s menu includes a 3000m (7½ laps of the track) test for middle distance runners, while the relay should see quartets of runners post some very impressive mile times. These are graded meetings open to people of all levels of ability from any club. Entry is €5.00 covering all events.
Just to remind everyone that the 6pm training session on Wednesday May 15th is replaced by the first of the John Buckley Sports Graded T&F Meetings of 2013, starting at 7.30pm. These meetings are the brain child of club coach Fergus O’Donovan, who came up with the original idea in 2010. Since then the graded meetings have grown in popularity year on year no doubt helped by generous sponsorship from John Buckley Sports. Club members are encouraged to attend the graded meeting as a substitute for the regular training session.
A series of eight meetings is planned for Athletes male and female over 17 years on the day of the competition; the Shot, Discus, Hammer and 56lb Weights are limited to athletes over 18. Track events will, if necessary, be divided into separate races on the basis of performance, which could involve mixed races. The graded league will also incorporate the Cork County Junior & Senior T&F Championships 2013 with county medals on offer. These meetings are open to athletes of all levels of ability. Feel free to enter as many events as you like. Each graded meeting features a middle distance race of some description or another, so there’s sure to be something of interest for everyone. What about the relays? They always make for great fun and excitement.
Can’t find a babysitter? Bring the kids along too. There’s lots of available seating in the stand offering a great view of the track. Entry is normally €5.00 per meeting. However, as these meetings also incorporate Cork County T&F Championship events, entry is free for club members on the opening night.
“Inevitably one wonders: just how would they fare in international competition and contribute fully to Irish athletics? But because of the unfortunate split in Irish athletics — surely no country can afford this, least of all one of our size — such competition is denied them. And not until this ridiculous situation has ended can we get an answer”.
In a previous post, “Nostalgia: A Famed Cork Athletic Club (Examiner 1960)”, reference is made to the split in Irish Athletics, a situation which denied many athletes an opportunity to compete at international level. While the club’s old guard will no doubt be very familiar with the subject, some background history may be of interest to our younger (and newer) members.
The split in Irish Athletics
The International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) was founded after the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. The National Athletic & Cycling Association of Ireland (NACAI) was set up in 1923 with full membership of the IAAF. Consequently, Ireland sent a separate team to the 1924 Paris Olympics. The same year, a number of Northern Ireland clubs resigned from the NACAI and formed the Northern Ireland Amateur Athletic, Cycling & Cross Country Association (NIAAA).
At its 1933 Congress in Stockholm, the IAAF amended its constitution to define members by political boundaries. The 32 county NACAI decided not to accept the Ruling and was suspended from the IAAF in 1935. Consequently, (some might say fortunately) Ireland did not compete at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
In 1937, a number of clubs around the Dublin area split from the NACAI and set up the Amateur Athletic Union of Eire (AAUE) recognising the IAAF boundary ruling. Thus, the AAUE was granted full membership of the IAAF and the NACAI suspension made permanent. The breakaway AAUE represented Ireland at the 1948 London and 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
However, the vast majority of 26 county clubs stuck with the NACAI. Attempts at a resolution of the dispute, now involving three separate entities, proved unsuccessful. This befuddled state of affairs persisted until 1967 when the NACAI and AAUE dissolved to form Bord Luthchleas na hÉireann (BLE). However, a section of the NACAI refused to dissolve. In 1987, BLE signed an agreement with the rump NACAI. With improved North-South relations, all athletes wishing to represent Ireland at International level could now do so. As of 1999, the BLE and NACAI dissolved completely to form Athletics Ireland (AI) with provision for Northern Ireland representation on the Council. St Finbarr’s A.C. is an affiliated member of Athletics Ireland and paid-up members are registered with AI on an annual basis. Le voilà!
You will all no doubt be aware of the dreadful turn of events which overtook the Boston Marathon of 2013. What should have been a joyous and memorable occasion for athletes of many colours and creeds was marred by the heinous acts of as yet unknown perpetrators who visited their worst on those in pursuit of their best.
Several of this club’s members were entrants in Boston and I’m glad to report that all are safe and well albeit certainly traumatised by the events of the day. There can be no ambiguity or equivocation on occasions such as these. The taking of innocent civilian life can never be justified under any circumstances. Such actions leave only a legacy of shattered dreams and broken lives. We at St. Finbarr’s A.C. offer our heartfelt condolences for the dead and injured, and for their grieving families and friends.
And the King will answer and say to them,
’Assuredly, I say to you,
inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren,
you did it to Me.
Please note that the Mardyke Track is unavailable for training on Friday 12-Apr-2013. For one week only, the regular 6pm Friday session will be held at the UCC Farm, a.k.a. Curraheen Park. Please click on the Training tag above for directions. In the event of adverse conditions at the Farm, there’s no shortage of concrete pathways to keep everybody on track.
Green acres is the place for me. Farm livin’ is the life for me. Land spreadin’ out so far and wide. Keep the Mardyke, just give me that countryside.
The 2009 Holly Bough featured an article on the BARRS headed “58 years running: The story of St. Finbarr’s A.C.”, perhaps the 3rd greatest story ever told: Sorry folks, I must defer to “The Nativity” and “A Christmas Carol”. It opened with an extract from a 1960 Cork Examiner article headed, “A Famed Cork Athletic Club” penned by a young rookie reporter named “Will O’Herlihy”. Will, or Bill would later achieve superstar status with RTE Sports and Après Match. I’ve been lucky to get a copy of the 1960 Examiner article from Jack Lynch, Barrs member emeritus. Many thanks to Jack for that article and many thanks to yours truly for rummaging through the archives to dig up the original 1952 group photo.
IT was a warm Sunday in the summer of 1951 and the four young men who gathered after Mass outside a Cork City church were wondering just how they would spend the afternoon to best advantage. The four, John O’Connell, Dick Day, Pat Bowe and Pat Hennessy, had a strong, active leaning to sport and when one of them learned that an athletic meeting was being held that afternoon by the Rising Sun Club he remarked: “Lets run there.” They did… and won two prizes. Thus, inauspiciously, came into being, the premier club in the South of Ireland — St. Finbarrs A.C. To-day, nine years after its foundation, the club has won every honour the N.A.C.A.I. has to offer, has a big, growing membership and some of its athletes have reached the highest pinnacle of the sport in Ireland. But perhaps the best tribute one can pay to St. Finbarrs is that the club truly embodies the Olympic motto:
“The main thing in sport is not to win but to take part. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”
Throughout the country the name of St. Finbarrs is synonymous with Irish athletics yet even among their legions of supporters and admirers little is known of its foundation. To many, the achievements of the club are facts, the beginnings mystery. No story of this now famous club can be complete without placing in its proper perspective the part played by St. Finbarrs Boys Club in its growth. For, in retrospect, it was here that really begun the dream that in such a short time blossomed forth into glorious reality. And each was closely associated with the other. The boys club was formed in 1941 by the members of the Legion of Mary under the direction of Very Rev. J. M. Cashman, now P.P. of Innishannon, Co. Cork, to cater for the youths of the city’s South Parish and the club competed annually against other similar clubs in football and athletics.
But such was the constitution of this club that when the boys reached the age of 18 years they ceased to be members and had to join outside sports clubs. Some of these lads later became famous — Frank O’Farrell of West Ham and Preston and Peter Desmond, of Middlesborough, the English League sides, both of whom played for Ireland in soccer, spring immediately to mind.
Such was the position that applied in the case of the four youths who ran in that Rising Sun meeting and when Fr. Cashman saw the result of their efforts he suggested that a senior athletic club be formed. But with one big difference… for as well as catering for outside members it was in a special way for the “graduates” of the boys clubs, providing a social as well as entertainment service to the city of Cork. In this regard at the inaugural meeting of the athletic club in the old Scout Hall in Friary Lane on October 24, 1951, a constitution was drawn up that gave to the Legion of Mary the right to nominate three members of the committee. With Fr. Cashman as President, the first officers of the club were: Chairman — John O’Connell; Vice-Chairman, Dick Day; Treasurer, Pat Bowe and Secretary Pat Hennessy. Success has come readily to St. Finbarrs A.C. and the achievements in a short ten seasons read like a fairy tale.
In the past eight years it has been Cork’s champion club on no fewer than six occasions and has had its name on every trophy in the county and on many a national one. In all its members have won National championships on six occasions, Munster titles 27 times and in open, novice and youth events have won 104 county titles. In fact the total number of prizes won by the club now far exceeds 1,000.
The Cork County decathlon championship trophy has rested in the club since the inception of the event in 1955, having been won by Sean Moore (thrice), Pat Naughton (twice) — these two were also the Irish champions — and Pat Hennessy (once). The Cade Cup for the champion club in the county has been won by the club five times. This year they again finished well on top of the table but were ineligible to win the trophy as a motion passed at the Convention declared that a club not holding a sports meeting could not be awarded the cup. More is the pity that such a motion should have been passed for the original intention of the donors was that it be awarded to the county’s top club — regardless of whether they do or do not hold a meeting.
Thus the list of their achievements in track, field and cross-country events grows and it can be said with truth that they have reached the topmost heights under N.A.C.A.I. Rules. The list is indeed an imposing one and the club numbers quite a few crack athletes in its membership. Inevitably one wonders: just how would they fare in international competition and contribute fully to Irish athletics? But because of the unfortunate split in Irish athletics — surely no country can afford this, least of all one of our size — such competition is denied them. And not until this ridiculous situation has ended can we get an answer.
So much in so short a time… That in brief is the story of St. Finbarrs A.C. Until the country is united in athletics, may they continue to keep the name of Cork to the forefront of Irish athletics? After that, well, who knows what the future may bring?
Front row, the four founder members. Left to right: P. Hennessy (Hon. Sec.), R. K. Day (Vice-Chairman), Rev. Bro. J. V. Hutton (Vice President), Very Rev. J. M. Cashman (President), J. C. O’Connell (Chairman) and P. J. Bowe (Hon. Treasurer).
There are just over nine weeks to go to the start of the Cork City Marathon 2013. The current entry fees remain valid until the 31st of March. From the 1st of April you’ll have to cough up an extra €10 and an extra €20 from the 1st of May. So, don’t be an April fool. Unless you’ve got money to burn, log on and enter before Easter Monday. Athletics may be a minority sport, vying for column inches with Pigeon Racing and Darts, but for one glorious (I hope) Bank Holiday Monday in June, the tunnel is closed, traffic diverted and Athletes given free rein of the streets. The city doesn’t do that for Football, Hurling, Rugby, Soccer or any other sport that I can think of. This is indeed a privilege and one that perhaps shouldn’t be taken for granted. Whatever your plans for the day, Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay, Steward or Spectator, get out there and lend your support. Ah sure forget all about Cypress boy! Stay at home and prepare for a strong run on the Banks.
The Cork City Marathon is also an ideal opportunity to raise much needed funds for local charities. For no other reason than it being first through the mail box, I’ll mention the Cork Simon Community. This organisation works tirelessly throughout the year giving assistance to homeless men and women. With the current extended cold spell, you’ll appreciate just how important it is to provide and a warm bed and sustenance to the city’s homeless population. If you’d like to help by taking part in a Run, Walk or Cycle, you can get a sponsorship card, t-shirt or running vest by contacting Nini on (021) 4929410 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cork Simon Community, St Nicholas House, Cove Street, Cork
Tel: (021) 4321051 Email: email@example.com
According to the calendar, it’s holy week, the lead up to the Easter festivities. However, somebody’s forgotten to inform the weather man. According to Met Éireann, average daytime temperatures for the end of March should be around 10°C. Not so for the coming week. Instead of south-westerly Atlantic winds, the prevailing wind direction for Holy Week is easterly and the source of the air mass being fed in across Ireland is Siberia. Expected daytime temperatures will at best be only 2°C to 6°C with dew-point temperatures below zero. And with blustery easterly winds, the wind-chill temperature will in fact be well below zero.
Thus, we can all look forward to a bitterly cold week. It shouldn’t be necessary to issue a weather advisory, but the reality is many people pay little or no attention to weather forecasts. If you’re planning to be out and about this week, especially at night, you’ll need to wrap up well. It’s not just the air temperature; it’s the wind chill factor, which can chill you to the bone in no time. Adopt the layered principle – two to three layers, plus a high visibility vest. And wear a woolly cap and gloves. You’ll lose an awful lot of body heat by exposing your noggin, and cold fingers can quickly lose their dexterity. Above all, be sensible and keep your core body temperature up in this type of weather. If core temperature falls by as little as half a degree the body starts decreasing blood supply to the extremities, i.e. the hands and feet. At one degree you’ll start to feel faint. Remember, if you get too warm, it’s very easy to shed a layer or two, but if you haven’t budgeted for the opposite scenario, you’ll start to slow down and the more you slow the colder you get.
High-visibility vests can also double up as very effective wind breakers. Around March/April, wind strength and direction can vary unpredictably. I always carry one of these vests either on me or folded in my hand, day and night. If I start to feel cold, I’ll put it on back to front to protect my core from the navel up to the neck. Not very pretty, but very effective! Finally, always keep a five Euro note (coins are heavy) in your pocket in case you have a mishap and need to catch a bus back to base. I recently twisted an ankle near CIT and had to limp back to the Mardyke on a bitter cold evening with no cash for the bus. Be prepared for the unexpected!
Registration for this event will be at the Moyglass Sports & Leisure Centre (Google: 52.525621, -7.720664). There are parking facilities at the Centre and in the disused car park across the road. Parking is also available (one side of road only) between Moyglass village (Google: 52.524166, -7.717885) and Moyglass National School (Google: 52.527815, -7.708454).
(Open Google Maps, copy and paste above numbers into the search box and hit enter)
From Cork City to The Hawthorns (Point E) is 105km (01h:15m). Take the M8 as far as Cashel. At junction 8 (Point A), take the R692 exit to Cashel/Clonmel. Take 3rd exit at the roundabout onto R692. Take the 1st exit at the next roundabout and stay on R692.