Sean McGrath was back on the winners’ rostrum at the annual five-mile road race organised jointly by the Army and Navy, although the result might have been different if runner-up Eddie O’Neill hadn’t missed the start.
Last week in Cloyne, Army-man O’Neill outkicked McGrath to win over the 5km distance but at the Haulbowline promotion he mistimed the start and the race was underway before he realised it.
Gallantly giving chase, he passed the entire field apart from McGrath who crossed the line first in a time of 26:24, 18 seconds in front of the Kildare man. With a strong blustery wind, it wasn’t a night for fast times but McGrath was well pleased with his victory. “The first mile was very windy but I’m happy enough to win,” he said.
After missing most of the spring through injury, McGrath is now returning to top form and will be endeavouring to overcome the 12-second deficit Tim Twomey has over him as the Ballycotton Summer Series comes to a conclusion a week tonight.
Carmel Parnell – now aged 57 – has also been troubled with injury since winning the Carrigaline five-mile race back in February but once again belied her age when taking the women’s title in 32:24.
Geraldine O’Shea, who completed the four-day Tour de Munster 600km charity cycle at the weekend, was second in a time of 33:14 with Gillian Cotter third in 33:20.
* The final Cork BHAA evening race of the season will be the Leisureworld five-mile which takes place at Super Nova Play Zone in Ballincollig on Wednesday, August 29, starting at 7.30pm.
1 Sean McGrath 26:24; 2 Eddie O’Neill 26:42; 3 John Meade 26:48; 4 Roy Fahy 26:52; 5 Colm Moore 28:15; 6 Michael Morgan 28:27; 7 AJ Murphy (M45) 29:19; 8 Willie Walsh 29:24; 9 Ian Dorgan 29:27; 10 Tom Laffan (M45) 29:39.
Teeam: (Grade A) 1 Army 29; 2 MD Insulation 41; 3 DMP 66. (Grade B) 1 Navy 72; 2 UCC 85; 3 GE Healthcare 122. (Grade C) 1 Bord Gais 92; 2 HSE 117; 3 UCC 136.
Women: 1 Carmel Parnell (F55) 32:24; 2 Geraldine O’Shea (F40) 33:14; 3 Gillian Cotter (F35) 33:20; 4 Esther Murphy (F35) 33:46.
Team: (Grade A) 1 Midleton News 18; 2 Fit4Life 20. (Grade B) 1 Dept of Education 29; 2 Bank of Ireland 42.