COLLEGIATE and Bandon AC athlete Fionn Harrington (19) took a controlled and impressive victory in the recent Courtmacsherry 10km that returned to its usual format for the first time in three years.
Some 331 athletes were set to descend on the picturesque village but a deluge of rain a few hours prior to the start reduced that number to 247.
Harrington was a class apart and crested the tape in a time of 32 minutes and 14 seconds. He was 35 seconds ahead of Vivian Foley (Eagle AC) with St Finbarr’s Jeremy O’Donovan 15 seconds further behind in third.
Meanwhile, in the female category Bantry native Hannah Steeds, running under the banner of Clonmel AC, came through to finish 35 seconds ahead of Linda O’Sullivan (Watergrasshill AC) with Aoife O’Mahony (Eagle AC) six seconds further behind. In overall classification, they were 23rd, 27th and 29th respectively.
Harrington was prominent from the hooter and heading over the bridge in Timoleague he had extricated a significant lead from the trio of Foley, O’Donovan and Clonakilty Road Runners AC’s Andrew Sheehan. Following their trip through Timoleague village, positions remained the same as they headed back over the bridge with Eagle AC man Fergus Nugent heading a second group of some seven runners that included Garrett Lordan (Clonakilty Roadrunners AC), who went on to finish eighth overall. Harrington completed the run in a time of 32 minutes and 14 seconds, 36 seconds shy of Alan O’Shea’s record time of 31:38. Harrington has just completed his first year in America, and is transferring to Loyola University in Chicago where he will be coached by Waterford man Gavin Kennedy. Here at home (Crossmahon) he is coached by Dublin-based Bandonian Ronan Duggan.
‘I tried to go hard from the start. The course record was my main goal but I knew after about two miles that I wasn’t going to break it with the weather; it was too windy. I made a good gap and the lads didn’t come back. I was a bit off the record but it was good fun and I liked the course,’ said Harrington. He will compete in the upcoming Cork City Sports along with family friend Phil Healy.
Meanwhile, female winner Hannah Steeds, who has only returned to her native county in the recent past after taking up her role as a chemist at Eli Lilly (Kinsale), also dominated her race from start to finish.
‘I have done a few other races recently, but this is my first 10k in a long time and it was great to win,’ she said.
RESULTS – Male: 1. Fionn Harrington (Bandon A.C.) 32m. 14s; 2. Vivian Foley (Eagle AC) 32m. 49s; 3. Jeremy O’Donovan (St. Finbarr’s AC) 33m. 04s; 4. Andrew Sheehan (Clonakilty Road Runners AC) 33m. 42s; 5. Fergus Nugent (Eagle AC) 33m. 51s; 6. Adam Doyle (CTC) 33m. 57s; 7. Gary Walsh (Bweeng Trailblazers AC) 34m. 07s; 8. Garrett Lordan (Clonakilty Road Runners AC) 34m. 12s; 9. Stephen Crowley (Grange Fermoy AC) 34m. 16s; 10. Andy Goulding (Grange Fermoy) 34m. 33s. Female: Hannah Steeds (Clonmel AC) 36m. 37s; 2. Linda O'Sullivan (Watergrasshill AC) 38m.15s; 3. Aoife Mahony (Eagle AC) 38m. 21s.