BY JOHN WALSHE
ALTHOUGH numbers taking part were less than expected, the annual Noreen McCarthy Memorial 10km at Skibbereen saw a local victory in the women's race by Aoife Coughlan and a win for the second week in a row for Michael Harrington.
The torrential early morning downpour probably wasn't an incentive to turn out, but by race time of 1pm the sun was shining and the heat, rather than the rain, looked to be the main obstacle. However, it didn't deter Durrus athlete Harrington who led from early on to score his first victory in the race, having missed it the last couple of years due to Community Games commitments. After a hard-fought victory the week before at the Route2Crook five-miler, Harrington had an easier win on this occasion as his time of 35:38 gave him over two minutes to spare over runner-up, CiarÃ¡n Bouse of the Eagle club.
Two Drimoleague runners, Patrick McCarthy and Jerome O'Brien, took the next two places with Pat O'Connor of Eagle â despite a 20-mile training run the day before â finishing fifth. Aoife Coughlan, a teacher at the local St Patrick's Boys NS, was a popular and delighted winner of the women's race. Having won over the same distance in Bantry back in May, she finished 11th overall, recording a time of 42:32.
Aoife's mother Claire has been a long-time servant of Skibbereen athletics and there was further family involvement as Aoife's brother, Padraig, finished seventh in the race in a time of 40:17. Orla Hayes, better known for her rowing achievements and having her first road race for some time, took second in the women's race in 44:34 with Alice Coppinger from the Bantry club third in 45:27. Juvenile one-mile races for boys and girls got the day's proceedings underway and there was also a walk which was well supported. Afterwards, in the race headquarters at O'Donovan Rossa GAA Pavilion, John McCarthy thanked all of the helpers, sponsors and runners who had supported the event in memory of his late wife Noreen.
Results 1. M Harrington (Durrus, M40) 35:38; 2. C Bouse (Eagle) 37:53; 3. P McCarthy (unatt, M45) 38:09; 4. J O'Brien (unatt) 38:39; 5. P O'Connor (Eagle, M45) 39:16; 6. M Coakley (Skibbereen) 40:05. M40: 2. C McCarthy (Bantry) 44:03; 3. S Hickey (unaatt) 45:56. M45: 3. J Tobin (Durrus) 55:47. M55: 1. PJ Quirke (unatt) 55:16; 2. M Forde (unatt) 58:05. M60: 1. W Hayes (St Finbarrs) 43:52; 2. I Kerr (unatt) 65:54. M65: 1. J Walshe (East Cork) 55:17. Women: 1. A Coughlan (Skibb) 42:32; 2. O Hayes (Leevale) 44:34; 3. A Coppinger (Bantry) 45:27; 4. I Lyons (unatt) 46:19; 5. S McGrane (unatt, F50) 47:50; 6. I Kirwan (Eagle, F45) 50:16. F40: 1. C Nash (Durrus) 55:39. F45: 2. S Trunwit (Bandon) 51:13. F55: 1. M Kingston (Donore) 56:01; 2. P McCarthy (unatt) 58:27.