BY JOHN WALSHE
OLYMPIC gold medallist Paul O’Donovan is certainly getting a fondness for the sport of cross-country as after making his debut the week before in the Cork Novice race he turned out again last Sunday week in the main event of the season, the county senior.
Last week’s race was over 6km but this time the undulating course at Carrigadrohid near Macroom consisted of six large and one small lap to make up the 10km distance. Again representing the Leevale club, O’Donovan finished in 27th position of the 44 finishers in a time of 39:20.
The Skibbereen man – best known for his world-class exploits on the water – was also tenth of Leevale’s 15 runners as the all-conquering city club again took the team honours well ahead of East Cork AC.
When asked if he could be converted to switching sports, O’Donovan quipped ‘I’d consider’, before admitting ‘it’s doesn’t get any easier, this is my second one in a week.’
Up front, a tremendous run by East Cork’s Tim O’Donoghue saw him win the title for the third time in a row. Pre-race favourite was Ryan Creech of Leevale, who recently finished sixth and first Irishman in the world-class Antrim Coast Half-Marathon. He tried to stay with O’Donoghue for the first half of the race but had to give way as the East Cork athlete powered away for a 50-second victory. Third went to Liam Harris of Togher, winner of the novice race the previous Sunday. Bandon’s Naoise O’Flaitheartaigh had a good run to finish in ninth place in his first county senior race.
Lizzie Lee of Leevale was the easy winner of the women’s race, leading home her club-mates Niamh Moore and Victoire Cravatte for a facile team victory.