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BLE National Marathon Mallow 1996 - Report and Results

Report & Results - BLE National Marathon Championships


Sunday April 21st 1996


ble national marathon clonmel 1993 irish runner vol 13 no 4 p36dBrid murphy, Leevale AC and Seamus O'Donnell, Galway City Harriers, National Marathon Champions 1996

With the proximity of the Boston and London events, entries were, as expected, on the small side for the BLE National Marathon at Mallow. The weather was also in complete contrast to London on the same day (where heatwave conditions prevailed), with an incessant and cold rain throughout.

On the six mile loop around the town, the field was led by Colin Deasy from Coventry Godiva (his father comes from Cork), and Ted O’Flynn of Leevale. Heading out the Cork Road, O’Flynn pushed on and at the 10 mile mark (54:57) was well clear of Deasy (55:42) with John Kearney from East Cork coming into the picture (56:20).

The half-way mark saw O’Flynn through in 72:40 with Kearney over a minute back, and Seamus O’Donnell from Galway City Harriers (winner in ‘93, and silver- medallist last year) now ominously in third, as Deasy dropped back. Kearney slowly closed on O’Flynn, and took the lead just past the 20 mile mark. He continued to lead up to 25 miles and seemed destined for victory. But as so often is the case in the marathon, the drama unfolded in the last 1000m as O’Donnell, using his vast experience at the distance, came storming through to take his second national title in 2:25:41. Kearney, in his debut at the distance , finished second in 2:26:28, and O’Flynn improved by over 2 minutes to finish in the bronze position (2:27:03).

Brendan McNulty in fourth led his Foyle Valley club to the team title (they also won the Vets team), while Billy Gallagher, a prolific marathon winner in the past, took the veterans title in sixth place.

Brid Murphy of Leevale, was a convincing winner of the women’s race, her time of 2:52:52 giving her a margin of almost 20 minutes over Mary-Beth Dillon from the USA. A native of Mallow, Brid Murphy decided not to travel to Boston, and her decision proved to be correct as she took her third national crown, a remarkable achievement at 43 years of age. Third overall was another vet, Eileen Kenny from St. Finbarrs.

The promoting club, Mallow AC, came in for a lot of compliments for their excellent organisation of the event, with stewarding, refreshments and so on of the highest order. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of BLE who disappointed many by not having the veteran medals available for presentation, and, just as important, failing to provide the finishers’ T-shirts on the day. After completing 26 miles in difficult conditions, the runners deserved better.

ble national marathon 1996 results irish runner vol 16 no 3 p 53 54 1 ble national marathon 1996 results irish runner vol 16 no 3 p 53 54a

Marathon Report - Irish Runner June/July 1996, Vol 16, No 3, P53 & 54 

Download Marathon Report - Irish Runner June/July 1996, Vol 16, No 3, P53 & 54 - PDF File


 Irish Times Report Monday April 22nd 1996

national marathon report irish times 960422

national marathon report irish times 960422b
Irish Times Marathon Report


O’Donnell takes second title

By Kathryn Davis
 Seamus O’Donnell, marathons and drama all go together. The Galway City Harrier took his second national title at the distance on the roads around Mallow yesterday after an action-packed race.

When he won his first title, in Clonmel, three years ago, O’Donnell came with a late surge. Also on that occasion when he entered Tipperary town he was misdirected and to get back on course he had to duck under a rope. In doing so, lost his balance and fell but recovered to take the title.

Events were not quite as dramatic yesterday with all the action on the roads, but the result of the race was in doubt all the way to the line.

In testing conditions with a steady downpour adding to the difficulties, Leevale’s Ted O’Flynn bid adieu to his pursuers at the six-mile mark and headed for glory passing the 10 miles alone in 54 minutes and 47 seconds.

By the half-way point O’Flynn saw 72 minutes and 40 seconds on the clock with John Kearney making his debut at the distance over a minute behind with O'Donnell passing in 74 minutes and 2 seconds.

Kearney showing little respect for the distance began to close on O’Flynn and by the 23-mile stage the east Cork man moved into the lead and looked to be heading for his first national title.

 But the longer the better for long- striding, Galway-based lecturer O’Donnell who always gets new life once the 20-mile mark is passed over the classic distance. Yesterday was no different. Gradually the distance between the leader and O’Donnell shortened.

First O’Flynn was overcome and then into the final mile Kearney was drawing near until O’Donnell passed him with 1,000 metres to race. Indeed an indication of how much of a surge the winner put in over the final miles is indicated in the fact that he covered the final mile in five minutes and 20 seconds and the second-half of the race in 71 minutes.

O’Donnell crossed the line in 2 hours 25 minutes and 41 seconds with Kearney second 47 seconds behind and O’Flynn hanging on for third in 2 hours 27 minutes and 3 seconds.

Brid Murphy was a comprehensive winner of the women’s race as she took the title in 2 hours 52 minutes and 52 seconds, well ahead of Mary Beth Dillon from the US who took time out from her honeymoon in Ireland to run the distance in a race which attracted 100 athletes.

MEN: 1. S O'Donnell (GCH) 2 hrs 25 mins 41 secs: 2. J Kearney (East Cork) 2:25:28; 3. T O'Flynn (Leevale) 2:27:03, 4. B McNulty (Foyle) 2:34:42: 5. M Hannon (Siigo) 2:35:42; 6. B Gallagher (unattached) 2:35:48. Veterans: B Gallagher

Team — 1. Foyle Valley 27; 2. Sligo 39; 3. Leevate 44.

WOMEN - .1, B Murphy (Leevale) 2:52:52; 2 Mary B Dillon (USA) 3:12:01; 3. E Kenny

Team - St Finbarr's.

Webmaster's Personal Perspective

leevale squad national marathon mallow 1996

Three of the Leevale AC squad - Pat Dempsey M45 Champion, Brid Murphy, National Marathon Champion, and John Quigley, Team Bronze.  Bronze Medalist Ted O'Flynn is missing from the photo.

I hadn't targeted this marathon properly, and probably wouldn't have run except that we had a men's senior team. We'd also hoped to field a masters team, but couldn't muster up a third vet man.  Training consisted of several 12 to 14 mile long runs and a single 18 miler. No mention had been made at home about the upcoming Marathon, until the Tuesday or Wednesday beforehand, when, casually over the family evening meal, I casually dropped - as you do <grin> - "I've a race in Mallow at the weekend". "What is it?" came the response. "Erra..... I'm treating it as a long run".  <silence>   Then, again, "How far is it?".  I 'fessed up "It's the National Marathon"  ....cue a deserved earful...but that's another story...LOL!

The course consisted of a lap around Mallow, and then out along the Mallow 10 course, but instead of heading back into Mallow, the course went right, and up onto the Cork Road, joining the Cork road after approx. 10 miles. From there, it was on towards Cork, until the top of the hill on the Cork side of Rathduff, where we went around a barrell in the middle of the road. After that it was straight back to the roundabout just outside Mallow, followed by a right turn and on into Mallow town, finishing outside the Hibernian Hotel.

In the absence of many - a large Irish contingent were running in the 100th Boston Marathon, held on the following day, April 22nd, each of the four of us from Leevale; Brid Murphy, Ted O'Flynn, Pat Dempsey and John Quigley, had our own medal hopes: Ted and Brid targeted the National Senior titles, while Pat and John were aiming at the respective M45 and M40 titles, with the three lads also focusing on the Senior team title.

As it turned out, Pat and Brid achieved their aims, Ted had to settle for individual Bronze and John missed the M40 Bronze by 36 seconds, and the lads made team Bronze by a single point.

The Marathon started in heavy drizzle, which steadily worsened for most of the race, before easing off in the final few miles. The miserable weather conditions led to quite a few drop-outs. 

Ted O'Flynn came with the intention of winning the title. His plans became somewhat upset when Colin Deasy, Coventry Godiva, went out hard, bringing Ted with him. Ted pushed on, but paid the penalty in the final few miles, when he was passed by John Kearney, and then Seamus O'Donnell. Pat ran steadily, and duly won M45 Gold.

Brid and I were matched pretty well, but she excelled at the Marathon distance. We had planned to run together but hadn't planned on a 'go-it-alone' point.  For the first 10 miles, we headed a largish group, including Mary Beth Dillon, the eventual women's runner-up. Shortly after hitting the Cork Road, around 10 miles, we upped the pace a little, dropping Dillon shortly after that, with the rest of the group steadily falling back.

We ran together, stride for stride, until the turnaround point, just outside Rathduff. While visibility was pretty poor on the day, we were able to count the runners heading home on the opposite side of the road - I hit the barrell at 32nd. The plan then was to pick off as many as possible.

After the turnaround, heading back towards Mallow, with the wind and rain on our backs, I sensed the pace dropping, and told Brid that I was going to push on. ....Bad move... Brid is gutsy woman, and it was probably a 'wake up call' when I moved ahead. I don't know how far ahead I got, but around 20 miles, she passed me, and very quickly opened up a gap, and disappeared off into the mist, finishing one place and 1:13 ahead of me.

Meantime, I ploughed ahead, steadily picking people off, making up eight places in all - so 32 - 8 =24, but I ended up 26th ???  Afterwards I asked to see the check sheets at the turnaround point - the response "We didn't note any numbers!" Doh!!  To this day, I'm convinced that some people crossed the road early. 

The last person that I passed was crossing the bridge over the Blackwater, where I made up my final place, putting on a huge spurt to 'kill off' any thoughts he had of hanging on to me. There was nobody in sight ahead, however, after turning at the roundabout, and heading downhill, I spotted another walking, just after the 26 mile mark, so I put in another effort. I was closing rapidly, however the guy glanced back and, with a new lease of life, took off for home. He won the battle, with 36 secs to spare, and, in doing so, took away my hopes of an M40 medal.

Unfortunately BLE forgot to bring the Vets medals that day, and didn't announce the Vets results either. They promised to post on the medals during the week - they didn't. Pat Dempsey finally received his M45 National Gold medal nearly 9 months later, on January 6th 1997. An awful reflection on BLE.


Results of BLE National Marathon, Mallow, April 1996

1 Seamus O'Donnell M GCH 02:25:41
2 John Kearney M East Cork 02:26:28
3 Ted O'Flynn M Leevale 02:27:03
4 Brendan McNulty M Foyle Valley 02:34:42
5 Michael Flannon M Sligo 02:35:42
6 Billy Gallagher M40 Unatt 02:35:48
7 Patrick McMahon M Palmerstown 02:37:58
8 Michael Mulligan M Monaghan Phoenix 02:39:50
9 Michael Delahunty M St. Catherine's 02:39:56
10 Derek O'Carroll M Blackrock 02:40:17
11 Ciaran McDowell M Foyle Valley 02:40:27
12 Sam McAneaney M Foyle Valley 02:40:43
13 Kevin Kelly M Foyle Valley 02:42:23
14 Kieran O'Dwyer M40 St. Catherine's 02:45:09
15 Pat Dempsey M45 Leevale 02:46:12
16 Damien McSharry M Sligo 02:47:50
17 Garry Clarke M45 TOC 02:47:59
18 Tom Meehan M Sligo 02:48:07
19 Vincent Flannery M45 Sligo 02:48:31
20 Kevin McGuillan M Monaghan Phoenix 02:48:42
21 Derek Quinn M TOC 02:49:52
22 Jim St. John M St. Catherine's 02:50:07
23 Gabriel Bell M45 Foyle Valley 02:51:17
24 Brid Murphy F Leevale 02:52:52
25 Tony Duff M40 TOC 02:53:29
26 John Quigley M40 Leevale 02:54:05
27 Ray Flynn M40 Sligo 02:54:50
28 Colin Deasy M Coventry Godiva 02:57:10
29 Joe Murphy M40 Eagle 02:57:56
30 Liam O'Riain M TOC 02:59:50
31 Martin Farrell M40 St. Catherine's 03:02:01
32 Tom Mackey M Kilmurry-lbrickane 03:02:25
33 William McTiernan M40 Kilkenny 03:03:33
34 Aidan Brickley M Limerick 03:04:03
35 Andrew Neenan M45 Mallow 03:04:38
36 Harry McNulty M45 Foyle Valley 03:05:35
37 Donal Dunne M45 Foyle Valley 03:07:27
38 Gary Morale M TOC 03:08:04
39 Tony Hanley M45 Roscommon 03:10:35
40 Paul Strain M Foyle Valley 03:10:55
41 Philip Farrissey M45 North Cork 03:11:38
42 Mary-Beth Dillon F40 USA 03:12:01
43 Don McDonald M50   03:12:14
44 John Milne M Portmarnock 03:13:37
45 Eddie Coyle M50 TOC 03:15:02
46 James Murtagh M40 Clondalkin 03:15:37
47 Edward Harrison M40 Portmarnock 03:17:45
48 John Leahy M Ballymore-Cobh 03:19:21
49 Eddie Walsh M KCH 03:19:45
50 Barry Lenihan M Mallow 03:20:04
51 David Brady M45 Rathcoole 03:21:10
52 Noel Mclnerney M50 Portmarnock 03:21:35
53 Eileen Kenny F45 St. Finbarrs 03:23:08
54 Joe Malone M Castlecomer 03:26:09
55 Michael Carroll M Redgate 03:26:31
56 Stephen Roe M Portmarnock 03:27:16
57 Tim Finnegan M Mallow 03:28:00
58 Joe Hourigan M60 Midleton 03:30:37
59 Mary Joyce F Mullingar 03:31:21
60 Eileen Buckley F St. Finbarrs 03:33:08
61 Michael Sheehan M Emerald 03:35:52
62 James Pearce M Redgate 03:38:22
63 Tom Fitzpatrick M TOC 03:39:31
64 Pat Doran M50 Emerald 03:39:43
65 Chris Rush M St. Catherine's 03:50:37
66 Non Entrant        
67 Martin Hawe M   03:55:18
68 Victoria Wade F KCH 03:55:20
69 Eugene Kavanagh M55   03:58:12
70 Martin Tyrrell M   04:14:50
71 Bernice Glavin F35 St. Finbarrs 04:31:27
72 Denis Browne M70 St. Michael's 04:34:44



Pos Club Scorers Pts
1 Foyle Valley 4, 11, 12 27
2 Sligo 5, 16, 18 39
3 Leevale 3, 15, 26 44
4 St. Catherines 9, 14, 22 45
5 Tallaght-Oisin-Cuchulainn 21, 25, 30 73
Pos Club Scorers Pts
1 Foyle Valley 23, 36, 37 96
2 Tallaght-Oisin-Cuchulainn 17, 25, 45 87
3 St. Catherines 14, 31, 65 110
Pos Club Scorers Pts
1 St. Finbarrs 3 (53), 5 (60), 7 (71) 15


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