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Ballycotton Summer Series 1987 - Final Overall Positions

Ballycotton 5 Mile Summer Series 1987


ballycotton summer series banner


These events were run under Athletics Ireland permits/licences

Organised and hosted by Ballycotton Running Promotions


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Results of Athletics Ireland Registered Events - April 2014 - May 2016 (on Old Cork Athletics website)


Results of Athletics Ireland Registered Events - May 2016 to date


Race Calendar / Fixtures List - Athletics Ireland Registered Events


The NIKE / CMP Ballycotton Summer Series Series 1987

The 1987 Ballycotton 5 Mile Summer Series saw the introduction of the famous and coveted Ballycotton 5 Top-50 'Brag Shirts'. The series was sponsored by NIKE and CMP Dairies. At the time, NIKE were a major sponsor of races and events.

The NIKE was growing at the time, with quite a bit of competition. Sadly, for race organisers, NIKE have grown so big that the company no longer sees the need to advertise by way of race/event sponsorship, except, perhaps, at the very highest level. The other sponsor, CMP Dairies, may not be familiar, as a race sponsor, to most people these days, but it was in a very competitive marketing duel with Dawn Dairies, based in White's Cross. Dawn were big sponsors of Basketball in Cork. Another distinctive aspect of the CMP sponsorship was the highly visible CMP milk floats, providing milk and yoghurt, after the finish line, at each of the series events.

CMP's connection with the race was through it's Managing Director, Derry O'Driscoll, a member of St. Finbarr's AC, Derry was a leading Masters (or Vets - Veterans, as the category was refererred to then) athlete at the time, regularly churning out 2:30 marathons, like a metronome, at a steady 5:45 miling. Derry features in 25th position, in the 1987 Ballyandreen 5, running 27:01, in the M45 category.

While the provision of commemorative t-shirts for race finishers was not unheard of at the time, the "Top 50" t-shirt, for the Ballycotton Summer Series was innovative, and, no doubt, helped raise both interest and participant standards.

While the Top 50 shirts are renowned, however, in 1987, there were three groups: Top 40 Men, Top 10 Vets (Masters to you and me, these days!), and Top 15 Women. A few years later, the Top 40 Men and Top 15 Vets categories were amalgamated to become the Top 50, as remained, until the final series in 2017.

ballycotton series top 50 shirt 1987 front

ballycotton series top 50 shirt 1987 back
1987 Top 40 Mens T-Shirt (Front) 1987 Top 40 Mens T-Shirt (Back)


The 1987 Ballycotton 5 Mile Summer Series - A Personal Perspective

Before the 1987 Series, I had only run in one of the Series races, since taking up competitive running, in 1984. That was Churchtown South, in 1986.

The Ballycotton Summer Series had always carried a 'Prestige' reputation, given the high standards at the front of the races. However the t-shirt at stage added increased interest, and gave club runners, like myself, something extra to aim at.


Thirty three years later, I have few memories from that year's series, except for the first tace and the jockeying for position in the overall standings, particularly in the third race, and especially so in the final race.



Three runners, Liam O'Brien, Brian Meade and Tony O'Leary, broke the 25 minute barrier.  As usual, Liam won - at that stage, NOBODY else had ever won the Ballyandreen 5. Afaicr, Liam won Ballyandreen 15 consecutive times.

I learnt a valuable lesson in that race. I was targeting a sub-30 minutes finish, and all was going smoothly, until 400m to go. Going down the short, sharp, drop, by Hartnett's house, my car keys 'went flying' from my pocket [Lesson: DON'T run with keys in your pocket! Doh!!]. Rather than risk being unable to find them after the race - it's a long walk back to Cork! - I stopped and scoured the undergrowth until I found them. The incident cost me approx. valuable 50 seconds. I've never run with keys in my pocket since that day.  I ended with a time of 30:49, in 81st place. After stripping out the first 10 Vets and the two Women who finished ahead of me, I was in 69th place after race 1 - 29 places off the t-shirts.



Tony O'Leary, Leevale AC, won in 24:44, with East Cork's Brian Meade second in 24:59. Mary Sweeney, in the Youghal AC colours, won the women's race, in 29:22. In my own case, the 30 minute barrier was broken, by the tinyiest margin - 29:59, for 57th place.


Churchtown South

Churchtown South saw 5 athletes go sub-25 minutes: Liam O'Brien, Brian Meade, Ricky Burke, Pat Heffernan and Seamus Hartnett, while Eileen Prunty won the women's event, on 28:22, and was the onlu woman to break 30. I dropped to 70th place 30:08 in Churchtown South.


Dungarvan AC's Tony Ryan took the honours, winning in 24:21. He was followed by 5 others, who also went sub-25; Pat Beausang (St Finbarr's AC), Leonard O'Regan (Leevale AC), Ricky Burke (St Finbarr's AC), Eamonn McEvoy (St Finbarr's AC) and C O'Connor (Bandon AC). Mary Sweeney (Youghal AC) again took the women's honours, in 29:47. I had my best run of the series, 29:24, but dropped back to 77th place - I was down to 'squeaky bum time', to quote former a Man U manager, waiting to see if I might squeeze into the Top 40 men, and merit one of the coveted t-shirts.

You'll probably recall the animated 'buzz' that always enveloped the school hall in Ballycotton, after the final series race.  The chat with friends, colleaguesand rivals, while waiting for the results to be posted on the wall. "How did you get on?" "Well done", and the like, with tales of joy and woe exchanged....and "Did you make it...?", referring to the t-shirt stakes.  The "GC", referring to the Tour de France standings, were a source of much discussion throughout the summer months, and, indeed, right into September, after the dust had settled on the Summer Series.

Then the results would be posted on the wall, beside the 'tea hatch', with everyone on top of each other, (no social distance issues then!) milling around, trying to see their official time, where they finished, who was ahead and/or behind, how others had done. For those chasing GC positions, there were 'seat of the pants' calculations on position: Who was on the list after three races, but hadn't run tonight?, along with working out position changes for peers and competitors.

After all the prizes were presented - and there were many, with prizes for the Ballycotton 5 itself, and the Overall Series prizes.  Then came the t-shirts, with each recipient being called up, to much acclaim, in order of the listing after the third race - this was done simply to make life easier for the organisers - however the last few were called in order of overall series finish time...the questions in my mind were... Had I miscalculated the times? Did I miss someone ahead of me? 

I don't remember whether it was John Walshe or Tommy Hartnett who was calling the names, but the 40th, and final, men's name was called ... "John Quigley, 2:00:30"  I still have, and covet, all my Ballycotton Summer Series t-shirts, a reminder of past 'glory' (it was, for me...LOL) and of the wonderful memories.


Thanks to all the Ballycotton 10 Mile and Series organisers, and associates, for everything you did over the 40 years!  You made an positive and important contribution to athletics in Cork, and Ireland, and, perhaps, more importantly, brought joy and happiness to many, many people. Take a bow.

...and can we have an encore...??? March would be nice!

...And....on the drive home afterwards, John O'Leary would remark.... "It won't be long until we're back here again...sure it's only six months 'till March!"

Happy Days!!

Where are they now?

Series winner, Pat Beausang, St. Finbarr's AC, emigrated to Scotland where he practiced medicine. He became a noted Triathlete there. Sadly, he was diagnosed with leukaemia, and after a short illness, passed away in August 2009.

Denis McCarthy, in 3rd place, is still a regular at most races in Cork

Seamus Hartnett, East Cork AC, 4th, was involved in the Ballycotton events, until they finished.

Gerry Cantwell, Dungarvan AC, 6th, is still heavily involved with West Waterford AC (formed from a number of local clubs, including Dungarvan AC), and is an Athletics Ireland National Grade measurer.

Tommy Hartnett, East Cork AC, 10th, still races from time to time, and is heavily involved in the Cloyne 5k, and the Cloyne Commons 4k series.

Tommy Ryan, Eagle AC, 19th, died tragically several years later, and is remembered in the Eagle AC Tommy Ryan Memorial Carrigaline 5, each february.

John Walshe, East Cork AC, 21st. What can one say about this modest man who has contributed in so many way to athletics, and society in general.  His contribution has been absolutely immense.

Donie Shine, Fermoy & District Harriers, 23rd, is one of the driving forces behind Duhallow AC, and its associated races, including the Duhallow 10 and the Newmarket 5k Classic.

Tom (Brian), O'Flynn, Leevale AC, 26th is another no longer with us. Brian died in the past few years, following a long battle with Cancer

Joe Murphy, Eagle AC, 27th, is another regularly seen at races. Along with his wife Anne, is a prolific photographer at road races.

The evergreen John O'Leary, Leevale AC, 33rd, now in his 80's, still competes, with many half, even quarter, his age trailing in his wake.

Another evergreen Leevale man is Batt Kearney, 34th, who seems to go in every race going!

Jim McMurtry, East Cork AC, in 35th place, is another still regularly seen at races.

36th was Willie Cronin, East Cork AC. Willie had emigrated to USA many years ago, and was 9 times winner of the 'Bay to Breakers' race in San Francisco. Willie passed away several years ago.

Eric Meade, East Cork AC, 38th, is another man still competing at a relatively high level.

Mary Sweeney, Youghal AC, 39th, is still a noted and respected runner, regularly featuring in the prizes.

John Quigley, Leevale AC, 41st, is author of this piece, still competes, and is Webmaster with Cork Athletics County Board. He is also a World Athletics (formerly IAAF) / AIMS International Grade A Measurer.

Dick O'Brien, St. Nicholas AC, 43rd, is still onvolved with his club. He is also the composer of the Ballycotton 10 song.

Liam Doherty, Eagle AC, 45th, now coaches with St. Finbarr's AC

Willie O'Mahony, Youghal AC, 58th, has been an officer with East Cork Athletics Division, for many years

Brid Murphy, Leevale AC, 64th, went on to win the Athletics Ireland National Marathon Championship three times: 1992, 1993 and 1996

Tom Houlihan, Midleton AC, 72nd, is still involved with the club

Dick Barry, Cobh, 87th, is another who succumbed to Cancer, several years ago, as did Mary Cooney, Midleton AC, 94th.

Kathleen O'Brien, Ballynoe, 96th, now runs with St. Catherine's AC and has represented Ireland, at Masters leve, many times

With respects to those whom, undoubtably, I've overlooked, and remembering the many runners from 1987 who are no longer with us.


1987 Race Series Results

Ballyandreen 5 - Thursday May 27th 1987


Shanagarry 5 - Thursday June 25th 1987


Churchtown South 5 - Thursday July 23rd 1987


Ballycotton 5 - Thursday August 27th 1987


Ballycotton Summer Series 1987 - Overall Final Positions

PosForenameSurnameCatClubOverall TimeNotes
1 Pat Beausang M St.Finbarrs AC 1:40:21  
2 Ricky Burke M St.Finbarrs AC 1:41:03  
3 Denis McCarthy M East Cork AC 1:41:28  
4 Seamus Hartnett M East Cork AC 1:41:33  
5 Der O'Riordan M Leevale AC 1:42:06  
6 Gerry Cantwell M Dungarvan AC 1:45:29  
7 John O'Callaghan M Leevale AC 1:45:39 1st Jun
8 Pat Ryan M St.Finbarrs AC 1:46:12  
9 Michael Griffin M St Nicholas AC 1:46:27  
10 Tom Hartnett M East Cork AC 1:46:31  
11 Fred Walsh M Youghal AC 1:47:46 1st Vet
12 George Walsh M Youghal AC 1:48:10 2nd Vet
13 Frank Cashman M East Cork AC 1:49:09  
14 Brendan Foley M East Cork AC 1:49:38  
15 Thomas Murphy M St.Finbarrs AC 1:49:46  
16 Barry Moran M East Cork AC 1:50:12  
17 Jack O'Callaghan M Leevale AC 1:50:25 3rd Vet
18 Sonny Whelan M Youghal AC 1:50:29  
19 Tom Ryan M Eagle TC 1:50:31  
20 Jack O'Leary M St.Finbarrs AC 1:50:44 4th Vet
21 John Walshe M East Cork AC 1:51:00  
22 Jerry Murphy M Leevale AC 1:51:20  
23 Donie Shine M Fermoy & District Hrs. 1:51:25  
24 Patrick O'Connor M East Cork AC 1:51:48 2nd Jun
25 John Mason M Dungarvan AC 1:51:55  
26 Tom O'Flynn M Leevale AC 1:52:13  
27 Joe Murphy M Eagle TC 1:52:22  
28 Eddie Mullane M Belgooly AC 1:52:23 5th Vet
29 George Spicer M Cork 1:53:38 6th Vet
30 Jim Curtin M East Cork AC 1:53:39 7th Vet
31 Tom Fitzgerald M Youghal AC 1:53:40  
32 Tom Walsh M Premier AC 1:54:23  
33 John O'Leary M Leevale AC 1:54:29 8th Vet
34 Batt Kearney M Leevale AC 1:54:40  
35 Jim McMurtry M Midleton AC 1:55:31 9th Vet
36 Willie Cronin M East Cork AC 1:55:37 10th Vet
37 Joe Copithorne M Belgooly AC 1:56:08  
38 Eric Meade M East Cork AC 1:57:19  
39 Mary Sweeney M Youghal AC 1:58:25 1st Lady
40 Pat O'Sullivan M St.Finbarrs AC 1:59:56  
41 John Quigley M Leevale AC 2:00:30  
42 Liam Cooper M Youghal AC 2:01:16  
43 Dick O'Brien M St.Nicholas AC 2:01:43 11th Vet
44 Nicholas Casey M Tramore AC 2:02:06  
45 Liam Doherty M Eagle TC 2:02:10  
46 Ted Twomey M Eagle TC 2:02:13 12th Vet
47 John Heaphy M Youghal 2:02:19  
48 John Murphy M St.Finbarrs AC 2:02:35  
49 Jerry Linehan M Togher AC 2:02:35  
50 Edwin O'Riordan M Cork Health Club 2:03:32  
51 Patrick Delaney M Dungarvan AC 2:03:35  
52 Tim Sheehan M Fermoy & District Hrs. 2:03:53  
53 Paul Keating M Dungarvan AC 2:04:25  
54 Maurice Kidney M Cobh 2:04:31  
55 James Tate M19 Churchtown South AC 2:06:02 3rd Jun
56 Robert Mulcahy M40 Waterford 2:06:00 13th Vet
57 Kevin Cooney M Midleton 2:06:43  
58 Willie O'Mahony M40 Youghal AC 2:07:35 14th Vet
59 Rose Crockett F St.Finbarrs AC 2:07:50 2nd Lady
60 Kathleen Connors F35 Dungarvan AC 2:08:13 3rd Lady
61 Charlie O'Neill M Youghal AC 2:08:44  
62 Paddy O'Callaghan M50 St.Finbarrs A.C 2:08:54 15th Vet
63 Eddie Lehane N19 Fermoy & District H 2:09:17 4th Jun
64 Brid Murphy F Leevale AC 2:09:24 4th Lady
65 Donie O'Connell M Midleton AC 2:11:21  
66 William Moriarty M St.Nicholas AC 2:13:31  
67 Dermot Bates M47 Naval Service 2:13:42 16th Vet
68 Pat Duggan M40 Midleton AC 2:14:41 17th Vet
69 Billy Griffin M45 Midleton AC 2:15:29 18th Vet
70 Helen Casey F East Cork AC 2:17:14 5th Lady
71 Barty Murphy M Youghal AC 2:17:15  
72 Tom Houlihan M40 Midleton AC 2:17:46 19th Vet
73 Barry Ahern M19 Ballinacurra 2:18:18 5th Jun
74 Mary Sheehan M Fermoy & District H 2:18:22 6th Lady
75 Neil Rush M19 Midleton AC 2:19:03 6th Jun
76 Fintan Lawlor M Youghal 2:19:08  
77 Ian O'Leary M19 St.Finbarrs AC 2:19:50 7th, Jun
78 Michael O'Connell M Youghal 2:19:58  
79 Sean Cooney M Midleton 2:20:27  
80 Jim Stevenson M Cobh 2:21:II  
81 Jerry Martin M St.Nicholas AC 2:21:28  
82 John Forde M55 Leewale AC 2:23:05 20th Vet
83 Teresa O'Neill F25 East Cork AC 2:24:05 7th Lady
84 Don Hennessy M Youghal AC 2:24:27  
85 Kenneth Ryan NM19 Ballyandreen 2:26:07 8th Jun
86 Mick Lehane M Cork 2:26:49  
87 Dick Barry M Cobh 2:29:45  
88 Michael Murray M Macroom 2:32:36  
89 Michael Lehane M Carrigtwohill 2:32:44  
90 Eddie McSweeney M Cork 2:34:09  
91 John Brosnan M Youghal 2:35:16  
92 Fintan Harte M40 Cobh 2:36:43 21st Vet
93 Pat Goold M40 East Cork AC 2:43:38 22nd Vet
94 Mary Cooney F Midleton AC 2:43:49 8th Lady
95 Michael Crotty M40 Youghal AC 2:46:46 23rd Vet
96 Kathleen O'Brien F Ballynoe 2:48:02 9th Lady
97 Pat O'Brien M40 Ballynoe 2:48:02 24th Vet
98 Sheila O'Callaghan F Leevale AC 2:56:14 10th Lady
99 Elaine Moran F East Cork AC 2:59:53 11th Lady


Images - Official Final Overall Standings

ballycotton 5 series 1987 final positions page 1

Overall Final Positions 1987 - Page 1


ballycotton 5 series 1987 final positions page 2Overall Final Positions 1987 - Page 2

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