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Recalling the 1978 Ballycotton 10

The First Ballycotton 10 1978


3pm, Sunday March 12th 1978


Based on guest piece by John Walshe, Ballycotton Running Promotions


On the eve of the 40th Anniversary race, recalling the very first Ballycotton 10, held on March 12th 1978.


St Finbarrs duo Dan Kennedy Michael Joyce Ballycotton 1978

St finbarr's duo Dan Kennedy and Michael Joyce, lining up for the 1978 Ballycotton 10 - Photo: St Finbarrs AC



Ballycotton 10 Banner


Essential Event Information


Course Map, Route Details etc, on Cork Athletics Event page

Final instructions from Ballycotton Running Promotions

Weather update & General Information


Previous Ballycotton 10 Results

Ballycotton 10 Results 2016

Ballycotton 10 Results 2015

Full Historical Results on Ballycotton website

The First Ballycotton 10

This year's Ballycotton 10 is being held on exactly the same day in March as the very first Ballycotton 10.  Thirty one (31) athletes lined up that day. No requirement for chip timing, finishing chutes, portaloos, barriers etc.  ...and no Garmins.  Nobody was complaining that the course was long or short - anyway wasn't the course measured by John Walshe, pioneer of course measurement in Ireland. 


Ireland's First Road Race Calibration Course Relaid!

(Extracted from Cork Athletics article - Measurement News May 2014)
The first ever calibration course in Ireland was laid down, in Kilmacahill, Ballycotton, on Jan 1st 1978, prior to the First Ballycotton 10.  The course is on the straight, just before the 6M mark in the Ballycotton 10. It was laid down by East Cork's John Walshe, assisted by Dan Donovan.  The course was a half mile long and the device used was a Veeder Rootes counter, supplied by John Jewell. In 1988, John acquired a Jones Counter from New Your Road Runners (NYRR), at a cost of $35 = £23.74, or €30.15 in today's terms - current cost of a Jones Counter is approx. €120 .....and the rest is history!  

Short report on the 1978 Ballycotton 10 (from Ballycotton 10 History)

A dull, grey March Sunday, towards the end of the ‘Seventies. Jack Lynch was Taoiseach, John Treacy and Gerry Deegan were winning NCAA Indoor titles in Detroit and here at home ‘The Rare Auld Times’ by Danny Doyle was No. 1 in the charts.

It was also a ‘rare old time’ as far as road running was concerned. A typical field of 31 male runners lined up on a village street for the untypical distance of ten miles. Just after 50 minutes had elapsed, Richard Crowley had added another trophy to his mantelpiece. Twenty four of the 31 would break the hour, all would proudly go home bearing a time certificate and promising to return in a years’ time, hopefully to a bigger and better event.


The 1978 Field

Sadly four of the thirty one starters that day have passed away: Dick Hodgins, Liam Horgan, Joe O'Flynn, and Jerry Martin.  Eight athletes who ran the first race will be lining up again on Sunday: Batt Kearney, Jack O'Leary, Michael Murphy, Donal Burke, John Walshe, Dan Kennedy, John O'Leary and Willie O'Mahony.  Two others are involved in the race management; Liam O'Brien is heavily involved in the event (and countless other athletics events, ventures and bodies!), while Michael Joyce will be doing the race commentary.


1 Richie Crowley St Finbarrs 00:50:22
2 Liam O'Brien Midleton 00:51:03 Liam is one of the Ballycotton 10 race management team
3 Dick Hodgins Leevale 00:51:28 R.I.P.
4 Noel Shannon Leevale 00:51:41
5 Michael Walsh Leevale 00:52:03
6 Jerry Murphy Leevale 00:52:34
7 John Buckley St Finbarrs 00:52:58
8 Kevin Treacy Loughrea 00:53:28
9 Paul Mulholland Midleton 00:53:52
10 Denis Manning St Finbarrs 00:53:58
11 Jack O'Callagahn Leevale 00:54:17
12 Liam Horgan Leevale 00:54:59 R.I.P.
13 Batt Kearney Leevale 00:55:31 Entered in 40th Ballycotton 10
14 Joe O'Flynn Leevale 00:55:33 R.I.P.
15 Jack O'Leary St Finbarrs 00:55:59 Entered in 40th Ballycotton 10
16 Michael Murphy Leevale 00:56:20 Entered in 40th Ballycotton 10
17 Michael Joyce St Finbarrs 00:56:26 Michael will be doing the race commentary on Sunday
18 John Delaney Leevale 00:57:11
19 Jerry Martin Midleton 00:57:26 R.I.P.
20 Donal Burke St Finbarrs 00:57:37 Entered in 40th Ballycotton 10
21 John Walshe Midleton 00:57:49 Entered in 40th Ballycotton 10
22 Flor O'Leary St Finbarrs 00:57:55
23 Kurt Tretner Darmstadt, West Germany 00:58:52
24 Tony Flanagan Leevale 00:59:58
25 Denis Forde St Finbarrs 01:02:22
26 Dan Kennedy St Finbarrs 01:02:53 Entered in 40th Ballycotton 10
27 Rory Walsh Youghal 01:02:54
28 John O'Leary Leevale 01:02:55 Entered in 40th Ballycotton 10
29 Peter Lee Youghal 01:06:06
30 Willie O'Mahony Youghal 01:07:21 Entered in 40th Ballycotton 10
31 Tom Houlihan Midleton 01:18:26  

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