Summer League #2: Currabinny Wood Tuesday May 17th Results and Report

Post date: May 18, 2016 9:18:55 PM

Currabinny Wood was the destination for the second event in the CorkO Summer League. Unfortunately the fine weather we’ve been recently enjoying was abruptly interrupted for almost the entire start window of our event on Tuesday evening. However, our Summer League supporters are a very resilient bunch and are always eager to enjoy the bright evenings no matter what the weather has in store, so it was fantastic to see over 100 competitors in attendance. Thankfully the forest canopy provided great shelter from the soft rain which persisted throughout most of the event. We were delighted to welcome several locals to the event and it was fabulous to see so many families out enjoying the fabulous trails in Currabinny Wood. Regrettably there was one group of locals that we were not so thrilled to see on Tuesday evening and they were the resident midge population. Competitors had been warned in advance but these pesky little critters thrive in the damp air and with lots of orienteers to nibble on they had quite a banquet on Tuesday evening! Currabinny Wood is renowned for its steep terrain and the planner architected two courses which permitted a graceful ascent of this hillock along some very scenic trails. The courses also encompassed control sites at some of legendary features in the wood such as the octagonal tea-house and the giant’s grave. The Long course began with a steep descent from the car park down to the first control from here the only way was up. The zigzag legs which followed took competitors to the hill top and right inside the tea house. The misty rain obscured the usually views across the harbour to Cobh on this route but the colourful rhododendron, vibrant bluebells and the aroma of wild garlic were a welcome distraction on this physical ascent. The damp conditions meant that many of the trails were slippery underfoot so the fast descent to control six required some careful footwork over greasy roots and mud. The leg from 8 to 9 suited all the hill runners in the field and was a long uphill slog. The hills afforded competitors an opportunity to do some forward planning for the remaining legs. It seems that control 13 proved the most problematic on the night with many cutting in too early they wasted valuable time over fellow rivals. From here there was another steep drop to control 14 before contestants got to enjoy a relatively flat sprint finish over the final legs. Despite the physically demanding courses the competition was fast and furious and already the 2016 Summer League is shaping up to be a very competitive one.

On the 4.1km Long course a mere 7 seconds differentiated the top two finishers on Tuesday evening and although his victory margin was a good deal narrower than last week Josh O'Sullivan-Hourihan hung in there to claim the event win at Currabinny. A small or perhaps major mistake given his pace at control 13 could have proved costly but his speed on the home stretch gave him the edge and he completed the course in a time of 22 minutes and 33 seconds. That makes it back to back event wins for Josh in the 2016 Summer League. Runner-up on the night was Andrew Turner and similar to Josh he demonstrated tremendous speed over the steep terrain to finish in a time of 22:40. There was a very close battle for the final podium spot in Currabinny and Zac O’Sullivan-Hourihan managed to hold off the challenge from Agris Kramins to secure third place when he finished in a time of 25:25.

Similar to the men there was quite a contest for the title of fastest Lady around the wood on Tuesday night. Two East Cork ladies raced hard around the hilly terrain and just 15 seconds separated them at the finish. Claire O'Brien emerged as the fastest lady when she punched all 15 controls in a time of 31:37. Eibhlin Cleary was hot on her heels and was runner up on the night finishing in a time of 31:52. Akin to the men the race for third place was highly competitive and Sinead O'Donoghue took the honour having completed the course in a time of 33:05 just 7 seconds ahead of Trishia O'Mahony.

The orienteering action on the 1.9km Short Course and was equally as competitive as the Long and it was Liam Twomey who took the event win when he punched all 8 controls in a time of 15:28. Exactly one minute behind Liam was Isaac Bosonnet who finished runner up for the second consecutive event. This week he widened his winning margin over his sisters but had only a 6 second advantage over third place finisher Matthew Kearney. Matthew completed the course in a time of 16:34.

Well done to all who competed on the day. Full individual results with crucial split times can be viewed at the following link.

Huge thanks this week to David Bosonnet for planning two great courses and to Darren Burke for controlling the event. Thanks also to Rob McEvoy for helping with registration and Dave O’Donovan who endured the damp conditions again this week while manning the starts.

Next week the Summer League will move on to the beautiful and majestic surrounds of Doneraile Park in North Cork. This park with its resident deer herds has an extensive network of paths, fine meadows and some unique water features. No doubt our north Cork crew will have some interesting and challenging courses in store for us next week. Further directions and park info can be found here.Hope you can join us on our northern adventure.