CARRAUNTOOHIL - Race History
- The race (see race map) was originally run in 1987. Held in wet misty
conditions, the small field stayed together by agreement through the thick mist until the
summit cross turn point. At this stage, the run became a race, and
Douglas Barry (Bray Head Ridge Runners) broke away from visiting English runner Mike
Knight to win in the time of 118 minutes 23 seconds. Knight finished 13 minutes 35 seconds
behind in 2nd spot, ahead of Dubliner Noel Coldrick. No women ran.
- In 1988 good weather prevailed on race day. Kerry runner John Lenihan
turned out for the first time, and set a blistering time that has not yet
been beaten. Lenihan was challenged early on by Irish international Pat
Farrelly, but cleared off into the distance with a tremendous climb up
Caher. Lenihan's winning time of 71 minutes 43 seconds (the race record)
was 10 minutes 19 seconds ahead of Farrelly, and Wicklow's Jimmy Synnott. No women ran.
- In 1989 John Lenihan turned out in a strong field which included women for the first time.
He won for the second time, but was 57 seconds off his record. In 2nd place, Northern Ireland
international Brian Ervine was 6 minutes 13 seconds behind.
The amazing veteran runner Jim Patterson (Northern Ireland) finished just 3 minutes behind in
3rd. The first women's race saw a tremendous battle between Dublin's Margaret Sweeney and Mayo's
Majella Diskin. Sweeney finished 1st in 118 minutes even just 61 seconds ahead of Diskin, with
Kerry runner Anne Mangan in 3rd.
- In 1990, wet misty conditions forced very slow times and reduced the field dramatically.
John Lenihan took his third victory in a time of 82 minutes 17 seconds, ahead of Corkman Brian
Linehan who was over 10 minutes behind. Dubliner Ciaran Young finished 3rd. No women took part.
- In 1991, John Lenihan won again for the fourth time winning easily in the faster time of
74 minutes 23 seconds ahead of Brian Ervine who again finished second. Brian's time of 80
minutes 8 seconds was 1 minute 23 seconds ahead of Brian Linehan. Mary Havern took the women's
category in 127 minutes 57 seconds.
A few months later, John won the individual World Championship in
Zermatt, Switzerland, and led the Irish team to the bronze medals.
- In 1992, John Lenihan won for the fifth time in a time of 80 minutes 55 seconds ahead of
Cork's Brian Linehan who finished in 87 mins. 42 secs. Dublin's Rodney Forde finished 3rd
while Joyce Mitchell (Blackrock) was the women's winner and set a new record time of 110
minutes 47 seconds. Cork's Mary Joyce Curtin was 2nd over 2 minutes behind. Kerry based Mayo
runner Majella Diskin was 3rd.
- In 1993, John Lenihan won for the sixth time in 75 minutes 7 seconds over 5 minutes faster
than his previous year's time. Once again Brian Linehan finished 2nd only 37 seconds ahead of
Tipperaryman Willie O'Connell. Retired international runner Anne Mangan made a brief return
to the hills and finished first woman in 147 minutes 10 seconds after Beth McCluskey retired.
- In 1994, John Lenihan took his seventh win in his slowest time yet. The Kerryman had
suffered from a lack of training, but still won in 91 minutes 28 seconds - 2 mins 33 secs
ahead of Cork's Damien Collins. Tipperary runner Willie O'Connell finished 3rd. Majella Diskin
finally took the women's race in a time of 114.18.
- In 1995, John Lenihan got back into the 70s when he won for the eighth time in wet, windy
and misty conditions. The Riocht runner finished in a tremendous time of 75 minutes 5 seconds
ahead of Dubliner Francis Cosgrave who was 5 minutes 19 seconds behind. Northern Ireland's
Brian Ervine took 3rd, while Majella Diskin won the women's race in a new record timer of 110 mins 39 secs beating
Donegal's Laura McGinley and taking the record by 8 seconds.
- 1n 1996, John Lenihan won for the ninth time in a row. However, this time he had a
tremendous fight with Francis Cosgrave who finished only 30 seconds adrift of the Riocht
runner's time of 78.38. Willie Guiney held off the rest of the field to take 3rd spot. In the
women's section, Irish international Beth McCluskey blew
apart the rest of the field and Majella Diskin's year old record to take the win in
96 minutes 58 seconds. McCluskey finished 2 minutes 51 seconds
ahead of Spain's Alicia Romero who - together with 3rd placed Majella Diskin - was under the
- 1n 1997, the amazing Lenihan won for the tenth consecutive time - a record that will
probably never be bettered. Once again, he had a tremendous fight with Francis Cosgrave who
drew level with the maestro on the initial descent off Carrauntoohil. However, the Riocht runner
pushed hard on the tricky terrain over Caher and pulled out a lead again. Cosgrave fought back
to whittle back the advantage on the Caher descent, but couldn't close up again. Lenihan won in
76 minutes 48 seconds with a fading Cosgrave 1 minute 29 seconds behind. English runner Joe
Blackett finished 3rd. In the women's section, former Irish international Majella Diskin had
an easy win to take the race for the third time.
- John Lenihan won again in 1998 to make it 11 wins on the trot with a time of 76 minutes
58 seconds to beat Francis Cosgrave who had to settle for 2nd place for the fourth consecutive
time despite tremendous efforts on the climb. Lenihan finished one minute and 55 seconds ahead
of the Dublin runner and over 6 minutes ahead of Crusaders Paul Nolan. Majella Diskin (Riocht)
beat Kim Ging to win her fourth Carrauntoohil race in a time of 108 minutes and 1 second. Report and results.
- On the 6th June 1999, in the space of 75 minutes and 25 seconds, the former World Champion
John Lenihan added yet another chapter to his amazing story. The Irish champion took his
twelfth consecutive win in the annual race up and down Ireland's highest peak, beating Dublin's Francis
Cosgrave for the fifth year in a row. Kerryman Willie Guiney took third. No women ran. Report and results.
- 13 times in a row. 13 times in a row…. Hard to believe really. The former World Mountain
Running champion John Lenihan did it again in the year 2000 with a time of 77 minutes 27 seconds beating Francis Cosgrave and Paul Nolan. Majella Diskin took the women's race for the fifth time, well ahead of Jane
Watt and Emma Sokell. Report and results.
- An astonishing 14 wins in a row, a now 40 year old John Lenihan continued to rule in 2001 on Carrauntoohil winning the race in a time of 77 minutes 49 seconds and breaking the Over 40s record into the bargain. England's Simon Fairmaner finished 2nd ahead of Niall Duncan who set a junior men's record. Beth McCluskey smashed her own women's record by over 4 minutes to leave it at 92 minutes 20 seconds. Beth finished ahead of Joan Flanagan and Una May. Many great performances on a glorious day including Joan Flanagan's amazing descent - Full report and results - pictures.
- In 2002, Robin Bryson added a third name - his own - to the list of winners of the 16 races held up and down Ireland's highest mountain. Robin stopped John Lenihan's amazing streak of wins at 14, but the injured Kerry runner vowed he'd be back to try to extend it to 15 next year. Lenihan like the other previous winner Douglas Barry couldn't make it to the race, even as a spectator, and missed a tremendous performance from the Enniskillen based Irish international who defeated former British Cross Country champion Deon McNeilly over the 8.5 mile course. Shilleen O'Kane took the women's race from Roisin McDonnell and US based runner Siobhan Snyder. Full Report and Results...
Later in the year, Robin won the World Masters Championship in Austria.
- In 2003, a 43 year old phoenix rose once again from the ashes. An Irish sporting legend was copperfastened on the McGillicuddy Reeks when John Lenihan put his injuries behind him winning his 15th Carrauntoohil race to beat Paul Nolan and the perennial Francis Cosgrave. He won in an excellent time of 77 minutes 50 seconds. Beth McCluskey won the women's race in a time of 100 mins 4 secs from Nicky Cinnamond and Roisin McDonnell. Full Report
- In 2004, with a run of 75 minutes 54 seconds, Scottish international runner John Brooks added his name - the fourth - to the list of winners of the race after a dominant run ahead of the veteran 44 year old Lenihan who took second place just 1 min 51 secs behind. Sean Whelan took third place. Beth McCluskey took the women's race in a quick time of 94 mins 44 secs, ahead of Maureen Foley and Roisin McDonnell. Full Report
- In 2005, the amazing John Lenihan - now 45 years old - bounced back again to take his 16th win, a slim 3 seconds ahead of newcomer John Henaghan. Both had a good margin on third placer Kevin Keane. Beth McCluskey won the women's race for the 5th time in a time of 101 mins 13 secs ahead of Northern Ireland international Anne Sandford and an injured Kate Moyna. Full Report
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Last updated on 13th August 2005 by Douglas Barry