What I’ve been up to? (Sports for Cork Beo)

A few pieces I wrote for Cork Beo over the last few weeks. Both sport and community related. Let me know what you think.

Inspiring Cork footballer and mental health campaigner takes early retirement

Clare Shine (Instagram)

The former Cork City star announced the news on her social media pages earlier today*

One of Cork’s most accomplished soccer players has called time on her exceptional but short career.

Clare Shine posted a heartfelt statement on her social media channels, revealing the reason why she chose to finish up so early.

The 27-year old began her career at Douglas Hall’s youth system before joining Cork City Women’s team.

She then went on to join Raheny FC in Dublin where the Leesider won a FAI Women’s Cup double in 2013. Clare also played for Glasgow City F.C. in Scotland on two occasions, rejoining her beloved Cork City in between.

She has also represented the Irish Women’s National team on seven occasions at senior level while scoring ten goals at underage international level.

Her last game is understood to be tomorrow evening against Hearts of Midlothian. Over her two spells at the club, Clare has made 105 appearances and is the clubs joint 11th highest goalscorer with 70 goals.

She wrote: “As athletes we always have high standards and push ourselves to the limit every time we step out onto the pitch. I have given football everything I have for the last 22 years, incredible highs but also intense lows.

Throughout the last few years I have struggled both mentally and physically to reach the demands as a professional footballer and with that I have decided it’s time for me to put myself first and step away from football.”

Clare has a big following on Twitter and Instagram and has been very vocal in her battle with her mental health. She often posts about her journey to sobriety and about dealing with suicidal thoughts.

She said: “I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in my incredible journey as a footballer and who have supported me through the good and the bad.

I am proud of everything I have achieved and I am looking forward to new beginnings and setting new goals.

*This piece was written Saturday 24th September, 2022.

I wrote this second piece two weeks ago on the weekend of the 17th September, 2022.

Cork super athlete absolutely smashes Italian ultra endurance race

Brian Mullins (Facebook)

Blarney man Brian Mullins started the race last Sunday morning and finished the 330km trek Thursday evening

A real life superhuman from Cork city stormed to a fantastic finish in an Italian endurance trail race this week.

Brian Mullins, living in Blarney, finished joint 60th with the only other Irish finisher on Thursday evening, September 15th, after beginning the race the previous Sunday morning.

Brian is now surely among the elite endurance runners in the world, finishing 60th in a race which began with over 1000 people.

The slog takes place in the Aosta Valley in Italy and is over 330km long. There is 24,000 metres of elevation over the course of the race and a cut-off time of 150 hours.

The St. Finbarr’s Athletic Club member completed the extremely tough task in just over 100 hours with only two hours sleep in four days, according to his club’s Facebook page.

The Tor des Geants is an ultimate endurance race that takes place in Italy every September, bringing runners around the Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps.

The gruelling trek through the Gran Paradiso Natural Park and the Mont Avic Regional Park has been stopped or interrupted on more than one occasion in its 12-year history, with one Chinese runner falling to their death in 2013.

There are many bases for runners to stop and take a rest, fill up on fuel or receive medical attention but for people like Brian they use these only as brief pitstops.

Over half of the 1100 runners that started the race on Sunday morning did not finish the course, with just over 400 athletes completing the difficult trail.

The rest of the athletes were recorded as ‘did not finish’, which is not unusual on the Tor des Geants route.

Brian is a keen mountain runner, a volunteer for some races with the Irish Mountain Racing Association and Cork’s first member of the Avengers should the superhero group ever come looking.

There’s a bit of work to be done to match the style of Cork Beo but I like having the freedom to run stories that may not run anywhere else and stay confined to Facebook. Much more to come over the next year while I freelance in Cork’s fastest news site!


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