Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dingle Ultra-Marathon comes to an end...

Going back to 2010, the Dingle Marathon was one of the first to add an ultra race to their list of events. At the time, there were relatively few ultra events in the country and their 50 mile race on the road was one of the longest in the country. Fast forward to 2014 and there is a marathon nearly every weekend somewhere in Ireland and there are loads of ultra races to choose from. For example, there was the Kerry Way Ultra on the same weekend as Dingle this year and there was an ultra in the Glen of Aherlow just a few weeks later.....and that was just in Munster.

The thing with ultras though is that the numbers are always going to be small. Any race organiser has to balance the cost and effort of putting an ultra event on against the number of people that will actually enter it.

Back in May of 2014, the Dingle Marathon organisers announced that they were replacing the 50 mile ultra with a 39.3 mile ultra instead.

Today, they announced that the ultra race is going to be scrapped altogether.

"Update RE Dingle Ultra Marathon 2015. The bad news is that we are not going to continue the ultra marathon any longer. We have had four great years organising this amazing event. The decision has been made to put all time, energy and resources in to making the half and full marathon even better again. I know a large number of people will be disappointed but we are certain we have made the right decision. Our full concentration is now on making the half and full marathon the best experience possible for all that take part."

Is it a case of there just being too many races? How many more ultras in Ireland will follow suit?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Freight train crosses marathon route in US...

At the Mill Race Marathon in Columbus, Indiana last Saturday, nothing less than a freight train crossed the path of the marathon runners. As you can see once it did stop, runners kept going in front and even through it! Crazy stuff. You'd have to wonder though who in their right mind would organise a marathon that crosses an active railway line?

Results of the Buttevant 5k & 10k charity runs...Sun 28th Sept 2014

From the organisers...."Awbeg Macra held their first 10K Road Race and second 5K Fun, Run, Walk or Roll in aid of the irish Cancer Society last Sunday the 28th of September. Conditions were excellent and registration exceeded 100 for the second year in a row. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us on the day, especially John Paul O’Shea and International Miss Macra Brid Cooney who lead out the walk. Thanks to the Crossroads Bar for their continued support especially Bert, John Buckley and Geraldine. They are an amazing help to us throughout the year. Prizes were awarded to the top 3 finishers in the 10K. Fastest times are given below."

5K Fun Run Walk
102 Daniel Roche 23.59
107 Darren Noonan 26.29
137 Dave Manton 29.59
149 John Paul O’Shea 31.37
112 Billie Fitzgerald 32.30
114 Gerard Fitzgerald 32.37
122 Pauline Sweetnam 33.07
111 Richard McCarthy (Son) 33.17
164Danny Broe 35.11
127 John Joe Breen 36.09
103 David Schulte 36.40
158 Katie Cronin 36.55
162 Martin Murphy 36.55

10K Run
205 Patrick Zajac 37.57
212 Tadgh O’Connell 41.00
203 Adrian O’Sullivan 42.24
214 Eoin Carroll 42.50
206 Mark Cleary 46.06
213 Kieran O’Connell 49.25
202 Micheal, Freemount 51.39
215 Thomas Strich 51.57
219 Darragh O’Keeffe 56.05
218 Kate O’Regan 56.48
204 John O’Sullivan 57.24
216 Catriona O’Connor  59.20
207 Ann Daly 60.12
217 Sean Ahern 60.22

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kenyan Dennis Kimetto sets new marathon record in Berlin

30 year old Dennis Kimetto from Kenya set a new world record of 2h 02m 57s when he won the 2014 Berlin Marathon on Sunday 28th Sept 2014. Emmanuel Mutai who finished in second place in 2h 03:13s also broke the old record of 2h 03m 23s which was set by Wilson Kipsang in 2013. The temperature today was a cool 8 deg C in contrast to other warmer years so conditions were perfect.

Full race....2h 50m long. Finish ~2:12. Commentary in German...

After winning the race, Kimetto said...."I feel good because I won a very tough race. I felt good from the start and in the last few miles I felt I could do it and break the record."

These are the marathon records as they were set over the last 30 years....

2:08:05    Steve Jones     United Kingdom    Oct 21, 1984    Chicago Marathon
2:07:12    Carlos Lopes     Portugal    Apr 20, 1985    Rotterdam Marathon
2:06:50    Belayneh Dinsamo     Ethiopia    Apr 17, 1988    Rotterdam Marathon
2:06:05    Ronaldo da Costa     Brazil    Sept 20, 1998    Berlin Marathon
2:05:42    Khalid Khannouchi     Morocco    Oct 24, 1999    Chicago Marathon
2:05:38    Khalid Khannouchi     United States Apr 14, 2002    London Marathon
2:04:55    Paul Tergat     Kenya    Sept 28, 2003    Berlin Marathon
2:04:26    Haile Gebrselassie     Ethiopia    Sept 30, 2007    Berlin Marathon
2:03:59    Haile Gebrselassie     Ethiopia    Sept 28, 2008    Berlin Marathon
2:03:38    Patrick Makau     Kenya    Sept 25, 2011    Berlin Marathon
2:03:23    Wilson Kipsang     Kenya    Sept 29, 2013    Berlin Marathon
2:02:57   Dennis Kimetto     Kenya    Sept 28 2014    Berlin Marathon

The chart above shows the progression. As you can see, the record is broken by about 20-30 seconds each time and the question now is how long will this new record last?

It will also no doubt raise the question again of whether a sub 2 hour marathon is possible? In this interview, the former record holder Wilson Kipsang said he believes that a sub 2 hour marathon is possible after the record gets into the 2:01 region first...

So is it really possible? The current record of 2:02:57 is 4:41 minute mile pace. A 2 hour marathon would be an incredible 4:34 per mile pace.

By the way, the current half-marathon record is 58:23...4:27 per mile pace.

Results of the Evening Echo Womens mini-marathon...Sun 28th Sept 2014

Roughly 10,500 turned out for the annual Evening Echo womens mini-marathon in Cork City raising millions for charity in the process. The results for the first 20 women are shown below. The full results will be in the Evening Echo during the week with some photos. Going on previous years, I think it may well be just the finishing position rather than having times for everyone.

First 3 women in the mini-marathon...Laura Crowe of An Ríocht AC, Michelle Finn of Leevale AC & Sinead O'Connor of Leevale AC. Photo : Gearóid Ó Laoi

1 Laura Crowe (Riocht) 21:24;
2 Michelle Finn (Leevale) 21:50;
3 Sinead O’Connor (Leevale) 22:29;
4 Martina Kiely (St Finbarrs) 22:56;
5 O Murray (Ferrybank) 23:14;
6 Aisling Moran (Leevale) 24:03;
7 Louise Shanahan (Leevale, MJ) 24:43;
8 Carmel Parnell (Leevale, F55) 24:49;
9 J O’Connor (unatt) 24:58;
10 M Ahern (Leevale, FJ) 25:21;
11 E Leahy (unatt) 25:39;
12 Aine Moran (Leevale) 25:46;
13 M Dennehy (unatt, F35) 25:47;
14 C Cooke (UCC) 26:07;
15 Aine Collins (Doheny, F40) 26:16;
16 U UiMhuirithe (unatt, F50) 26:28;
17 Eilish Downing (Ballintotis Fit4Life) 26:51;
18 A Shine (Leevale, F40) 26:53;
19 E Leahy (Midleton, FJ) 27:26;
20 L McCarthy (UCC) 27:33.

1) The Evening Echo has a small number of group photos....
a) Cork ARC Cancer at the city hall
b) Breakthrough Cancer Research on the quays
2) Kieran Minihane has over 300 photos HERE

1) From the Irish Examiner...

Results & Photos of the BHAA Cork to Cobh 15 mile race - Sun 28th Sept 2014

A huge crowd of 744 runners turned out for this years Cork to Cobh race.That's well up on last year and back in line with other years. I wonder did the fact that today's race was 4 weeks before Dublin rather than the 3 weeks of last year make a difference?

The weather conditions were almost perfect. No real wind. It was raining at about 8am so it looked like it was going to be wet but that soon cleared and it was dry for the race.

Again, it was another well run event. Highlights.....
1) There is a certain novelty of starting a race in Cork City and finishing down in the outer harbour in Cobh
2) Ideal race to test your target marathon pace for Dublin
3) Pre-entry price of €10 and that includes a dry fit top.
4) The only chance in the year that you can run on this road which is otherwise way too busy.

It really has to be one of the best value races in the country. There are no shortage of half-marathons which cost 5 times the price.

One downside which keep coming up every year is the lack of water bottles. The route however is not suitable for bottles. It's a very busy road and you can't expect volunteers to be picking up bottles with cars whizzing past. Plastic cups aren't great but they really are the only practical solution. Everyone drops these within 100m of the water station and it makes it much easier to collect.

Pos Name Cat Prize Time Company Team
2 John Meade M2 01:22:14 Joyce Wolfe Physio
3 Colin Merritt 0/40A M3 01:22:29 ARMY

The full results can be seen HERE

This chart shows the numbers of runners and their pace. As you can see, the numbers are back up this year...the 4th highest ever. Besides the obvious growth in numbers over the last 10 years, the most obvious change is the huge growth in those running over 8 minute miles. A lot of this would be accounted for by more women running now and the larger number of slower runners overall. No matter what speed you are running, 15 miles is still 15 miles. It's always a tough race and perhaps even tougher for those who are out the longest.

Photos...(Updated Sun 22:30pm)
1) Doug Minihane has a gallery HERE (Check again on Monday for loads of finish line photos from Doug)
2) Paudie Birmingham of Mallow AC has 230 photos HERE
3) Colm McDonagh has some photos about 300m before the finish line HERE
4) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has loads of photos HERE

Someone left this top in the hotel this morning. Give the guys in the BHAA a shout if you own it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Results of the North Mon 5k...Wed 24th Sept 2014

This 5k was organised by North Mon Past Pupils Union in association with St.Vincents Hurling & Football club.

1 Paul Duggan    St. Finbarrs 45 m    17.32    1st man
2 Noel Daly    Mallow Ac 40 m    18.00    2nd man
3 Ciaran Bouce    Eagle    35    m 18.04    3rd man
8 Mary Dennehy    Wibbly Wobbly Wonders 35    f 20.42    1st woman
18 Rosario Molina    Happy Feet 40 f 23.07    2nd woman
19 Brenda Harris     45 f 23.12    3rd woman

The full results can be seen HERE

Preview of the Cork to Cobh 15m race...Sun 28th Sept 2014

The Cork BHAA are holding their annual 15 mile Cork to Cobh race on Sunday, the 28th of October. Entries on the day will be taken at the Montenotte Hotel and the fee is €20. They will transport gear bags from there to the finish line in Cobh....just look for the tags in the hall and the van outside.

The race starts at 9:30am.

Course...Starting at St.Patricks Church, you run past the railway station and towards the Dunkettle roundabout....up over the flyover by the tunnel......then taking a left and onto the old road which passes Glounthaune church.Then onwards towards the main roundabout before Carrigtwohill and then take the bridge over the main road and head towards Fota, Belvelly bridge and on into Cobh. The finish is close to the main square in the centre of Cobh. Overall, there are a few small hills but nothing major, just one pull at 12 miles near the old IFI plant and another smaller one before 14 miles.

Overall, it is pretty flat for the first ten miles or so with the hardest sections coming in the last five.

Transport......Please note that you have to make your own way back to Cork City.
Options - You probably have a few options in terms of transport...
1) Two cars...take 2 cars to Cobh, leave one in Cobh and drive up to Cork
2) Train...The train will leave the train station in Cobh for Cork City at 12:30, 1:30, 3:00 and 4:30 pm depending on long you want to stay around after the race. The fee is €5.70 (2014 price).

Pace......If you are going for a specific time in the Dublin City Marathon in four weeks time, then it's an ideal chance to test your target marathon pace. Say your target for Dublin is 3h 30m.....then you could run Cork to Cobh at 8 min per mile pace. If you arrive in Cobh and you're comfortable then 3h 30m is a realistic target. If you're exhausted after 15 miles at that pace then you should think about a more realistic target. If you add in a warm up of a few miles beforehand then all the better. It will give you a more accurate appraisal.

Race.....Just remember that the last third is the hardest. Over the years, many people get to the Belvelly Bridge by Fota tired and then struggle over the last 5 miles. Going slightly slower in the early stages will pay off in the later stages in this race. Even effort always gets the best results.

Weather........(Updated Fri 11:30am).....The forecast is that it will be cloudy and dry with a light westerly breeze. Temp in the mid teens so it looks pretty good.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Running and Walking Trail opens in Blarney...

A new walking and running trail has just opened in Blarney near Cork City. It is located at the Blarney Driving Range which is on the approach road to Blarney once you turn off the N20 Cork/Mallow road.

If you look at the map above, you can see the approach road from the N20 bottom right which is alongside the Clogheenmilcon Sanctuary. This is on the left as you drive in towards Blarney. Go past the next T-junction and the driving range is about 200m after it on the right.

There are a choice of two loops...a shorter 1.5km loop and a longer 3km one. The surface is mostly grass which is cut short once a week. Short sections are made up of compact gravel/crushed stone.

The fee for the course is €3.

There is also a tea shop for the driving range which might be of interest to any groups wanting to make a social event out of it as well. They serve all the usual things like tea/coffee/cakes/scones, etc.

You can see more info in the brochure for the walk HERE

This short video will give you a good idea of what it is like.

This new facility might make a welcome change for some people who would like to get away from the traffic even if it's just for the occasional run.

A preview of the course by Mike McGrath can be seen on the Eagle AC website.

Medical Plan now required for all AAI approved races...

For those members of athletic clubs who are involved in organising road races...."Going forward Athletics Ireland will require a Medical Plan to accompany a Permit Application."

The relevant form can be seen on the Munster Athletics website.

Mallow 10 top arrives at last...

The Mallow 10 mile road race was held in March 2014....results, photos & comments in this earlier post. The original race notice promised a technical top for all finishers but due to some mix up, this was not available on the day and a cotton t-shirt was given out instead. The organisers...Mallow AC...said that the proper dry fit tops would be posted out at a later date.

In the meantime, there have been a few people asking about the tops and whether they would be sent out at all. My one arrived in the post today so I presume most people will be getting theirs as well.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Reminder...Killarney 10 mile road race - Sat 27th Sept 2014

For anyone interested in a 10 mile race, the inaugural Killarney 10m is coming up next Saturday the 27th of September. The primary purpose of this race is to raise funds for the development of a 200m outdoor track in Killarney which will be used by all of the local athletic clubs.

The race starts at 1:30pm and you can enter online here...

If you are in the Killarney area, you can enter at Feet First 28 High St or at the Kerry Outdoor Sports Shop, Fairhill, Killarney.

A number of high profile former athletes have given their support to the event. One of those is Gillian O'Sullivan who represented Ireland in the 20km race walk at the Sydney Olympics and won a silver medal in the same event at the World Championships in Paris in 2003..........I think the new track in Killarney is a very exciting project. It gives the local community a great chance to make exercise part of their lifestyle. One of the main barriers to people maintaining their fitness is accessibility to facilities. Now people will have a fantastic facility at their doorstep. What I really like about it is that for children and young adults exercise can become a routine no matter what the time of year or weather conditions. It encourages adults and children to keep a healthy lifestyle. In addition if there are children who excel in athletics, they can maintain their training all year round. I know I would have loved to have such a facility when I was starting out.....Gillian O'Sullivan

More info in this earlier post and on the race website.

Notice...North Mon PPU 5k, Knocknaheeny - Wed 24th Sept 2014

For anyone interested, there is a 5k race in Knocknaheeny this evening (Wed 24th Sept) at 7pm. It is organised by the North Mon Past Pupils Union is association with St.Vincents Hurling & Football club. Entry fee is €5. Race HQ is at the St.Vincents clubhouse on Kilmore Road (~400m east of Apple plant).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Notice...Nathan Kirwan 5k Charity Run/Walk - Sun 5th Oct 2014

This 5k charity run /walk is coming up in the village of Shanbally near Ringaskiddy on Sunday the 5th of October 2014 at 10am.

Some info from the organisers about Nathan Kirwan......Nathan aged 24 from Currabinny, Carrigaline, graduate of Marine Engineering, sailor, diver and boat builder suffered a severe neck break in June 2013 resulting in a spinal cord injury. Nathan was due to begin the next chapter of his life in September as an engineer on board a cruise ship sailing around the world. As his friends, neighbours and family it is our aim in the upcoming months to see that Nathan is given the best possible chance of recovery so that he can fulfill all of his potential and promise and reach his ultimate goal and walk again.

More info on this Facebook page.

The venue for this charity run is Shamrocks GAA grounds which are just to the west of Shanbally. If you follow all of the signs from Cork City to Ringaskiddy then you will pass the entrance.

Preview...More info including maps, photos and a preview of the course HERE

Preview of the Evening Echo womens mini-marathon in Cork...Sun 28th Sept 2014

Although it is advertised as Munsters Premier 4-Mile Road Race, it is in reality a 3.8 mile charity walk/run with a road race at the front of it. In the past, a lot of fast runners used to avoid it as there were a lot of issues with runners unable to get near the front and be able to start ahead of the mass of walkers. Things have improved in the last year or two with a new tag system which allows club runners get up near the front.

Tag or no tag, if you intend to race it then you need to get to the start early! There are somewhere in the region of 11,000 women taking part and when there are that many people, it is going to be very crowded.

Remember it starts at 1pm.

Course...The start of this race is on the Centre Park Road.

Mile 0-1....The first mile or so is very flat with only a slight uphill around the 0.8 mile mark as the road joins the Marina. This should be a very fast mile as long as you stay clear of the mass of runners/joggers/walkers/prams....etc.

Start of the Marina section near the 1 mile mark 

Mile 1-2.....Dead flat along the Marina. Probably the most scenic part of the run. Again, it should be a very fast mile. If you have started too fast, this is about where you should find out. Pace yourself for the first 2, you can pick it up over the last 2 if you have gone too slow.

Mile 2-3....This section includes the only real hill. There is a nasty pull from the 2 mile mark up to St.Michael's church, a distance of about 300 metres......

Start of the only real hill near the 2 mile mark

You are going to lose some time here. After that, it's reasonably flat with a slight fall downhill into Beaumount about the 2.7 mile mark. Then past the AIB bank and Post office and take a sharp right down Maryville Road. Around the 3 mile mark, there is a very steep downhill section. By far, the hardest mile.

Mile 3-3.8....After the initial downhill section, the remainder of the mile is flat with the finish on the Monaghan Road, near Kennedy Park.
....and finally, it is worth mentioning what a significant event this is for the city of Cork. With around 11,000 taking part and many getting sponsorship, it is probably no exaggeration to say that several million Euro will be raised for various charities. For many of those taking part, it may be closest they ever get to any sort of road race.

Update........A bit more detail in this preview HERE