This is the 4th and final race in the Ballycotton Summer Series in East Cork. It for me always marks the end of the Summer. It is the one race where you are going home in the dark after the refreshments and prizes have finished. It really brings home how fast the evenings are getting shorter at this time of year. There is only one evening race left after this one and that is the Cork BHAA 5k in Togher next week.
Start and Registration...First of all note that it is 7:30 pm!! , not 8pm. There is some distance between the parking area, registration and the start of the race. Parking is usually in a field on the way into the village. I'm not sure how it will be this year with all the rain that we have had...perhaps the ground might be too soft? Anyway, you should give yourself plenty of time for this one. The car park is about 600 metres from the National school where the registrations are taken. Considering that this race is likely to attract in excess of 300 entries, there will probably be delays there. If you have to then go back to your car to get changed, then that's another 600 metres and then you need to jog another 900m to get back to the start line!! All this takes time so you should really try and enter early.
As for the entries, inside the hall in the school, there will be 2 queues....
Queue 1)...Any runner who ran the first 3 races of the Ballycotton Summer Series (Ballyandreen ‘5’ & Shanagarry '5' & Churchtown South '5') is automatically entered for the Ballycotton 5 race. The race number corresponds with the runners’ overall position after the first three races. The full list can be seen at this LINK. Please join the correct queue in the hall and ask for your number from the list, which will also be posted on the wall.
Queue 2)...Any new runners can enter as normal. This is not a BHAA race, so if you are not a member of an athletics club just say where you are from (Cork, Charleville, Cloyne).
The entry fee is €6 (€5+€1 for charity) and having the correct amount ready helps to speed up the process.
Course...The first 3 miles of this race are pretty easy as they are mostly slightly downhill or flat. The tough work comes in the last 2 miles. First of all, there is a short but steep hill just before the 3 mile mark which will almost certainly slow you down. At the top of the hill, you turn the corner and the 3 mile will be just there. After that, it's mainly flat with some small bit of uphill and downhill running. The next hard section is after the 4 mile mark where you re-join the main road going back into Ballycotton. For any of you who have done the Ballycotton 10 road race, this is the famous hill around the 8.5 mile in that race. It's not that steep but it's about 400 metres long and gradually reduces in intensity. Once it flattens out, you'll have a nice run into the finish in the village.
If you want to have a closer look at the course and need directions (it's in Ballycotton!!), then look at the following link........http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/ireland/cork/453964670
If you did the previous 3 races and you want to check what your position/overall time is, then click on this link.....http://www.ballycottonrunning.com/Overall%20aft%20Churchtown%20south%205.htm