The first road race in the Cork BHAA calendar takes place in Little Island next Sunday, the 25th of January at 11am. The registration point is the community centre which on the map above, is more or less exactly at the 1 mile mark.
Directions...If you are coming out of the city, the best way to get there is probably to enter Little Island from the Tunnel roundabout on the North side of the Jack Lynch tunnel. The Little Island/ Tunnel Management road is just to the left of the tunnel entrance, so one needs to be in the left-most lane, when approaching the tunnel. At the top of this short road, there is a small roundabout. Take the exit marked "Little Island Ind Estate". Keep going for about one mile.You will pass Pfizer's, Henkel/Cognis, and Punch Industries (all on the left). You will see a small ruined castle and a mobile phone mast on the left. The Little Island Sports Complex is next (next to the 1 mile marker). The advantage of this route is that one will pass over both the Start and Finish lines, and you should have less difficulty finding that Start line, after registering.
Parking.....There is ample parking in front of, and behind the Sport Complex, so there is no need to park on the main road. There is plenty of space accross the road in the industrial estate as well.
Registration....Inside the hall, there will be 2 queues....one for registered runners and one for non-registered. Considering that this is the first race of the year, the non-registered queue is likely to be very long. With the big crowd expected, it might be no harm to get there early especially if you are a non-registered runner.
Course...First a word of caution for new runners...you will need to run/jog 1 mile from the community centre back to the start line which is not too far from the Jack Lynch tunnel. The course is reasonably flat with no real hills. There are a few slight inclines but nothing worth talking about. As you can see from the map above, it really is a case of running along the main road in Little Island, a loop around an industrial estate and back the same way. One unique feature of the race is that near where the race loops around, you can see others in the race going the opposite direction...it's a bit like running a race and spectating at the same time!!
Overall...It's not exactly the most scenic of routes but this race always seems to get a good turn out. It's almost as if most people use it as their first race of the year. Last year, they got over 400 entries which was a big increase on the 313 entrants of the previous year. Weather permitting, I'd guess that they might break the 400 mark again this year. The current weather forecast shows some unsettled weather on Sunday.
Extra notes...If you want to have a closer look at the course, I have put it up on the MapMyRun website. If you zoom in there and press the SATELLITE button, you will see an aerial photo of the course and you can see the Community hall with it's car park.