Cork City Marathon 2009 - 3rd Leg of Relay Stage (3.2 Miles)...
Just to put this leg into perspective, there are 5 stages in the Cork City Marathon Relay event...
Leg 1 = 5.2 miles, Leg 2 = 5.5 miles, Leg 3 = 3.2 miles, Leg 4 = 5.9 miles, Leg 5 = 6.4 Miles
This is the 3rd stage of 5 and is 3.2 miles in lenght. Of the 5, it is by far the easiest leg. For Marathon runners, this stage starts just before the 11 mile mark at 10.7 miles on Ringmahon Road. For Relay runners, the mile markers for this stage will be for the Marathon. Since you are starting at 10.7 miles, the 11, 12 & 13 mile markers will be 0.3, 1.3, 2.3 miles.
Just after the Relay changeover point on Ringmahon Road, you turn right and you'll see the 11 mile mark. You continue on a flat road for about 600 metres until you approach Blackrock Castle which has recently been converted into an observatory. Just before the castle, there is a short steep section just as you round the corner. Then past the castle and then a slight downhill section for about 100 metres. Now the real hill starts, steep enough at first but it soon becomes more gradual. Total lenght of the uphill section.....about 300 metres. Soon the road begins to drop away again as you run downhill to the road juction by the Pier Head pub, right accross the open square and on towards the start of the Marina and the 12 mile mark. Overall, a hilly mile with 2 climbs.
This mile runs the whole lenght of the Marina right alongside the River Lee and must be one of the nicest miles in the whole race. Dead flat, a view of the river with a canopy of trees overhead. If the day is sunny, the shade makes a welcome relief. Towards the end, as you pass the 'Pairc Ui Chaoimh' GAA stadium on the left, you can look accross the river and see where the 5 mile mark was. As you approach the 13 mile mark, there should be another water station here. A flat and easy mile.
Round the corner and soon you should see the Half Marathon point. For anyone doing the Marathon, this is an important point as it should tell you if you are on target for your Marathon time. There should be a clock and a timing mat here to record your split time as you cross it. Carry on through the tunnel of trees, around the next bend and then a long straight section along Centre Park Road. At the end of this road, it's right at the roundabout to be greeted by the mass of runners eagerly waiting at the 3rd Relay changeover point. For Marathon runners, the 14 mile mark is just ahead. Another flat and easy mile.
So, that's the 3rd leg. It was 3.2 miles in lenght and it was the easiest leg by far.
If you would like to examine this leg in more detail, I have put it up on the MapMyRun website. Just use the MAP view and the +/- buttons to zoon in and out.
Tomorrow, it's time to start looking at one of the more serious sections, the 4th leg.