Cork City Marathon 2009 - 4th Leg of Relay Stage (5.9 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 4th stage of 5 and is 5.9 miles in lenght. Of the 5, it is probably the hardest leg even though it isn't the longest. For Marathon runners, this stage starts just before the 14 mile mark at 13.9 on Victoria Road. For Relay runners, the mile markers for this stage will be for the Marathon. Since you are starting so close to the 14 mile mark, you could consider the 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 mile mark as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 miles.
Just after the Relay changeover point on Victoria Road, you pass the 14 mile mark and the start of the 15th mile. Then left onto the quays, past Carey's Tools and left again onto Albert Street. Now the road really opens out as you go past the next 2 bends, past Brownlows and onto the South Link Road. From here, there is a slight climb up to the next junction. Then it flattens out and it's a straight run out to the 15 mile mark. An easy mile with a slight pull in the middle.
Just as you pass the 15 mile mark, you'll see the overhead bridge that you must get up to. So, it's under the bridge and then take a left for a very steep short climb. Easily the steepest part of the course but it's only 50 metres or so long. Then left, over the bridge, through the next junction and a short steep downhill section to Turners Cross. Left at the junction here and onto the Curragh Road. Now, the road is pretty flat as you head for the Kinsale Road and pass the turn off for Ballyphehane.
Just after this is another water station. As well as offering plain water in cups, they will have 330ml foil packs of Lucozade Sport. If you are doing the relay, you don't need to take them. If you are doing the full marathon, you should consider taking one as the glucose from the drink will help you to conserve your bodies own supply. Note that sometimes Sports drinks don't agree with everyone, especially when they are running. The glucose will also take a while to get into your system.....perhaps 2 to 3 miles later.
On to the junction by Woodies, right onto the Tramore Road and past the back of the Musgrave Park rugby ground to the 16 mile mark. A reasonably easy mile with just one nasty short climb.
It starts with a slight downhill and then a long flat secton. Right at the next turn off and a slight pull uphill. Right at the next crossroads and through a housing estate. Left at the traffic lights and onto the main road which goes through the heart of Ballyphehane. A slight pull up to the next road junction with the Red bricked church on the right and then around a slight bend and the 17 mile mark comes into view. An easy enough mile with no real hills.
After the 17 mile mark, past the next set of traffic lights and the road goes slightly downhill towards the Lough. Now, you'll need to take a right and the route will take you in a big loop around the Lough. At the end, you come back onto Hartlands Avenue and then turn right by the pub. Now, there is a slight uphill section from here until the next set of traffic lights and the 18 mile mark. A mile that is mostly flat with a modest pull towards the end. By the way, watch out for the swans!!
From the 18 mile mark, the next half mile or so is downhill. It starts pretty gradual until the is a steep section at the end near the junction near Clashduv road. Almost immediately, the road climbs again past St.Finbarr's Cemetary. It's a fair climb and will certainly slow you down. Then it's right into Liam Lynch park and there is a short steep climb as you exit by Bishopstown Credit Union onto the Wilton Road. Right here and a gradual downhill section to the 19 mile mark. Not an easy mile, plenty of extra effort required.
From the 19 mile mark, slightly downhill to Dennehy's Cross and left by the church onto Model Farm Road. Now, there is a gradual uphill section for about 600 metres. Nothing steep but enough to make you work that bit harder. After the 2nd set of traffic lights, the road fall rapidly and then flattens out as you approach the final Relay changeover point. The 20 mile mark is about 300 metres beyond it.
So, that's the 4th leg. It was 5.9 miles in lenght and it probably is the hardest leg.
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, I'll look at the last section, the 5th leg.