Cork City Marathon 2009 - 5th Leg of Relay Stage (6.4 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 5th stage of 5 and is 6.4 miles in lenght. Of the 5, it is probably the 2nd hardest leg even though it is the longest. It just does not have as many hills as the 4th stage. For Marathon runners, this stage starts around the 20 mile mark on the Model Farm Road. For Relay runners, the mile markers for this stage will be for the Marathon. Since you are starting so close to the 20 mile mark, you could consider the 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 mile marks as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 miles.
It starts on the Model Farm Road near the 4th and final Relay changeover point. For Marathon runners, it's often said that a Marathon is a 10 km race with a 20 mile warm-up! This is the start of that 10 kms. It's a good time to check your watch and see how long you have to do it. The mile starts on a flat section and heads towards the junction with Rossa Avenue. There should be a water station near here and note that this is the second water station where you can avail of the Lucozade Sport drinks if you are doing the Marathon.
Carry on past the County Council Library on the left and then soon, you will begin the steep descent by where the old Tennis Village used to be. Around the left bend, along the flat and then a nasty short little hill. After about 50 metres, it eases off but a hill like this at 21 miles in a Marathon can really take it out of you. From here, there is a gentle incline upwards all the ways to the 21 mile mark. At this stage in the Marathon, a really tough mile.
From the 21 mile mark, the road continues to climb gradually past the turn off left and past Nangles Nurseries and then right onto a quiet road. When you reach this point, take comfort in the fact that there are no more uphill sections. From here on, it's either downhill or flat. Along the quiet road, nice and flat with new houses on the left. At the end, you pass a small church and then a steep downhill section, not easy with tired legs after doing 21+ miles. Out onto the main road and a sharp right. Now you pass underneath the castle high overhead and onto the Carrigrohane Straight or 'Straight Road'. Just around here, you should see the 22 mile mark. A mile with a tough start for tired legs.
This mile is dead straight and dead flat. You'll see the County Hall way off in the distance but it will hardly seem any bigger by the time you finish the mile. It is a very open area, fine if the wind is behind you from the West but not so nice if it is Easterly. A flat easy mile.
A carbon copy of the previous mile. Flat and easy except this time round, the County Hall will be towering above you at the end.
Just over 2 miles to go now. The mile starts near a water station and then continues on towards Victoria Cross as you leave the County Hall behind. Then the slightest of inclines as you cross left over the bridge and onto the Western Road. From here, there is a flat straight run of about 800 metres until the road veers away to the left. Around the bend and you now leave the public road as you head for the 25 mile mark. A flat and easy mile.
Now you are onto a public walkway. Accross the new Mardyke bridge and then a sharp right onto the riverside walkway. Here things can get a bit congested. Runners running 3 or 4 abreast can completely block your path. The whole area is wooded so if it's a sunny day, it makes a welcome change from the heat coming up off the roads. After a few hundred metres, you're back out on the North Mall and the wide public road again. Along the North Mall until you get to the junction with Shandon Bridge.
Be careful here. The should be a Garda and /or stewards here stopping traffic to let the runners cross. Just be warned....it's a dangerous junction. Now, onto Popes Quay with the Marathon runners re-tracing their steps of their 2nd mile. On past St.Mary's church to the 26 mile mark. A flat easy mile although a bit narrow in places.
Starting on the 26 mile mark, you now have 352 metres to go to the finish. At the end of Popes Quay, right accross the 4 lane wide 'Christy Ring' bridge and left onto the quays. It's about here that you begin to hear the noise coming from the finish. Then it's right, around the last corner to be welcomed by a huge volume of spectators, colour and a crescendo of noise as you enter Patricks Street. Now it's a short distance to the finish. Keep an eye out for the stewards as you approach as they may seperate the Marathon and Relay runners into different finishing areas.
That's it, all done. For Marathon runners, you've just completed 26.22 miles and a full marathon. Well done!!
If you want to have a closer look at this final leg, I have put it up on the MapMyRun website. Just click on the +/- to zoom in and out.
That's it. All 5 stages. All 26.2 miles of the Cork City Marathon. If you've read through all 5 reviews, you'll probably feel tired already ;o)
Now, it's time to run it.