Considering that its the end of 2009, it might be an idea to look back at the last year and reflect on it.
Numbers.......One of the obvious features of 2009 was the obvious growth in the number of people attending road races. Looking at the Cork BHAA races, they continued the trend of recent years with ever increasing numbers. The same can be said for most of the other local races as well, especially the big local events. The Cork Marathon with it's relay event attracted even more runners in 2009 while races like the Ballycotton '10' closed even sooner compared to previous years.
Why the increase in numbers???......What are the factors that makes more people start running in 2009 compared to 2008 and previous years? Is it because people are becoming more concerned about their health?
I have no doubt that there are probably many factors but one of the main ones I would think is the fact that more and more people are getting online especially with the advent of broadband. A lot of people may at first get attracted by the high profile events like the Cork Marathon, the Ladies Mini-Marathon or the Ballycotton '10'. Once they go online to get some more info.....and especially if they go to Google...then they discover that there is a busy local running scene.
Events of 2009....some of the highlights that I have picked out...
1) The Mallow '10' in January......The numbers have really grown in recent years and it has made the transition from 'just another local road race' to one of the main races on the race calendar.
2) The Ballycotton '10' in March.....As always, one of the main races every year.
3) The Cork Marathon & Relay in June.....This event attracted records numbers....but the heat!!
4) The FOTA race in May.....Just for the novelty of the location and the fact that a local 4 mile race attracted over 650 runners.
5) The Cork BHAA 'Cork to Cobh' race in October...Well organised with a modest entry fee!
Of course, there were plenty of other events as well worthy of mention but the list would be too long!
Looking back at 2009, it would be worth remembering exactly why there is such a vibrant local running scene. We have the likes of the Cork BHAA who have a calendar of races throughout the year that only cost €5 to enter. We have John Walshe, Liam O'Brien and the crew at Ballycotton Running Promotions who are behind so many of the races on the local scene. And finally, we have all of the many members of the various local athletic clubs who give up their time to help organise their own races.
We all owe a debt of gratitude to all of the fine work that they did in 2009.
So what was your highlight in 2009? Maybe it was a particular race? Maybe a race where you got a Personal Best? .....or just enjoyed the buzz of the event? Click on the Comment link below...