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Race Report from Donal O'Donoghue...... The final race of a busy weekend was the 'Jack O'Keefe' 4 mile organized by Gneeveguilla AC.
This year, there were many 2 races in Kerry and 3 in Cork, which may have drawn away some of the talent.
At the same time, there were several present, who completed their third race of the weekend.
The logistics of point-to-point races can be a bit complicated, but a bigger bus was laid on this year, and the race was able to start promptly.
The road was not closed to traffic, but there appeared to be less traffic than last year.
Last year there were some concerns expressed about runners being caught in the middle of the road, between lines of moving traffic.
This year, people seemed to be sticking to the left side of the road for most of the route, and only moving over to the right for the last few hundred metres, and finishing on the right.
This seemed to make all the difference in the world, and I didn't experience a single traffic snarl-up.
e.g. The Milk Tanker turned up again, but had no trouble getting past.
However one or two runners seemed to be doing a solo run on the right-hand side, on right-hand bends, which could upset the flow.
There was a water station at 2.5 miles, but given the slight rain, most people were cool, and apart from a sideways breeze on exposed spots, weather was pretty much ideal.
Like much of the country, sections of the road were showing wear and tear, from the winter ice.
All finishers receive a Black Currant drink, and either a black or yellow tee-shirt.
Refreshments were provided afterward in the local community centre, but we were told there was a céilí to follow at 5pm!
There were almost as many prizes as entrants, plus team prizes, and a prize for the first local.
This race was organized with much local community spirit, not found in some of the recent commercial races.
Some points to note:
I've only done a few point-to-point races, but in all others, running on the left for the entire route was the rule, with no exceptions, and also finishing on the left.
Perhaps Gneeveguilla could also insist on this. It may marginally affect the race length, but the start or finish could be adjusted to match.
This would involve moving the finish line to the other side of the road, but this is easy, and there's space.
It's still a busy road -- the AAI permit and associated insurance only covers runners during the race itself. Those people who avoided the bus provided would be putting themselves at risk, as there is no lead car / trailing ambulance to warn drivers of there presence.