So this is it...the 5th and final leg of the Cork City Marathon Relay and also the easiest at 4.5 miles. It starts at the relay changeover point at around 21.7 miles on the Model Farm Road. There is a very slight pull from here to the 22 mile mark by the County Library.
Carry on past the County Council Library on the left and then soon, you will begin the steep descent by the Tennis Village. Around the left bend, along the flat and onto Inchagaggin Bridge.
In previous years, you had to run up the steep hill on the other side followed by a long drag. The long riverside section in Mahon has meant that this hard section is gone now. So you turn right just after the bridge and along a flat section until you join the Straight Road. You'll see the County Hall way off in the distance but not as far as in previous years. Soon, you'll come to the 23 mile mark. An easy mile.
This is an easy mile. Dead flat. The county hall starts off in the distance but you at right alongside it at the 24 mile mark.
This is where there was substantial flooding back in late 2009 when this area was under water. On the left is the Kingsley Hotel which was very badly effected.
It starts near the County Hall and proceeds to Victoria Cross. A slight pull over the bridge and then left at the traffic lights. Last year, the route went along the Western Road. This year, it's heading in along the quieter Mardyke route. At the end, you turn left onto the public walkway and on to the distinctive pedestrian bridge.
The 25 mile mark is here. 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 it makes a change from the open 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.
Now, it's time to run it.
Starting on the 26 mile mark, you now have 352 metres to go to the finish. At the end of Popes Quay, you go straight ahead and then right over Patricks Bridge. This is changed from last year when runners went over Christy Ring bridge instead. It's about here that you begin to hear the noise coming from the finish. 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 theMapMyRun 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.