After a short break of 1 week since the Cork City Marathon, the road races are starting again. On Tuesday evening, we have the Cork BHAA John Buckley Sports 5 km road race on the Marina in Cork City. This is one of the most popular Cork BHAA races and it's likely to attract a huge turnout. Last year, it got 696 runners which is mind boggling! That was up from 483 in 2008 and 406 in 2007.
Why the big numbers last year? I'd guess a lot of them were Relay runners from the Cork City Marathon who decided to give one of the shorter races a blast. No doubt there will be a huge turnout of relay runners again this year.
NEW RUNNERS........READ THIS!!
Yes You! If you are new to the local running scene or just took part in the Relay in the Cork Marathon, you might be wondering what the local races are like? A lot of new people get the wrong idea and think the local road races are only for 'serious' or 'fast' runners. They are afraid to take part because they might come last!
The truth is that all different types of people take part in the local road races.....some fast....some slow. If you can do a leg of roughly 5 miles in the relay of the Cork Marathon then you can certainly take on any of the shorter road races.
So...on to the preview!
Registration...The event centre for this race is in the Lee Rowing Club building on the Marina. This is located just alongside the Pairc Ui Chaoimh GAA stadium. There is plenty of parking in the area....outside the club house, along the quayside or outside the GAA stadium. See map below. Considering that the number of entries will be high, there will be BIG queues. Try and arrive early (7:00-7:20) and avoid the crush.
Remember, the race starts at 8pm!
Cost...As usual for BHAA events, it is €5 for registered runners and €8 for non-registered. There will be 2 queues...just make sure you get into the correct one. Just a note for those of you new to the running scene, this race is open to anyone. Just join the non-registered queue and get your race number.
Course...This is probably the flatest and fastest 5 km course in Cork. The start is on the Centre Park Road, about half a mile from the club house. With so many people running, the start will probably be a bit squashed but the road is wide enough that the field will soon thin out. Just one word of warning here...a lot of heavy vehicles use this road and the surface is a bit rough in places. It's not so easy to see what is up ahead when the field is bunched.
So, from the start, you run towards the city centre, left at the roundabout and onto the Monaghan Road. The 1 mile mark is half way down this road. For the 2nd mile, you go left at the next juction, back onto the Centre Park Road, past the start point and on to the 2 mile mark. For the 3 mile, you just retrace your footsteps as you repeat the same route except at the end when you approach the Centre Park Road again, you turn right instead of left. Here, you enter a tunnel of Green foliage as the mature trees on both sides of the road block out the light. Along here, you pass the 3 mile mark and the finish is about 150 metres later.
Overall.....Dead flat and as fast a 5 km course as you can get. If you want to try for a personal best, this is the place to try for it.
If you want to have a closer look at the course or get your bearings, I have put the route up on the MapMyRun website.
Later in the week...
Coming up next Sunday, there is a brand new 10 km race in Dunmanway in West Cork. The organisers have put a lot of work into promoting this race and it's a welcome addition to the race calendar. That race will be previewed here late on Thursday evening.