The 2nd race in the Ballycotton 5 Mile Road Race Summer Series takes place in the small village of Shanagarry in East Cork on Thursday evening at 8pm. Going on the numbers at recent races, it looks likely that there might be another record number. Considering that they got 520 for the first race in the series and they got 481 for this race last year, will the 500 barrier will be broken this year?
If you are coming from Cork, take the N25 East and from the roundabout on the Midleton bypass, take the 3rd exit and follow the main R629 Midleton to Ballycotton road. Shanagarry is located on the main road between Cloyne and Ballycotton. If you are coming from Waterford, take a left at Castlemartyr for Ladysbridge and Garryvoe and follow the road on towards Shanagarry.
Note that due to the large number of cars, there will be new parking arrangements this year. If you are approaching from Cork, you will be directed to a car park which is about 800 metres from the registration point. This is roughly a 10 minute walk so allow for this.
Entries will be taken in a marquee at the GAA grounds in the centre of the village. Here is some advice from the organisers...
All those who ran the first race at Ballyandreen last month are automatically entered for the Shanagarry ‘5’. Numbers are listed on the Ballycotton website in alphabetical order. On the night, there will be two queues – one for those with numbers from 1 to 300, the other for people with numbers over 300.
It would help greatly if you would note your number and join the correct queue and ask for the number at the entry desk. A similar list of names and numbers will also be displayed outside the marquee. Also, it saves a lot of time if you have the correct entry fee (which is just €5) at the ready.
Runners who did not run in Ballyandreen can enter in the normal way at a separate table (entry fee again €5).
The race starts at 8pm and people are requested to arrive early in view of the large numbers expected and due to parking facilities this year being some distance away from the race headquarters.
The race starts just outside the petrol station at the main road junction on the Ballycotton road. It then drops slightly into the hollow by the GAA entrance, up past the road junction where the finish will be, past the church, down again into another slight hollow and up a bit of a pull until the road flattens out as you head towards the 1 mile mark. A pretty fast mile with no major drags.
The 2nd mile is pretty flat. You run down to Garryvoe next to the beach, around a sharp bend and head inland again. A flat fast mile.
The 3rd mile is not so easy. It is basically a long gentle uphill section until you turn off left onto a quiet country road and the 3 mile mark. You can expect to lose some time on the long climb.
The 4th mile starts easy. The first half mile is along a flat road with a great view to the left over the East Cork countryside. At the next road junction, you take a very sharp left and then the road drops rapidly. It's almost too steep to really run on comfortably. Then it flattens out for a short section and then, you hit the hill! Not as bad as the 'Beast of Ballyandreen' but a nasty one all the same. After the initial shock, the gradient reduces as you hit the 4 mile mark. A tough mile.
For the start of the 5th and final mile, there is still a gradual climb for about 300 metres after the 4 mile mark. Then it flattens out as you negotiate a series of bends with matures trees on either side of the road providing plenty of cover. The last half mile is very fast as it is slightly downhill all the way to the finish.
Note from the organisers...."Regarding the course, we would like to remind runners to keep on the left after passing Garryvoe, there is no advantage to be gained by crossing over to the right and it can also be very dangerous."