Although it is advertised as Munsters Premier 4-Mile Road Race, it is in reality nothing of the sort. This event is essentially a 3.8 mile charity walk/run with a small road race at the front of it. In the past, it used to attract a lot of fast runners but in the last few years, there have been a lot of issues with runners unable to get near the front and be able to start ahead of the mass of walkers. As a result, many runners have given up on it which is a real pity when it has the potential to be a great sporting event if organised properly.
The latest news for the 2010 event is that there may be some sort of 'Tag' system whereby runners (with red number tags) will be able to start ahead of the walkers. If this is the case then it should make a huge difference. It'll be interesting to see what changes will be made for this year and if this event in future will attract back some of the runners lost over recent years.
Tag or no tag, if you intend to race it then you need to get to the start early! There are somewhere in the region of 10,000 women taking part and when there are that many people, it is going to be very crowded.
Remember it starts at 1pm.
Course...The start of this race is on the Centre Park Road.
Mile 0-1....The first mile or so is very flat with only a slight uphill around the 0.8 mile mark as the road joins the Marina. This should be a very fast mile as long as you stay clear of the mass of runners/joggers/walkers/prams....etc.
Mile 1-2.....Dead flat along the Marina. Probably the most scenic part of the run. Again, it should be a very fast mile. If you have started too fast, this is about where you should find out. Pace yourself for the first 2, you can pick it up over the last 2 if you have gone too slow.
Mile 2-3....This section includes the only real hill. There is a nasty pull from the 2 mile mark up to St.Michael's church, a distance of about 300 metres. You are going to lose some time here. After that, it's reasonably flat with a slight fall downhill into Beaumount about the 2.7 mile mark. Then past the AIB bank and Post office and take a sharp right down Maryville Road. Around the 3 mile mark, there is a very steep downhill section. By far, the hardest mile.
Mile 3-3.8....After the initial downhill section, the remainder of the mile is flat with the finish on the Monaghan Road, near Kennedy Park.
Click on the map above for a closer look. If you are not sure what part of the city the map shows above, click on this LINK
....and finally, it is worth mentioning what a significant event this is for the city of Cork. With around 10,000 taking part and many getting sponsorship, it is probably no exageration to say that several million Euro will be raised for various charities. For many of those taking part, it may be closest they ever get to any sort of road race.