Coming up next on the road race calendar is the Cork BHAA John Buckley Sports 5k road race on Tuesday evening at 8pm. In terms of the shorter distance road races, this is certainly one of the most popular around. There are probably several reasons for this.......it's in Cork City so it's central to a lot of people........it's a flat fast course so ideal for personal best times......and John Buckley Sports are one of the main running stores in Cork and a lot of John's regular customers would turn out to support the race..........and there is a 20% off voucher! ;o)
With the Cork City Marathon only a week away, I know a lot of new runners will be finding this blog for the first time as they go looking on the Internet for information. If you are in that category then just a note to say that these races are open to all types of runner. You can enter on the evening.
Now if you are running in the Marathon or Half-Marathon next week, there is no problem running in this race as long as you take it easy! Use it as one of your runs during the week to stay loose, not as a hard speed session.
Registration...The event centre for this race is in the Lee Rowing Club building at the start of 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. You can help the organisers by arriving early....say before 7pm and then take it easy before the race. That way, you'll avoid the queues.
Cost...As usual for BHAA events, it is €5 for registered runners and €8 for non-registered. There will be two 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 flattest 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.
Start of the John Buckley Sports 5 k
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 junction, 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.
20% Off Vouchers.......One of the major attractions of this race will be the 20% off vouchers that will be given out on the night. I asked John Buckley about these by e-mail and he told me that they will be giving them out to people at the end of chute at the finish of the race.
The 20% off voucher can be used on anything purchased in John Buckley Sports, regardless of price. It's not limited to one item. Whatever items you want to buy, you present the voucher and you get 20% off. There is also no time limit on the vouchers, you can use them anytime.
So basically, we enter a race for €5 / €8........get a 20% off voucher......spend €25 / €40 in the shop and you break even.......and I think you'll have noticed that good running shoes cost a lot more than that so the voucher is well worth getting.
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. Nice little warm up before the Marathon day proper and with a 20% off voucher on offer, it should attract a huge crowd.