Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: June 2012

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Travelling around London during the Games?

For anyone going to London for the Olympics, this video clip from CNN shows some of the options for getting around and the prices....

Results of the Courtmacsherry 10k road race - Fri 29th June 2012

There was a record entry of 362 runners for this years Courtmacsherry 10k road race. That was over double last years figure of 174.

The winner of the mens race was Cathal O'Donovan of St.Finbarr's AC in a time of 32:22. The womens race was won by Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC in a new course record time of 35:25. This is almost two minutes ahead of the old record of 37.23 which was held by Carmel Crowley of Bandon AC.

Place    Time    Name    Team    Race Age Category    min/mile   
1    0:32:22    O'DONOVAN, Cathal    St. Finbarrs AC    M    05:12.4
2    0:32:35    HARRINGTON, Chris    Leevale AC    M    05:14.5
3    0:32:52    WAUGH, George    Bandon AC    M    05:17.2

1F    0:35:25    LEE, Lizzie    Leevale AC    F    05:41.9
2F    0:38:25    CROWLEY, Carmel    Bandon AC    F40    06:10.8
3F    0:39:43    REGAN, Maura    Eagle AC    F    06:23.4

The full results can be seen HERE

1) Gearoid O'Laoi has a gallery of about 500 photos HERE

Photo credit...Gearoid O'Laoi

Yohan Blake beats Usain Bolt in 100m race in Jamaica

  1 Blake, Yohan                 Racers Track Club         9.75
  2 Bolt, Usain                  Racers Track Club         9.86
  3 Powell, Asafa                Mvp Track Club            9.88
  4 Frater, Micheal              Mvp Track Club            9.94
  5 Bailey-Cole, Kemar           Racers Track Club        10.00
  6 Carter, Nesta                Mvp Track Club           10.01
  7 Clarke, Lerone               Unattached               10.07
  8 Harvey, Jacques              Mvp Track Club           10.17

In one of the biggest shocks in the world of sprinting, Johan Blake won the mens 100m at the Jamaican Olympic trials. In a race where the world record holder Usain Bolt was supposed to stamp his authority, he just about made it into second place ahead of Asafa Powell.

This was the first time Blake and Bolt have met since the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea last year when Bolt was disqualified for a false start and Blake went on to win. The general assumpion at the time was that Blake had only won because Bolt was missing. This race in Jamaica may well have answered this debate by showing that Blake is worthy of the title World Champion. With the Olympic just about a month away, it now looks as of the 100m final there will be a lot closer. Certainly, Bolt doesn't seem to be near the form when he set the world record of 9.58 seconds.

Yohan Blakes time of 9.75 seconds was a personal best and makes him the fourth fastest man ever behind Bolt's world record of 9.58, American Tyson Gay's 9.69 and Asafa Powell's 9.72. In the post race interview, Blake said......"No pressure at all... everything is good. I'm just fortunate. I'm the national champion of Jamaica now, I go into the Olympics like this."

Irish Results on Day 4 of the European Championships...Sat 30th June 2012

Irish athletes in action at the European Championships on Saturday, the 30th of July....

Ciara Mageean goes out in the first semi-final of the womens 1500m. After running strong for the first two laps and staying in contention with the leading group, the fast pace began to tell with Ciara fading in the last lap. Her time of 4:19.23 is well down on the her personal best time of 4:07.45 which she set last August. Ciara is still just 20 years old so this major championship will be part of the learning curve for her.

Orla Drumm goes out in the second semi-final with a time of 4:19.61. For whatever reason, things didn't go well for her today as she has run much faster recently. Back in April, she ran 4:18.48 at the Leevale Meet while she ran 4:13.27 in the US at the end of that month. Her personal best time is 4:09.95 which was set in Dessau in Germany in late May. In a post race interview, she said...“I am disappointed with that, when the girls picked up the pace I just didn’t have the legs to go with them. It really shows me that I need to work on my 400m speed in order to compete. At the start of the season the aim was to make these championships, but being here I wanted to make the final. I will race again in Sweden next week to try for the Olympic A standard”

Paul Robinson finishes in 9th place in the second semi-final of the 1500m. This heat was much slower than the first one with Paul spending a lot of time on the edge of the bunch out in lane 2. His time of 3:47.26 was well down on his personal best time of 3:39.72 which he set in Watford on the 9th of June. In a post race interview, he said..."I am disappointed; I didn’t come over here to make up the numbers. I lost my position with two laps to go and unfortunately that cost me. When the pace started to wind up I wasn’t able to get back to them. I have certainly learned a lot from this experience.”

Stephanie Reilly finished in 12th place in the womens 3000m steeplechase. Her time of 9:53.90 was well down on the 9:44.15 that she set in the semi-final. Stephanies personal best time is 9:42.91 which was set in New York in June 2011. In a post race interview, she said...“I am happy enough with that, I would have liked to have gone quicker but I knew after two laps that it wasn’t going to be a fast race. So I just tucked in and held on for as long as I could. My next race will be the nationals and then I have a few more 1500m races before the Olympics”

In the semi-final of the  mens 4 x 400m relay, the Irish team was disqualified. The team made up of Brian Murphy (Crusaders AC), David Gillick (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Tim Crowe (Doneen AC) and Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) finished the race in eight place (3.12.63). However the team were later disqualified for an out of zone changeover between Gillick and Crowe, and Harvey stepped inside the track, 120m from the finish.

In the mens 200m final, Paul Hession (Athenry AC) finished eighth in a time of 21.27. Paul had started in lane 1 but with the tight bends, he found it hard to repeat the 20.75 and 20.84 of the earlier rounds.

10,000m Final .......Mark Kenneally finished in 15th place in 29:10.55. Mark has run 28:33.12 as recently as May of this year. In a post race interview, Mark said “I am not happy with that. I would have liked the pace to have been quicker; it is very hard for me to pick up the pace, given where I am at with my training. I have put in a couple of 120 mile weeks for the last while so I know my preparations are on track for London.”
David Rooney finished in 21st place in 29.57.81, a seasons best for him.

The Irish 4 x 400m relay team of Clare Bergin (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Joanne Cuddihy (Kilkenny City Harriers AC), Marian Heffernan (Togher AC) and Michelle Carey (Dublin Striders AC) finished the race in fifth place 3.32.43. However it was later revealed that the team were disqualified due to a zone infringement on the third changeover.
The Irish women's team remain ranked 12th in the world and are set to be named in the sixteen Olympic qualifiers announced by the IOC and IAAF on Monday. They need to await results from tomorrow’s final and the African Games before the outcome is certain.

So that concludes another day of European athletics. Between disqualifications and below par performances, it was a disappointing day for the Irish athletes. If anything positive can be taken from today then it must surely be the performance of Joanne Cuddihy and Marian Heffernan in the 4 x 400m relay.

Joanne Cuddihy ran the second leg and was nothing short of amazing. After receiving the baton in 8th position, she literally tore through the field as if they were a bunch of 14 year olds and handed over the baton to Marian Heffernan who then started in 3rd place. You would really have to wonder how far Joanne would have progressed if she hadn't got disqualified in the first round of the 400m.

Marian Heffernan of Togher AC also produced another fine run. She was handed the baton in 3rd place and she ran strongly to hand it over in 3rd place. A good solid performance. With a run like that, she deserves to make an Olympic team.

Second Episode of London calling now on RTE Player

The  TV series London Calling continued last Tuesday evening on RTE television with a behind the scenes look at Irish Marathon runner Mark Kenneally. The programme looks at his battle to achieve the Olympic 'A' standard of 2:15.

The second episode is available now on the RTE Player Service until the 17th of July. The piece on Mark starts around 10:00.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Preview of the Courtmacsherry 10k road race - Fri 29th June 2012

This 10 km road race in West Cork is coming up this evening, Friday the 29th of June 2012 at 8pm. In terms of flat fast 10k courses, this is about as fast as they get.

And if you are wondering if it is going ahead then yes it is. It has not been cancelled due to the all of the recent rain.

The race starts in the seaside town of Courtmacsherry, then follows the estuary road to Timoleague before doing a small loop and returning to Courtmacsherry again.

Located just to the south of Bandon, it's well within the catchment area of a lot of runners including those in Cork City.

The entry fee is €10 and the organisers are taking entries  in Courtmacsherry Hotel which is at the far eastern side of the village....

Course......This 10k course is about as flat and as fast as they come. The race starts in Courtmacsherry...follows the road alongside the estuary.....a small clockwise loop around Timoleague....and then back to Courtmacsherry and the finish.

The race starts and finishes at the Lifeboat Inn which is about 400m west of the hotel...

The course then runs through Courtmacsherry and follows the estuary. This is around the 1 mile mark...

As you can see, it's dead flat. The footpath on the right was actually where the old railway line used to run.

Around the 2.5 mile mark, you cross the causeway and bridge and then do a clockwise loop around Timoleague...

The only hill on the course is in Timoleague itself but it's very short and modest. It really shouldn't slow you down much as you run through the town...

As you turn for home, you pass the iconic Timoleague Abbey....
...and then it's a case of turning left back over the bridge and retracing your steps back to the Lifeboat Inn in Courtmacsherry.

Overall.....A flat fast 10k course is a really nice part of Cork. On a sunny evening, it's a great location for a road race.

Refreshments and prizes later back in the Courtmacsherry Hotel.

Reminder about Facebook competition....

Just a reminder than the two competitions on Facebook for free entries to the Run Killarney Half-Marathon coming up on Saturday, the 14th of July. (closing date is the 2nd of July....details in an earlier post.)

Check out the Running in Cork Facebook Page and the Running in Munster site to enter.

Irish Results on Day 3 of the European Championships - Fri 29th June 2012

Day 3 (29th June) Irish Athletes Competing

Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC) was disqualified in the third heat of the mens 200m. Looking at the video for the race, it did seem as if Steven was having some trouble staying inside the lane as his speed seemed to push him outwards on the sharp bends.

Paul Hession finishes in second place in the fourth heat of the mens 200m. Paul talks here about his heat and the tight bends...

 Amy foster bows out in the first round of the womens 200m.

Jessie Barr finishes in 8th place in the womens 400m hurdles final. Jessie's time of 56.83 was well down on her 55.93 seconds in the semi-final but it's still a great achievement for the 23 year old.

Post race interview with Jessie Barr here...

Paul Hession finishes in 4th place in the second semi-final of the mens 200m as the Greek athlete gets disqualified. He goes through to the final of the mens 200m. Great result!

Paul reacts to making the final...

Brian Gregan finishes 6th in the final of the mens 400m final. He was well placed to take a medal but faded in the last 50 metres. It was a remarkable performance considering that he was having problems with his groin from abut 100m.

Post race interview with Brian Gregan here...

That concludes another day of European athletics. It was a day of what might have been. Steven Colvert went out in the mens 200m due to a disqualification because of a lane violation. He was one of a growing number of athletes that had difficulties with the tight bends on the track. In the race video, it was obvious that momentum was pushing him outwards as he tried to take the bend. In another heat of the 200m, Paul Hession just about made it through to what is his third European final. However, for the third day running, the star performance for my money was from Brian Gregan yet again. In the 400m final, he picked up a groin injury around the 80m mark and by the time there was only 50 metres left, he was still in contention for the bronze medal. Today wasn't his day but certainly a name for the future.

Results of the Shanagarry 5 mile road race - Thurs 28th June 2012

A total of 485 runners turned out for the Shangarry 5 mile road race on Thursday, the 28th of June 2012. That's down a bit on the record turnout last year of 512 but that may well be explained by the wet weather and the fact that the semi-final of the European Football Championships between Germany and Italy was on the television. In the end, it was dry for most of the race with just some pools of water on the road. (2007 = 279, 2008 = 281, 2009 = 471, 2010 = 503 and 2011 = 512)

The winner of the mens race was Tim Twomey of Leevale AC while the first woman home was Helen Leonard of Rathfarnham-WSAF AC.

Place    Time    Name    Team    Race Age Category    min/mile      
1    0:26:22    TWOMEY, Tim    Leevale AC    M    05:16.3
2    0:26:29    WAUGH, George    Bandon AC    M    05:17.7
3    0:26:47    MCGRATH, Sean    East Cork AC    M    05:21.3

1F    0:32:24    LEONARD, Helen    Rathfarnham-WSAF AC    F40    06:28.7
2F    0:32:40    MOORE, Ann    Leevale AC    F45    06:31.9
3F    0:32:57    WALSH, Niamh    Leevale AC    F    06:35.3

The full results can be seen HERE

The standings after the first two races in the Ballycotton Summer Series can now be seen HERE
(Compiled by John Robinson of Mallow AC)

1) Gearoid O'Laoi has a large gallery of photos HERE

Photo Credit.......Gearoid O'Laoi

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Race preview...Shanagarry 5 mile road race - Thurs 28th June 2012

There are three races coming up in the next two days that might be of interest. On Thursday evening, the second race of the Ballycotton Summer Series goes ahead in Shanagarry, East Cork.....details below. On Friday evening, there is a 10k road race in Courtmacsherry in West Cork. Race notice HERE and a preview to follow. Also on Friday evening, there is the Kilfinane 5 mile road race in South-East Limerick. This is the fourth race in Ballyhoura Active Series.

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. Considering that they got 512 for this race last year, then it's likely to be a similar number again.

Directions... 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.

Parking... Note that due to the large number of cars, there are special parking arrangements. Follow the stewards instructions on the night.

Entries... Entries will be taken in a marquee at the GAA grounds in the centre of the village. There will be 2 queues for entries. If you ran the first race in the series in Ballyandreen then check the lists there for your number and join the appropriate queue. If not, join the other queue.

From the organisers...
SHANAGARRY ‘5’ RACE NUMBERS.......All those who ran in the first race of the Ballycotton Summer Series (Ballyandreen ‘5’) last month are automatically entered for the second race at Shanagarry this Thursday night. 
The numbers are in alphabetical order and can be seen at this LINK - it would help if people could find their number in advance and ask for same at one of the entry desks. There will be three distribution desks – those with numbers 1 to 200; numbers 201 to 400; and numbers 401 to 598.

Also, it would be appreciated if people had the correct fee of €5 ready to speed up the process. Entries will open from 6pm onwards with the race starting at 8pm.

For new people on the night (anyone who didn’t run Ballyandreen), there will be a separate entry desk as normal – 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 second 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 third 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 fourth 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 fifth 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."

Irish results on Day 2 of the European Championships...Thurs 28th June 2012

This is the second day of the European Track and Field Championships. Yesterday, no less than 7 men were disqualified from the 400m heats and the track has come in for some criticism. Apparently because of a football pitch in the centre of the stadium, the corners of the track are very tight and athletes sprinting are having some trouble staying in lane.

Pole Vault....Tori Pena goes out after failing at her third attempt at 4.40 metres having cleared 4.15, 4.25 and 4.35m earlier.

Jessie Barr runs a PB in the 400m hurdles...Qualifies for final as one of the fastest finishers!

Stephanie Reilly (Sli Cualann AC) ran a seasons best time of 9:44.15 in the second semi-finals of the womens 3000m steeplechase. She goes through to the final as one of the fastest finishers. Great result!

19 year old Thomas Barr ran a seasons best time of 50.22 seconds in the first of three semi-final races. Unfortunately, it's wasn't fast enough to go through to the final.

Brian Gregan qualifies for the final by coming second in his semi-final heat of the mens 400m! His time of 45.76 seconds was just slower than his PB time yesterday of 45.63 in the heats.

That concludes another day of athletics from Helsinki. Star performance of the day was yet again from Brian Gregan of Clonliffe Harriers AC. After finishing second in his semi-final heat of the mens 400m, he must have a real prospect of getting into the medals. Jessie Barr continued her fine form by qualifying for womens 400m hurdles. Her chances of getting in the medals are remote but getting into a final with the best runners in rest is a success in itself. After running 55.93 seconds, her real target will be to hit the Olympic qualifying standard of 55.50 in the final. Stephanie Reilly was another Irish Athlete who had a great day after finishing sixth in the womens 3000m steeplechase semi-final and goes through to the final.

Amongst the Irish athletes who went out of the competition today were Thomas Barr. At only just 19 years old, it was a real achievement for him to reach a European 400m hurdles semi-final. After finished in fifth place with a season’s best time of 50.22, his time was the second quickest time of his career, second only to the national junior record of 50.05, which he set at the Woodie’s DIY Irish Senior Track and Field Championships last year.

Also bowing out in the early stages was US based Tori-Pena (Finn Valley AC) in the women’s pole vault. She cleared some of the earlier heights but unfortunately had three failures at 4.40m, a height that would have got her into the final.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

US Olympic trials produce a dead heat result in the womens 100m

Last weekend for the first time ever, the US Olympic trials for women in the 100m final produced a dead heat result. Both Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh crossed the finish line in joint third place in exactly 11.068 seconds. With timing equipment measuring thousandths of a second and cameras taking photos at a rate of 3,000 frames per second, the judges could not decide which of the runner's torso had cross the line first. A dead heat has never been seen before, even in the event's long history.

On Sunday evening, USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer announced the new procedure for breaking a third-place tie in the 100 and any running event in the future for which a U.S. national or Olympic team is selected. Unless one athlete declines her position, the runners will decide between a run-off and a coin toss. Either way, the decision must be made and a team finalised by the end of the trials on Sunday, July 1. Officials will work with the two and their coach, Bobby Kersee, to decide what to do next.

Michael Healy Rae TD to start Run Killarney 10k...

The organisers of the Run Killarney released this photo today of the 2012 'Official Starter' for the Run Killarney 10k coming up on the 14th of July.  According to the organisers..."The start line for the 10K is in the stunning location beside the lake in front of Muckross House. Michael might even run it himself !! Only a few places left in the 1/2 Marathon, don't miss out"

They didn't mention if he would be running with the gun or not ;o) ......or the cap!

More details about the Run Killarney Half-Marathon in an earlier post.

Irish results on Day 1 of the European Championships...Wed 27th June 2012

These are the results of the Irish athletes on day 1 of the European Track and Field Championships in Helsinki....

Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) was the first Irish athlete in action at the 2012 European Track and Field Championships. Amy's time in the 100m was 11.58 seconds, just 8 hundredths of a second slower than her seasons best time of 11.50. Unfortunately, this was too slow and she doesn't progress to the next round.

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) has just qualified from heat #4 in the 400m hurdles with a seasons best time of 50.59. Thomas finished sixth at the 2011 European Juniors and broke the Irish national junior record on no less than three occasions last season and is making his Irish senior debut in Helsinki.

In heat #6 of the the 400m hurdles, Jason Harvey finished in 5th place with a time of 51.83 seconds. This is slower than his seasons best time of 51.67 which he set last May.

Double Para-Olympian Jason Smyth (City of Derry) finished 4th in the second heat of the mens 100m to qualify for the next round. His time was 10.47 seconds, down on his 10.24 set Clermont, Florida in May.  He will now run in the 100m semi-finals at 6.20pm Irish time.

Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) wins the first heat in the mens 400m in a new personal best time of 45.63 seconds. This is an improvement on his previous best time of 45.91. (Update....some of the winners of other heats have been disqualified. Brian has the fastest time from the heats).......Post race interview....."I'm really happy that I managed to get a PB on this tough track. Now I'm just going to relax and chill out before trhe next round."

Jessie Barr (Ferrybank AC), sister of Thomas finished 3rd in the second heat of the women’s 400m hurdles in a time of 56.30. Her PB is 56.16 which was set last May and had moved her to third on the Irish all time lists.

Joanne Cuddidy is disqualified after it looked like she had qualified in 3rd place in her heat (52.20).
From Athletics Ireland...."Joanne Cuddihy is unfortunately disqualified after stepping out of her lane in heat 4 of the women's 400m. Team management and Joanne viewed the tape which showed she clearly stepped inside lane four. Joanne accepted the decision but is understandable devastated. If it wasn't for the stumble Cuddihy believed she could of won the heat. She will now turn her intentions to the relay for redemption."

Jason Smyth bows out in the men 100m semi-final with a time of 10.52 seconds, slightly slower than his 10.47 earlier in the day. The slowest qualifier was 10.30 seconds while Jason Smyth's personal best time for 100m is 10.22 seconds which he set last May.

So that's the end of the first day of the European Track and Field Championships. From an Irish point of view, it was a day of mixed fortunes. Jason Smyth bowed out in the 100m semi-final even though on paper at least, he was fast enough to make the final. Joanne Cuddihy was disqualified in her heat of the 400m when she put her foot out of lane. Supposedly, the track is built around a football pitch and as a result has some tight corners. Indeed, throughout the day, there was a significant number of athletes disqualified due to lane infringements.

With due respect to St.Finbarr's AC, the term 'Go on the Barr's' has taken one a completely new lease of life with the brother and sister pair of Thomas and Jessie Barr both making it through their heats ;o)

Performance of the day though must go to Brian Gregan who not only won his heat in the mens 400m but also set a PB in the process. As the fastest qualifier in the heats, he must be seen now as a possible medal hope.

More action tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Running in the woods twice as good as running in a gym for mental health

Researchers have found that walking or running outdoors in a natural environment like a park or woodland can have a positive effect on people suffering from depression and anxiety.

The study showed that the positive effect on people's mental health was 50 per cent more than they might expect from going to the gym. The researchers at Glasgow University found that being around trees and grass lowered brain stress levels.

The study, led by Prof Richard Mitchell, polled nearly 2000 physically active people. In an interview, Prof Mitchell said he was "surprised" by the scale of the results, adding: "There was around a 50 per cent improvement in people’s mental health if they were physically active in the natural environment, compared to those who weren't. These aren't serious mental health issues, more struggles in general life, things like mild depression, not being able to sleep, high stress levels or just feelings of not being able to cope. It seems that woodland and forest seem to have the biggest effect on helping to lower mental health problems. That makes sense with what we thought we knew. That is, the brain likes to be in the natural environment and it reacts to being there by turning down our stress response.
 Being in areas that have lots of trees and grassy areas help to calm us down, and obviously a forest has this. I wasn't surprised by the findings that exercise in natural environments is good for your mental health, but I was surprised by just how much better it is for your mental health to exercise in a green place like a forest, than in other places like the gym. The message to doctors, planners and policy makers is that these places need protecting and promoting."

He added that taking a decision to exercise in a natural environment once a week could be enough to gain some benefit, and any additional use could have a bigger effect.

Looking ahead to the European Championships...Wed 27th June - Sun 1st July 2012

Outside of the Olympics, the second most important competition this year is of course the European Track and Field Championships. This is starting on Wednesday, the 27th of June and runs until Sunday, the 1st of July.

A complete schedule of events can be seen HERE

Ireland is sending a team of 26 athletes to the championships with some having a very real chance of getting amongst the medals.

Here is a selection of the athletes as previewed by Athletics Ireland...
Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC).........2011 European Cross Country Champion..."Britton has been in great form all year recording personal bests over the 5,000m and 10,000m distances. Britton’s time of 31.22.29 for the 10,000m back in May moved her to fourth on the Irish all time list. The time also ranks Britton in third place in Europe based on seasonal best performances. This is the first time that Britton will contest the 10,000m at a major championship having previously competed in the 3000m steeplechase."

Joanne Cuddihy (Kilkenny City Harriers)...Irish Record Holder..."Cuddihy will compete over 400m after what has been a very successful year so far for the Kilkenny athlete over the one lap distance. Cuddihy has been training and competing in Australia for the majority of the year, running a seasonal best time of 51.43 back in May to secure her place on the team. The last time these championships were held in Barcelona in 2010, Cuddihy was eliminated at the semi final stage of the competition. In Helsinki Cuddihy will aim to go one better and challenge for a top position."

Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC)..."Colvert has been selected to run in the 200m after making a big break through this year, becoming the National U23 Record Holder over 100m (10.35) and 200m (20.57). Colvert’s 200m time eclipsed the old mark (20.61) held by his training partner Paul Hession. On the basis of his current form Colvert has the potential to make a big impression in Helsinki and make the final."

Jason Smyth (City of Derry)...Double Para-Olympian..."Smyth is named in the team after running 10.24 in Clermont, Florida in May. Smyth also has a wind assisted 10.17 to his name this year. Smyth is in great shape this year and will target a place in the 100m final at these championships."

Amy Foster (North Down AC)..."Foster has been selected to compete in the 100m and 200m events. Foster tops the 2012 Irish rankings in the 100m with a time of 11.50 and has also ran an even quicker 11.32 this season, however this performance was wind assisted. Foster has also run 23.97 for the 200m which puts her in second place on the 2012 Irish rankings behind team mate Joanne Cuddihy."
Mark Kenneally (Clonliffe Harriers)..."Kenneally who has been nominated for Olympic marathon selection will compete in the 10,000m. Kenneally ran a personal best of 28.33.12 for 10,000m in May to qualify for Helsinki."

Ciara Mageean (U.C.D AC) and Orla Drumn (U.C.C AC)..."Both are both selected for the 1500m. Mageean the 2010 World junior silver medalist over 1500m will be making her senior Irish debut in Helsinki. Meanwhile Drumm has been in fantastic form all season setting a personal best of 4.09.05 in May to qualify for the championships. "

Tori Pena (Finn Valley AC)..."Pena will be the sole Irish representative. Pena set a new Irish pole vault record of 4.52m in April to gain selection for these championships. The record ranks Pena in tenth place on the 2012 European rankings going into Helsinki."

The women’s 4×400m team includes Irish record holder Joanne Cuddihy (KCH AC) and regulars, Marian Heffernan (Togher AC), Claire Bergin (DSD AC) Michelle Carey (Dublin Striders AC) and Jessie Barr (Ferrybank AC). The new additions include Catriona Cuddihy sister of Joanne (Kilkenny City Harriers AC) and Joanna Mills (Ballymena and Antrim AC). The squad has a seasonal best time of 3:30.61, which they ran in Poland at the beginning of June. These championships offer the squad a further opportunity to improve their time and ranking in order to secure Olympic qualification.

Irish record holder’s Deirdre Ryan (Dundrum South Dublin AC) and Derval O’Rourke (Leevale AC) will not compete in Helsinki, both preferring to focus all their intentions on the upcoming London Olympic Games.

Men's 100m: Jason Smyth (City of Derry).
200m: Steven Colvert (Crusaders) and Paul Hession (Athenry).
400m: Brian Gregan (Clonliffe).
110m Hurdles: Ben Reynolds (N Down).
400m Hurdles: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank), Jason Harvey (UUJ).
1500m: Paul Robinson (St Coca's).
10,000m: Mark Kenneally (Clonliffe), David Rooney (Raheny).
4x400m: David Gillick (DSD), Brian Gregan, B Murphy (Crusaders), Thomas Barr, Jason Harvey (UUJ), Tim Crowe (Dooneen).
Women's 100m: Amy Foster (North Down).
400m: Joanne Cuddihy (Kilkenny CH).
400m Hurdles: Jessie Barr (Ferrybank).
1500m: Ciara Mageean (UCD), Orla Drumm (UCC).
Steeplechase: Stephanie Reilly (Sli Chulainn).
10,000m: Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole).
Pole Vault: Tori Pena (Finn Valley).
4x400m: Joanne Cuddihy, C Bergin (DSD), Marian Heffernan (Togher), Michelle Carey (Dublin Striders), Catriona Cuddihy (KCH), Joanne Mills (B&A).

The selection process has not been without controversy as some athletes who appear to have reached the qualifying standard were not included. More details in this piece in the Irish Independent.