Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: 2nd leg of the Relay in the 2013 Cork City Marathon

Thursday, May 30, 2013

2nd leg of the Relay in the 2013 Cork City Marathon

This is the 2nd stage of 5 and is 5.5 miles in length. Of the 5, it is probably one of the two toughest Relay legs. For Marathon runners, this stage starts just after the 5 mile mark at about 5.3 miles between the skew bridge and Silversprings hotel on the Lower Glanmire road. For Relay runners, the mile markers for this stage will be for the Marathon. Since you are starting at 5.3 miles, the 6, 7 and 8 mile markers will be 0.7, 1.7, 2.7 miles and so on.

Course...Leg 2 of the Relay / Mile 6 of the Marathon......It starts just before the skew bridge with a slight pull over the bridge, down the other side and then join the new Relay runners. Past the Silversprings Hotel and you head East towards the tunnel on the right hand side of the road. About half way along the road between the Hotel and the Dunkettle roundabout, you'll come to the 6 mile mark. Another pretty easy and flat mile. Near the 6 mile mark, there should be a water station with bottles of water.

Mile 7......Carry on to the roundabout, through it and now there is a gradual climb up the slip road before it flattens out and then falls towards the tunnel entrance. The 7 mile mark is near here. A reasonable mile although you will have encountered your first real pull and effort. Overall, the first 7 miles of the Marathon are pretty flat and easy. Things get 'interesting' from here on.

Mile 8........... Round the corner and down into the Jack Lynch tunnel under the River Lee. Now is not a good time to start thinking about the few hundred metric tons of water above your head and start looking for leaks ;o)

Two things here.....
 1) The tunnel slowly curves away to the left. You SHOULD follow the racing line..i.e. stay on the left and take the shortest possible route. For example, in the photo above, you should stick as close to the traffic cones as possible. Every year, people are stuck to the right wall taking the long option. The course is measured over the shortest possible route. There are no medals for running longer than you have to.
 2) The mile starts with a long downhill but as soon as you hit the middle, you have to start the long climb out again. It's not steep but it is long. See the photo below....this is the pull coming back out of the tunnel.

Mile 9............The first half mile along the South Ring Road is flat and easy. Then you take the right up the steep slip road for Mahon Point.

This is the steepest section so far in the race. Then it flattens out and falls slowly towards the entrance to Mahon Point and the 9 mile mark. So, a reasonable mile with a steep climb in the middle.

Mile 10......Starts near Mahon Point but soon you have to begin climbing. See below.......this is the slight downhill to Mahon Point followed by the climb on the other side all the ways to the CSO office. Nothing serious but uphill all the same.

Then right around the corner by the CSO office and on to the Skehard Road. Along this section, you come to the next water station. Then the road falls slowly downhill and take the next right into a housing estate and the 10 mile mark. A reasonable mile with a moderate pull initially.

Mile 11........Out of the estate....then left....a flat section and then left again on to Ringmahon Road. This section is dead flat and just ahead, you'll see the mass of runners eagerly waiting at the 2nd Relay changeover point at about 10.8 miles (..or 5.5 miles for Relay runners doing only the 2nd leg).

For Marathon runners and Relay runners just starting, it's right at the next junction and head towards Blackrock Castle. The 11 mile mark is about 500 metres after the Relay changeover point. A flat and easy mile.

So that's the 2nd leg. It was roughly 5.5 miles in length and there were plenty of sections where you had to put in a bit of extra effort. While it has the novelty of running through the Jack Lynch tunnel, it is still one of the harder relay legs when you consider the amount of climbing from the centre of the tunnel to the high point near the CSO office.

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