Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Race notice...Carrigaline 5 mile road race - Sun 17th Feb 2013

This 5 mile road race is coming up in Carrigaline on Sunday, the 17th of February at 11am. Coming two weeks before the Ballycotton '10', it is ideally placed as a test run to check your fitness level  before the big day itself.

The town of Carrigaline is only five miles south of the South Ring Road so it is within easy reach of Cork City. The entry fee is €10 and the organising club Eagle AC will be taking pre-registrations online HERE if you want to avoid the queues on the day. Please note that entering online is €10, there are no extra handling charges or hidden commissions.

The race is sponsored by The Edge Sports Shop and they will be giving out 20% discount vouchers to all runners on the day. Obviously, the discount may well exceed the cost of the race entry so it might be worth doing for this reason alone.

The other co-sponsor is Pepsico Ireland which is a major employer in the area with it's plant located just east of the town.

Route Preview.........A preview of the course can be seen HERE

More details as we get closer to the date...

New walking routes proposed for the southside of Cork city...

Cork County Council have just released a report titled the Douglas Land Use and Transportation Strategy which basically outlines some of the proposed developments in Douglas over the next decade or so. Besides covering various aspects like road layouts and transportation considerations, there was one section which detailed some of the proposed new walkways to the south of Cork City.

The ones shown above are those that are supposed to be 'off-street' as opposed to a footpath alongside a busy road. If they ever come to pass then they will be a welcome extension to the existing network of walking routes in the city. You only have to go during a Sunday to the waterfront walkway that runs from Blackrock Castle to the Douglas Estuary to see how popular an amenity that one is. While those shown above may not be as scenic, they should give runners a lot more options for routes to choose from, especially once the new Tramore Valley Park opens up to the public.

Results of the poll for the best 5k race in Cork in 2012...

The poll for the best 5k race in Cork in 2012 has now closed and these are the results...
From a total of 500 votes, the annual Dan Byrne Memorial 5k Trail Race in Doneraile came out tops with 142. No doubt this stunning location in North Cork helped swing the vote for many people. This race which is organised by Mallow AC will be held this year on Friday, the 31st of May.

In second place and just 13 votes behind is last year's winner, the Carrigtwohill 5k which is based at Barryscourt Castle. In third place, the Cloyne 5k got 90 votes. The remaining three were....Daniel Kingston 5k in Macroom 68 votes, John Buckley 5k in Cork City 38 votes and the Newmarket 5k 33 votes.

It's worth pointing out that just because a race got fewer votes, it doesn't mean that there was something wrong with it. It just so happens that these were the six that were nominated and the Doneraile race was the most popular.

So congrats to Mallow AC on putting on a fine race in 2012 and no doubt the 2013 race will be equally popular.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Balance / Athletics Ireland partnership deal

Thanks to James Cottle who attended this launch on behalf of the Running in Cork blog and put together this short piece below...

Tuesday night, at a well-attended ceremony held at the Market Bar in Dublin, saw the unveiling of the new strip for Ireland’s international athletes to be provided by New Balance. Following signature late last year of a 3 year contract with the AAI, New Balance’s sponsorship, which replaces that of ASICS, will cover performance, warm-up apparel and footwear for the Irish track and field team for use in competition.

From left to right, Irish athletes Jessie Barr, Colin Costello, Ciara Mageean, Fionnuala Britton, Thomas Barr and Ava Hutchinson in attendance at the New Balance & Athletics Ireland Partnership launch event in Dublin...Tues 29th Jan 2013
Although, New Balance is less well-known today in Ireland perhaps than ASICS, it has a long tradition of involvement in the sport of athletics and indeed of support for Irish athletes in particular. We were reminded that the company sponsored Olympic marathon silver medallist John Treacy for over 11 years and also supported Marcus O’Sullivan, World indoor champion at 1500m. New Balance was founded in Boston in 1906 as a provider of arch supports, gradually evolving into a manufacturer of sports shoes. However, it was not until 1972 when entrepreneur Jim Davis acquired the company on Patriots Day, the day of the running of the Boston marathon, that the company began to transform itself into a manufacturer of high performance running shoes, attracting a significant following over the years, partly because it is one of few manufacturers to provide running shoes in a variety of widths.

Tom Carleo, of New Balance, said at the event that the partnership with Athletics Ireland is an extremely exciting opportunity for the company to reinforce its ambition to become the number one running and athletics brand in the World and to get back to the grass roots of the sport. John Foley, CEO of the AAI, also added how membership of athletics clubs and running in general was now booming in Ireland and that the support of New balance would be invaluable for continuing to raise the profile of the sport here, along with the recent initiative with the indoor track in Athlone and the success of Ireland’s athletes in international cross country.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

AAI Games at the new indoor track in Athlone last weekend...

After a long wait, Ireland's newest indoor track in Athlone finally opened for business last weekend.

One of the best performances was from Brian Gregan of Clonliffe Harriers who ran the 400 metres in a time of 46:07, breaking his previous best time of 46.66 which he set in Ghent, Belgium in February of 2012. This now makes his the third fastest Irish man over the distance, moving up two places from fifth. The current Irish indoor 400m record was set by David Gillick in a time of 45.52. Considering that Brian is still only 23 years old, you'd have to wonder if it's only a matter of time before he breaks it?

Race video...

As if to verify just how fast this new mondo indoor track is, Thomas Barr of Ferrybank AC in second place also set a new personal time of 47.46 seconds.

In the women's 800m, there was plenty of drama with two contestants crashing to the ground within metres of the line in what was a very closely contested finish...

Race video...

Mens 3000m walk.....Rob Heffernan of Togher AC and Luke Hickey of Leevale AC in action

Men's 3km Walk...1, R Heffernan Togher A.C. 11.13.92 // 2, A Wright England 11.23.99 // 3, L Hickey Leevale A.C. 12.34.16

Results for the weekend can be seen HERE

Kieran Carlin of Finn Valley AC has plenty of photos HERE

Results of the poll for the best Marathon in Munster in 2012...

The poll for the best Marathon in Munster in 2012 has now closed and these are the results...

A total of 254 people took part and the poll was open for most of January.

I guess that it's no great suprise that the Cork Marathon came out so far ahead considering that a high percentage of the people visiting this site are from Cork. Still though, the Cork Marathon has now become a well established event after a few teething problems in the first  few years.

Dingle takes the second spot with 23 votes which is no big suprise considering it's scenic location. On a nice day, it's a fantastic route especially out around Slea Head.

The Clonakilty Marathon is in 3rd place with 16 votes. As a Marathon based in Cork and with it's scenic coastal route, this one would probably have got a lot more votes except for all the problems it had last December.

Sixmilebridge is a small low key Marathon which attracts it's own following. Twenty six laps of a one mile course may not be everyone's cup of tea but there is a great community spirit there.

The Limerick Marathon only got 9 votes despite the fact that a fair few people from Limerick actually visit this blog. I have to say that as a Marathon, it's ok but there is nothing special about it. It always strikes me as one that's handy for the locals to do but I don't think I'd recommend anyone traveling from afar to do it.

The last one was the new Waterford Marathon. I haven't heard anything bad about it but it strikes me as one for the locals as well. 2012 was the first year so there was an obvious novelty value to it. We'll have to wait to see if it is able to attract the numbers in the years ahead.

And what of 2013?? One obvious theme with nearly every Marathon in Munster is that it's usually locals that run them. If we have a quick look at the county population stats...

....then you can see that Cork dwarfs the other counties in Munster. As such, the Cork Marathon will always has a large population base to draw on but what about the others?

In 2013, there will be three more Marathons, all of them in Kerry. That makes 9 Marathons in Munster in 2013 in total. Is that too many? All of the bigger ones have other events like Half-Marathons associated with them which no doubts helps to subsidise the additional costs of the Marathon itself. Will it get to the stage where the actual Marathon ends up costing too much and some organisations will just go for just the Half-Marathon & relay option instead? How many are too many? Is it feasible to have 4 Marathons in Kerry in one year? Are we reaching a saturation point?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Results of the Dungarvan 10 mile road race...Sun 27th Jan 2013

What a race! The 2013 John Treacy Dungarvan 10 mile road race was another great success with over 1,400 finishers, a record number. There was a threat of some rain at one stage but it didn't amount to much. A little bit cold but fine once you got going.

The three big positives I take from this race are....
1) Fast course
2) Fine spread afterwards.......always an important consideration ;o)
3) The excellent dry-fit top. At this stage, I probably have more tops than I know what to do with them but there is very obvious differences in quality. Some races promise 'tech tops' or 'dry-fit' tops but they are obviously cheap and of poor quality. The one given out in Dungarvan is a very good short sleeve Nike top which you would pay roughly €23 for in a sports shop. Remember, this race cost €20 to enter.

Results...(Updated Mon 28th @12:05pm)
The category results are shown below.

The full results are now available HERE.

Photos...Tues (8:15am)
1) Large slideshow of photos by Paudie Birmingham HERE
2) Gearoid O'Laoi has a huge gallery HERE 
3) Large slideshow of photos by Joe Murphy HERE
L to R...Philip Harty, Gary O'Hanlon, Andrew Connick
1ST Gary O Hanlon Clonliffe Harriers 51.21
2nd Philip Harty West Waterford 51.29
3rd Andrew Connick Ferrybank 51.49
4th Robbie Matthews Dunshaughlin 51.52
5th Chris Harrington Leevale 52.03
6th Sandis Bralitis West Waterford 53.42
7th Raivis Zakis West Waterford 54.17
8th Tommy Evans Gowran A.C.54.20
9th Colm Sheehan Leevale 54.22
10th John Meade St Finbarrs 54.37
Junior Male Colin Walsh 74.41

L to R...Niamh Devlin, Lizzie Lee, Claire Gibbons McCarthy

1st Lizzie Lee Leevale 57.35
2nd Claire Gibbons McCarthy St Finbarrs 57.57
3rd Niamh Devlin D.S.D. 59.10
4th Ann Curley Donore Harriers 60.15
5th Catherine Conway Mayo A.C. 60.22
6th Angela Mc Cann Clonmel A.C. 61.13
Junior Female Kate Nolan Waterford A.C. 69.30

1ST O/40 Maurice Looby Mullingar Harriers 57.02
2nd O/40 Finbarr Kirwan Sli Cualann 57.16
1st O/45 Cathal O Connell St Finbarrs 55.08
2nd O/45 Jerry Daly Liffey Valley 58.49
1st O/50 John Dalton IND 60.19
2nd O/50 Martin Mc Carthy West Waterford 61.03
1st O/55 James Kenny Kilmurray Ibrickane 64.32
2nd O/55 Ken Carey IND 66.54
1st O/60 Joe Gough West Waterford 63.09

1ST O/35 Ann Marie Holland Eagle A.C.61.46
2nd O/35 Martina O Dwyer Carrick On Suir A.C. 63.26
1st O/40 Anna Doris Midleton A.C. 65.21
2nd O/40 Helen Leonard Leevale 66.03
1st O/45 Ann Moore Leevale 65.48
2nd O/45 Paula Morgan IND 69.07
1st O/50 Mary Sweeney St Finbarrs 67.03
2nd O/50 Siobhain Kennedy Waterford Tri Club 67.22
1st O/55 Anne Bolger Sliabh Buide Rovers 80.06
1st O/60 Padraigín Riggs U.C.C.89.13

MENS...1ST CLUB...West Waterford AC...Philip Harty 51.29, Sandis Bralitis 53.42, Raivis Zakis 54.17, Combined Time 2:39:28

LADIES...1ST CLUB...LeevaleAC...Lizzy Lee 57.35, Anne Moore 65.48, Helen Leonard 66.03, Combined Time 3:09:26

TEAM PRIZES (Outside Of Prize Winners)
MENS...(Updated Mon 11pm)
1st...Leevale...16th Donal Coffey 55.26, 18th Colm Moore 55.39, 23rd  John O'Connell 56.54
2nd...St Finbarrs A.C....15th Con Marshall 55.23, 19th Rory O'Sullivan 55.45, 26th Eoin O'Keeffe 57.17
3rd...Carrick On Suir A.C....44th Tommy Falconer, 45th Patrick Roche, 72nd Michael Murphy

1ST St Finbarrs A.C...23rd Katie Cooke 67.52, 24th Denise Twohig 67.54, 27th Michelle Foley 68.09

HANDBIKE...Seamus Wall IND 60.30 / WHEELCHAIR...Gerry Forde Blarney 91.11

Anyone who ran the course today will have noticed that there were a large number of pools of water on the road. What may not be so obvious was the huge amount of work that West Waterford AC put into getting the course ready for the race. With the high winds and torrential rain the previous day, fallen branches had to be cleared and water diverted...

 It's hard to imagine that we ran past this point less than 24 hours later.

If you are looking for a 'must do' race for 2014, keep this one in mind.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

David McCarthy of West Waterford AC runs another sub 4 min mile in Boston...

At the Boston University Terrier Invitational meet today (Sat 26th Jan), Galen Rupp of the US won the indoor mile race in a time of 3:50.92. There was a lot of speculation before the race that Rupp was going to break the American Indoor Mile record of 3:49.89 but it wasn't to be.

In second place, David McCarthy of West Waterford AC ran 3:57.22 which was slightly down on the 3:55.75 when he won this race last year.

Boston University - Boston, MA
Event 12  Men 1 Mile Run
   BU Record: M 3:55.75  2012        David McCarthy, Providence
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals
Section  1
  1 Rupp, Galen                  Nike Oregon Project    3:50.92M 1500m - 3:34.78
  2 McCarthy, David              Unattached             3:57.22
  3 Masters, Riley               Unattached             3:57.74
  4 Jenkins, Eric                Northeastern           3:58.11
  5 Peters, Rich                 Unattached             3:59.57
  6 Matthews, Julian             Providence             4:00.33

Pre-Race Interview with David McCarthy...

The race video can be seen below. David McCarthy is in the light blue top but note that the coverage is really all about Galen Rupp trying to break the American Indoor mile record.

Post race interview with Galen Rupp...

Post race interview with Rupp's coach Alberto Salazar with Galen doing a 4-5 mile tempo run at 4:40-4:50/mile pace just after running a 3:50 mile!

Athletics Ireland Workshops & Courses in Munster in Feb 2013

The courses and workshops below will be held in Munster during the month of February 2013. For all workshops you simply turn up on the day and pay €5. All workshops are open to athletes and coaches aged 11+.

Tipperary - Wed 6th Feb Sports Psychology Workshop at LIT Tipperary on racecourse road in Thurles from 7-9pm.

Tipperary - Wed 13th Feb Hurdles Workshop at Moyne AC Clubhouse, Moyne Co Tipperary from 7-9pm.

Cork - Thurs 14th Feb Road Running/Endurance Workshop at Cork IT 7-9pm. It takes place upstairs in the red brick building next to the track stand.

Cork - Wed 20th Feb Strength & Conditioning Workshop at Cork IT 7-9pm. It takes place upstairs in the red brick building next to the track stand. It will focus on Functional Screening for Athletic Performance and Injury Prevention.

Cork - Sat 23rd Feb Athletics Leader Course at Cork IT Track 9am-5pm. Anyone interested must register/pay online at this link .

Tipperary - Wed 27th Feb Sprints Workshop at Moyne AC Clubhouse, Moyne Co Tipperary.

For further information contact RDO Steven Macklin at or 0876335565

Friday, January 25, 2013

Races in Munster this weekend...Dungarvan and Killarney

In terms of races in Cork, this is a quiet weekend but that's probably because of the mass exodus to West Waterford to do the John Treacy Dungarvan 10 mile road race on Sunday. Entries for this race have reached an all time high and the 1,750 limit was reached at the start of last December. A full preview of the race can be found over on the Running in Munster website.

For those of you who want to try something a bit shorter, there is a 5k race in Killarney on the Saturday. This only costs €5 and is the first race in a four race 5k series organised by Gneeveguilla AC. More details can be found HERE.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New indoor track in Athlone now finished...

The new indoor track has now been completed in Athlone IT and it looks fantastic...

Built at a cost of some 10 million Euro, this international class facility located in the centre of the country will give a great boost to Irish athletics.

Some background info with travel times can be found in this old post. More construction photos HERE.

This is a report from RTE television about the new facility...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More Than 350 Cork Youths Accept Cork Marathon Challenge

From the organisers of the Cork City Marathon.....
More than 70 youth teams have already signed up for a marathon challenge in an initiative by the Cork City Marathon for 2013. In conjunction with the Cork Sports Partnership and the City of Cork VEC, a Youth Team Challenge is being introduced allowing youths to run, jog or even walk the course as part of a five-person team. Schools and centres across the city and county have been invited to participate and so far more than 350 young people have registered for the event which takes place Bank Holiday Monday, June 3rd.

The Youth Team Challenge is aimed at providing young people over the age of 16 with the opportunity to participate in an activity which is both challenging and rewarding. Teams of five students from Second Level schools and Youthreach Centres will participate by running, jogging or walking the 26.2-mile marathon course, each team member participating in one relay leg. It’s not a race, but a chance for young people to develop their physical fitness and participate in Munster’s largest mass participation sporting event.

Olympian Rob Heffernan and his wife Marian, Cork City Marathon Sports Ambassadors, were at Colaiste Choilm, Ballincollig today (23rd January, 2013) speaking to students, nominated Challenge Leaders, School Principals and Centre Directors.

“This is an ideal opportunity for young people to get fit and have fun. Whether running or walking, the sense of achievement that comes with completing the marathon as part of a team will be a huge confidence boost for any young person. This is a nice introduction to the event for future generations of Cork City Marathon runners.” Rob said.

Lord Mayor, Cllr John Buttimer also spoke at the launch. “Introducing young people to the marathon is an important step, not just for their health and fitness levels, but it’s sure to add to the atmosphere of fun and excitement on race day”, he said.

Teams can be all male, all female or mixed, depending on the school. Students participating have to be over 16 years of age on race day and be registered second level students in the school or centre they are representing. Each team will be led by an adult Team Leader, generally a teacher. The Challenge fits into the requirements for the Gaisce Presidents Awards, and provides a nice opportunity for students to raise awareness or fundraise for a cause or charity that’s important to them.

CEO of the Cork City and County VEC, Ted Owens said “The Cork City and County VECs are delighted to support this new initiative for the young people of Cork city and County. The Cork City marathon is a wonderful event and, as sport can be a fun and worthwhile way of promoting personal development, I encourage all the secondary schools to take part.”

The Cork City Marathon kicks off on Patrick Street at 9am sharp on Bank Holiday Monday, June 3rd. Since it’s revival in 2007 it has become the largest mass participation sporting event in Munster, with over 6,000 people participating in the full, half Marathon or relay competition.

Entry forms and full details are available online at

Coast to Coast Ultra in England. Why not Ireland?

The concept of traveling the length of the UK is well established with people running, walking and cycling from John O'Groats in NE Scotland to Lands End in Cornwall. There is also a similar concept in Ireland with a trip from Mizen Head in Cork to Malin Head in Donegal.

In England, there is also another race that goes East/West instead of North/South. Known as the 'Wall Run', it starts in Carlisle on the west coast and finishes in Newcastle on the east coast...

The 'Wall' part comes from the fact that the route follows the path of Hadrians Wall which was the northern limit of the Roman Empire some 1,800 years ago.

The route is roughly 69 miles long and can be run in one day, two days or as a relay. The terrain is mixed with both on and off-road sections. You can get a feel of it in the video clip below...

The event website is

Could there be a similar event in Ireland? From say Galway to Dublin?

The distance is a lot further at roughly 120 miles (non-motorway).  It is however reasonably flat and there is a pathway alongside the Grand Canal which stretches for about 70 miles from Dublin to the Shannon.
Roads in Blue, Grand Canal in Red
Has anyone run this before? I know in June 2011, Ian Redican did a charity run over 5 days from the Spire in Dublin City to Eyre Square in Galway City, roughly 130 miles. Has anyone else done it?
Could it be a regular event?

Related links...
1) Transport Minister proposes new cycle route from Dublin to Galway...Sep 2012...Irish Times...
2) Charity Run from Galway Bay to Bray in Wicklow...Oct 2012...Facebook...

BHAA FMC results now available...

The results of the FMC race in Little Island are now available.

See the earlier post with links to several photo galleries as well.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sports Psychology...CIT, Cork - Wed 23rd Jan 2013

For anyone interested, there is Sports Psychology Workshop in the red brick building alongside the CIT track in Bishopstown on Wednesday evening, the 23rd of January between 7 and 9 pm. It's costs just €5 to attend and is open to all athletes and coaches aged 11+.

It will be run by Sports Psychologist Canice Kennedy and will cover the importance of Self Image in developing competition day confidence and improving concentration for competition day performance.

Half-naked Russian runs 7 km in -40°C after falling off train

Tempo run Russian style...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fionnuala Britton named European Athlete of the Month for Dec 2012

It has just been announced that the European Cross Country champion Fionnuala Britton has been voted the European Athlete of the Month for December 2012.

Statement....."European Athletics is pleased to announce that the 2012 SPAR European Cross Country Championships' senior women title winners Fionnuala Britton of Ireland has been voted as the European Athlete of the Month for December. Britton, 28, defended her continental title with aplomb in a tactically perfect race in Budapest to become the first senior women to manage back-to-back victories at the event."

Results of the poll for the best Half-Marathon in Munster in 2012...

The poll for the best Half-Marathon in Munster in 2012 has now closed and these are the results...
The clear winner with 181 votes was the John Buckley Sports Cork Half-Marathon in Blarney. This race which was organised by St.Finbarr's AC was held last September and attracted a field of 501 runners. In second place with 123 votes was the Charleville Half-Marathon in North Cork. A total of 476 people took part in the poll.

It's important to note that just because the other races got less votes, they are not necessarily bad. Many people will have done more than one half in 2012 and the fast courses seem to be a firm favourite.

So, congrats to St.Finbarrs AC on their flagship event which goes from strength to strength...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Results & Photos of the Cork BHAA FMC 4 mile road race - Sun 20th Jan 2013

Results...(Updated 23rd Jan @11:15am)
Pos Name Cat Company Time Prize Team
26 EMMA MURPHY CORK SHOPS 00:22:53 F1 F-A -1

The full results can now be seen HERE

Photos...(Updated 20th Jan @11:45pm)
1) Paudie Birmingham has a slideshow of photos HERE 
2) Doug Minihane has a gallery HERE 
3) Joe Murphy has a slideshow HERE

1) Start of the race by Ruairi O'Mahony...

2) First 11 minutes of the finish...

Lost & Found...HTC phone cable at the Little Island race

The orgaisers of the Cork BHAA 4 mile road race in Little Island this morning found a HTC smart phone charging/data transfer cable in the car park. If this is yours then contact the organisers to collect it.

Cork Sports Partnership Awards Scheme...

From the Cork Sports Partnership...
Cork Sports Partnership Awards Scheme.....These awards, promoted by the Cork Sports Partnership, an initiative of the Irish Sports Council, and again this year in partnership with the Oriel House Ballincollig and the Evening Echo, recognise the achievements and dedication of local sports people, volunteers and coaches of all ages, across all sports and communities in Cork. Local people, sports clubs, schools, higher and further education establishments, community groups and other members of the local sports scene can nominate individuals and teams who they feel have made a really positive contribution to the community and/or their sport.

Awards will be presented to winners in 11 different categories, at a special function to be held in the Oriel House Hotel Ballincollig in February. Michael Crowley Co-Ordinator for the Cork Sports Partnership outlined that, “These awards celebrate the wonderful contribution that so many people make through Sport and the Cork Sports Partnership some years ago made a decision to recognize this. Volunteers, coaches and Parents invest huge amounts of their time and energy into sports clubs, organisations and innovative projects, and deserve to be recognised and thanked for this voluntary contribution.

“The benefits of being involved in sport and physical activity on a regular basis are tremendous, and a scheme like this will seek to recognize all those that are involved in so many different ways at a local club/organization level, enabling and growing Participation in any sport or activity. The Cork Sports Partnership team is working hard to promote the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle, and the award-winners serve as an inspiration to us all.” Chairperson of the Sports partnership Mr. Ted Owens

The Categories are:
1.      Adult Volunteer in sport (22 and over)
2.      Junior Volunteer in sport (21 and under)
3.      Adult Achiever in Sport (19 and over)
4.      Junior Achiever in Sport (18 and under)
5.      Disability Sports Person
6.      Disability Sports Volunteer
7.      Volunteer Sports Club Coach/Manager
8.      Local Sports Club
9.      School Sports Volunteer
10.  Community Health through Sporting Activity Award.
11.  Lifetime Award

You can find a nomination form HERE    ......and general info and conditions about the awards can be found HERE

Closing date for completed nominations is Friday January 25th 2013.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Video of IAAF International Cross Country race in Antrim...

This is the official race video for the IAAF International Cross Country in Antrim which was held on Saturday, the 12th of January 2013. The first half cover the womens race which Fionnuala Britton won with ease.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Review of the Vibram Seeya running shoe...

Several months ago, I was asked by Owen Loughrey of if I would be interested in reviewing a pair of  minimalist running shoes like the Vibram Five Fingers. After giving it some thought, I decided that there was probably not much point in me personally doing the review. As someone who has always run in the usual type of running shoe, I felt that the review would be more about the merits or otherwise of minimalist or barefoot running than about the actual shoe itself.

With this in mind, I asked a fellow club mate Grellan McGrath to test and review them instead. Grellan has been using Vibrams since late 2007 and would certainly have a lot more experience about running in them than anyone else I know. This is Grellan's review......

Review of the Vibram Seeya running Grellan McGrath
To qualify this review I have to add that I am generally in favour of minimalist/barefoot running and have run in a pair of Vibrams Sprints on and off since December 2007. So this is not a debate about the pros and cons of minimalist running shoes but a review of the Vibram Seeya against my experience of running in minimalist shoes, limited though it is to the Sprints.

The Vibram Seeya is billed as the minimalist’s minimalist shoe “designed to bring you even closer to the barefoot sensation” by radically reducing the overall weight. To be quite honest when I took delivery of a pair from Eoin Loughrey of to trial back at the start of June I did not think them any lighter than the pair of sprints. In fact the mesh upper enclosed my feet more that sprints ever did and the sole looked bulkier than the neoprene sole of the sprints.

The short video above compares putting on the Seeya compared to the Sprint, which does require a bit more manipulation to get a proper fit as the upper is less flexible than that of the Seeya (The black toenails are a relic from my ultra days!).

Initially I found the Seeyas more difficult to put on that the Sprints as I was used to being able to  manoeuvre each toe into position using my hand if I had to, which was made much more difficult by the mesh upper of the Seeyas. However after a while I discovered that all I had to do was to place my feet half way into the shoes and wriggle my toes into position to get a snug fit, such was the flexibility of the upper which is like a stretchy sock. The presence of a Velcro fastening strap over the top of the foot seems like an unnecessary afterthought as the mesh upper should be sufficient to hold the foot in place. My feet certainly felt secure without fastening the strap. Perhaps it offers extra insurance to those who like a bit of security or maybe it’s there in case the fit is not as snug for everyone (e.g. narrow foot width). Either way it did not bother me and the strap never caused me any problems. Although if it is billed as the lightest of the Vibrams it could be made that bit lighter by removing the strap.

I did notice that once or twice during my first few runs that the light heel structure gave the impression that the shoes were going to slip off but this feeling did not last and after a week or two I did not even notice it.

Perhaps because the shoes enclosed my feet more I felt much more comfortable wearing them around the house and on occasion out and about, despite the luminous green colour, which was a source of embarrassment to my impressionable 13 year old Daughter. In fact I sometimes forgot I was wearing them and wore them doing the gardening once or twice, but they are not very good for footing a shovel as I was painfully reminded when I tried – not much cushion between my sole and the top blade of the shovel.


The Seeya is billed as a road running “shoe” only, perhaps because of the limited grip available for off road running. This suited me fine as most of my experience in running in vibrams was on the road.

Initially it was difficult to compare my experience of running in the Sprints with that of running in the Seeyas as both gave a pretty similar feel. As with the Sprints the Seeyas felt great to run in, the same feeling of lightness and freedom around my feet, fully in touch with the surface underneath, feeling every indentation. I did not feel that the Seeyas were any more minimalist that the sprints although they were billed as suitable only for experienced minimalist runners, whatever than meant. While I had run on and off in the sprints over the last 5 years I could not be considered a serious proponent of the minimalist running culture as I have run 90% of my miles in more conventional running shoes and up until this year never raced in the vibrams.

Running in minimalist shoes does change the way my feet and legs react to the stress, with my calves in particular taking more of the strain. This is certainly more noticeable the faster I run. Up until 2012 most of my running in vibrams had been at a slow easy pace. I had used the vibrams before in races but had not pushed myself too hard. In 2012 I ran a couple of 10 milers in the sprints and came within 8 seconds on my PB in Ballycotton in March. However I paid the price with rock solid tight calves afterwards that prevented me from warming down.

After a few introductory runs with the Seeyas I began using them for some of my quality training runs as the light weight and feeling of freedom encouraged me to run faster and it felt good. The idea was to train for a few short 4 and 5 mile races over the summer and see how the Seeyas performed in a race compared to my more traditional racing shoes. However this plan had to be put on hold in early July as I was laid up for over 2 weeks with a right calf strain, a few days after pacing the Waterford Marathon (in my more traditional Asics).  A return to running in late July lasted for only 2 weeks with the calf injury returning. After a return to running in late August I  again succumbed to injury in late September which prevented me from running until Mid-October. It wasn't until I analysed my training log that I noticed that a few days before the onset of each injury I had completed a steady/tempo run in the Seeyas and while I can't say for sure that they were responsible for my injuries i'm pretty sure there is a link. Perhaps I ignored the health warning that they came with .........."suitable only for experienced minimalist runners"............

Running in minimalist shoes , including the Seeyas, requires acclimatisation over time -  building up from short slow runs, waiting a few day to see how your legs react and incrementally increasing the stress (pace/distance) over weeks and months to allow your muscular skeletal system adjust to the new stresses. My problem is that I'm not consistent and could go a month or two without running in the vibrams and effectively "de-training" my muscular skeletal system only to pick it up again thinking that I could start form where I left off. The Seeyas taught me that this only leads to injury.

In conclusion the Seeyas fit like gloves, are easier to put on and feel more comfortable than the Sprints, making me more likely to wear them around the house (like slippers) and are great to run in. On the flip side they offer minimal protection and are likely to cause injury if you do not use them intelligently (more so than the Sprints).

Many thanks to Grellan for the review of the Vibram Seeya shoes. The shoes were provided by Owen Loughrey of on the basis that the review would be open and honest and if anything bad or negative was found then it would be published. stock a wide range of minimalist footwear and their website can be found at

Operah interview with Lance Armstrong...

I know it's not exactly running related ;o) but it does give an insight into what drug doping was like up to relatively recently in both cycling and other sports.

The nine part interview can be seen HERE.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Indoor track in Athlone takes shape...

Back in December, I had a post about the construction of a new indoor track in Athlone. Now in mid-January, they are putting the finishing touches to it. After some testing, the plan is that the Athletics Ireland Open Indoor Games will be held there on Sunday, the 27th of January.

The Senior Indoor Championships will be held there on the 16th and 17th of February.

Mid Dec 2012...The seating goes in
Pre-Christmas 2012...Getting ready to lay the track
Mid Jan 2013...Putting the finishing touches to the track
Details of how long it take to travel here from various points in Ireland can be seen in the December post.

For the last decade or so, the Senior championships have been held at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. As you can see from the time lapse video below, it took a full week to get the track ready...

Photos Credit...AIT AC

How many races were there in Munster in 2012???

Back at the end of December, I had a post up which looked back at the year and I had mentioned that were approximately 88 events in Cork in 2012. This basically included everything from cross-country to road races to charity races to fun runs.

In addition to putting up the results of every race on the Running in Cork site, I also updated the Running in Munster site with results for all of the races in Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and Waterford. In 2012, I had as far as I know links or results up for practically every race. Between the two sites, it came to a total of 239 events!

The graph below shows the number of events broken down by county...
As you might expect with it's population, Cork County has the largest number but some of the other counties aren't far behind.

Using the same order, lets have a look at the population of each county in Munster based on the 2011 census...
As you can see, the population of Cork is way bigger than the rest. Notice how Limerick has the second largest population yet it has the lowest number of races.

To get a proper picture, I put together a graph showing the ratio between the number of events and the population of each county....

In this case, the lower number, the better. Based on the stats above and having followed every race in the province, here are my observations...

Waterford........Waterford has the highest number of events per available other words...for 2012, there was one race in Waterford for every 2,200 people in the county. Considering the relatively small local population then it might suggest that there isn't much scope for holding too many more short races in the county?

Tipperary.......For 2012, there was one race in Tipperary for every 2,500 people. Possibly the number of races in the south of the county is enough but there is probably scope for more short races in the north of the county.

Kerry.......One race per 2,750 people. Essentially there are two main population centres, Tralee and Killarney. Despite the fact that Tralee is bigger, Killarney has a lot more races. There is probably room for more short races in the north of the county. There also seems to be almost a complete lack of any race in the far south-west of the county. Anyone living in say Cahersiveen / Waterville / Sneem has a long drive to get to races on a regular basis.

Clare.......One race per 2,800 people. There are no shortage of events in Co.Clare although a lot of them tend to be of the fun run / charity run variety rather than a proper road race over an accurately measured distance. There is probably room for more short races in the south east of the county especially near Limerick city.

Limerick........One race per 4,700 people. Despite the fact that the county has the lowest number of races, it's actually an improvement over a few years ago! I know when I first started to look at the races around Munster back in 2008, the one obvious thing was how quiet Limerick was compared to Cork. The Limerick Sports Partnership then introduced their Feet on the Street series in 2011 which has helped a lot but there is probably scope for a lot more races in or near Limerick City.

Cork.........Despite the fact that it had the highest number of races in 2012, it also had the lowest number of races compared to the available race per 5,900 people. When compared to other counties, there are no shortage of people available for races especially in or near Cork City. This is borne out in the race numbers as well. In a typical short race in Cork, some 300+ people might turn out. Elsewhere in Munster, 150 or so might seem more common.

While it might initially suggest that Cork City itself might support a lot more short races, the problem of a limited number of suitable free dates on the calendar might however be another issue?

Overall........Whatever about last year, it was certainly pretty hectic in terms of the number of races on offer. As to how does Munster compare to the other provinces? I don't really have any hard facts but I'd imagine it must be one of the most active in Ireland. When I look at 237 events in 2012, I think back to an old article here about an Australian who came to Ireland and was amazed at the number of races available. That was a few years ago and it's got busier since! Looking forward, 2013 looks likely to be another bumper year for races in Munster.

Comments requested for the Cork Track and Field League...

As you may gather from the race calendar, there are a glut of road races throughout the year in Cork and Munster but there were up to recently, very few athletics meetings. In an effort to address this, the Cork County Board of Athletics Ireland initiated a graded league in 2011 and John Buckley Sports came on board as the sponsor to make the whole thing possible.

After holding six meetings in 2011, a further eight were held in 2012. The graph below shows the average number of people attending each of the meets...

Considering that the number of meets increased from six to eight, the slight increase in average numbers from the Cork clubs represents a real improvement. One figure to note however was the number of people coming from outside of Cork to take part. Perhaps it might suggest that there is some scope for similar types of leagues to start in the other counties???

With two years of the graded league now complete, the organisers would like to get some feedback and suggestions. They have issued this message....."The committee responsible for the John Buckley Sports sponsored County T&F League is conducting a review of the 2012 league. It would be much appreciated if athletes/coaches/interested parties would take time to fill out the questionnaire and return it Fergus O’Donovan c/o "

You can find the questionnaire HERE

There are some stats on the 2011 league HERE and HERE and the 2012 league HERE and HERE

It would be wrong to think of the graded leagues as some sort of competition only for elite athletes. There are a wide variety of events on offer like the 800m, 1500m, 3000m, etc and they are ideal way for the ordinary club athlete who may be just used to road races to try a low key athletics event to see what it's like.

You can see the list of events that were on the 2012 programme in this previous post . It might be something for you to consider for 2013?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recent Sports Awards in Cork...

At the recent function for the Cork City Sports Awards, prizes for the Athletics Award of the Month went to the following...

Photo by Gearoid O'Laoi

Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC was awarded the Athletics Award for December 2012 for her part in the Irish team that won Gold at the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Fergus O'Donovan who is a coach with St.Finbarrs AC won the October 2012 award for his work in organising the very successful graded leagues at CIT last summer.

Carmel Parnell of Leevale AC won the November award for winning Gold in the F55 category in the British and Irish Masters International Cross Country in Belfast.

In a separate awards ceremony, Ultra Runner Ruthann Sheahan was crowned West Cork Sports Star of the Year for 2012. Ruthann who is originally from Leap in West Cork represented Ireland at the World and European 24 hour championships in Poland and finished 5th woman in Europe. This was also a new Irish record. The award was presented by Bill O'Herlihy of RTE who said..."I knew nothing about ultra-marathons and the idea that someone would run for an entire 24 hours, 229 kilometres and break the record by 23 kilometres is absolutely unbelievable in my estimation".

The Southern Star will have a special two page spread on this award on Thursday.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Progression of the mile record...

Of all the world records, the sub 4 minute mile is possibly one of the most famous. This video clip shows how it has progressed over the years...

3:59.4...Roger Bannister     United Kingdom    6 May 1954 Oxford
3:58.0...John Landy     Australia    21 June 1954 Turku
3:57.2...Derek Ibbotson     United Kingdom    19 July 1957 London
3:54.5...Herb Elliott     Australia    6 August 1958 Santry, Dublin
3:54.4...Peter Snell     New Zealand    27 January 1962 Wanganui
3:54.1...Peter Snell     New Zealand    17 November 1964 Auckland
3:53.6...Michel Jazy     France    9 June 1965 Rennes
3:51.3...Jim Ryun     United States    17 July 1966 Berkeley, Cal.
3:51.1...Jim Ryun     United States    23 June 1967 Bakersfield, Cal.
3:51.0...Filbert Bayi     Tanzania    17 May 1975 Kingston
3:49.4...John Walker     New Zealand    12 August 1975 Göteborg
3:49.0...Sebastian Coe     United Kingdom    17 July 1979 Oslo
3:48.8...Steve Ovett     United Kingdom    1 July 1980 Oslo
3:48.53...Sebastian Coe     United Kingdom    19 August 1981 Zürich
3:48.40...Steve Ovett     United Kingdom    26 August 1981 Koblenz
3:47.33...Sebastian Coe     United Kingdom    28 August 1981 Bruxelles
3:46.32...Steve Cram     United Kingdom    27 July 1985 Oslo
3:44.39...Noureddine Morceli     Algeria    5 September 1993 Rieti
3:43.13...Hicham El Guerrouj     Morocco    7 July 1999 Rome

Monday, January 14, 2013

Will Fionnuala Britton move up to the Marathon???

On the Off the Ball sports programme on Newstalk radio last week, there was a discussion with John Treacy and Mark Carroll about whether Fionnuala Britton will move up to the Marathon distance? It was suggested that with the correct training, Fionnuala might be able to run a Half-Marathon in under 70 minutes and around 2:24 for the full Marathon.

The current Irish record holder is Catherina McKiernan who ran 2:22:23 in Amsterdam in Nov 1998.

The interview can be heard from 37:10 to 48:55...

Photo by Kieran Carlin of Finn Valley AC

Results of the Kilmacsimon Rowing Club 6k Fun Run...Sun 13th Jan 2013

A 6km fun fun organised by Kilmacthomas Rowing Club was held in Bandon on Sunday, the 13th of January 2013.

Runners Results:
1) Kevin Wilmott 20.52**First Mens Open**
2) Ciaran Burke 22.03
3) Jamie Gahan 22.27
14) Ronnie Barry 25.16 ** First Ladies **
24) Margaret Callahan 26.36 **first ov 45 ladies**
25) Pellegrina Picone 26.46

The full results can be seen HERE

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Results of the Cork BHAA Cross Country...Sun 13th Jan 2013

The Cork BHAA season got off to a start with their annual Cross Country race in Beaumont Park in Cork City. The mens race was won by John Meade and the womens race by Aisling Moran. A total of 137 runners took part, down a bit on last year's figure of 160.

1) Doug Minihane has his usual crop of excellent photos HERE

Position Name Company Cateogry Time
2 ALAN WHITAKER UCC 0/40A 00:17:59
3 RORY O'SULLIVAN Clarke Level Construction 00:18:07
38 MARY SWEENEY FIT 4 LIFE 0/50K 00:21:43 

The full results are HERE

Photo courtesy of Doug Minihane

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fionnuala Britton wins Antrim International Cross Country...Sat 12th Jan 2013

The current European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton continued her winning streak today by finishing first at the IAAF Cross Country Race in Antrim (Sat 12th Jan 2013). Fionnuala finished a full 12 seconds ahead of her nearest rival Louise Damen in second place.
Photo by Kieran Carlin of Finn Valley AC
This was also the second time that Fionnuala Britton has won this race having won it before in January 2012 as well.

Fellow Irish international Linda Byrne also had an excellent race finishing in 4th place after a closely contested competition with the Kenyan Magdalyne Masai for third spot.

1. Fionnuala Britton (IRL) 18:17...$2,500
2. Louise Damen (GBR) 18:29...$1,500
3. Magdalyne Masai (KEN) 18:45...$1,250
4. Linda Byrne (IRL) 18:48...$1,000
5. Eunice  Kales (KEN) 18:57...$750
6. Freya Murray-Ross (SCOT) 18:57...$500
7. Steph  Twell (GBR) 18:58
8. Beth Potter (SCOT) 18:59
9. Stevi Stockton (GBR) 19:28
10. Elspeth Curran (SCOT) 19:35
11. Katie Brough (ENG) 19:41
12. Emma Clayton (ENG) 19:43
13. Gladys Ganiel, North Belfast Harriers (N IRL) 19:57
14. Katie Walshaw, North of England 20:06
15. Gemma  Kersey, Basildon (ENG) 20:20
16. Melissa Courtney, South of England 20:26
17. Samantha Johnson, North of England 20:57
18. Danielle Fegan, Armagh AC 21:18   
19. Jessica Craig, North Down AC B (N IRL) 21:34
20. Fionnuala Diver, Letterkenny AC 21:42

Full senior results for men and women HERE 



Post race interview...