Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Preview of the Ballyandreen 5 mile road race...Thurs 22nd May 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Preview of the Ballyandreen 5 mile road race...Thurs 22nd May 2014

The Ballycotton 5 mile Summer Series starts at 8pm on Thursday evening with the Ballyandreen 5 mile road race in East Cork. This is the first of the 4 races in the series and there is a special plaque for anyone who goes on to complete all 4 races. In addition, there are Top finisher T-shirts for the top 50 men and top 20 women in the series when it concludes in August.

Location / Getting there......this piece is for the new runners. Ballyandreen is located a few kms to the west of Ballycotton. If you don't know that area then follow these directions...

Take the main road to Ballycotton in East Cork. It is well signposted from Midleton. Just as you enter the village, you will see an old church on your right....

Take the right here and drive up the hill. Keep going for about 2 kms and you will get to a crossroads where you will be directed to a parking area by the race stewards. It's very simple, you can't get lost.

1) The entry fee is €5. Try and bring the exact amount as it helps speed things up.
2) If you are new, they will need a few details from you like your age, club or area where you live, etc.
3) The location for entries is in a small yard just off the road. Depending on which field they use for parking, this can be 300-600 metres from the parking area.

Time.......The thing about Ballyandreen is that things are spread out a bit. Depending on which field they use on the night, parking can be 300-600 metres from the registration point and it's about another 200 metres down to the start line.

The best option and the one that would really help the organisers would be to arrive early....say before 7pm. You have loads of time then to wander down to enter...head back up to your car.....get changed.....and then head down to the start line.

Where people get caught every year is that they arrive at say takes about 8 minutes to walk down to the registration point.......big queue.......then they are in a mad rush to get back up to the car, get changed and get back down to the start on time.

So get there early or if you can't help arriving late, then get changed beforehand and jog down to the registration with the €5 entry fee in your hand.

Course...........The start point is near the registration point. The initial half mile has a good bit of uphill running it with a downhill section near the 1 mile mark. After that it's not too bad although there is a very steep downhill section near the 2 mile mark, almost too steep to really run on properly. Then it's out onto the main road and head west towards the 3 mile mark. The 4th mile is without doubt the hardest. There is a bit of a drag just after the 3 mile mark but you are soon running downhill again.

However, just after 3.5 miles, you take a sharp left and the 'Beast of Ballyandreen' welcomes you!!
Panoramic view from the top of the 'Beast'....high above the valley floor....
...although at this stage, you'll probably be half-dead and unlikely to notice

It basically is a 500 metre slog up a tough 'little' hill. You'll be glad to see the 4 mile mark because after that, the last mile is a complete contrast. After an initial flat stage, you soon start running downhill, through the crossroads, past where the race started and all the ways towards the finish near the coast for what will probably be your fastest mile.

Overall........A 5 mile road race in the quiet countryside of East Cork. If the term classic applies, then this is it.

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