If you are running in this years Ballycotton '10' race for the first time then please note....this race is NOT like other races. You cannot turn up 20 mins before the start, park and just wander over to the start line.
The fishing village of Ballycotton is basically at the end of a cul-de-sac and the approach roads are part of the race course. As a result, the local roads are closed off well before the start of the race and most people have to park in designated car parks.
Getting there.....For anyone not familiar with the area, Ballycotton is in East Cork. If you are coming from the direction of Cork City then turn off at the roundabout on the Midleton by-pass and follow the directions for Cloyne. If you are coming from Waterford / Youghal then take the left at the crossroads in Castlemartyr and head south for Ladysbridge / Garryvoe. Expect traffic delays as you get closer to the parking area.
Please note!...The Gardai will not allow roadside parking in the area. Use the designated car parks.
Here are the instructions from the race organisers.......
Directions are very similar to last year and we will be sending all traffic from the Cork city side to the Churchtown South area.
From Cork city, turn off at Midleton roundabout & take road signposted to Cloyne. From Cloyne all race traffic will be directed to Churchtown South & from there to car park no1 & no2 just outside Ballycotton. Car park no1 & 2 are just walking distance from changing marquee & information centre.
Traffic coming from east side, such as Youghal will take left turn at Castlemartyr and travel to Garryvoe. A shuttle bus service will transfer runners to Ballycotton from here. Last buses leaving car parks at 12 noon.
Parking....There will be 3 car parks in use...In all circumstances, please follow the stewards / Gardai directions on the day.
Car Parks 1 and 2....These are located on the hill above the old church on the way into Ballycotton. This is by far the largest car park and all of the traffic from the west (incl. Cloyne) will be directed here. Car Park 1 is approx 1.2 miles from the start line so it's only a 25 minute walk. Car Park 2 is just around the corner, an extra 5 mins.
Note that it only takes 10 minutes to walk from Car Park 1 to the local primary school (Marquee/Changing/Trouble Desk/Prizegiving, etc).
Car Park 3....This is located at Garryvoe which is 4 miles from the start. This is the one for people coming from the east.
The shuttle buses will take you as far as the road junction by the old church on the way into Ballycotton. There will be barricades here to stop all traffic entering the village. From here, it is about 0.8 miles or a 20 min walk to the start. The local primary school is only 3 mins from here.
Times....If you have read the piece above then it's obvious that it's going to take some time to get to the start line. The race starts at 1:30pm. If you get there at 1:28 then you are going to have over 2,000 runners in front of you packed in tight on a narrow road.
I would recommend that you should try and get to the car parks by 11am to 11:30am. Allow time for traffic congestion on the approach roads. Allow time at the car park to wait for the bus and for the bus to travel in. Allow time for the final walk. You should aim to be at the start line roughly 15-20 minutes before the race starts....about 1:10pm.
Car Pooling.....Consider car pooling with your friends and colleagues to reduce the number of cars traveling to the area. This is especially relevant this year as the fields aren't in the best condition.
Course Preview...A full preview of the 10 mile course can be seen HERE