The map below shows what happened. The top image shows the route as it should be. After about 200m, the runners get to a roundabout where they need to take a sharp left onto Marina Terrace...then right and right again onto Albert Road. The marathon and relay route is shown is RED. The half runners shouldn't be on that section until they are about 3.5 miles in.
The bottom image shows what actually happened. From what I've been told, the lead bike missed the first turn and went down Albert Road. After that, they turned left at Hibernian Buildings and then for whatever reason, decided to go off on a tour of Cork City. Once they got to Marina Terrace, they took the field of 2000+ half marathon runners out onto the marathon course. I'm sure those doing the marathon and relay must have loved that. Then once they got to Albert Quay, the penny must have dropped as they did a U-turn and headed back the way they came...shown in GREEN.
In the end, the half-marathon runners ended up doing an extra half mile or so.
There is no excuse for this. The stewards at the roundabout should have been there blocking off Albert Road so that the bike had to go down Marina Terrace. The lead bike should have known the route by heart. This is all basic stuff that most club races deal with week in week out.
This wasn't a cheap event to enter. People trained to run in a proper half marathon accurately measured and with chip timing. What they got was a 13.6 mile fun run. Not good enough.
Update : This is the junction at the roundabout where it all went wrong.
There should have been race stewards blocking the way ahead and directing the lead bikes and runners down the road to the left. Instead, the lead bikes with all the runners went straight ahead.
Someone also asked about how much the organisers got paid for this race? There were 2079 finishers in the half. Probably 10% didn't turn up on the day so that makes about 2500 people who probably entered. At about €50 per head, that means they probably took in €125,000 just for this one race...and that's a conservative estimate.
Update...Statement from the Cork City Marathon organisers...Tues 7th June 2016
|Start of the half-marathon. Photo: Chris O'Leary|
|Lead bikes just as the half marathon starts|
Start of the Half...