Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: STATEMENT FROM CORK CITY MARATHON ORGANISERS...Tues 7th June 2016

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

STATEMENT FROM CORK CITY MARATHON ORGANISERS...Tues 7th June 2016



STATEMENT FROM CORK CITY MARATHON ORGANISERS

The Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon 2016 took place in Cork city yesterday (Bank Holiday Monday) with almost 10,000 participants sharing the 10th anniversary of Cork City Marathon.  With year on year growth, the Cork City Marathon is a much loved, inclusive race that attracts thousands to the region annually.

Organised by Cork City Council in partnership with Athletics Ireland and Cork BHAA  (Business Houses Athletics Association)  and supported by hundreds of volunteers , the Cork City Marathon 2016 had a number of Guinness World Record breakers at yesterday’s event.  Philip Harty (West Waterford AC) and Nollaigh O’Neill (Leevale AC) were the marathon winners.  Due to the humid temperature, overall race times were slower than normal which is to be anticipated.

However there was an issue at the start of the Cork City Half Marathon which added additional distance to the marathon and therefore impacted on the runners’ running times.

“On behalf of the Cork City Marathon team, I would like to sincerely apologise to the Half Marathon runners who were affected yesterday by an incident at the beginning of the Half Marathon” said Cork City Marathon Race Director, Jim O’Donovan of Cork City Council.

“We are carrying out a full review of the Half Marathon start and  course including stewarding, barriers and lead vehicles.  We will do our utmost to ensure that this will not happen again at Cork City Marathon.”

Mr. O’Donovan added that the team involved in Cork City Marathon were committed to organising a high quality marathon for Cork city.

The Cork City Marathon organisers have accepted full responsibility for the incident and apologise sincerely to the runners of the marathon.

The incident occurred when an international participant went off course close to the Half Marathon start line.  Due to the speed of the wheelchair competitor, the stewards on foot were unable to stop the participant and the motorbike stewards went to redirect the participant.  The Half Marathon runners followed the stewarding bikes on to Albert Road which was off course.  They were quickly rerouted onto an alternate course, but naturally this caused confusion for those familiar with the Cork City Half Marathon route and also added additional time to the runners’s finishing times.

40 comments:

Kieran Mccarthy said...

Here is a radical idea. If the runners are not supposed to go down a particular road then BLOCK THE ROAD OFF. By the way i expect a full refund.

Anonymous said...

Was the wheelchair participant that went wrong doing the full or the half? Still sounds like a total mess, and to me it sounds like they are trying to blame the wheelchair participant. There's no excuse other than poor organisation and the half marathon runners being treated like cash cows to support a full marathon race.

Unknown said...

Did the full yesterday. The water bottles were a bit of a joke. A sports cap is a basic minimum. On a hot day people want to drink the water over a longer period. The open tops yesterday did not allow for this.

Unknown said...

Did the full yesterday. The water bottles were a bit of a joke. A sports cap is a basic minimum. On a hot day people want to drink the water over a longer period. The open tops yesterday did not allow for this.

Anonymous said...

why was the road not blocked off?

no mention of a refund either i see...

Anonymous said...

I've no complaints about the water myself, as I can't stand those sports caps on the bottles. When they do have sports caps I just twist them off.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's some statement.

I was close to the front of the HM yesterday and I certainly didn't see the version of events being touted by the City Council. The wheelchair lads was 8 or 10 rows back the field and not travelling fast at all.

Plain and simple, the stewards were not briefed correctly and barriers were not used as they should have been.
Martin Leahy

Anonymous said...

Wheelchair athlete was doing the half. Few questions on this.

1. Was he not being accompanied by a guide/cyclist?
2. Did he start alone, or did he start at least a min in front of the main field of runners? In this case it should have been easier to identify the error in time.

Seems the stewarding failed him also and the one obvious blinding fact was the roundabout needed to be barrier-ed off or at least stewarded better.

Under no circumstances is blame being put on any athlete but in the organizing. It is a complex layout to begin with and should have received a lot more attention than it got. Also this is proof that just because something worked once does not mean it needs less attention the next time around.
All obvious points and comments seem to suggest a genuine lack of attention to detail here.
However in saying that no one got hurt, and it added 1/2 a mile! We've all read and laughed at previous posts on this blog of races adding 2-3 miles and Km's to races. Time to move on, unlikely a refund will be offered.

Kevin ODonovan said...

I did the half last year, full this year so wasn't there but I can imagine it would have been near impossible to stop a couple of thousand runners who were chomping at the bit once they had started moving. I thought the wrong way was blocked off last year?
Probably the last thing the runners/wheelchair participant needed on a hot day, but was just the half mile, and still got tshirts, water, and medal at the end etc, so not sure a refund is justified IMHO.

Louise O'Keeffe said...

I can understand the frustration of all the half marathon runners, anyone looking for a PB will be bitterly disappointed. That said it's too easy just to trash the whole event. All in all it was a good day, great support and encouragement along the way and the water stations and volunteers were fantastic considering how hot the day was and how long they were out there for.
There are lessons learned every year, the big city marathons that have been running for 20, 30 years are still fine tuning.
Roll on Cork Ciy Marathon.

Anonymous said...

Could the Half start be moved up the Blackrock Road near Ashton School, this would eliminate the congestion and move it away from the main course, I think it might be worth a try also is there any chance the start of the relay be put back to say half an hour after the start of the Marathon to allow all the marathoners go head to head and allow the race winner be the first to cross the finishing line

Anonymous said...

Its embarassing that the leader is often a relay guy who has only just started, the 30 min idea has merit, as well as the start near Ashton for the half. Move the race to a Sunday now (in April would be perfect) but will settle for June and we will be sorted. Its a great thrill running around Cork and its a great race to involve different standards of runners. Lets get Sonia involved to lend her expertise to proceedings and be honorary race organiser. Might draw bigger numbers as well.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a separation of the two events would be advisable, have the full and half marathons on different weekends. Like what happens in Dublin , with the the half in September and the full in October. Or maybe organise a half and 10K option on the same day as some towns and cities have managed to do successfully. A separation and a possible move of events to spring, autumn dates might get participation levels up too.

Finbarr Murphy said...

Was doing the relay and ran right into the middle of half marathoners. Was then told keep left by marshal. Made a mess of the relay. Finbarr.

Anonymous said...

Would have been delighted had I been able to run 13.6 yesterday rather than be an injured spectator. Hopefully the organizers will learn from mistakes made and hopefully those commenting (and perfectly entitled to do so) would be mindful of the many volunteers who give freely of their time so that we can do what we love most - Run.
Agree with comments about first past the finish line however I would go further to say that most marathon finishers are hard done by as relay and half marathon runners pass them on the finishing straight. I would suggest that the runners are split as they come onto Patrick street will all marathon runners finishing on one half of the street and all others on the other side. I would also suggest a much better vantage point for John Cashman so that he could call the runners home from when they turn the corner of Patrick street. Some small changes that would mean a lot to those who have sacrificed most in the lead in and endured most on the day.

Anonymous said...

What a mealy mouthed apology. Stand up and take responsibility for the mistakes made. Assigning blame to wheelchair participant even in if it is indirect suggests that full responsibility for the calamity is not being accepted by the organisers. Ultimately they are responsible for the cock up. Why would it have been necessary to stop the wheelchair participant? Sure its it's up to him/her where they go whether they've entered the race or not not the motorcyclists who were to lead the 2000+ half marathoners. Those motorcyclists were plain wrong to have chased him down and just shouldn't have been able to easily take the wrong road so close to the start. I think the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the organisers for not physically blocking exits that were not part of the route and not outlining the dos and donts for the motorcyclists.

Anonymous said...

It's not just the half mile that was added on to the half marathon though. Relay runners and full marathon runners were effected. I saw one of the the top 15 men running against me with the whole half marathon field in his way looking pretty shocked. He must have been raging. The statement is more of an excuse than an apology. Stick a barrier on the roundabout so we could't go down Albert Road, a barrier on Albert road so we couldn't go left and two stewards on every corner. Very basic stuff. I don't really have an issue with the relay runners. You can apply the same logic to the women's race - should they be allowed to start earlier just so they can cross the line before anyone else? What I didn't see yesterday was a half marathon Clock at the finish line, but I was delirious with the heat by that stage so I may have missed it.

Anonymous said...

Didn't run yesterday, though I had hoped to but that last paragraph is disappointing in my reading of it. To attempt a paraphrase: 'yer man in the chair went wrong and was fierce fasht and we couldn't keep up at the lick he was going and it all went pear shaped after that. Sorry.'
Sighs.

Brian Leahy said...

Probably better to address your refund request to the organisers than the readers of the cork running blog. That goes for everyone with a grievance. There are channels to contact the CCM which will be possibly more effect, but not nearly as entertaining or therapeutic.

Anonymous said...

blame the guy in the wheelchair- that's a low. it's unlikely the organisers will listen to any suggestions however sensible from anyone, they made very good money on this one

Anonymous said...

That's great advice Brian Leahy. Send them a mail and it goes straight into their bin. Waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Hardly an unqualified acceptance of responsibility for the failure on the day which is a pity. On the other hand Cork City marathon is a wonderful event which I thoroughly enjoy each year. It's hard work by volunteers over many months that make it such a good day out. Hopefully the organisers will learn from yesterday and get it right next year.

Gerard Daly said...

From this statement it sounds like the organisers are laying the blame on the wheelchair athlete. Low. Very, very low, and utterly uncalled for. It sounds like the organisers cocked up, and should be big enough to accept it. As a wheelchair racer myself I know I would not be happy reading this statement if I was the wheelchair athlete being referred to.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why the mentioned the wheelchair athlete. I was at the front and had passed him out long before he reached the roundabout. He started at the same time as the rest of the field just further ahead. Not like the full marathon where the wheelchair athlete started two minutes or so ahead of everyone.

James Higgins said...

Organisers have responded very poorly to the mistakes that they have made.

Firstly indirectly blaming a participant for going the wrong way. YOU are responsible for ensuring that all competitors are kept on the correct route.

Secondly, you have no mention of compensation to the affected runners. Disgraceful, considering the money you have raked in and the high individual cost to the entrants.

Mistakes can happen, people can let you down but a miserly apology such as this one deserves a boycott of future events run by you.

Anthony Flannery said...

This was only one mistake. The second mistake was a group of us again misdirected. I only ran 10 miles. I realised two miles I'm I was in the wrong part of the course but there was no point retracing my steps. 53 euro. Digested at the blatant scapegoating.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry alright for those who only got to run 10 miles, as for the others in the half I'm sure they are well over it by now and planning their next race. Mistakes must be learnt from, but also forgiven by the rest of us. With the great weather, training for most is likely to be going well and perhaps a big pb in our next half.

segadimo said...

As we were later finishing a relay because some of the team walked, I got to a water stop by the Lee Fields. The stewards were sitting down laughing, chatting and doing their own thing....I'd to open up a plastic pallet and help myself, not fair lads, I was trying to make up time.

Adam Duchnicz said...

the best way to start half marathon at 2 p.m.and don't mix full half relay runners

Anonymous said...

That excuse is comical, reads like something out of the film The Naked Gun.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect it's not a case of one mistake move on. Anyone running the half marathon over the last few years will tell you that this was an accident waiting to happen. Serious lack of respect displayed, from the shocking 'goodie' bags, to the poor starting area. Even without the misdirection starting an event like this with narrow corners, twists, and doubling back is crazy .. for something like this the maxim 'keep it simple stupid' should apply. Then not having a finishing clock for half-marathoners? Basically for anyone who put in months of training & hard cash yesterday's event was meaningless other than a training run for a properly run ½ marathon. Spare a thought also for people who blew up trying to make up time they thought they lost not knowing they were running an extra ½ mile and no doubt contributing to many collapsing before the finish. As for the apology I'd suggest this would have been better & more likely to be accepted 'We're sorry, we cocked up, we promise to do better next year'

Vivienne Lynch said...

As much as I enjoyed the day with my wonderful team mates and the fantastic volunteers and supporters, the Cork City Marathon 2016 was clearly an exercise in money grabbing. First of all it was very expensive to enter and for what afterthoughts were thrown in the race pack - are you serious? Laundry paper and curry powder? It was most disrespecttful to us. Whatsmore, after my leg of the relay, there wasn't even water or a bit to eat - a banana, anything. At City Hall I was told there was no water or food for relay participants! I have never been to a race where I had to go off and buy water and an orange immediately afterwards and I've been running for 35 years. My team mates had the best changeover and we did well but there are no results for us at all. Hopefully it's just a delay. Also, Cork City organisers keep going on about how this is the tenth year and for some reason have forgotten the marathon was put on in the early 1980s. My father did it twice then and said it was the best, most friendly race then too. Thank you great volunteers and supporters! But I won't be doing it again.

Anonymous said...

I also ran the half this year for the first time and was surprised by the erratic start to the race which has been explained by the mix up/mistake call it what you like. Can anybody tell me of any individual, club or organisation who has not made a mistake in the past? Mistakes are how we learn and anybody who says they have never made on is seriously disillusioned. After the start the race continued as it should with plenty of water, sponges and drinks available handed out by very dedicated volunteers. Thank you. As for the start denying people a chance at a PB lets be realistic. Given the weather conditions I don't think anybody had much of a chance of that on the day. Finally the cost is in the same ball park as most other half marathons in the country. The only difference is that you may have to have overnight stays if you opt for one of these adding extra cost. So come on lads get over yourselves get back on the road and get ready for the next adventure. Frank

Anonymous said...

True Frank, everyone makes mistakes but this was a massive one. There were plenty of people from outside Cork who traveled here for this half marathon so it isn't a minor issue.

Any clown could see that the road had to be blocked off to stop runners going straight ahead. While the race director takes ultimate responsibility for this error, someone else must have been in charge of the stewarding at the start of the half. Whoever it was made a complete mess of it.

Brian Leahy said...

Because posting anonymously in the comments of a blog entry is effective?

Anonymous said...

dear frank,sure mistakes happen but if you are going to put on an event of this scale,then a few fundamental things need to be done right.
blocking off roads and putting marshalls in place.
runners travelled 5 plus hours to get there, paid accommodation.there was nice prize money up for grabs,runners at a top level are paying coaching,picking races they see are a good choice.....and for what? A shower of numpties who can't get the simple things right?

Anonymous said...

If the organisers do a proper analysis of the 'mistake' (I suggest blaming the wheelchair athlete is not a proper analysis) and find the root cause then it might prove a valuable exercise otherwise we'll be back here again complaining about another cock up .. and maybe with more serious consequences. I suggest if they did that 2 or 3 years ago when the ½ was delayed by ½ hour then Monday's debacle may not have happened. Mistakes are a culmination of poor planning/decision-making rather than one fortuitous event. Ask 5 whys. Why were racers misdirected? Why did that happen? etc. That way they'll get to the root cause.

I suspect they will get to their attitude and culture towards the ½ marathon .. it's an inconvenience we'd rather not have but it brings in the funds.

BTW trying to start a race with thousands of hyped up 'athletes' on anything other than a wide straight stretch of road is madness.

Anonymous said...

A massive mistake was made and must never be made again. Those of you who think it is just a money grabbing exercise, did ye not think so when ye entered? And why did ye enter? Probably because it was a city half marathon and the big crowds. Ye still got a good run, and the crowds certainly turned out and gave ye a good cheer.

I tell you this, if I was to run the Ballycotton 10 and a detour had to be made on the course, and it turned out to be a 9 mile race, or even a 11 mile race, it wouldn't bother me one bit.

A much different story if this happened in a marathon, however it did happen in Belfast recently when a bomb was placed on the marathon course and people had to run a good bit extra. From what I remember runners took it in their stride and just got on with it.

I'm sure many of you will be back racing in the next week or two on an accurate course, be it a 10k or whatever. Run it harder than ever before and enjoy here new pb.

Anonymous said...

[turned out to be a 9 mile race, or even a 11 mile race, it wouldn't bother me one bit.]
I think you are the exception here. Most runners who trained seriously for a half-marathon would be annoyed.

[a bomb was placed on the marathon course]
This is something the organisers would not have control over. Its not a valid comparison.

[Run it harder than ever before and enjoy here new pb.]
If the cork half was your 'A' targeted race then you will have passed your peak and may need to start a new training cycle before you get a PB. Exceptions would be beginners who are still building their aerobic base.

Anonymous said...

Relay results were up the following day...