Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Radio Kerry Podcast on parkruns

There was a recent podcast on the Radio Kerry website about the 5k parkruns in the county and how there is now funding for a new location if one is found.

The podcast might be of interest to anyone involved in parkruns or might be interested in trying to set one up in their own area.

The 14 minute podcast can be heard HERE

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jerry Forde nearly at 400 marathons & a request for help

During the last week, I updated Jerry Forde's list of marathons on his website and he is now very close to the 400 mark!

Jerry's website...

As a wheelchair athlete, Jerry probably has more marathons completed than anyone else in the world. One of the biggest problems at the moment though is just keeping track of what he has completed and what can be verified for record purposes.

For example, his current listing on the 100 Marathon Club in the UK is way out of date. A new list of verified marathons must be submitted but this requires quite a bit of work.

If anyone would be willing to help out Jerry on an ongoing basis, please let me know. Someone would need to familiar with the various marathon websites, the rules of the various marathon clubs and the ability to generate and maintain a proper verified record of all the marathons. The work doesn't have to be done in one block, just something that can be worked on over time.

If you can help, my contact details are on Jerry's website HERE

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Notice...Run in the Dark in Cork City - Wed 15th Nov 2017

Following the success of last years Run in the Dark charity events, they will be repeated again this year in the cities of Dublin, Cork, Belfast, London and Manchester. The date is Wednesday the 15th of November 2017.

From the organisers... Run in the Dark Cork - 5k and 10k Option
This November, join the global running event – Run in the Dark – taking over Cork city centre on
Wednesday 15th November.  Run or walk 5km or run 10km starting at Patrick St at 9pm. Each
participant receives a run number, official time, flashing armband, goody bag at the finish line, and
an official race certificate. Prepaid teams of 5 or more get their spaces reserved, free postage and
packing, and the team leader gets a long-sleeve tech top.

As darkness falls around the world, 25,000 people in 50 cities around the world will Run in the Dark
together to help fast-track a cure for paralysis. Run in the Dark is the main fundraiser of the Mark
Pollock Trust, whose mission is to fast-track a cure for paralysis by creating global collaborations and
funding ground breaking scientific research. This year, by raising €500,000, Run in the Dark will help
to fund more global collaborations and multi-subject research trials. Every €30 raised covers one day
of clinical research fees.

Why Run in the Dark?
There is no cure for paralysis, or any meaningful therapies for millions of people around the world
with spinal cord injury. But the Mark Pollock Trust aims to change this reality by finding and
connecting people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis. The Mark Pollock Trust’s main
fundraiser – the Run in the Dark – plays a vital part in funding this mission.

Sign up now at

The Cork event last year attracted around 2,600 people and it looks likely that a similar number will want to take part in this unique event around the streets of the city at night this year as well.

Copenhagen Half-Marathon cancelled after downpour

The annual Copenhagen half-marathon was held last weekend with some 20,000 runners taking part. It started innocently enough at 11:15am with clear skies and a temperature of about 14 deg C.

However during the race, the weather changed completely with a torrential downpour with lightning, rain, hail and snow. At the finish line, the timing mats were being washed away...

At roughly 1:30pm, the race was cancelled with the organisers issuing the following statement...“Due to thunderstorms, lightning strikes, massive hail and flooding in the starting and finish area and on parts of the course, the CPH Half was discontinued for the safety of all runners and spectators at 1:30 p.m.”.

There were also reports that a runner, a photographer and a race volunteer were hit by lightning. As you can see from the videos below, it really was something else...

Guest Post : 10 Things I Think About Pacing The Charleville Half Donal Coakley

10 Things I Think Donal Coakley

In these guest posts, Donal Coakley of Leevale AC gives his own light-hearted perspective of some of the races that he has competed in. 

In this post, he gives his thoughts on pacing the Charleville Half-Marathon

10 Things I Think About Pacing The Charleville Half Marathon

1. Something borrowed, something red, something mouldy.
I think the reason JEP (Jonathan Escalante-Phillips) ran so fast is because he was wearing my exclusive Gilead Nike singlet, a "clean" pair of Michael Herlihy's shorts and my used blister proof socks. I'm probably going to have to retire the singlet because it ain't ever running a sub 70 half on my shoulders.

2. Ownabwee Honey
I now know that the secret to a 68 minute half marathon is half a bottle of SuperValu's cheapest honey in the 12 hours before a race. That and a few nespressos. Rice cakes seem to be beneficial too.

3. Food Doping
I think the day before a half marathon should include mainly/entirely Italian food. Paninis, Italian hot chocolate, blackberry crostata from Italee for lunch and Novocento pizza for dinner. Novocento must add clenbuterol to the parma ham, I think it's one of the extras.

Donal Coakley, David Comber and Jonathan Escalante-Phillips

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Results & Photos of the Charleville Half-Marathon...Sun 17th Sept 2017

A record 1133 runners turned out for this years Charleville Half-Marathon on what were ideal running conditions. After an early morning fog, the sun eventually made an appearance but it was near the end of the race.

Rob Heffernan, Jonathan Escalante-Philips 2nd, John Travers 1st & Michael Carmody 3rd

Top 10 men & women...
1 John TRAVERS (11)    Donore Harriers AC    01:07:42 open  (1)    Male  (1)
2 Jonathan ESCALANTE-PHILLIPS (10)    Cambridge and Coleridge    01:08:16 open  (2)    Male  (2)
3 Michael CARMODY (12)    An Brú AC    01:10:07 open  (3)    Male  (3)
4 Michael MCMAHON (782)    RAHENY SHAMROCK    01:10:33 open  (4)    Male  (4)
5 Michael CORBETT (262)    St.Finbarrs AC    01:11:16 O40  (1)    Male  (5)
6 Rory O'CONNOR (16)    North Cork Ac    01:11:34 open  (5)    Male  (6)
7 Mark SMITH (1845)    EAGLE AC    01:11:56 open  (6)    Male  (7)
8 Malcolm MC DONNELL (737)    Mullingar Harriers A C    01:12:21 O40  (2)    Male  (8)
9 Eoin SUGRUE (1852)        01:12:28 O40  (3)    Male  (9)
10 John MEADE (15)    St. Finbarrs Ac    01:12:33 open  (7)    Male  (10)
17 Laura SHAUGHNESSY (1)    Dsd Ac    01:13:59 open  (1)    Female  (1)
55 Aoife COOKE (2)    YOUGHAL AC    01:19:18 open  (2)    Female  (2)
59 Grace LYNCH (5)    Iveragh AC    01:19:25 open  (3)    Female  (3)
68 Jane-Ann MEEHAN (3)    Athenry Ac    01:20:10 open  (4)    Female  (4)
87 Sinead WHITELAW (4)    Mullingar Harriers    01:22:40 open  (5)    Female  (5)
157 Linda GROGAN (481)    Dundrum Ac    01:26:34 open  (6)    Female  (6)
166 Joan FLYNN (425)    Mullingar Harriers    01:27:02 open  (7)    Female  (7)
176 Grainne O'CALLAGHAN (1623)    North Cork Ac    01:27:13 open  (8)    Female  (8)
181 Niamh CRONIN (296)    ST. FINBARRS A.C.    01:27:26 O40  (1)    Female  (9)
187 Joan ENNIS (387)    Grange/fermoy Ac    01:27:43 O50  (1)    

The full results can be seen HERE

Photos... (Updated Thurs 21st Sept 8:40am)
1) There are 2 galleries up on the Running in Cork Facebook page
...a) Groups
...b) Prize giving
2) Kevin O'Connor has a number of galleries...
...a) Pre-Race
...b) Finish line Album 1
3) Mick Dooley has some group photos HERE
4) Alan Noonan has a gallery HERE
5) John Harold has a number of galleries...
...a) Reg & Start line
...b) Finish line 1
...c) Finish line 2
...d) Finish line 3
...e) Finish line 4
6) Ger Broderick has a gallery HERE 


Results of the East Cork Cross Country Championships...Sun 17th Sept 2017


Kevin O'Brien 3rd, Michael Harty 1st & Sean McGrath 3rd. Photo: Danny McCarthy

1   Michael Harty        East Cork     M35  19:50
2   Kevin O’Brien        East Cork    M     20:45
3   Sean McGrath        East Cork     M35   21:12
1   Fiona Santry         East Cork      F     15:56
2   Ruth Millerick         Youghal      F35   16:46
3  Ann-Marie Holland        Youghal    F35        17:01 

Weather Forecast for the 2017 Charleville Half-Marathon

Over the last few days, there has been no shortage of high winds and showers but it looks as if things will have calmed down nicely for the weekend.

 Update : Sun 7:30am...Sunny in Cork City and fog in Charleville. It should have burnt off by 10am so expect nice sunny conditions...hopefully!

A ridge of high pressure will be over the country for the weekend and the weather for the Charleville Half-Marathon on Sunday is likely to be broken sunshine. It's going to be dry with the temperature in the mid teens. The winds are likely to be a very light and won't be a factor.

Considering the race starts at 10am, it may be cooler then with the temperature down around 10-12 deg. With the sunshine however, it may well feel quite warm especially in the second half of the race.

In terms of gear, a singlet or a short sleeve top will suffice. If you feel slightly cold standing at the start then that's about right.

For anyone doing the Glen of Aherlow races on Saturday, the weather is similar except there is a chance of showers and there will be a northerly breeze.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Free Couch to 5k in Blarney starting Tues 26th Sept 2017

The Happy Feet Running Group are starting a FREE 8 week Couch to 5k Programme for beginners in Blarney on Tuesday the 26th of September 2017.

If you have any questions, their contact details are HERE

Results of the Ballincollig 5k parkrun...Sat 16th Sept 2017

250 turned out for this weeks 5k parkrun in Ballincollig Regional Park on Sat 16th of Sept 2017. As the chart shows above, it has been pretty consistent for the last few months with the numbers in the region of 200-270 every week. The low dips tend to coincide with wet weather which is understandable.

1 Tobi GRAB    18:07    VM40-44    M1 Leevale AC
2 John LYNCH    18:19    VM35-39    M2 Tracton AC
3 Tony O'HALLORAN    18:44    VM55-59    M3 Dundrum South Dublin Athletic Club
31 Claire OBRIEN    22:21    VW35-39    F1
32 Louise SHEEHAN    22:29    VW40-44    F2 Ballincollig Athletic Club
37 Samantha DOTT    22:45    VW45-49    F3


1) The organisers have a gallery HERE

Friday, September 15, 2017

Results of the MMRA Nagles Trail Race...Sun 3rd Sept 2017

This 19km trail race organised by the Munster Mountain Running Association was held in the Nagles Mountains near Ballyhooly on Sunday the 3rd of Sept 2017. The results only came out in the last few days.

1 Seán Harte    2197    M    1:36:57    North Cork ...    Waterford
2 Michael O'Donoghue    318    M    Dooneen AC    Limerick
3 Thomas Walsh    2266    M50    1:39:00    BMOH   
21 Niamh Hartnett    2196    F    1:53:50        Cork
23 Ide Kelleher    2063    F40    1:54:10    Mallow AC    Cork
27 Marie O'Shea    2092    F40    1:55:45    MooreAbbey Milers    Tipperary

Full results...

The route was described as follows..."A point to point race from Ballyhooly to Killavullen across the Nagles mountains with some changes to the route from previous years. The route covers approx. 19km with about 650m of elevation gain."

After the Loop de Loop event in the Glen of Aherlow on Saturday, the trail season winds down. The one event left is a night time trail run in Currabinny Woods on Thurs 26th October 2017.

Macroom 5k parkrun cancelled on Sat 16th & Sat 30th Sept 2017

Just a note to say that the 5k parkrun in the Castle Demense in Macroom will not be going ahead on Saturday the 16th and 30th of September 2017.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Irish Results from the 2017 Great North Run

The Great North Run in Newcastle, England is the world's largest half-marathon and this year it was held on Saturday the 9th of September 2017 with a record 43,127 finishers.

The finishers listed under Ireland are shown below. Those from Cork & Munster are in bold.

STEPHEN SCULLION    10    Clonliffe Harriers A.C.    14    01:05:52    Gun Time
EOGHAN JOSEPH TOTTEN    30    Oxford University AC    19    01:07:21    Gun Time
David Murray    649    Tullamore Harriers Athletic Club    73    01:15:17    Chip Time
Jimmy Boland    756    Clonmel A.C.    86    01:16:56    Chip Time
Paul O Reilly    35199         163    01:19:46    Chip Time
Danny Murphy    3293    An Riocht A.C.    445    01:26:05    Chip Time
Paul Breen    2211         462    01:26:26    Chip Time
Brian Maher    820    Slaney Olympic A.C.    519    01:27:09    Chip Time
John Murray    3447    St. Coca's A.C.    643    01:28:19    Chip Time
Aidan McKenna    2541    Letterkenny A.C.    645    01:28:19    Chip Time
David Gleeson    2417         713    01:28:48    Chip Time
Ciaran O'Connor    1386         839    01:29:43    Chip Time
James O Connor    3826    Slaney Olympic A.C.    935    01:30:27    Chip Time
Derek Keeley    5340         1022    01:31:09    Chip Time
Rob Asher    1028    Blackrock A.C. (Dublin)    1091    01:31:44    Chip Time
Ciara Brady    3357         1113    01:31:51    Chip Time
Orla O Rourke    463    Ballymore Cobh A.C.    1153    01:32:12    Chip Time

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Charleville Half-Marathon now closed as it reaches 1400 limit

The 2017 Charleville Half-Marathon has now closed with the last of the 1400 entries going on Wednesday the 13th of September.

It's interesting to see how it compares to previous years. In 2015, there were 930 entries. In 2016, it sold out for the first time ever with the limit of 1100 being reached on Monday the 12th of September. This year, they had an extra 300 places and the limit was reached on the Wednesday before the race.

In the current climate with the sheer number of events, any race is doing well just to maintain their numbers. For the Charleville race to gain an extra 27% is pretty good and is testament to the hard work being put in by North Cork AC.

Race notice HERE

Course Preview......You can see a preview of the course HERE

6 Week Fitness Challenge in Cork City for Irish Heart Foundation

Press Release : MOTION LEISURE CLUB AT THE MONTENOTTE HOTEL launch free 6 week fitness challenge for Irish Heart Foundation (Sponsorship required)

Motion Leisure CLUB at the Montenotte Hotel Trainers Ian and Abbie with Irish Heart Foundation’s Regional Manager, Anne Riordan at the launch of Big Heart Fit Camp in Cork this week.

Motion Leisure Club at the Montenotte Hotel has teamed up with the Irish Heart Foundation, for a six week health and fitness challenge to help the people of Cork to improve their health - and raise funds to support the Irish Heart Foundation’s vital community services.

Ian McLoughlin, Motion Leisure Club’s Manager, said: “We are really excited to have joined forces with the Irish Heart Foundation.  The charity has a very active health promotion team, encouraging people of all ages to adopt a healthier lifestyle, so this is a perfect fit for us.”

Sonia O'Sullivan awarded Honorary Doctorate at Dublin City University

On Tuesday, Sonia O'Sullivan was awarded an honourary doctorate at Dublin City University.

Irish Examiner
Irish Times

Kenya’s marathon stars in Europe | DW Documentary

This German documentary which was just released follows the journey of two Kenyan athletes as they try to win races in Europe. It gives a good insight into the competition they face from fellow Africans and what role the agent plays.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2017 Wild Atlantic Way race in Castletownbere cancelled...

The Wild Atlantic Way 10k race in Castletownbere, West Cork was last held in September of 2016 and it was planned to hold another one this year. The organisers announced today that it has been deferred until 2018.

From the organisers.... 

The 2017 Wild Atlantic Way Run - Castletownbere will not take place this year due to Unforeseen Circumstances. It was proposed to introduce a new Route for this Year's event, but this could not be finalised in time for our proposed date...
The Event will return again in 2018 and we would like to Thank You all for the support we received over the last two years. Please spread the word and stay tuned for further updates in the next 12 months...

Garryvoe 5k race raises €1810 for National Rehabilitation Hospital

The inaugural Garryvoe 5k road race was held back in late July and managed to raise €1810 for charity despite the wet weather.

The race was sponsored by Garryvoe Hotel and they sent on this message for all those who took part..."With your involvement, we had an extremely successful evening with all proceeds going to an amazing charity, the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.  The total amount raised on the night was €1810.

We would very much like to make this an annual road race, and we look forward to attracting even more walkers and runners next year. "

Monday, September 11, 2017

Tramore Valley Park opening extended to Autumn 2018

In response to a query from local councilor Kieran McCarthy, the Chief Executive of Cork City Council responded that the Tramore Valley Park will open no sooner than the Autumn of 2018.

As can be seen from the letter above, the key part of the response is "Should the necessary finances be available, the intention is to open the park on a phased basis from late summer/early autumn 2018'

It is expected that the Tramore Valley Park would have operational costs of €50,000-€60,000 per annum

Dry fit top for the Charleville Half-Marathon

This is the dry fit top that will be given out at the Charleville Half-Marathon which is coming up next Sunday the 17th of September 2017.

There are now fewer than 90 of the 1400 places left! If you're interested, register asap.

More info in this earlier post.

Photos of the 6k Blue Balloon Fun Run & Walk Sun in Cork City...Sun 10th Sept 2017

The 6km Blue Balloon Fun Run & Walk organised by Cork Association for Autism was held on the Mahon-Blackrock walkway in Cork City on Sunday the 10th of September 2017.

Doug Minihane was on hand to take some photos. Album HERE

Results & Photos of the Ballincollig 5k parkrun...Sat 9th Sept 2017

229 people turned out for the 65th edition of the Ballincollig 5k parkrun on Saturday 9th Sept 2017.

1    Morgan O'REGAN    18:45    VM40-44    M1    Midleton AC
2    Unknown                                   
3    Conrad DALY    19:23    SM30-34    M3
21    Mary SWEENEY    22:08    VW55-59    F1    St Finbarrs AC
23    Caitriona LEAHY    22:14    VW40-44    F2
43    Marie O'SHEA    23:39    VW35-39    F3


1) The organisers have a gallery HERE
2) Joe Murphy has a gallery HERE 

Just a note on the photo above which was taken by Olga O'Sullivan. As the sign says, they are looking for volunteers to help out every week for this free event.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Results of the St.Peters Ladies Football Club 4 mile road race...Sat 9th Sept 2017

About 90 runners and walkers took part in this 4 miler in Rockchapel in North-West Cork on Saturday 9th Sept 2017.


Saturday, September 09, 2017

Results & Photos of the John Buckley Sports Cork City 10 Miler...Sat 9th Sept 2017

A large crowd of 554 runners turned out for this years John Buckley Sports 10 Miler road race, up 8.6% on the 510 of 2016.

1 Senior     Mark Hanrahan (1)     00:49:39
2 Senior     Colin Merrit (582)     00:54:08
3 Senior     John Meade (6)     00:55:10
1 O40     Sorcha Kearney (563)     01:04:53
2 Senior Female     Joan Ennis (147)     01:07:32
3 Senior Female     Ellen Hanley (193)     01:08:15 

The results are here...

(Updated Mon 11th Sept)

Photos...(Updated Tues 12th Sept @7:26pm)
1) There are 6 albums on the Running in Cork Facebook page
...a) Pre-Race
...b) Race Start
...c) ~6.3 miles 50 to 74 mins
...d) ~6.3 miles 74 to 87 mins
...e) ~6.3 miles 87 mins+
...f) Post race & Prizes
2) Adrian Foley has some lovely photos near the 9 mile mark on the walkway
...a) Sub 81 mins (138 photos)
...b) 81 mins plus (136 photos)
3) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a gallery HERE and some finish line photos HERE

More on the way

Friday, September 08, 2017

Reminder...Cork City 10 miler on Sat 9th Sept 2017

Weather Update : There is a north-westerly air flow over the country so it's likely to feel a bit cooler than of late with temperatures in the low teens. It will probably be dry so it's looking pretty good.

As for the wind, there is likely to be a strong breeze but it's unlikely to be a major factor. On the exposed stretch near the waterfront walkway in Mahon (miles 6 to 7.5), the wind will be into the runners back.

On the homeward stretch, it will be a headwind but there will be a lot of protection inside the railway cutting from miles 8 to 9.5.

Overall...thumbs up for the weather. Suggest you wear just a singlet or short sleeve dry fit top. It'll be cool but not cold.


Just a reminder. The John Buckley Sports Cork City 10 Miler is coming on Saturday the 9th of September at 6pm. You can enter on the day of the race in Shandon Boat Club up until 5:45pm.

More info in this previous post.

The race website is

The dry fit top for the 2017 race is shown below...

John Buckley of John Buckley Sports & race director Paul Gallagher of St.Finbarr's AC displaying the dry fit top for the 2017 Cork City 10 Miler

Friday Fun...Alf Tupper getting on

For those of you of a certain age, you may well remember Alf Tupper and 'Tough of the Track' in a boys magazine many moons ago. Poor auld Alf is getting on as well...

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Results & Photos of the St.Lukes Home 5k in Mahon...Thurs 7th Sept 2017

There was a huge turnout of over 500 runners for this years St.Luke's Home 5k in Mahon in Cork City. It looks as if a lot of runners were making the most of it as it was the last big evening race of 2017 in daylight.

1    Chris MINTERN (1514)    00:14:56    Senior  (1)    Male  (1)
2    Mark HOEY (1140)    00:15:36    Senior  (2)    Male  (2)
3    Michael BRUTON (542)    00:15:48    Senior  (3)    Male  (3)
4    Laura CROWE (1172)    00:16:16    Senior  (1)    Female  (1)
10    Sinead O CONNOR (1166)    00:16:57    Senior  (2)    Female  (2)
12    Emma MURPHY (1174)    00:17:05    Senior  (3)    Female  (3)

The full results can be seen HERE

Photos...(Updated 8th Sept @8am)
1) There are 3 albums up on the Running in Cork Facebook page...
...a) Start of the race
...b) Finish of the race
...c) Prizes
2) Doug Minihane has a gallery HERE
3) Majella Costello has a gallery HERE

First 3 men L-R Mark Hoey 2nd, Chris Mintern 1st & Michael Bruton 3rd

Update on the St.Lukes 5k on Thurs 7th Sept 2017

I spoke with the race organisers this morning and it looks like the level of pre-entries are now up over 200! With most people likely to enter just before the race, it's looks like there will be a good turn out for this race.

Considering that it is in effect the last evening road race in Cork before the dark evenings close in should get a few extra bodies out for the occasion. After that, the next main evening race in Cork in daylight at least will be the Ballintotis 4 mile next April.

More info about the St.Luke's 5k in this earlier post.

Just some points.

1) If you are doing the race then the GAA grounds across the road from St.Luke's Home in Mahon will be used for parking.

2) If you're running, just watch the down ramp near the 1 km mark. There is a really sharp turn at the end.
3) As outlined before, the pedestrian bridge over the South Ring Road (2 km mark) is now open and isn't an issue.

4) The weather forecast is for it to be overcast with a risk of passing showers. I suspect it will be worse further up the country so it may well be dry.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Sports First Aid Courses coming up in Cork...Sept to Nov 2017

The Cork Sports Partnership is currently organising some Sports First Aid courses in Cork over the following months...

Sports First Aid
Sat 30th Sept 2017 9.30am - 3pm Cork Training Centre, Rossa Avenue, Bishopstown   
Sat 14th Oct 2017 9.30am - 3pm Inniscarra Community Centre
Sat 11th Nov 2017 9.30am - 3pm James O’Keeffe Institute, Newmarket

The course costs €63.60 and the link to register is HERE

As well as covering the treatment of several injuries, participants are also trained in the use of a defibrillator.

I recently organised for six members of Eagle AC to complete this course and it is something every club should consider doing. If you're interested then click on the link above for details.

Events in Cork over the next few days...

Some events in Cork over the next few days. The big ones are the St.Luke's 5k in Mahon which is the last major evening race on the calendar. The next one after that will be in April 2018!

The other one is the Cork City 10 miler next Saturday.

Cork...Thurs 7th (7pm)... St.Luke's Home 5k race...€10... Mahon in Cork City... info...

5k Parkrun...Sat 9th (9:30am)...€free...various locations...  
Cork...Macroom, Clonakilty, Bere Is, Glengarriff, Castlehaven & Ballincollig...

Cork... Sat 9th (6pm)... John Buckley Sports Cork City 10 Miler ...€25... includes dry fit top... info...

Cork...Sun 10th (11am)...Blue Balloon 6km fun run/walk...€15...untimed, in aid of the Cork Association for Autism...

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Ballycotton Summer Series : A Personal Journey

Thursday the 27th of August 1992. That was the date of my very first Ballycotton 5 mile road race. At the finish line, I saw someone handing out some plaques and I duly found out that they were for people who ran all four races in the Ballycotton Summer Series. I remember looking at someone's plaque and seeing names like 'Ballyandreen' and 'Churchtown South' and thinking 'Where in the name of God are they?' :o))

I made up my mind there and then that I'd do the Summer Series the next year.

So I went back in 1993 and completed the series. And the next year, and the next one and so on. Fast forward to the Ballycotton 5 of 2017, my 101st Ballycotton Summer Series race and my 25th plaque for 25 years in a row.

In 1994, I managed to get into the top 50 for the coveted Summer Series t-shirt. I managed to stay there as far as 2013 for 20 years in a row. After that, auld age (and a lack of training ;o) caught up with me.

Truth be told, it's not really any major physical challenge to complete the 100 races. The hard part was just getting to the start line and avoiding holidays and injuries.

Over the last 25 years, some things have obviously changed a lot and still some things haven't.

Back in 1992 & 1993, there was no Facebook, blogs or websites. I'm not even sure if there was email back then or at least if I had it. It was really a case of turning up at a race and picking up a flyer to find out about the next one. You didn't get to see the results until maybe a week or two later when John Walshe would be wandering around at the next race handing out printed copies.

Some things haven't changed much though. John Walshe and Ballycotton Running Promotions still organise the races in much the same way as they did back then. The courses are exactly the same, the same low entry fee and the same emphasis on putting on a quality road race.

How long will I continue? Not for another 25 years anyway that's for sure! :o)) I always knew the 100 mark was coming up at some stage in the future but it was only just before the Ballycotton 5m race that I realised I had passed it in Churchtown South. If I missed a race now, it wouldn't be the end of the world. After all, no streak can keep going forever.  I guess though for me and for a lot of other local runners, the Ballycotton Summer Series is the highlight of the Summer season of road races. Long may it continue to be so.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Pedestrian bridge in Mahon now open again

The maintenance work on the pedestrian bridge in Mahon over the South Ring Road in Cork City has now been completed. The photo above shows it on the afternoon of Monday the 4th of September.

The original plan was that it going to be closed until next Saturday. The good news is that this means that the St.Luke's 5k will be going ahead as planned next Thursday. The bad news is that the bridge is still as steep as ever! :o))

In terms of the work, a new surface layer has been put down although it's not something that most people would even notice.

Bere Island parkrun is 3 years old

After starting on the 30th of August 2014, the 5k parkrun on Bere Island in West Cork recently celebrated its third birthday! The chart above shows the weekly numbers for the last three years and it usually gets from 30 to 50 per week. During the Summer holiday season from late July to the end of August, there is a surge in numbers with an influx of tourists and visitors to the area. 

In many ways, the Bere Island 5k parkrun has been an outstanding success and is a model for other parkruns around the country. For any parkrun to survive, there must be a supply of local runners and volunteers to support it. While that's taken as a given for parkruns in large population centres, it's hardly the case with an island off the coast of West Cork. I often look at the numbers taking part in Bere Island and think that if it can be done there then it can be done just about anywhere in the country.

As the chart shows, the numbers turn out even in the middle of Winter when the tourists are long gone. It really is a testament to the energy and effort of the islanders that they've manged to make a success of this event. 

Some stats over the last 3 years...
Number of events: 164 (incl one offs)
Number of runners: 1,157
Number of runs: 7,815
Number of clubs: 104
Average number of runners per week: 47.7
Average number of runs per runner: 6.8
Biggest Attendance: 181

The Bere Island 5k parkrun is of course completely free and is organised by volunteers. It is held at 9:30am every Saturday morning. More info on their website...

New club called Beara AC to launch in Jan 2018

A meeting about establishing a new athletics club on the Beara Peninsula was held in Castletownbere on Friday the 1st of September 2017. Anyone interested in establishing a new club was invited to attend and the meeting seems to have been well supported.

There used to be a juvenile club here some years ago but it seemed to fade away. The current pkan is to officially launch the new club in January of 2018.

From the organisers.... "The idea is to launch a running club for adults, initially, with the hope to move to juniors (12+) within the year and younger juniors in the future. The hope is that we can pool resources to organise races and events of all kinds including road running, x country and mountain ... and maybe shorter distances and track in future, actual track permitting!! We have a running coach (me!) specialising in adult beginners/improvers (endurance). "

Results & photos of the West Waterford AC Greenway Half-Marathon... Sat 2nd Sept 2017

The inaugural West Waterford AC Greenway Half-Marathon was held on Saturday the 2nd of Sept 2017 with 406 runners taking part. There was plenty of interest from Cork runners with Alan O'Shea of Bantry AC being the first man home.

1 Alan O'SHEA    01:09:10 MS (1)    Bantry AC
2 Frank QUINLAN    01:13:22 M40 (1)    Waterford AC
3 Mark SMITH    01:13:23 MS (2)    Eagle AC
29 Silvia MALONE    01:25:20 F40 (1)    Waterford AC
43 Kate VEALE    01:29:34FS (1)    West Waterford AC
51 Ciara WILSON    01:30:17FS (2)    D.M.P. A.C.


Photos...(Updated Tues 5th Sept)
1) Dave Coleman has a gallery HERE
2) West Waterford AC have some of their own galleries
...Near the 8 mile mark
...Finish Line
...Prize giving
3) John Troy has a nice gallery HERE

Sunday, September 03, 2017

History of Sub 2h 20m marathon times in the USA

I came across this graphic recently showing the number of sub 2h 20m marathon performances per year in the USA. Although it stops at 2012, it clearly shows the surge of fast times back in the late 70's and early 80's.

As for the reason? The first running boom back around 1980 was fueled by mostly young men who trained a lot. The current boom has a much older age profile and fewer young men are doing the high mileage that their predecessors did.

Results & Photos of the Ballincollig 5k parkrun...Sat 2nd Sept 2017

There was a turnout of 263 for this weeks 5k parkrun in Ballincollig. As the chart above shows, it pretty steady at the moment with roughly 200 to 270 per week.

1 Colin KILTY    18:01    VM40-44    M1 St Finbarrs AC
2 Unknown                                   
3 Wesley BROWNLOW 19:06    SM20-24    M3
25 Mary SWEENEY    21:56    VW55-59 F1 St Finbarrs AC
42 Gillian COTTER 22:43    VW40-44 F2 St Finbarrs AC
55 Maria MADIGAN 23:12    VW40-44 F3

Results of the 64th edition

1) The organisers have a gallery HERE
2) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a gallery HERE

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Results of the Elaine Memorial 5k in Doneraile Park...Sat 2nd Sept 2017

There was a huge crowd of 607 runners and walkers out for this 5k race in Doneraile Park in momory of Elaine Lehane.

1 18:06  MURPHY, Liam    LEIXLIP   MS    0:05:50
2 18:27 MANNIX, Stephen  NA  MS    0:05:57
3 18:44 O'CONNOR, Willie  GALTEE RUNNERS MS 0:06:02
9 19:43 FINN, Carol    LEEVALE  FS1    0:06:22
16 20:24 DULLAGHAN, Suzanne WATERFORD AC FS 0:06:35
34 23:15 CRONIN, Anna    NA    F    F16    0:07:30

 Full results below...
Doneraile Park            Saturday 2 September 2017        Elaine Lehane Memorial 5K       
Pos    No.    Time    Name    Club    M/F    Cat    Pace
Pos    No.    Time    Name    Club    M/F    Cat    Pace
1    161    18:06.2    MURPHY, Liam    LEIXLIP    M    MS    05:50.4
2    862    18:26.7    MANNIX, Stephen    NA    M    MS    05:57.0
3    439    18:43.7    O'CONNOR, Willie    GALTEE RUNNERS    M    MS    06:02.5
4    64    18:53.5    BARROW, Donough    MALLOW TRI    M    MS    06:05.7
5    7    19:08.1    NAGLE, Eamonn    MALLOW    M    MS    06:10.4
6    174    19:30.1    MCSWEENEY, Peter    GRENAGH    M    MS    06:17.4
7    458    19:34.0    WALSH, Colm    NA    M    MS    06:18.7
8    440    19:39.2    O'GORMAN, Ciaran    GALTEE RUNNERS    M    MS    06:20.4
9    450    19:43.2    FINN, Carol     LEEVALE    F    FS1    06:21.7
10    228    19:48.6    MURPHY, Denis    DROMAHANE RR    M    MS    06:23.4

Friday, September 01, 2017

Results of the Grange-Fermoy AC 4 mile...Fri 1st Sept 2017

179 people took part in this 4 mile race organised by Grange-Fermoy AC

1 21:36    Paddy Cummins    Maycarley Coolcroo    M S 05:24
2 21:45    Bryan Crowley    Watergrasshill Ac    M 40 05:26
3 21:59    Paul Hartnett    Midleton      M J 05:30
19 24:47 Carol Finn    Leevale Ac    F S 06:12
31 25:35 Ellen Hanley    Grange Fermoy Ac    F 40 06:24
36 25:51 Aine Roche    Clonmel Ac    F S 06:28


Weather Forecast for Sat 2nd Sept 2017

There are lots of big events in Munster on Saturday with the Dingle Marathon in Kerry, the Greenway half-marathon in Waterford and there is a 5k race in Doneraile Park in Cork.

The rain is forecast to arrive on the west coast around 9-10am and gradually make its way east. It will probably arrive in Cork City sometime in the early afternoon. The image shows the predicted rainfall at 10am.

The Dingle Marathon and Half-Marathon starts at 9am. It's possible that the race may start with overcast dry conditions and will gradually get wetter. The marathon runners may well have a miserable second half. The wind will strengthen from the South as the race goes on although the marathon runners will be largely protected from this in the second half except for the last two miles.

The Greenway Half-Marathon in West Waterford starts at 9am and is likely to be dry and overcast. The rain probably won't reach the county until the late afternoon so everything looks ok. There may be an onshore southerly breeze which might be a factor near the end of the race.

The 5k race in Doneraile Park in N.Cork starts at 11:30am and should be dry.

Most of the 5k parkruns should be dry except perhaps for those in the far west. They may be finished however before any real rain arrives.