Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Route changes for the 2017 Cork City Marathon

Friday, April 28, 2017

Route changes for the 2017 Cork City Marathon



The big change this year for the Cork City Marathon is that it will be held on a Sunday rather than the usual Bank Holiday Monday. One effect from this change is that the route has to avoid some churches so some changes had to be made.

While the overall route is much the same, there are three areas where there have been changes...

The start and finish is still on Patrick's Street but the route has been changed.

As in previous years, the marathon starts on Patrick's Street, down the Grand Parade, down the South Mall....across Parnell Place...and down Merchant's Quay. In previous years, it went down to the North Gate Bridge and back up Popes Quay before going up to Blackpool. This year, it will cross the bridge by the Opera House and head north.


As for the finish, in previous years it went down Pope's Quay, across Patrick's Bridge and down to the finish on Patrick's Street. In 2017, it will cross the North Gate Bridge and down North Gate Street. Up Washington Street, onto the Grand Parade and onto Patrick's Street.

Verdict : Neutral. No real difference. The route is as flat as before.

In Ballyphehane, the church has to be avoided. This will result in a detour by Tory Top Park.


Anyone who knows this area will know that this is probably the highest part of Ballyphehane.

Verdict : Negative. The old route along here in Orange was pretty flat. The 2017 route introduces a new hill which won't be welcome at 19 miles.

The church at Dennehy's Cross must also be avoided. This is probably the biggest change. You can see the new route in red and the old route in orange.

With the old route, runners lost height by the junction with Clashduv Road and then had to climb out again. At the exit of Liam Lynch park where it came out by the Credit Union, the route went down slightly to Dennehy's Cross.

The new route loses a fair bit of height as it is close to Victoria Cross.

Verdict : Neutral. Lose a bit here, gain a bit there. Both the new and old routes have their drags.

Overall: The new route is much the same as previous years. The extra hill in Ballyphehane may well add a minute to people's times.

Half-Marathon : The loop at the start which caused all the problems last year is gone and it now starts near Kennedy Park. It joins the marathon route on the Marina so the changes in Ballyphehane and Glasheen will apply.


The Cork City Marathon website is http://www.corkcitymarathon.ie

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd say negative overall. The climb from Farranlea road is more severe than the old drag up Model Farm Road. The climb in Ballyphehane is at a really bad point too. Plus there is more twists and turns which will add time if you are not careful and don't run the tangents. I reckon these changes will definitely add minutes to my time anyway. So much messing around. I'd have rather run the old course and had it on the Monday. Was it really worth it to move it to Sunday? Plus the route doesn't avoid the church in Blackpool. Why is that? On the other hand, there's about a mile of downhill after Dorgan's Road which should give some time to recover. I'll have to go out and run it later to see for myself I suppose. Would it have been better to run it the other way around? Leaving the flatter part of the course for the 2nd half? Anyway, I hope this is just pre race jitters from me. Best of luck everyone.

Anonymous said...

Actually Friars walk up to Ballyphehane Church was a bit of a drag too, so maybe that change is not as bad as it seems at first. Any reason why the course didn't continue down Tramore Road and head up to the Lough via Pouladuff Road or Togher Road?

Anonymous said...

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Anonymous said...

In fairness any change has to be compensated elsewhere. It's not about the shortest route to the finish line it's the best 26.2 available. Every marathon evolves year after year. The half has changed for the better every year, 1st the buses to the start was changed by a location change. The start last year caused havoc and now this year has been changed. Take on the challenge, give them quality feed back afterwards, for our own benefit. They will take it on board and make changes where possible, if required. Give the route a chance, it could be your PB course yet!!!!

dequarefella said...

I wonder how they'll manage to make a balls of the start of the half this year

Anonymous said...

It's much of a muchness to be honest. The marathon is still pretty tough from mile 16 onwards to mile 22. I would hardly call it a flat course but it's probably the best they could do. Hopefully the half and full won't be let down by poor organisation.

anon said...

Moving to Sunday was a great move and essential to keep the event alive. Adding the extra half mile to the second half sorted the half start well done. Cork is a complicated city and still the course is flatter than Dublin

Anonymous said...

If what was easy? Designing the course or running the marathon? Almost anyone can do both,but very few can do either well.

Yvonne Kertsch said...

lol

Anonymous said...

Cork is a hilly city. Given the circumstances I think they did ok. The climb up to Ballyphehane park will be tough, but think positively- That's probably the highest point of the course. Net downhill the rest of the way!

Anonymous said...

Re comment No. 5, this is totally uncalled for, there is a massive logistic effort involved in a City centre Marathon and there are always going to be ongoing problems, I hope you are not a member of one of those one or two large athletic clubs that never lend a helping hand but take all the spoils at the end of the day, final suggestion to you, take up dog walking.

Anonymous said...

It's a pity that we allow the church to still have such an influence, surely dennehys cross church could have told its regulars that mass would be Saturday night and maybe had a service at 9am only on Sunday, anyone inconvenienced could have gone to Wilton church. It's once a year that this would happen. I think the changes are negative as that farranlee piece has a nice pull by the county hall and again up to the rendezvous with speed bumps also. There is a lot of twists and turns that do not help at such a late stage

Anonymous said...

As usual, people will complain. Which I can totally understand, because a lot of people invest a lot of time in training for these events and then shell out hard earned cash to participate in them (although it must be said there are more expensive events). Had the organisers been able to give us the new course details a bit earlier we would have had longer to absorb the information and maybe get a bit more practice out on the course. But I'm guessing that there was no hurry from the powers that be to give their approval. A lot of work goes into organising these events, and to be fair, a hell of a lot of credit is due there as well. There wouldn't even be a marathon without these people giving up their free time to plan, organise and marshall etc.
Two things serve no one any good - sniping comments about the organisation and hyper defensive comments in return. If you want to criticise, go ahead but be respectful and try to be constructive. Otherwise you come off as a crank. I you feel the need to rebut the criticism, for heavens sake, don't get personal. It's not "your" event and it just sounds like sour grapes. You should be taking on board people's criticisms and be aware there is plenty of competition out there. So while I did say there wouldn't be an event without the organisers, there equally wouldn't be an event with the runners taking part. Personally speaking, I think it's a tougher course than before, but I'm in now and nearly finished training so I'll be giving it a good lash on the day. I probably won't be considering it in the future for a PB attempt, but I might do the half just to support my home city's race.

Anonymous said...

still laughing at the dequarefella. he does come out with funny ones to be fair

Anonymous said...

There's only one way to find out and that's go out and run it - which i did this morning. My personal opinion - the Ballyphehane bit is slightly better. I always hated the drag from Lower Friars Walk up to the Church. Now, there a slight drop off on Connolly Road and I didn't think the drag up to the top of Tory Top Park was all that bad. From Dorgan's Road to the Start of Farranlea park is almost all downhill and gives you plenty of time to recover and maybe even make up some time. Farranlea Park is a killer though - the drag up past the back of County Hall will take a lot out of tired legs. There's a very short sharp pull up to the lights by the Rendezvous as well to watch out for. It all plain sailing after that though, but yeah, the speed bumps and cobbles on North Main Street may end up being a hazard for tired legs, especially if slick with rain. So overall, not as bad as I though it would be at all, but Farranlea Park could end up being our very own "heartbreak hill". Upon mature reflection, as they say, a job well done. I just hope North Main is cleared of cars for the day. It could be a fantastic wall of noise if both sides of the street are packed with supporters, with it being so narrow in comparison to the old route.

Martin Leahy said...

I ran it yesterday with a group. The climbing is definitely tougher than before - at a hard part of the race too. Way more 90 degree bends and speed ramps as well. However, given the constraints and the desire to make only minimal changes then this is probably as good as can be got.

Regarding the anonymous criticisms above - they are deserved but should maybe be be expressed a bit more constructively. Whoever posted the anonymous rebuttal might be better to soak it up and focus on avoiding the mistakes of past years.

This is our home race - I'm really looking forward to June 4th!
Martin Leahy

Pat said...

My big ask is that organisers get the stewarding right so we get the new course off to the best possible start. With multiple route changes critical we have experienced stewards in those spots . We all back a successful Cork let's control the controllable.

Anonymous said...

Moving the event to Sunday is a big win for everyone. It should bring much more money into Cork City given people will now be able to stay down the night unlike before. There should be more people running the Full. So its a small bit hillier then before , I don't see the big deal. Got to The Netherlands if you want to run a race with no hills. Well done to the organisers.