Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: End of the road for the Ballycotton 10 and the Summer Series

Thursday, October 05, 2017

End of the road for the Ballycotton 10 and the Summer Series



Ballycotton Running Promotions have announced that the Ballycotton 10 mile road race and the Ballycotton Summer Series is coming to an end.

This will no doubt come as a shock to many in the local running community as these races were hugely popular with many runners.

The full statement is below...

STATEMENT FROM BALLYCOTTON RUNNING PROMOTIONS
(Issued at 17.00 on 05/10/2017)

It is with regret and no doubt a certain amount of sadness that we wish to announce that the Ballycotton ‘10’, the Summer 5-Mile Series and other events organised by Ballycotton Running Promotions have come to an end.

Whilst this will be received with shock and surprise by the running community at large, the decision to call a halt to our promotions is something that has occupied the thoughts of our committee for the past year or more.

Seven months ago we celebrated the 40th running of the Ballycotton ‘10’ and the symbolic date of Sunday March 12th – the exact date of the original race – may have given an indication of our intentions from this time of last year.

At a special and well-attended meeting in Ballycotton last night and after a long discussion the decision was unanimously agreed that our races should come to an end forthwith - on our own terms and before circumstances outside our control dictated so.

For anyone familiar with the geographical locations of our races, the problems logistically of organising the events are all too apparent. Parking has been one of our major worries. It may come as a surprise to many that, for the past two years due to weather conditions, the possibility of the Ballycotton ‘10’ having to be cancelled was a live issue up to 24 hours before the race.

With new proposed traffic regulations on the way, the staging of an event with up to 3,000 runners in a village with just one road in and out would prove insurmountable. These problems, to a lesser extent, are also evident in the summer races where we are again at the mercy of the weather as regards parking and facilities.

Unlike other such races which are organised by athletic clubs and the like who have a huge supply of members to call on, we are just a small promoting group. But for the assistance we have received from outside bodies over the years it would have been impossible to put on five major events each year.   

Due to busy lifestyles nowadays, help is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. Unfortunately, the age profile of the voluntary committee members and those willing to give of their time is a lot higher than it was when we started out. Also, some participants today are more demanding than in the past and it goes without saying that social media now plays a major role in those demands.

Since our first race, we have had a simple 100% ethos and aim which was manifested in all our races – to provide a well-organised, value for money event for runners of all abilities. Even though we are slow to sing our own praises, we can proudly say we have played a defining role in the popularity and promotion of running events so evident today.  

Road racing in general is now certainly in a far better place than it was back in 1977 when 34 runners took part in our first five-mile race, just one of four road races in total held in the Cork region that summer.

Since that August evening four decades ago, 40 Ballycotton ‘10’ races, 156 Summer 5-Mile races, 60 Shanagarry ‘5K’ (summer and winter) events along with over 80 smaller local races from our early days have taken place. 

Each of those road races had a definite start and finish line. Now, the finish line has finally been reached for Ballycotton Running Promotions and its events. It has been a long and winding road, a road filled with many memories and stories, and a road that has enriched the lives of thousands from far and near.

We conclude by expressing a deep-felt sense of gratitude to all those who have journeyed with us along that road, in whatever capacity, over the forty years of Ballycotton races.

Ballycotton Running Promotions

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow really Sad.

The 25th Ballycotton 10 was the first road race I ran since my teenage years. I havent missed a summer series race since i moved to cork in 2001.

A huge thank you to the Ballycotton Running promotions crew and volunteers for many great events.

Anonymous said...

Really sad news, but completely understandable given the age profile of many of the volunteers. Would love to thank all those involved in both races that gave us all so many happy times in BallyCotton. Wish you guys all the best in your "retirement" . Yee will be greatly missed as the events were always ran incredibly well with results always available pretty quickly..

Kevin O'Reilly said...

The Ballycotton Summer Series was what first got me in to running. Ballycotton 10 was my favourite race on the calendar. Thank you Ballycotton Running Promotions for all your fantastic organisation over the years. I suppose we didn't realise how good we had it, but we'll always have the memories!

Kevin Cooney said...

Thanks to Ballycotton Running Promotion’s for many years of great racing. It is sad to see it all ending but it gave many people an opportunity to partake in quality and well organised races. The work put in by the organisation was immense and all in a voluntary basis. I’m glad to have had many good times in all the races but the end has come and it has been a great journey along the way.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely devastating news, can't say I was of a big fan of recent Ballycotton 10s. The crowds have really made it a nightmare at times. But no doubting it was a excellently run event. The summer series was the jewel in the crown of road racing events in cork in my opinion. Big crowds came from all over to try and get into the top 50 for men and 30 for woman. I can only imagine the time and effort the committee put into this. I will sorely miss this and I would like to thank Ballycotton running promotions for all their hard work and dedication throughout the years. Best of luck to you all in whatever you do.

Ronan Walsh said...

A sad day for athletics in Ireland. Was hands down the best road race in Ireland. Thanks to all who organised over the years.

Anonymous said...

All Good Things...

John Robinson said...

John Robinson, so sad to hear the news. I was so happy Running the Ballycotton 10 and the Summer Series from the 80's and in later years helping John W and the team of Volunteers. I looked forward every year the to the races. One big Thank you for giving so much fun, encouragement and I will sorely miss the fun.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your hard work during the years. The ballycotton 10 was my very first organised running event. I had a great day out and can still remember the feeling of crossing that line. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

They mention new proposed traffic regulations. Anyone know what they might be?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to all the volunteers involved in delivering 40 years of great road races. Expectations are crazy these days. Wishing your committee and volunteers all the best in their future endeavours #tidytownswinners2018

Anonymous said...

A big thanks to all the organisers for all their hard work down the years. I'm gutted this is the end if the road for the Ballycotton races. What are the chances of someone else stepping in to takeover - be it a club or a commercial entity or even the BHAA? Surely someone is at least interested in keeping the 10 going?

Cathal Daly said...

They were great events and will be sorely missed but perhaps they became victims of their own success. Having attended the last number of Ballycotton 10's in the last 3 years It was evident the size of crowds was hampering the race, popularity brings it's own problems. A terrible shame but these things happen. Great kudos to all those involved with BC promotions over the years

Eugene Burns said...

Thank you ballycotton. Right decision bow out at the top. Only ever did the 10miler. Best race in the country. Enjoy retirement

Niamh O Ceallaigh said...

So sorry to hear this. Bally cotton 10 was my first road race when I took up running in 2003. Have travelled down from Wicklow many times since. It was always such a friendly event. So well run and always love the encouragement along the route. Fully understand your choice to bring it to an end. It must have been a massive undertaking every year. I hope you enjoy a peaceful, relaxed few months ahead without the madness of envelope stuffing, organising and planning.
Thank you so much to the entire group involved in the organisation over the years for all your hard work and dedication.
Niamh O Ceallaigh, Wicklow

Anonymous said...

This is the worst news I have ever heard concerning Cork running since I took up running seriously.

I am absolutely devastated that the Summer Series is coming to an end. Anyone who has done the Series knows how brilliant it is from the challenging rolling hills like the infamous 'beast' of Ballyandreen to crossing the finish line in Ballycotton in late August & collecting another plaque that you have worked all Summer for.

The buzz at these races & jockeying for position to get that all important Top 50 T Shirt are the best memories I have over all the races I have done.
There is nothing like it & there will never be anything like it.

I will always keep my 5 plaques & am genuinely gutted that I won't get the chance to add another few to my collection.

Edmond O'Sullivan midleton said...

End of an era. What an era though and all thanks to a handful of amazing local people, all terrific athletes in their day. Nothing less than respect, admiration, gratitude and best wishes is adequate for the epic volunteers behind the epic 40 years of Flagship road races provided for all of us by ballycotton running promotions. Slán agus beannachtaí an t-saoil libh.

Anonymous said...

Sad news. Thank you BC running promotions for all the work. You will be missed.
I'm gonna now get my top 100 t-shirt preserved and framed. Was hoping to get another one of them some day.

Brendan Flanagan said...

I'm delighted to have been part of it's history, so sad to see it go, i can understand completely the decision that has been made. Thank you for the memories.

Bovril said...

Best of luck for the future! Never ran it but was a spectator many times!!

Austerity nerd said...

Last year was my first Ballycotten 10 and it was the most beautiful finish line I have ever experienced. Thank you for the memory and all the hard work.

Diarmuid said...

Got to run the Ballycotton 10 this year and was a really enjoyable experience.
Great organisation, fantastic volunteers & the atmosphere was brilliant, not to mention the views.
Was looking forward to doing it again next year from the moment I crossed the finish line......

So sorry to hear that its come to an end. Great event which gave enjoyment to so many.

Thanks again to all involved.

Anonymous said...

Very sad to hear. I ran the 4 5 milers this summer with the aim of doing the 10 next March. Well done to all who put in so much effort to organise the races over the 4 decades.Truly outstanding contribution to Cork's sporting life.

Just a thought but I might go down early on Sunday 11th Mar next year for a 10 mile tempo run, just for memories.

Unknown said...

Greatest race of all thanks guys

Darren C. said...

This is tough, yet understandable news. Thank you to the Ballycotton 10 organising committee for providing such a brilliant event.

I picked up my fifth Ballycotton 10 mug this year, I didn't think it would be my last!
When I ran my first one, I became bitten by the athletics bug.

As others have commented, it does seem as if the race became a victim of its own success, with huge numbers in recent years. Could the Ballycotton 10 race continue, if they radically downsized the number of entrants? This would be similar to the early Ballycotton 10 races. I am not an elite runner myself but could the event be re-branded just for elite runners?

Perhaps some of the Cork athletics running clubs could pool their resources to try and organise a donwsized Ballycotton 10. It could perhaps be treated as an inter-county championship.

I am a little bit in shock with this news, as are most people are.

The Ballycotton 10 race is an institution. Don't let it go!! Come on Cork Athletics clubs!

Anonymous said...

In the words of the late Jimmy Magee "different class" - and the Ballycotton 10 was "different class". It was a day apart from any other in the sporting calendar. No event anywhere could match it for organisation, atmosphere and the sense that you were part of something very special.
The Summer Series had a life of it's own, those mid summer evenings that we all looked forward to in mid Winter.
Fully understand the decision made by the committee - all of us in the running community owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ballycotton Running Promotions. The races may be gone but the love affair with Ballycotton will surely live on. I for one will always enjoy my run around those famous miles. Thanks for the memories!

John Cashman Midleton AC

Anonymous said...

I'm devastated, not for myself but for the people to whom I have recommended the Ballycotton 10. It has always been an event to be experienced at some point in a running career and now those who haven't yet done one won't get the chance.

I have had some great experiences: bringing my two sons on the trip from Dublin; missing the bus from Cork because they were in the toilets at the railway station; missing the bus the next year because the train was late; breaking 60 minutes for the first time; getting a t-shirt (more than once); giving a t-shirt to son's friend who came with us; buying it back from him five years later. Proud to have them hanging in my wardrobe now.

I'll miss trying to get my now-adult sons to try to do it. But I understand. Some other voluntary organisations are similarly threatened. Despite all of this, this decision may be the kick in the backside that people need to prompt them to commit to voluntary activity for worthwhile causes such as the Ballycotton 10 and summer series. Thanks BC Promotions.

Billy Caball said...

I wish to sincerely thank you all for the wonderful times I had in running in some of your races. It leaves me with outstanding memories. Many thanks
Billy Caball
Weightlifting Ireland

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the Ballycotton crew - always the highlight of my running year

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful memories, Ballycotton Running Promotions! Thank you for the t-shirt, which was a wonderful surprise at the end of the race last year. Thank you for the heartfelt statement that explains the reasons for the decision. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'm more disappointed the Summer Series is gone. It was great to plan your summer running around them and try your best to finish as high up the overall standings as you gone. With so many races around Cork now I believe there won't be as many that will get the numbers these got consistently. 5 miles was a good challenge and there aren't too many around. Hopefully a new series could be put together. Midelton and East Ferry could do something, add another couple of 5 miles in the location and be the start of a new series. But damn I'll miss the Beast on a fine summer evening.
Will they continue to run the smaller races? Such as Cloyne series and Shanagarry 5k?

Unknown said...

Kieran Mulcahy.
Thanks Ballycotton running promotions.
For the memories and friends that I met over the many years In this wonderful event.

Anonymous said...

Ballycotton Running Promotions - take a bow - and thanks for the memories!

Anonymous said...

Very very sad, I understand all the reasons made in the Ballycotton statement. However letting these points stop the race, I can't fathom it. What made the race great for me was the crowd, the course, the mug, time the year, the narrow streets, the weather, the excellent organisation, the supporters out on the course, training all winter to try and break that 80 minute barrier!!
Ignore social media, the fact that the race sells out almost immediately is testament the how highly it is thought of.
If the committee who have done an excellent job need help then I'd reach out to the other Athletics clubs in Cork, They all run in it and appreciate it, Hopefully this decision might be changed, if not this year in the future,
I know I would be queueing online to run it again,

Anonymous said...

picking up that mug at the end of the 10 miler or finishing after running the four races. that was the best felling.

Anonymous said...

Really sad news this what great men and woman that ran these events. We don't realise how important things are until they are gone. Looking forward I'd love if the club's like Midleton, Youghal, St Catherines Ac and Aghada etc etc came together and ran a 5 mile summer series along the same lines as Ballycotton. Hopefully something they should consider, I know they have there own events but if they pull together surely they could make it work.

Charlie Neville said...

Absolutely gutted to read this awful news this morning! It was hugely important to me since 1982 (my first Ballucotton) and since then my son and daughter ran it too. A million thanks to all at BRP for their valued work down the years. March just won't be the same.

John Kissane said...

Sorry to hear that, it definitely was a unique event. Huge thanks to all the gang in Ballycotton running promotions for all the hard work over the years.

Guess I'll have to take better care of my mugs nows as there will be no more replacements.

Anonymous said...

A sad, sad day. Enjoyed reading through all the nice comments.
I have many great memories of the years I've had running the Ballycotton 10, it being the race that got me into running. It's the one date that's marked in the calendar every year.From the buzz of the Ballycotton 10 song being belted out in the village to the brilliant finish on the way back.
Thanks to all the volunteers, who I can't thank enough - an absolute credit.
As someone above stated, let's hope that some club or BHAA can pick up the mantle & keep this superb event going in some shape or form. It might be wishful thinking but if there's any way this national treasure can be saved, then it's worth a shot.

Anonymous said...

Just a sincere thanks to John Walshe and the Ballycotton group for all the years enjoyment they gave to many thousands of runners and spectators, your likes will not be seen again and I suppose the song should now read "we will not be here again for the Ballycotton 10" JM

Anthony Walsh said...

There was always a great community spirit, great organization, great Banter and a great bond. Mile Buiochas to Johnny Walsh and the Ballycotton Promotions Team, all the stewards etc... Thanks for the memories..

Anonymous said...

So sad to hear that the Ballycotton 10 is no longer.
I wish there is something the running community of country Cork could do or help in any way to get this race back.
As previous people have stated it’s a national treasure.
Ballycotton running promotions have some much to be proud of and have changed a lot of peoples lives for the better.


Bernadette Twomey said...

I'm so sad to hear this news and I want to congratulate all who have been involved in this race for the past 40 years. You have done both running and Ballycotton a great service. It just won't be the same without the race but I have very happy memories and photos x

Anonymous said...

Ballycotton 10 was an annual event in our house, all meet @ 10:45, bring the flask and the Rich-Tea biscuits. All discuss the summer series, the route, the memories,how many ballycottons each after his one. Park in the field, discuss what time we would start going down to the village, what would we wear to the tent in the school, to the start line, would we wear a singlet, was it too cold? Head down, meet loads of people discuss the weather etc etc, memories etc etc. Line up, sing the song, run out, run back, hate that HILL, will the finish ever come. Get the mug, discuss the race, pick up the bag in the tent, meet loads of people, discuss the race, the wind, the crowds, your man in the wellies...... Walk back up to the car, discuss the race on the way home. And then talk about next year.

Thanks Ballycotton running promotions, we have made lots of memories along the way and we're sad but it was fantastic.

Brian Martin said...

I'm fairly new to running, and ran my first Ballycotton 10 this year. As soon as I finished the race, I was looking forward to next year, hoping to improve my time. I also ran the wonderful summer series for the first time this year and loved everything about them.

I am really saddened that they will be no more - but I am delighted that I got to run them, and I will cherish my T-shirt, mug and plaque.
Many thanks and appreciation to the organisers and volunteers (seen and unseen) who gave us these iconic races.

Brian Martin
Midleton

Anonymous said...

I was never a runner but a local who was in the village for most of those 40 Ballycotton 10s. Was in Seaspray B&B with UK and Northern Ireland runners when Peter Whelan was doing his first of many interviews with few athletes in the front garden. The village has been put on the map by these races. The organisers played a blinder each and every year and never once looked for praise for their hard work...they worked quietly professionally and diligently behind the scenes. The crowds both onlookers and runners never once caused trouble they were all there in good spirits to support runners or to partake in the race. Sad thats its come to an end but understandable too. Congrats and thanks to all involved during the years ye have been amazing and ye should feel extremely proud. Ye now get a lot of each year back and ye get the weekend around the 10th March back also and ye deserve that. The organisation and the cleanup after the Ballycotton 10s was nothing short of amazing. Hopefully ye might now sit down when ye recover from what must have been a tough decision to make and consider writing a book on those forty years. It would be a best seller. Thanks for all the memories and good luck to all of the runners past and present....keep visiting what is a stunning village with so much to offer...Ballycotton.

Unknown said...

Why not try to hand it over to a professional event management company. The ring of beara cycle costs 69 euro including booking fee and it sold out faster than ever.

Anonymous said...

These are my memories of Ballycotton... come end of November start of December entry in... not a club member... hope I am accepted... entry confirmed, now there is a new pep in my step, yes,yes I will be there, gradual increase in milage, cannot wait til the big day. RACE DAY...drive to Garryvoe, park on sea front, have the cuppa tae and the Marietta biscuit, tension in the tummy, dump most of the tea, check is number on vest, visit local public convenience, get on bus, young one sits next to you, bus full, moves off, silence for the first half mile, conversation opener, you "nice day for it" she [Dublin accent] " yea, I suppose you have a good few done" me, yes I have a few under my belt. she," my first actually, I heard tis sticky". me, "take it handy til halfway, see how you are feeling but be wary of the last two" Bus arrives in Ballycotton, we wish each other luck and go our seperate ways to the start, climb up the narrow laneway to the little field, get plastic bag to put gear in, check shoe laces and number and proceed to start at around 1,time drags to 1.30 but at last we are away at the command of Dan McCarthy and to the music of "We are all here again for the Ballycotton 10",
congestion for the first mile but the gaps open, we pass mile markers, water stations and crowds at all cross roads and at last we hit the road home shortly before the 8 mile mark, attack that last hill on the corner, soon the Church of Ireland church comes into view and then you know you can do it, past the milling crowds, some choice comments "looking good", "what kept ya", ect. ect. clock in sight one last burst and you are home, get finishers mug, struggle up laneway to get clothes, maybe get a banana, Mars bag, bottle water and amble back to the Garryvoe bus, quick spin back to car and soon you are on the road home, promising yourself that next year you will do more training, only for those of us who ran this year there is no next year. THANKS BALLYCOTTON.










Alan said...

Very sad news, but understandable in the circumstances. Did he race twice, travelling down from Kildare, like many others, and had it pencilled in again for 2018. Thanks to the organisers for such a fine race, probably my favourite.
Alan, Kildare

Anonymous said...

We are so sorry to hear about the end of the Ballycotton 10. It was always a big event in our annual running calendar, and was the excuse we needed to ' get the miles up' after the winter season. Best wishes to John and all his team, we wish you all health, happiness and every success in the years to come. Thanks for all the memories, we will miss the annual pilgrimage to Ballycotton so much.

Anonymous said...

Ballycotton roads are suited for road racing but not fun runs....different ball game altogether. Hard to imagine Ballycotton no longer a Mecca for road running. Has yet to be equalled.

Anonymous said...

As they said themselves. "A classic race at a classic distance." Thanks to everybody involved over the years. We'll all miss it. To echo somebody's earlier comment, there's a book (and an audience) for a history of the Ballycotton 10 and I hope it's written. Thanks again to everybody involved in Ballycotton Running Promotions.

AJ Styles said...

Thanks for the Memories, Road Races in General can be taken for granted, People who give of their time year in and year out is very much appreciated I only ran it once but am lucky I can say I ran one of Ireland's most well known and legendary road races

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear it's the end. I competed 4 times, 2008-2011 inclusive. It was always well organised with an absolutely incredible atmosphere. Literally a day out, as the local geography and the 1.30pm start meant we were in Ballycotton by 10.30pm.
The course was unique, a "spoon", 3 miles out, 4 mile loop, 3 miles back. The sneaky hill at the start of the loop, the long stretch in the village which seemed to be endless. Leaving our bags in a field near the start, returning to collect them later. The "mug", all 4 have pride of place in my office. The bananas at the finish. The kids of Cloyne GAA club wearing the red & black striped jerseys at the water stations.
No doubt the correct decision at the right time to call it a day.
Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

A sad day but can not say I am surprised. How on earth do people expect tiny isolated communities in the middle of nowhere to accomodate thousands of 'athletes' turning up, usually in their cars, to run a 5k or 4 mile race, gorge themselves on food and go home? This current craze of road running has gone into overdrive and needs to be managed properly before other races collapse under the weight of their own popularity. Sonia O'Sullivan wrote in the Examiner recently about the bizare experience of seeing 2000 people descend upon little Ballintotis for a short race. She suggested better management of the road race series, encouraging people to target specific races instead of doing as many as possible. The sad thing about the Ballycotton races is that, in their purest form, they represent what is best about running. It is unfortunate that they have, in effect, becomes victims of the 'get rich quick' mentality of road running which encourages mass participation in order to raise money for a new public pond or someones terminally ill goldfish. This is often done at the expense of public safety and the inconvenience of local communities. Many of the people lamenting the end of these superbly run events have nobody to blame apart from themselves.

Anonymous said...

One of the best, if not THE best road race on these shores. Sad to see it come to an end. Thanks to the Committee for their hard work and dedication over the years.

Anonymous said...

Made me laugh your use of 'athlete you mean the dozens that go up towards the start of a race and proceed to walk and talk for the majority, it's great to see people exercising but id agree it has had a detrimental effect on the quality and road racing season. It's not just a cork phenomenon either. Look at any major marathon 7/8 hours finishing times, these events are often full up and genuine runners can't get a place.

Anonymous said...

so sad to hear this. I often planned my holidays around the races! Well done to all the organizers in all those years. Maybe we should have all done something more to help out organization. I rest hopeful that a new committee will take over the organization of the races with the same spirit. And if you need a hand, count me in this time.
Luigi