Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: 2019

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Updated route for the 2020 IRONMAN in Youghal announced


The 2020 IRONMAN triathlon in Youghal in East Cork is coming up on the 21st of June 2020 and promises to attract some 2,600 athletes. This is a huge sporting event for the East Cork region and it is estimated that it is worth some €8 million to the local economy.

The inaugural event in the Summer of 2019 just happened to fall on a really bad day weather wise and the swim part had to be cancelled. Considering that it is on the longest day of the year in the middle of Summer, the 2020 event will be much better.

The organisers have now announced the route for the 2020 event.

Swim... This is 3.8 kms in length and runs parallel to the beach. Obviously the weather and the direction of the wind is a big factor here.


Bike... The cycle is 180 kms in length and is made up of two loops of East Cork. They have reduced the amount of climbing in 2020 from 1900m to 1700m.


The southern part of the loop is relatively flat while most of the climbing is in the northern part. There are some really nice scenic sections in there especially after Ballymacoda and around East Ferry.

Run... The run is a full marathon of 42.2 kms and is essentially dead flat. It is made up of four loops through the town.


For more info, go to https://www.ironman.com/im-ireland

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

New maps released for the Galtee, Knockmealdown and Comeragh Mtns



This should be of interest to any local trail runners or anyone who likes to do a bit of hill walking from time to time.

EastWest Mapping are a small company based in Wexford that produce a series of high quality maps. While the Ordnance Discovery produce a fine series of maps which cover the country, the EastWest maps go into much greater detail.

In 2018, they released a map covering the  Comeragh mountains to the north of Dungarvan in West Waterford. Now they have released new maps for the Galtee and Knockmealdown mountains...



A lot of maps are based on just satellite images whereas for the EastWest maps, the owner Barry Dalby spends a huge amount of time walking the ranges looking at paths, details and talking to locals about place names and features.


A sample of a map is shown above. While the Discovery maps are 1:50,000 with 10 metre contours, the EastWest maps are 1:25,000 with 5 metre contours i.e. twice the resolution and with a lot more information.

The paper maps retail at €12.90 each while the 'encapsulated' waterproof version is €20.50.

I purchased the waterproof Comeragh map a few months back and I found it to be excellent. I'll certainly be buying the two new ones.

If you're interested in buying one for yourself or as a stocking filler for someone for Christmas, you can purchase them online from the website... https://www.eastwestmapping.ie/

Notice: Newmarket 5k road race - Sun 15th Dec 2019

This popular 5 km road race is coming up in the town of Newmarket in North-West Cork on Sunday the 15th of December 2019. This is a fast 5k course and gets a good turnout every year.


Entries... You can pre-enter online HERE for €15

You can also enter on the day for €20.

The race HQ this year is at the Hi-Lands which is a change to the usual High Street Bar (see preview). As you can see from the race flyer above, there are lots of generous prizes on offer.

Course Preview...Lots more info including directions, photos, course details, etc can be seen HERE

This race is organised by Duhallow Athletic Club. More info on their website... https://duhallowac.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Race numbers for the Cloyne Commons 4k on Sun 15th Dec 2019

The second race in the Cloyne Commons 4k series is coming up on Sunday the 15th of December 2019. For those who did the first, your race number is listed below...

Race No.    Name    Team    Cat
1    MCKEOWN, Kieran    Watergrasshill AC    M45
2    KELLEHER, Kenneth    East Cork AC    M40
3    WAHBI, Mohamed    St Finbarrs AC    M
4    GRUFFERTY, James    Leevale AC    M
5    INCE, Ken    Watergrasshill AC    M
6    HENNESSY, John    Midleton AC    M45

Notice: Mallow 10 mile road race - Sun 22nd March 2020

Update: 10th Dec 2019... Half of the 2,200 places are now gone. That's slightly faster than last year when 1,000 had gone by the 8th of December.



The Mallow 10 mile road race is coming up on Sunday the 22nd of March 2020 at 12:30pm. Entries opened on Friday December 6th.

There will be a lot of demand for this race and it will certainly sell out. Outside of the Dungarvan 10, this is probably the second most popular 10 miler in Munster.

Going on previous entries, the Dungarvan 10 is an event that sells out in hours where as the Mallow 10 sells out in weeks. There is also a race dry fit top for all participants.

Entry link HERE

From Mallow AC... "We are delighted to announce that Co-op Superstores continue as title sponsor of the Mallow 10 mile road race on Sunday 22nd March 2020.

This is the second year Co-op Superstores are title sponsor and we are delighted to have such a great local business onboard.

The Co-op Superstores Mallow 10 mile race goes on sale next Friday 6th December. Get in early as this race sells out fast!


Club website with details... https://mallowac.ie/ "

Updated info will appear here and on the race website... https://mallowtenmile.wordpress.com/

Monday, December 09, 2019

Results & Photos of the Cork BHAA Simon 5k Turkey Trot - Sun 8th Dec 2019


253 runners turned out for this years Cork BHAA Simon 5k Turkey Trot in Balckrock in Cork City.

1 Barry Meade  18:07
4 Paul Downey 19:21
3 James Ahern 19:15
2 Niamh Moore 18:21
14 Linda O'Connor 20:52
20 Lelia Kenny 21:35


Results

Photos...
1) Joe Murphy has two galleries... Part 1 ... Part 2
2) Mick Dooley has some photos HERE

 
First home... Niamh Moore and Barry Meade. Photo: Mick Dooley

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Irish womens team win Silver at the European Cross Country Championships

The European Cross Country Championships were held this year in Lisbon, Portugal and Fionnuala McCormack led the Irish women to a Silver team medal.


The three scoring members of the Irish team all finished in the top 20.

Individual results HERE



Post race interview with Fionnuala McCormack... - Fourth 27:44.02
"It's difficult because I've come fourth so many times before, and it's very painful to be honest. But we got a team medal today, and that's good. We had a very successful team (european cross country) championships this year, I don't think we've ever won these many medals as a whole group before - and going into Dublin next year, that's promising. 

For me, as an individual, yes, it hurts coming fourth so many times before but the course was brilliant, the crowd were great - it's what cross country is meant be, I like that about it. The only thing I don't like, it's my position. I suppose I love running, and I really like competing, and it's easier when you stand on the podium, but having done that before I know what it feels like, so I keep trying to do it again. I suppose being fourth isn't that far away, so everytime I convince myself this year will be my year. 

I kind of moved to the marathon, but I never really moved from cross country, so it's nice to be able to be here, and be competitive and not just be just a number because it's my 16th time. It will be a big year for us next year - the last time it was in Ireland it was 10 years ago now, and we had quite high expectations for our team that year, and it didn't really come off so, hopefully next year, we can spread the pressure between all of us, and we can all be successful.  "

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Results & Photos of the Glen River 5k parkrun - Sat 7th Dec 2019



84 turned out for this weeks 5k parkrun in the Glen in Cork City.

1 John LONGAN Male SM25-29 St Finbarrs AC 18:58
2 Florent CHEVALLIER Male SM30-34 19:33
3 Brendan LYNCH Male VM45-49 19:44
5 Franziska SKOGSHOLM Female SW20-24 19:52
21 Sandra WALSH Female VW45-49 24:07
26 Aoife O'NEILL Female SW30-34 24:52


Full results

Photos...
1) The organisers have a gallery HERE

Results of the Run the Line 5k in Carrigaline - Sat 7th Dec 2019


The monthly free timed 5k parkrun was held this morning on the Carrigaline to Crosshaven walkway. The next one is on the first Saturday in January.

Some photos HERE





Results of the Waterford Half-Marathon - Sat 7th Dec 2019

Just over 2,000 runners turned out for this years Waterford Half-Marathon on Saturday the 7th of December 2019. From what I hear, the modified course was a bit on the hilly side.

Even though there were no Cork runners in the top 3, there were large numbers in the results.

1 Derese Yared     3027     1:04:13 4:54/M     Carrick Aces A.C.    
2 Clohisey Mick 3022     1:05:23 4:59/M     Raheny Shamrock A.C.    
3 Keogh Eric     3020     1:07:48 5:11/M     Donore Harriers
35 Fitzgerald     Ruth     3024     1:20:00 6:06/M     Waterford A.C.    
50 Kehoe Fiona     3006     1:21:38 6:14/M     Kilmore A.C.    
60 Carthy Jackie 3029     1:22:58 6:20/M     Kilmore A.C.


Full results

Friday, December 06, 2019

Cork fail to field team for Munster cross country championships


The Munster Intermediate Cross Country Championships were held this year near Thurles in Tipperary on Sunday the 1st of December 2019. The numbers however were poor with just 33 club runners from all of Munster taking part in the men's and women's races respectively.

In the Intermediate men's race, Cork failed to field a county team despite it being the largest county in the province.

Just Tipperary and Limerick managed to field a county team while only three clubs from Tipperary and Limerick were able to put together a club team.

In the Intermediate women's race, three out of the six Munster counties managed to field a team including Cork. The only club from Cork that managed to field a team was St.Finbarr's AC.

There has been a long downward trend for cross country and the poor numbers in this and other competitions meaning that people are often getting county and provincial medals just for turning up.

The results of the Intermediate cross country competition are up on the Munster Athletics website.

Winner of the Douglas Credit Union 5k pre-entry draw...



L-R... Padraig Sheehan receiving a pair of NIKE Air Pegasus shoes from Conor Kavanagh of John Buckley Sports after winning the pre-entry draw to the recent Douglas Credit Union 5k.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Notice: Screening of two mountain running films in CIT - Thurs 19th Dec 2019


There is a screening of two new films about mountain running coming up in CIT in the western suburbs of Cork City on Thurs 19th of December 2019. The first film starts at 6:30pm.

Tickets HERE

Film 1... Paddy O'Leary from Wexford will be attempting the Wicklow Round - a 26-peak, 100km, off-trail challenge in the mountains to the south of Dublin. Along the way, he’ll visit pubs, kitchens, and farmhouses across the country to learn about Ireland’s mountain running community and history.



Film 2... In June of 2019, Corkman Paul Tieney completed all 214 peaks in the Lake District in record time of six days and six hours. In total, he ran an incredible 318 miles (511 km) ascending a total of 36,000m (118,000ft), the equivalent of four ascents of Everest! See previous post.


Notice: CIT Sports Seminar Series - Dec 2019 to Apr 2020

Following the success of last year, there will be another CIT Sports Seminar Series again this year.

Update: 12th Dec 2019... The next talk is on the 15th of January 2020.


More info below...

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Cork runner Eoin Keith wins 170km ulta race in Oman


Last weekend, Eoin Keith from Cobh in Co.Cork finished first in the 170km UTMB race in Oman on the Arabian Peninsula.

Eoin crossed the finish line in a time of 36 hours, 4 minutes and 29 seconds and ahead of some 2,000 competitors.

The profile of the route can be seen above and it included a 3,000 metre summit. Note that Carrauntoohil, Ireland's highest mountain by comparison is just over 1,000m!


In a post race interview, Eoin said...“It was so technical, possibly the most technical race I’ve ever done. There was a long 1,000m descent which you normally would expect to make tons of time on but we were so slow. It makes it easier to keep going mentally because it’s so technical that you need to concentrate pretty much the entire time.



There’s no real let up mentally and it was intense racing all the way. But very enjoyable, Oman is a gorgeous country and the mountains are truly spectacular.”

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Sonia O'Sullivan Goes Back To School


Sonia Goes Back To School... Sonia O'Sullivan made a special visit to her Alma Mater- St Mary's National School in Cobh - the place where as a child she daily ran around the school yard. On this visit, she joined children as they completed The Daily Mile- a regular activity at the school.

Sonia, who celebrated her 50th Birthday on November 28th- the day she was inducted into the Athletics Ireland Hall Of Fame, was delighted with the warm reception she received at St Mary's National School.

"I have lovely memories of running to and from school all those years ago and I am delighted to see that the teachers and children at St Mary's are now making The Daily Mile part of their school day, " Sonia said.



St Mary's National School Principal, Fiona O'Callaghan, welcomed Sonia back to school and the children had many questions for Sonia to answer.

"It was great to have Sonia come and visit us and participate with the children in The Daily Mile, " Fiona O'Callaghan said.  "Her talk with the children was hugely inspirational and they were also delighted to get the chance to run with her."

The Daily Mile is promoted by Athletics Ireland in association with Local Sports Partnerships.

For more information on The Daily Mile- visit: thedailymile.ie

 

Thanks to John Hennessy for the report and photos.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Paul Pollock runs a 2:10 Marathon making him the 2nd fastest Irishman



Paul Pollock ran an incredible time of 2h 10m 25s in the Valencia Marathon on Sunday making him the second fastest Irishman ever. Only John Treacy has run faster with a PB of 2:09:15 back in 1988.

Top 10 Irish times...
1 2:09:15 NR John Treacy 3 Boston MA 18 Apr 1988
2 2:10:25 Paul Pollock 18 Valencia 01 Dec 2019
3 2:10:54 Mark Carroll 6 New York NY 3 Nov 2002
4 2:11:27 Andy Ronan 3 Boston MA 15 Apr 1991
5 2:11:30 John Woods 1 Wexford 24 Apr 1988
6 2:12:01 Stephen Scullion 2 Dublin 27 Oct 2019
7 2:12:19 Dick Hooper 2    Wexford 24 Apr 1988
8 2:12:20 Jerry Kiernan    9 Olympics Los Angeles CA 12 Aug 1984
9 2:12:21 Louis Kenny 1 Huntsville TX 13 Dec 1980
10 2:13:06 Danny McDaid 1 Limerick 11 Apr 1976

This was a huge improvement for Paul Pollock as he took more than five minutes off his previous best time for the distance of 2:15:30 in Japan in 2017.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Results & Photos of the Douglas Credit Union 5k in Tramore Valley Park - Sun 1st Dec 2019


The inaugural Douglas Credit Union 5k was held on Sunday the 1st of December 2019 in Tramore Valley Park in Cork City. A total of 219 people took part on what was a cold but sunny morning.

Some fast times were recorded on this course with the first 3 men breaking 16 minutes and the first 3 women going under 20 minutes!

593    1 Adam Kiely    Leevale A.C. M 0:15:49   
1969    2 Brian Kearney Leevale AC   M40 0:15:58   
977    3 Eric Curran    Leevale A.C. M 0:15:59
579    17 Breda Gaffney Mallow AC F40 0:18:26   
1157    27 Rachel Smith F 0:19:16   
354    34 Linda O'Connor F40 0:19:45


Full results

Photos to follow...
1) There will be two albums going up on the Running in Cork Facebook page.
...a) Start and first lap
...b) Second lap

In the men's race, it was down to three at the halfway mark...

In the men's race, it was down to three at the halfway mark
By the end of the second lap, Adam Kiely had opened up enough of a gap to take the win comfortably
Brian Kearney managed to stay ahead of Leevale team mate Eric Curran for 2nd place

Breda Gaffney of Mallow AC was the clear winner in the women's race

Rachel Smith (#1157) was 2nd with Linda O'Connor (#354) finishing 3rd

L-R... Padraig Sheehan receiving a pair of NIKE Air Pegasus shoes from Conor Kavanagh of John Buckley Sports after winning the pre-entry draw to the Douglas Credit Union 5k

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Results & Photos of the Glen River 5k parkrun - Sat 30th Nov 2019

Jennifer Goggin Walsh & Paul Duggan - 1st woman and man


After celebrating its first birthday last week, the Glen River 5k parkrun in Cork City still managed to attract 100 this weekend, still well about the current long term average of 78.

1 Paul DUGGAN Male VM50-54 St Finbarrs AC 18:38
2 John LONGAN Male SM25-29 St Finbarrs AC 19:08
3 Thomas HEISING Male SM25-29 19:12
5 Jennifer GOGGIN WALSH Female VW35-39 Carraig na bhFear AC 20:07
13 Rebecca KELLEHER Female JW11-14 Carraig na bhFear AC 22:30
18 Caroline DENNEHY Female VW45-49 23:32


Full results

Photos...
1) The organisers have a gallery HERE
2) Mick Dooley has a gallery HERE

Results & Photos of the Ballincollig 5k parkrun - Sat 30th Nov 2019



330 turned out for this weeks 5k parkrun in Ballincollig Regional Park on what was an overcast but dry morning. It looks as if there was a particularly fast field this week with the first 3 women breaking 20 minutes.

1 Feidhlim Ó DUBHLAING Male SM30-34 Leevale AC 16:40
2 Unknown
3 Donal GILTINAN Male VM35-39 17:32
8 Martina KIELY Female VW35-39 St Finbarrs AC 19:13
11 Lorna WOLFE Female SW30-34 Leevale AC 19:37
14 Donna CLEARY Female VW35-39 19:44


Full results

Photos...
1) Colette Ryan has a gallery HERE

Results of the Clonakilty Waterfront Marathon - Sat 30th Nov 2019

This years Clonakilty Marathon was held on Saturday the 30th of November 2019. The results are still ongoing so check back later if you're not listed.

I couldn't help notice the lack of Cork runners in the top 3 for the marathon and half-marathon. Just seems unusual for a local event.

Marathon...
1 Freddy STUKK    02:47:23 290    M (1)    MS (1)    Raheny Shamrock A.C.
2 Thomas BAKER    02:48:52 14    M (2)    M50 (1)    Navan A.C.
3 Niall DUNCAN    02:53:52 79    M (3)    MS (2)   
14 Mary FITZGERALD 03:10:01 415    F (1)    F50 (1)   
26 Anne CURLEY 03:18:36    66    F (2)    F40 (1)    Donore Harriers
36 Jacqui DUNPHY 03:21:40 397    F (3)    F40 (2)    Portmarnock A.C.


Half-Marathon...
1 Sergui CIOBANU 01:13:45 1    M (1)    MS (1)    Clonliffe Harriers A.C.
2 Niall SHEIL 01:15:25 1385    M (2)    M40 (1)    St Killians
3 Andrew NEVIN 01:17:58    2685    M (3)    MS (2)    Mullingar Harriers
8 Angela MCCANN 01:24:11 8663    F (1)    F40 (1)    Clonmel A.C.
17 Shirley COYLE 01:27:46 1072    F (2)    F40 (2)    Raheny Shamrock A.C.
44 Ciara BRADY 01:35:03    1449    F (3)    FS (1)


10km...
1 Niall MCCARTHY 00:35:37 2627    M (1)    (1)   
2 Andrew HOBBS    00:36:41 2547    M (2)    (2)    Leevale A.C.
3 Padraig SHEEHAN 00:36:50 2826    M (3)    (3)    Crusaders A.C.
11 Catherina MCKEIRNAN 00:38:34    50    F (1)    (11)    Annalee A.C.
19 Karina MURPHY 00:40:54 2162    F (2)    (19)    St Finbarrs A.C.
31 Carol CURLEY 00:44:16 2047    F (3)    (31)


Full results

Friday, November 29, 2019

SAFETY: The use of reflective running gear...


It should go without saying that you should wear some sort of reflective gear when running at night. As you can see from the graphic above, even the colour of your clothing can make a big difference.

You'll notice that a lot of runners wear bright Yellow jackets when out running during the winter as they are the most visible.

The chart below is another example of roughly when runners become visible to drivers at night...

Weather for the weekend - Sat 30th Nov & Sun 1st Dec 2019


There are a number of events in Cork this weekend including the Clonakilty marathon on Saturday  and the Douglas Credit Union 5k in Cork City on Sunday.

Sat 30th Nov 2019... There is a low pressure system to the south of Ireland and there will be a weather front near the south coast.

For the Clonakilty marathon, it is likely to be overcast with a reasonable chance of showers. While the temperatures are reasonably mild for late November, there will be a strong breeze from the East which will be coming in off the sea. The chances of rain increase as the morning goes on.

For the various parkruns further north, the chance is rain is reduced but it will never be too far away.

Sun 1st Dec 2019... A modest high pressure system will build on Saturday night over the country and by Sunday morning, the wind should have gone around to the North. Sunday morning is likely to be bright, cold but dry. The wind from the North will be light and it definitely looks like the better of the two days.

Notice: Douglas Credit Union Charity 5k in Tramore Valley Park - Sun 1st Dec 2019

This brand new charity 5k is coming up in Tramore Valley Park in Cork City on Sunday the 1st of December 2019 at 11am.


It will use the exact same 5k course that was used for the recent Cork BHAA HSE 5k there.

Entries... The entry fee is €10 and you can enter online HERE

Pre-entries are now closed but you can still enter on the morning of the race.

Please note that there will be a draw for a free pair of NIKE AIR PEGASUS shoes for all those who pre-enter courtesy of John Buckley Sports.

https://www.popupraces.ie/race/douglas-credit-union-5k/


***

All proceeds go towards the following two charities...

Cork Cancer Care Centre - a ‘home away from home’ where vital support is provided to all those touched by Cancer including free counselling as well as a range of complimentary therapies.

Cork Rainbow Club - a charity who’s aim is to to help and support Children, Teens, Young Adults and their families living with autism

Access by car is of course via the South Link Road. There is a pedestrian entrance from near Douglas Shopping Centre but it's a fair bit away.

The 5k course itself is basically two 2.5km loops...



There are no real hills to speak of and the course is a mix of a compact gravel surface and tarmac.

More info about the park at this LINK

Considering its central location and proximity to the South Rung Road, it should get a good turnout.

From the organisers... Douglas Credit Union are pleased to announce their 5K run/walk in aid of our 2 designated charities:
Rainbow Club – a charity who’s aim is to to help and support Children, Teens, Young Adults and their families living with autism
Cork Cancer Care Centre –  a ‘home away from home’ where vital support is provided to all those touched by Cancer including free counselling as well as a range of complimentary therapies.

Registration is online: https://www.popupraces.ie/race/douglas-credit-union-5k/
On the day we will have a marquee set up for registration/collection of numbers outside the small building near half moon lane.

This a family friendly event which we hope will rasie much needed funds for our designated charities.

All are welcome – runners, joggers, walkers, young and old.
There will be prize money for the top 3 male/female finishers.
Light refreshments will be provided on the day.
Raffle on the day While there is plenty of parking in the park, it might be an idea to carpool if at all possible.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Mile an Hour - Running a different kind of marathon

This short film has featured at several film festivals around the world in 2019. This Australian runner and film maker runs a full marathon but it's spread out over 24 hours with as many odd jobs fitted in as well.

"A different kind of marathon; running one lap an hour, for 24hrs, around my perfectly mile long block. The rest of the time I do as much as possible; making things, odd jobs, fixing stuff. It's about running, doing, and thinking."


Sister Stephanie Baliga... The Chicago Nun with a 2:53 Marathon PB


At first glance, it's hard to imagine that this is the same person. Sister Stephanie Baliga is a nun in Chicago and is obviously a very talented runner. She has a marathon personal best time of 2h 53m 49s!

As the video below outlines, she has taken a vow of poverty so she runs in shoes that people have bought for her and in 'modest clothing'. She is even considering trying for the 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials!



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Guest Post: MICHAEL’S MANCHESTER MISSION... by John Walshe


The Manchester Road Race is a 4.748 mile ace held annually on Thanksgiving Day in Manchester, Connecticut in the USA. It is one of the most famous races in America and just over 11,000 runners have registered for the 2019 event.

MICHAEL’S MANCHESTER MISSION... By John Walshe


An article on this Blog five years ago along with a talk given at last year’s Clonakilty Waterfront Marathon were the inspiration that sees a West Waterford athlete lining up along with over 10,000 participants in this Thursday’s Manchester Road Race in Connecticut, USA.

The national American holiday of Thanksgiving Day sees many road races taking place throughout the country but there’s little doubt that Manchester is the most famous of all, having started back in 1927 when just 12 runners took part. As mentioned in that article of 2014, it has a rich Irish history. Held over the quirky distance of 4.748 miles, John Treacy won it four times between 1979 and 1985, in between Eamonn Coghlan notched up three victories while Corkman Mark Carroll has two wins to his credit.

Michael Coakley is a relative newcomer to running, having started off just two years ago. Since then, he has been a regular at most events in the Cork and Waterford areas and looks like clocking up a total of 200 races before the year’s end.

Michael Coakley at the recent Glenville 4 mile

Last December at Clonakilty he heard invited guest Amby Burfoot give a talk on the famous Manchester event. When Burfoot speaks of Manchester, he certainly knows his stuff. A nine-time winner of the race – his first victory came in 1968, the same year he won the Boston Marathon – the now 73-year-old hasn’t missed a race since 1963 and on Thursday will be taking part for the 57th consecutive time.

“I was so inspired by this talk and also the article that I decided I had to run the race,” explains Michael, a clerk-of-works at Cork County Council. “When I made contact with the race and mentioned I was Irish and also from Waterford with the Treacy connection, it just took off.”

The Manchester Road Race publishes a souvenir magazine-type programme each year and when the organisers heard of Michael’s story, they ran a full page article on him. “Rich Dyer, who wrote the article, has also invited me to the special Scholastic Athlete Luncheon on the Tuesday before the race. I must say I’m definitely overwhelmed by the hospitality shown so far without even having met any of them,” he admits.

Start of the Manchester race

Although a relative newcomer to running, Michael’s enthusiasm for the sport is infectious. “I started off with Peter Jones at Waterford Sports Partnership which I found was great to get going. I then did a Couch to 5km programme and it went on from there.” With a few marathons already under his belt, he loves racing at any distance and on Sunday last – the day before he flew out to Boston – he took part in the Great Glenville Run.

Michael will be joined later in the week by his wife Bridget, son Michael and daughter Shauna. “When I first said I was going to America to run a race, they didn’t seem that interested. But then when I mentioned that the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, they suddenly had a change of heart!”

No doubt, it will be a trip to remember for all of the Coakley family – and it’s worth noting where it all began.

Race website... https://www.manchesterroadrace.com/

List of guest articles on this blog from John Walshe

Article from the 2019 race programme below...