Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Monday, April 19, 2021

Guest Post: What now? Pat Walsh

** What now? **

Huge emphasis on vaccination at the moment and the rollout is slow. Other than complain on social media we can do Nothing.

I urge patience and don’t be getting too bothered about the schedule as no real freedom comes to most until we are nearly all done anyway. If you are old, vulnerable, frontline or some medical condition then of course you must be up the top of the list but the rest of us will have to be patient. We are not in control so don’t waste mental energy on it. 🤗

We are runners, we are used to obstacles.
I have trained many people (and driven them daft) and the one thing I emphasize is to control what you can and don’t be worried about things totally outside of your control. 😱

Things we can control, our own proper training, wear the right gear for whatever conditions, have back-ups of gels and water and plan our run. There are things we cannot control and curveballs are thrown at us. The last 13 months has been a GIGANTIC curveball.

We train in good weather for 3 months and the day of the race is wind and rain, we get on with it.
We run races on “scenic courses” to find we are running up the side of a mountain, we get on with it.
We have a disappointing race due to a bug or some other illness that appeared in the days beforehand, we dust ourselves down, refocus and get on with it.
We don’t get that longed for PB, we refocus and say “Next Day”.

I say this to show you some examples of the resilience of us as a running family.
We take a knock and roll with it and go again. We have had glory days and they will come again to us, I have no doubt.

I’m not giving politicians or NPHET or any of the Suits a free pass on this. Their performance is scandalous. The Vaccine rollout is slow, cumbersome and open to all kinds of backhanded chicanery. #Muppets. 🙈🙉🙊

This week we hear that the chance of spreading Covid in an outdoor environment is less than 1 in a 1000. That is now accepted worldwide as being true and still we cannot run with a few buddies. Please give us limited safe things we can do and we will survive until the country is sorted. A Blanket “No” without a reason is as stupid as the person saying it. To think a virus knows where the county boundaries are is testing my credulity. It is our behavior spreads this, not how far we go.


Last Monday we celebrated our first steps to freedom by going somewhere nice outside our 5K limit and walk or run. Take your time and breathe the air and take in the surroundings.
We are starting again on a new Journey. Make yourself part of it.

If you have been training all along then this new freedom will be a great help to pick new routes, but don’t go mad. Racing is a long way away yet.

If you fell off the running wagon in the last few months then circle the calendar and make next Monday the START DATE. New freedom, New YOU.

We must take charge of our lives and make the best of what we have.
I would love to be writing about detailed training plans or upcoming races but for now just get going. We have endured enough 😍🥰

“Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.   
O when may it suffice?”
#pwr #Survive21 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Notice: Doneraile Virtual 10k - 11th to 13th June 2021


Doneraile A.C. Virtual 10km : Friday 11th June 2021 - Sunday 13th June 2021

From Doneraile AC: Due to the government announcement this week and the uncertainty of the next few months we have decided to make the 2021 event a Virtual 10km. Run your race in the location of your choice whilst adhering to HSE guidelines.

The Doneraile AC virtual 10km event will take place over the weekend of the 11th-13th June 2021.

All participants will be posted out a T-Shirt and Medal, with 2020 participants that rolled over their entry will receive a bonus gift.

The posting of Race packs will commence 17th May. 

Entries are now open and you can register by clicking HERE

Registration will remain open until Friday 11th June. Places are limited! 

Notice: Karen Fenton 5k Memorial Virtual 5k - 16th to the 19th of April 2021

The Karen Fenton Memorial 5k is usually held in April every year and it  helps raise much needed funds for an Ovarian Cancer Charity. This year, the organisers are holding a virtual event and are asking runners to take part.

You can register HERE

 From the organisers... Unfortunately due to Covid the 'Karen Fenton Memorial Run' in 2020 was unable to go ahead, the organisers were hoping to follow up with a great event this year but unfortunately in these unprecedented times they are still unable to host a real event.

🌼As an alternative please join Karen Fenton's family & friends for a virtual 5km run/walk during April 2021. 

🏃‍♀️🚶Run or walk anytime or anywhere between April 16th and 19th and upload your results to portal.

There is an option to donate further to the Karen Fenton Ovarian Cancer Fund during registration.
👕 Remember the day with an option to purchase event merchandise.

Register @

We are continuing to raise much needed funds for cancer awareness, research and to support the operation of the cancer machine in CUHC. To date we have raised over €120,000 and recently we donated €80,000 to go towards the purchase of the “Ion Torrent Genexus Integrated Sequener” machine, a new innovative machine that had been unavailable to cancer patients in Cork. The machine is located in CUH, where Karen spent her final two months. Once fully commissioned the machine will operate under the expert guidance of Medical Oncologist Dr. Dearbhaile Collins and Clinical Director for Cancer Services, Dr. Richard Bambury. Dr. Collins specialises in gynaecological malignancies, including Ovarian Cancer. This state of the art technology will analyse cancer mutations and find new “precise” treatments for patients.

Any additional donations are welcome as we continue to fundraise for this worthy cause.
Visit for more information.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Online Jigsaw: The main man Jerry Forde on the Marina - April 2021


When I was out with Jerry during the week for a training session, we passed a ship across from the Marina in Cork City. I told Jerry to stop so I could take a photo and make it into a jigsaw and here it is!

Jerry does the weekly jigsaw every Friday morning so I'm sure he'll enjoy this one.

You can find the 165-piece jigsaw HERE

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The main man Jerry Forde starts his 2021 tour!


Drrrring, Drrrring......Drrrring, Drrrring... went my phone. I answered...'Hello?'

"How's my faithful servant?" went the voice on the other end. It was of course none other than Lord Forde of Blarney!

His Lordship continued.... "Now that the 5k restriction has been lifted, I think it's time for a training session". So I got to work and planned out a route for today.

We ended up doing 14.2 miles (22.8 kms) in total from the Marina in Cork City down to Passage West and back....Jerry pushing his chair and me on the bike. As you can see from the photo above, it was a stunning day and we finished it off with a cuppa from Pronto at the Blackrock Plaza.

A few photos below...

As for our next outing, the 2021 tour will continue in May with a possibly outing to Crosshaven. All I've been told for now is to leave my phone on and await instructions! 😃

Monday, April 12, 2021

Top Irish racewalker Kate Veale wins 5k race in the Czech Republic


Despite the obvious challenges, some of Ireland's top international athletes are still training hard and taking part in select events. Kate Veale from Waterford is one of the top female Irish race walkers and she finished first in a 5k race in the Czech Republic over the weekend.

Kate's winning time was 23m 13s which is about 7:30/mile pace. Remember that this is race walking and not running!

The 5k race was at the 55th annual Olomouc race walking Czech national championships.

1 Kate Veale Ireland 23.13
2 Anett Torma Hungary 25.19
3 Adéla Veselková Sports Athletic Club (SAK) Rumburk 25:19
4 Adéla Pittnerová SK PAVIL 26:24
5 Alžběta Franklová SK 26:32
6 Katka Nedvídková AC Rumburk PB 26:47
7 Stepanka Pohlova Kucerova TJ Sokol Hradec SB 27:02
8 Anna Horáková AC Rumburk 28:23
9 Nina Poštová  28:23 
10 Bibiána Jančová 28:29:00
(Top 10)

Kate who now heads to altitude for a couple of weeks training.

Friday, April 09, 2021

Guest Post: ** Hmmmm ** A Friday Ramble, not a rant... by Pat Walsh

 ** Hmmmm ** A Friday Ramble, not a rant...

Tuesday's announcement was a mixed bag for us runners. From the 12th of April, we can go further within our county but group training doesn’t even have a likely date of resumption so we will have to continue to chat / poison / annoy / rant with the same few buddies and not share your problems with a big gang. It is good to get out and I am happy enough. If in doubt, RUN.

I worry though that some people have a feeling of defeated acceptance of this. Feels like we are running on a treadmill, stuck in the same spot, no idea how much we have done and no idea when we will be finished. I hate treadmills.

We nearly have lost the ability to question why and what.
How can it be OK to go into crowded Supermarkets and not be ok for 4 people to run in the Country? Last year they were checking numbers in shops and marshalling crowded aisles. Now it is a free for all in shops, yet if 4 of us run together, the curtains are twitching, the Garda alerted and the tut tuts are heard.

The Governing bodies of the various Sporting organizations need to make a better representation to Government and make a case for resumption in a safe and controlled way. Our physical and mental health needs this. The silence is deafening.

I feel there is a collective loss of spirit amongst us and a sense of loss of belief that we are all in this together. There wasn’t a good April Fools joke anywhere. "The crack is gone" Maybe I am wrong but I do think we have all sunk into very small circles and some people are lost.

What to do. 🤔🤔

* Start making contact again with people you knew but have not heard from. Widen your social circle again.
* Run with different people, so 3 runs a week could be 3 different chats and maybe 3 cuppas.
* After the 12th April, make contact with a runner in another town or village and go to them one day and invite them back another day. Have a tourist competition to show the best of your own area.
* Follow the guidelines but also be ready to question the stupid ones. Do your own thinking and not let the nightly drone of bad news put you into a trance-like state of acceptance. Muppets
* Stick to my plan for a May Bank Holiday run. (plan was in last week’s post)
* Enter a Virtual Run that appeals to you and look forward to completing it.
* Don’t give up and find your spirit again. I am not advocating doing anything against regulation, but give yourself a good shake if you think you are stuck in a rut. Time to get out of it. I would personally give you a good hug or a shake but it is against the rules.
* Act responsibly but do the best you can to make sure you get through this. Go easy on others you may see doing something against guidelines. Who knows what they have been through and why they might actually need it. It has been a tough year and some people are beaten. 2 friends helping a third person through a difficult time is not wrong.


🎼🎙 “So, before you go
Was there something I could've said
To make your heart beat better?
If only I'd have known you had a storm to weather
So, before you go
Was there something I could've said
To make it all stop hurting?
It kills me how your mind can make you feel so worthless
So, before you go” Lewis Capaldi 🎼🎙

What had all of this to do with running I have no idea. 🤪🤓
Take care xx
#pwr #survive21

Online Jigsaw: Watergrasshill AC at the 2020 Duhallow 10-mile


For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back the March 2020 and the start line of the Duhallow 10-mile road race.

The 187-piece jigsaw can be found HERE

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Press Release: Lee2Sea Greenway Joining the Dots Between Cork City and County

The guys at Lee2Sea sent this on to me and I'm more than happy to put it up on the blog as I'm a big fan of Greenways. Let's hope we see plenty more in the Cork area...


Lee2Sea Greenway Joining the Dots Between Cork City and County

The banks of the River Lee is route for Cork’s Flagship Lee to Sea Greenway

Cork, Ireland, 6 th April 2021 – have today launched their impressive website and
innovative video to showcase the potential the Lee to Sea Greenway route has to transform Cork.
The route aims to connect Ballincollig Regional Park, Lee Fields, City Centre, the Docklands and
Marina, Mahon, Passage West, Carrigaline and Crosshaven. The Lee to Sea Greenway envisages a
safe, accessible and enjoyable walking, jogging and cycling route linking the region’s neighbourhoods
with the bustling city centre, peaceful countryside and tourist hotspots.

The Lee to Sea aims to provide a leading attraction for Cork in the expanding tourism market. Cork
has over 2,000 hotel beds right on the doorstep of the route. Additionally, it aims to connect major
regional attractions and heritage, from all the city’s museums and galleries, and architecture, to the
historical heritage in the Gunpowder Mills, Spike Island, and Camden-Fort Meagher, to name but a

Committee member, Helen Guinan stated that “The vision of the Lee to Sea is simply amazing. The
video shows people how the greenway could enhance their lives in all sorts of ways, whether for
leisure or for getting around.”

“Recent times have shown how important public green spaces and physical activity are for our
physical and mental well-being. There is a real hunger for this access, as seen in the success of the
pedestrianised Marina, and in the thousands of people enjoying Ballincollig Regional Park. Much of
the route already exists and all we need to do is joining the dots” added Helen Guinan.

The Lee to Sea would multiply the returns on the €400 million investment in urban regeneration in
Cork by providing attractive, zero-carbon transport options for residents and workers in the
Docklands and city centre.

“Big office blocks in town are being built with minimal parking. How are these thousands of people
going to get to work? Public transport has a role, but many people will find that walking and cycling
are faster, more flexible, and more fun. Unlike public transport, their carbon and air pollutant
emissions are essentially zero, and it will improve public health too.” commented Stephan Koch,
former chair of Cork’s Transport and Mobility Forum

“the route has incredible potential for transport because it puts schools, colleges, workplaces,
healthcare facilities, and local services within easy reach of huge numbers of people” added Stephan

The Lee to Sea Greenway aims to offer a greener and less congested city, along with providing the
opportunity for a major tourism and economic boost. Connecting tourists to Cork, connecting staff
to work and connecting the county to the city with the Lea to Sea Greenway. The Lee to Sea
Greenway has it all! It’s time to make it happen.

Further information is available on the website or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or
Instagram @Lee2Sea, using the hashtag #Lee2Sea


Sunday, April 04, 2021

Guest Post: Park Life... by Pat Walsh

 ** Park Life **

A running story.🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️

So few good running stories at the moment and I feel this one is worth reading.

27th March 2020 was start of Lockdown part 1 and Liam started a sequence of daily runs. The 26th was run 365 in a row and to mark the Year he planned a biggie for 27th March  2021.

Plan was to run around Dublin and visit as many Public Parks within his 5K limit. Doesn’t sound like much until research showed there were 31 parks to be visited and it would be over 40miles to traverse the route.

Why not.

Starting early and running solo with a back-pack, the mission was accomplished.

So well done Liam, fair play, fantastic effort and shows that we are only limited by our own imagination.

Long distance running takes courage and a little bit of insanity. Otherwise we wouldn’t do it.

Not sure where he gets it from. Maybe the Mother’s side of the family. 😃

 "Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as - -parklife

And morning soup can be avoided if you take a route straight through what is known as -- parklife" .... Blur


Friday, April 02, 2021

Online Jigsaw: Glen River Park 5k parkrun - 12th Jan 2019


For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back to the 12th of January 2019 and the finish line at the Glen River Park 5k parkrun.

The 126 piece jigsaw can be found HERE

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Guest Post: Do More!! Pat Walsh

 ** Do More....!! **

In light of the ridiculous comment from NPHET last week I have decided to use the catchphrase to grab your attention. “We need to do more”, they said. How much more can we give when we have done nothing, ran inside our 5k and no group runs. 

A college education can be a dangerous thing without an element of common sense, cop-on and a bit of empathy. Talking down to people without giving specific advice and a coherent plan is a waste of time.

So I encourage you now to “do more or do the best you can” 😍

I hope many of you did the 10mile or 10K for St Patrick Day and maybe for the next few weeks we can drive on to a new level.

I am using the 5 weeks to the Bank Holiday in May to increase our mileage slowly. Again there is no element of speed in this, just getting to a new level by then. 

So if you want to go from 10 mile to a Half-marathon. Plan1 📜

Or go from a 10K to a 10mile/16K run. Plan 2 📜

This will give a huge foundation to our stamina levels and all going well we can fine tune during the month of May to go for a Quality 10ml or Half for the June Weekend. Get the distance now and we find a bit of speed in May.

You might even feel like entering Virtual Race and I know of Cork and Waterford both happening in June.

3 runs per week is enough for this plan but if you have time, energy and enthusiasm then the 4th run of the week is optional.

There is nothing drastic in these plans and midweek stays much the same and all you are doing is lengthening the Weekly Long run. You can do this and will be glad you have tried.

If you feel you want to do some speed work then incorporate it into one of your midweek runs. Run a KM or 2 and then speed up for a few Km’s and then slow down for the end. 

Your pace should be somewhere near a desired pace for your race and give you a chance to get used to this level of effort.

Why do this?  Why not
Clocks west to Summer time last Sunday and longer brighter evenings should lift our spirits and our mood.

There may be an increase in training groups ( I Hope ) and distance to travel and that will help.
On a serious note and one not being promoted enough.

The healthier, fitter, stronger you are especially with regards to lungs and aerobic fitness, then the better chance you have of staying healthy. There are no guarantees but try to stack the odds in your own favour.

Don’t beat yourself up with regards to how far or how fast, just get out there.

Any questions please ask. Stay safe, stay well and have a lovely weekend. Be kind and keep up the contacts. I love comments and messages.

🎤🎼"And we don't know how much longer
But we know we're gonna come back stronger
Oh, just 'cause things are different
Don't mean anything, anything has changed" Picture This

#pwr #survive21

10-Day weather trend: A blast of Arctic air due on Easter Monday


 The weather at present is dominated by a high pressure system near the country and it should stay dry and mild from Thursday the 1st of April until Easter Sunday 4th April.

That's going to change late on Sunday and early on Easter Monday morning when a blast of cold Arctic air is going to arrive from the North.

Next week is going to be very changeable with lots of showers and it will feel especially cold in exposed spots with the temperature well down, especially in the early morning.

This isn't some sort of 'Beast from the East' weather event but it is going to be in marked contrast to this week.

If you're out for training then make the most of the fine weather before Easter Monday. There are signs that it might improve at the end of next week.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions ease on the 12th of April 2021



The good news is that the current 5k travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are to be eased.

From the 12th of April, you will be able to travel anywhere in your own county.

If you are crossing a county boundary then your limit is 20kms from your own home.

The example shown on the left is for Youghal.

If you need to work out your own 20km limit then visit this website.

In terms of training, this means you can run and walk anywhere from your home and no more wondering if you're near your 5k limit.

With the vaccine being rolled out, this is hopefully the last of the serious restrictions as we begin the long path back to normality.

Saturday, March 27, 2021




(By John Walshe, East Cork News & Advertiser, 25/03/2021)

Billy Griffin commenced running back in 1956, a year still remembered for Ron Delany’s Olympic 1500m winning performance at Melbourne. But while the famous gold-medallist retired from competition just six years later, 65 years on Midleton-man Billy is still going strong. He recently completed all the virtual 5km runs organised by his local club where he is pictured here receiving his T-shirt on the occasion of his 83rd birthday.

Although Delany’s achievement was no doubt an inspiration to any young athlete of the time, it was another iconic performance that first whetted Billy’s appetite for the sport, as he explains: “Two years before that, in 1954, Roger Bannister broke the four-minute-mile. Although we had no television or anything at the time, when we went to the cinema the Pathé News would come out at halfway and they would show highlights of it.

“Myself and Connie Shanahan, who passed away a couple of years ago, decided to go out the Youghal Road where there were mile markers in stone to see how fast we could run a mile. We had no watches to time us, so I took my mother’s alarm clock!” As there was no club in Midleton at the time Billy joined Carrigtwohill where well-known retired photographer Eddie O’Riordan was the main man, along with the Harte brothers. “I remember cycling down to a sports in Carrigaline as well as up to Glenville, and cycling home again,” Billy recalls.

 “There was an attempt made to start a club here in Midleton, we actually had shirts and all made, but it didn’t last very long but when the present club was formed, we moved back. My brother, Maurice, who was a few years older than me, was on the committee of the new club. He didn’t run, although he did a bit of high jumping.” Cross-country was the main activity, with hardly any road races back then. “One of the few races on the road was from Waterfall to Warren’s Cross and I won it on one occasion. They’d never give you a distance; you just ran from A to B, it could be anything from three to four miles.

“Training at the time was all in the fields. We lived on the Rocky Road near Castleredmond and I used to have a fierce problem in the night-time but then I got the brainwave of putting on a beret and tying a flash-lamp or torch to it. One night I was running in the dark in the field which was parallel to the road and I heard a few girls talking out on the road and when they heard the noise inside the ditch they took off. A couple of nights later my mother was returning from the October devotions when she met a woman who said “you come home along here on your own? Well, there were two girls chased down the road the other night by some fellow!”

Billy started working as a lorry driver with Rohan’s in the 1960s, where he remained for over 20 years. “At that time I used to train at six in the morning, although I often went out at half-five. It was an eight o’clock start there but when I went to work for John A Wood we started at seven, so I had to get out at half-five then to train. I couldn’t go out in the evening because we were working late, and anyway you would be tired when you’d get home.”

In 1973, along with future Olympian Liam O’Brien, Billy was a member of the Midleton team that won the Cork County Novice and Intermediate Cross-Country titles. He was also one of the pioneering 34 runners who ran the first-ever Ballycotton five-mile race in 1977 and later completed three Dublin City Marathons.

The Nike 4% shoes - which are supposed to improve running economy by 4 percent - are all the rage at the moment but Billy Griffin had his own remedy for swifter running back in the day. “I used to love running barefoot and never used to wear shoes for cross-country, I always ran in my bare feet from the start. I tried it on the road one morning and it was grand where the tarmac was good, but not where the surface was poor. Recently I thought of doing it on the Cricket Field but I suppose if I was seen doing it now I’d be taken away!”

Described as a “club legend” by Midleton AC registrar Danny McCarthy, like all runners at the moment Billy is greatly missing the local races. Although admitting the virtual ones aren’t the same, he still managed to run all five of the Midleton 5km events. “The first one was under 34 minutes, but I slowed a bit after that. I’m used to running on my own, but a race is different as you always have someone to push you and keep you going,” says Billy, who still heads out for his morning runs at half-seven four days a week.

The rest of the day is no doubt taken up with the bright and beautifully-kept garden that he and his wife Ann tend to at their Brookdale East home. “With the garden centres closed at the last lockdown I couldn’t get plants so what I did was to get packet seeds and grow my own, so I’m ready for action now. I’m inside the window following the sun around and will plant them when they get a bit stronger.

“The gardening keeps the mind going,” concludes this remarkable man who is certainly living proof at the age of 83 that a live-long passion for running keeps the body in excellent shape as well.