Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Preview of the Shanagarry 5 Mile Road Race - Thurs 26th June (8pm)
The 2nd race in the Ballycotton 5 Mile Road Race Summer Series takes place in the small village of Shanagarry in East Cork on Thursday evening at 8pm. Going on the numbers at recent races, it looks like there might be another record number.

If you are coming from Cork, take the N25 East and from the roundabout on the Midleton bypass, take the 3rd exit and follow the main R629 Midleton to Ballycotton road. Shanagarry is located on the main road between Cloyne and Ballycotton. If you are coming from Waterford, take a left at Castlemartyr for Ladysbridge and Garryvoe and follow the road on towards Shanagarry. Parking should be available at the GAA grounds in the centre of the village. Just follow the stewards directions. See map above.

The event centre for this race is the small boxing hall which is located between the GAA grounds and the petrol station. Inside, there will be 2 queues....
Queue 1)...Any runner who ran Race 1 of the Ballycotton Summer Series (Ballyandreen ‘5’) last month is automatically entered for Shanagarry. The race number corresponds with the runners’ finishing position in the first race. The full list, in surname order, can be seen at this LINK. Please join the correct queue in the hall and ask for your number from the list, which will also be posted on the wall.
Queue 2)...Any new runners can enter as normal. This is not a BHAA race, so if you are not a member of an athletics club just say where you are from (Cork, Charleville, Cloyne). The entry fee is €5 and having the correct amount ready helps to speed up the process. It also helps if you can try and get there early so they have plenty of time to get everyones details onto the laptop.

The race starts just outside the petrol station at the main road junction on the Ballycotton road. It then drops slightly into the hollow by the GAA entrance, up past the road junction where the finish will be, past the church, down again into another slight hollow and up a bit of a pull until the road flattens out as you head towards the 1 mile mark. A pretty fast mile with no major drags.
The 2nd mile is pretty flat. You run down to Garryvoe next to the beach, around a sharp bend and head inland again. A flat fast mile.
To get a flavour of it...a video!! Here is a clip from the 2006 race at Garryvoe...

The 3rd mile is not so easy. It is basically a long gentle uphill section until you turn off left onto a quiet country road and the 3 mile mark. You can expect to lose some time on the long climb.
The 4th mile starts easy. The first half mile is along a flat road with a great view to the left over the East Cork countryside. At the next road junction, you take a very sharp left and then the road drops rapidly. It's almost too steep to really run on comfortably. Then it flattens out for a short section and then, you hit the hill! Not as bad as the 'Beast of Ballyandreen' but a nasty one all the same. After the initial shock, the gradient reduces as you hit the 4 mile mark. A tough mile.
For the start of the 5th and final mile, there is still a gradual climb for about 300 metres after the 4 mile mark. Then it flattens out as you negotiate a series of bends with matures trees on either side of the road providing plenty of cover. The last half mile is very fast as it is slightly downhill all the way to the finish.
For anyone who is not joined an athletic club and is interested in doing next year's Ballycotton 10 race (March 2009), you might consider doing the Shanagarry race. For the last 2 years, if you complete at least one of the four Ballycotton Summer Series 5 Mile races, you have 2 weeks in which to enter the Ballycotton 10 once the entry forms come out. Otherwise, it can be difficult to enter. Last year, the entries for non-club runners closed in just 4 days!!
Weather forecast...(Updated 4:15pm)
Dull, wet and dreary on Thursday. The persistent rain is currently clearing from the West (Kerry and West Cork). There is a chance that the clearance may reach East Cork by 8pm. Showers after the clearance are possible.

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