Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Preview of the Cork BHAA 'Cross Country Challenge' - Sun 15th Feb (11am)
This 5 km race takes place in Beaumont Park in Blackrock, Cork City. It is the only cross country race on the BHAA calendar and last year, it attracted just over 100 runners. For anyone new to the running scene, you might think that this cross country race will be a race with mud and dirt everywhere. The reality is that this is just a race on grass rather than on tarmac. If it's wet, it might be a bit slippy but otherwise, it's just like a normal race. As the ground is soft, you'll need to work a bit harder during the race so don't expect your time to be close to your 5 km time on the road.

Registration.....The sign on for this race is at the Cork Constitution Rugby grounds. If you are not sure where that is, click on this link and zoom in and out to get your bearings. As you can see from the map below, Beaumont Park is just accross the road. The Yellow dots show how to get there.

Course......Basically, it is roughly 3 loops around the same course. See the map above. See A...the start and finish point are near here. For the very first lap, you head accross towards E and then back towards B. Other than that, you basically follow the dots above.
A-B....slightly uphill & the ground is just short grass. you are running under trees on a rough path and grass. It is slightly downhill all the way so it's the most likely place you might trip if you are not careful. It can be a bit boggy half ways down.
C-D...this is mostly uphill running and it's slow going. The closer you get to D, the steeper it gets. In fact just before D, a lot of people will walk this. It's steep and you'd be forgiven for going down on all fours trying to get up it! As the ground gets cut up, it gets more difficult the 2nd and 3rd time around. The only thing though is that it's short...just watch your footing!
D-E...initially flat and then gradually downhill.
E-A...more or less flat.

Shoes...the obvious choice are proper cross country shoes but a lot of people won't have these. If the day is dry, you could probably get away with a pair of old runners. You would however have to watch the downhill sections and the sharp corners.

As a race, it makes a nice alternative to the road and it's a good one to do if you just want to get a taste of what cross country is like.


Anonymous said...

Excellent description as usual John it will be interesting to see how many of the new influx of runners are prepared to get their new "designer runners" dirty.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering John as this is not a road race can I wear headphones ?

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I think I'll be wearing my old football boots! Must dig them up from somewhere in the garage.

John Desmond said...

Headphones.....I think I can safely say that the BHAA would prefer if people didn't wear headphones at any of their events. It's only 5 kms. It seems kind of pointless wearing them.

Football boots....why not! Just watch what socks you wear and make sure you don't get blisters. Otherwise, I'd say boots would be fine.