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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Guest article.....Will the Marathon Relay replace the Marathon itself?
You may have noticed that from time to time, I have some material written by other people on this blog. So, with that in mind, I hope to publish some articles by David O'Dwyer of East Cork AC here on a regular basis. (Links to David's previous articles can be found near the bottom on the menu bar on the right). David covers various topics from a personal point of view and if you agree, disagree or would just like to add a comment, click on the Comments link below this post. I would just like to say thanks to David for allowing his articles to be published here on this site. Hope you enjoy it.............John Desmond.

Will the Marathon relay replace the Marathon itself?

The 2007 revival of the Cork Marathon after a gap of 21years was by and large seen to be a huge success. This was despite a relatively modest winning time of over 2 hrs 27 mins a total of 1356 finishers. The 2008 event was won in an even slower time of 2 hrs 34 mins and with a slightly reduced number of finishers at 1338. It must be said that on both occasions the June Bank Holiday sunshine was out in force and this undoubtedly had an impact on the winning times.

There is no doubt that the Marathon generated a great “buzz” in the build up to the race within the running community in Cork and by hosting a Marathon, the Cork BHAA and the Cork branches of the AAI are doing their bit to keep the strong tradition of distance running alive in the south of the Country.

A new feature of the event in its second coming was the introduction of the Marathon relay. This allowed teams of between 2 and 5 to participate in the event, each running a stage or stages of the Marathon course. There are a number of benefits to having the relay as part of the overall Marathon event. Not least is the boost to the overall number of participants. As there is an even greater level of participants on the day and at each relay changeover stage, there are huge crowds that would not normally be present. This gives great encouragement and support to those runners passing through. This adds even more to the build up to the Marathon as more and more people are taking part.

There is a concern though that the relay event takes something from the Marathon event as well as adding to it. For one thing it is almost certain that some of the relay teams will finish ahead of the Marathon winner. This is not a good thing. If you are going to win a Marathon then you want to be the first one to cross the finish line. It must be somewhat deflating to know that someone else has stolen a little bit of the glory. Even as the race progresses, the leaders of the Marathon will probably be behind the leaders of the relay for much of the race.

The thinking behind the Marathon relay is to obviously increase the numbers taking part. This helps with the fundraising too. Take 2008 as an example, with 833 teams at between €80 and €100 per team it is a nice little earner for much needed funds for the race organisers. Also the thinking may well be that if you run the Marathon relay this year then next year you may run the full Marathon. The trend, in so much as it can be called a trend after only two years appears to be going in the opposite direction however. There was a slight decrease in the numbers completing the full Marathon, from 1356 in 2007 to 1338 in 2008. In contrast the number of relay teams taking part increased. In 2007 over 600 teams took part and in 2008 the number of teams grew to 833.

I have never ran a Marathon but I did participate in the 2007 Marathon relay in Cork. Despite the team finishing in third position I must admit to feeling somewhat deflated after the experience. The Marathon is for Marathoners. Anyone who has completed a Marathon will tell you that it’s not easy. Why should it be made easier for this generation of joggers and fun runners?
It will be interesting to see how the numbers stack up in 2009. By including a relay in the Marathon event in its present form, the status and profile of the Cork Marathon will not increase. This can only be harmful to the long term viability of the Cork Marathon. Originally the Marathon spanned a 5 year period from 1982 to 1986. If the Cork Marathon is to span more than 5 years then some changes are required or else it will become known as the “Cork Marathon Relay”. What then happens to the Marathoners?

..........David O'Dwyer

Do you agree or disagree with the article above? Why not leave a comment and give reasons for your point of view. Unsupported rants will not be published ;o)


Anonymous said...

Great article, and some very interesting points. I myself participated in the relay for the past two years and am attempting to complete my first full marathon this year. The relay experience was fantastic and left me wanting more, so this year, I'm going for it! So, I do think the relay is a great introduction to long distance running and has certainly been cited many times as a reason for a big increase in road races over the last number of years. However, i totally agree that it can also take something from the marathon achievement. I definitely felt like a bit of a fraud last year, trotting past miles 22, 23, 24, which for me were miles 2, 3 and 4! But I think, in all, that the relay event is a good thing. It makes running accessible, it gets half of cork into a pair of runners and it allows for fantastic teamwork and encouragement at the change-over points right around the course, something us first timers will be relying upon on monday! Good luck to all involved.

Thomas said...

It is the mere presence of the full marathon that gives the entire event its buzz. A pure relay race over the same distance will never be the same, and for that reason alone I cannot imagine this becoming the "Cork Marathon Relay".

I ran the full marathon last year, and the presence of the relay runners didn't bother me, unlike in Belfast a few years ago when I had an awful day and hated to be overtaken by a new batch of fresh runners every few miles.

If you felt deflated after doing the relay then surely it must have been all the more incentive to run the full distance the following year, not the other way round.

Anonymous said...

I could not agree with you more to be honest. The idea of the relay being introduced has made it less of an achievement when people say they have completed the Cork City Marathon. In my opinion they could start the relay event maybe an hour or two after the main marathon to allow most of the runners in the full marathon finish before the relay runners.

Anonymous said...

Great article,

Having run my first marathon in 2007 in cork. While i trained hard all year and it was very hard to bear relay runners, bombing pass me at mile 20 .

When you look back for the last 2 years, not many people are taking up the option of the full marathon. Im currently in a Running club and i'd say only 10% of the members are running the Cork Marathon on monday. I think it has alot to do with the relay. It's quite sad that people are being put off by the whole relay experience.

If this relay setup gets any bigger people wont support their local marathon and the'll head off to Dublin Or London.

It's quite sad because at the moment in Cork our running scene is getting bigger all the time. Alot to with this "Great Blog"
We should have a marathon to compete with Dublin.

They dont even talk about it in Dublin, at the moment all the talk is the "Ladies Mini Marathon" on Monday. Only 10k....

It's time the Cork Marathon should have World Wide recognition.

Anonymous said...

I remember watching the Cork marathon last year, I had positioned positioned at mile 20 because my plan was to run the full marathon next year and I wanted to get a taste of what it was all about. While running in any form is an accomplishment, I found myself cheering for the "red" numbered participants and not so much for the "blue" numbered participants, because you definitely could see the difference between those who were "digging deep" to finish the last 6 miles versus those who were starting the last leg of the relay.

Tough question. I know the organizational nightmare involved in an event like this, but it seems to be that a "marathon relay" could take place on the June bank holiday and the actual full marathon could take place on the August bank holiday, or some such thing, both races using the same course. Then those people who were aspiring for the "real deal" could use the June bank holiday as a way to try some length of the course, depending on the number of participants on the team...and running clubs could use it as a "warm-up relay race" for the August bank holiday. I know a city would never tolerate the closures involved in two days of street shut-downs, but it seems like having the two together might take away from some of the respect for the full marathoners.

Good luck to everyone who is running on Monday, no matter what distance you are choosing to run! See you at the starting line!

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with the points made. It seems that the author has a problem with "fun runners/joggers", as the last article on cross country running also contained a similar theme.
I am a club athlete, and I have to say that the increase in participation numbers in the cork athletics scene is something to be celebrated, bemoaning the fact that certain athletes are only "fun runners" is an elitist attitude that should not be promoted.
I am disappointed that this article was posted on the blog, as this blog is very popular and viewed by many people starting off in the running scene in Cork.
In theory I understand what the author is trying to say, but I have to say that this event is brings life to the city and suburbs for the day and provides wonderful motivation for people to participate in our sport.
I ran 6 miles last year, I will be running 13.9 this year and hope to do the full marathon next year. I spoke with many athletes who competed in the full event last year and everyone of them said the support they received at the relay stations really helped get them through. I personally encouraged and cheered any athlete with a red number I happened to pass last yr, as I had nothing but respect for their efforts and achievement and it was a privilege and wonderful motivating tool for me to able to participate with them.
Please consider the effect of the words published on the main blog page, it seems slightly sensationalist and designed to stir up controversy than anything else.
Whether one is a seasoned marathon runner or a beginner "fun runner", anyone who chooses to take part should be celebrated. Each has their unique yet equal value to add to the event.

John Desmond said...

"I am disappointed that this article was posted on the blog".......The idea behind the Guest Article is that it gives a platform for other points of view, even if they are ones that I might not agree with myself. It's only right that such issues should be debated and people can make up their own mind.

Glenn said...

Excellent article. I have taken part in three marathons but never Cork and given the rise in popularity of the relay event I probably won't consider Cork for marathon #4.
Perhaps this is all a symptom of the boom road running has seen of late and I am all for encouraging people to take part in running events. However there are plenty of half marathons and shorter distances for such occasions, leave the marathon stand on its own for what it is, a test of endurance and 26.2 miles of pure joy & misery all rolled into one!

Anonymous said...

The guy is giving his opinion but maybe He should reserve judgement until he has actually experienced the achievement of actually completing the Marathon itself.

I know guys who ran Marathons in Cork in the 80's and I was in envy of them because I always would have loved to Run one in Cork b4 I hang up the Shoes.

Its great that People can get involved in the relay but I think that if You ask any of those People with RED Numbers how they feel about been passed by Relay Runners they will tell You that they dont take a lot of notice.

People must remember that you can turn up on the Day and run the relay with very little Training.
Running the Marathon involves a huge investment in time in terms of training and preperation.

When you cross that Finish line You know You have been in a Race....So, Good luck to everybody who's getting involved on Monday, Enjoy the Day and treasure the experience.

I've done the previous 2 Marathons and will do a Relay this Year. Injury prevents Me from doing the 3 in a row.

Ray said...

Great article. Throwing it out there what people are talking about amongst themselves during training runs etc.
I ran the full marathon last year and trained with two others who disliked the idea of the relay runners. I on the other hand embraced the idea. It was my first marathon and having some fresh faces there egging you on for the likes of the straight road which was soul destroying having very few spectators present and hence quiet. Having the odd relay runner driving you on was welcome.
I am running the last three sections of the relay this year and will do my best to get folks through the carrigahell straight.
On the other side of the coin the relay is not the only option available to the organisers the likes of Sydney Australia have a running festival where they have a 10k, half marathon and full marathon on the same day which caters for everyone in my view. Overall it's unreal the amount of folks out running now and that can only be encouraging.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. While I may not agree with the conclusion I do appreciate the points made. I am running the team event this year, doing the 6.4 mile section. I am running this with a view to doing the full event next year. I expect that being a part of the race on Monday will be very motivating. I agree that perhaps starting the relay event an hour or so after the main race would be a way of ensuring that those going the full distance get the recognition that they deserve. Best of luck to everybody on Monday!

Billy O' Brien said...

Having ran the marathon for the past 2 years and doing so again on monday, I feel that the relay is a double edged sword. Firstly the obvious decline in athletes willing to compete over the classic distance is a concern and raises concerns for the future of the marathon in terms of competing with the relay. On the other side though, I have found meeting relay runners, particularly at the latter stages, helpful in terms of keeping me focused. The encouragement that I have received at the relay handover stages has bouyed me at difficult stages also. Another positive I suspect is that some runners new to running who might have only ran five miles in their first relay have since set their sights higher.
Interesing debate.

Anonymous said...

First of all could I just say Thanks John for the superb site for anyone interested in running in Cork. While I disagree with the author on his viewpoint I also see no issue in him having his opinion on the blog as this blog is open to be read by runners of all standards. I ran Cork last year and having also experienced Dublin, I was delighted with the extra support at the relay points. It was also great to see so many runners out along the route and with the relays wearing the different colour tags front and back it was always easy to see who was running the full race.I also think it's a great way to get people into the sport. I've only been running myself for a couple of years and am sorry I waited over 30 years to get involved. While the numbers quoted may not support the theory that people advance to the full marathon after doing a relay leg, 2 things to bear in mind are, people may have upped their participation in the relay legs to do more than one leg next time out. It is also possible that some moved up to the full marathon but are only replacing those who have completed one full marathon and have achieved their goal of doing just one. I firmly believe that all those interested in running should be encouraged to do. I do see the point however about the marathon runner being first past the post, however, I think it would detract from the day if the relay event was removed or started later as it is a fantastic sight when you head over the bridge near the Gate cinema and see the streams of runners in front and behind you. May I just say best of luck to all those taking part on Monday. See you all there.

Anonymous said...

Good article. I would agree completely with the points made. I have run the Cork marathon relay myself but feel that it detracts from the marathon. I have completed 3 marathons none of them had relay events, it is good to know that the runners around me at 20 miles have been there for all 20 of those miles and have put in the same effort that I have. I would be unlikely to enter a marathon with a simultaneous relay. I think that recently the road race scene has veered too much towards fun running, as indicated by dropping standards and increasing numbers. While it is great to see people exercising we should not lose sight of the fact that a race by definition is a competitive event and not about mass participation. I fail to see ther attraction of running a 5-6 mile relay leg just to participate in the event. The buzz and excitement that surrounds a city marathon should be reserved for marathoners.

Simon said...

Totally agree with the article. I ran the Cork City Marathon in 2007. We are spoilt for road races around the Cork and Munster area for people who want to run shorter distance. I think it's like many things in life. People jump on the bandwagon at any opportunity. In this case people are jumping on the bandwagon of the Cork Marathon because it is a high-profile event. I know some of them will use it as a springboard to doing the full thing but for most people it's taken as a fun run. That for me does not fit with the ethos of a marathon. Personally it would put me off running the Cork Marathon again. I'd rather go to Dublin.

RoyMcC said...

Good balanced article, though it's a shame the author (not for the first time) and some of those commenting take the opportunity to have a pop at 'joggers/fun runners'.

Having taken part in the full Marathon in the last two years I can only say that it is the relay that makes this day such a great occasion, as the author acknowledges. How on earth a full marathoner can feel belittled or diminished by a relay runner is beyond my comprehension. There is, I'm afraid, an element of snobbery in some of what has been said here.

That said, I am part of a relay team this year and I have to say I would be uncomfortable in taking the plaudits along Patrick Street alongside a marathoner.

May runners of all kinds - even us 'fun runners', have a great day on Monday.

John Quigley said...

Fun Runners??

In 1984, after winning London, Charlie Spedding, 1984 Olympic bronze medallist behind John Treacy, was asked (about the people finishing in droves behind him as he was being interviewed) "What do you think of these Fun Runners?" Charlie replied "Fun runners? What fun runners? I don't see any fun runners. These people are going to be out there for 4, 5 or 6 hours! I couldn't do that. Could you?"

That put a lot of things into perspective for me. A real ‘fun runner’ just does it purely for 'a lark.' I think you'll find that most of the Cork Marathon relay runners are pretty serious about the event, no matter what their time aspirations are.

Some are running for their club. Many are running for a cause. I’m doing both. I’m running Leg 3 for Eagle AC and then Leg 4 for ‘C Team – Cancer Survivors.’ Not everyone can be an ‘elite’ and many others are doing it despite debilitating illnesses. For some, their relay leg will be as much an effort as that of those doing the full distance. Isn’t it great that we’ll all be out there!

OK, those doing the relay aren't doing the full 26.2 but they're running and it does add to the overall event. The purists clearly disagree, but without them this event would not be viable.

John Quigley
Eagle AC
19 Marathons, 13 sub 3
PB: 2:46:03
PW – 4:10:03

PS John, are you going to be able to fit in my C Team article?

Anonymous said...

hi,while i can understand some points raised in the article i think there is a danger of the sport trying to close the door on the people responsible for the boom in running.i have run 2 full marathons in the last 3 years but have decided this year to do the relay as i do not feel good enough about doing the whole.Surely this is a good thing to make me feel like i have some kind of involvement.One of the highlights for me last year was running through the relay points and getting huge shouts of encouragement.It made the day more special for me and certainly didn't take from the sense of personal achievement crossing the finish line.In a lot of articles on the blog there is a ref. to fun runners as if they are a bad thing,but what is a fun runner?i consider myself a part-time fun runner as i have't the time to train more than 4 days in a week at any time.i have run only 3 races this year but both my marathons were sub-4 hour.Does it make it me any less a runner because i dont compete all year round.Should i line up at the back to give way to the so-called 'elite runners'.i think the running community needs to embrace the new runners and be glad that the numbers are not going the other way.i believe if i trained 6 days a week i could compete closer to the front but i choose not to do so and i still think i get the full enjoyment out of runnning.Well done john on bringing these articles up for debate.Terry Higgins.

Anonymous said...

interesting article, I'm suffering from "taper madness" at the moment so I've taken to reading your blog over and over, and leaving a few comments here and there.
Brendan Behan famously said of every Irish organisation,
"first organise a committee, next organise a split".
The comments seem evenly split on this subject.
My experience for what its worth. In January 2007 I had never run a road race in my life and was not involved in any sport due to an injury sustained in my 20's. I was asked to take part in the relay for the Cork marathon to raise money for the Lions club here in Kinsale. I went to the local gym and ran 3k on a treadmill. Jesus I spent the first 1.5k praying that I wouldn't die and the next 1.5k wishing I had. What was worse I thought I had run 3 miles. I kept at it and got fit eventually and even joined the BHAA and ran the UCC 10k.
For the marathon I picked the short straw and had to run the longest last leg, 6.9 miles or so, it went out to Poulvolane that year. I stood there waiting with the rest of the relay and watched the lead runners go through, my first time ever watching a marathon, and I must say I was very impressed with the courage/dedication of the runners. I did feel like a fraud running in the middle of these runners and I did feel like I was stealing their limelight a little. What really killed me was the shouts of encouragement from bystanders, "keep at it" "only 6 miles to go". I didn't have the heart to explain to them that I was only a relay runner, and as I ran into Patrick street, I wanted to disappear up a side street and let the real runners have the glory, all that cheering for only running a 10k.
So I resolved to run the full thing to atone for my sins, and next Monday will be running my fourth marathon, and I'm lovin' it.
I wouldn't have taken up running without the relay, but whether people get hooked and decide to push up a gear is entirely their own choice. I'm glad I did and I'm glad of the opportunity to experience the big day feel, it definitely spurred me on.
Also in last year in Cork I found the relay changeover points were a great fillip, fantastic support on a sparsely populated route.
The relay runners passing me were not a problem as such, it dosen't annoy me although they really don't help pacing, (the problem is that the red is worn on front and as people pass you have to get a quick look and make a judgement whether to run with or ignore) but that is my problem not theirs. I take the point about Dublin from mile 20 on, you do rely on others to help keep pace. However Dublin has crowds the whole route. There wasn't 20 people on the carrigrohane straight!
I can't see why the relay would prevent people from running the full 26.2, I think it was a stepping stone for me and I'm sure others will take up running due to the experience.
Good luck to everyone on Monday, elites, plodders, relay runners, hope the suns shines, no wind, 15C, and a local runner wins it for a 3 in a row.
Remember, stay in by the wall and look out for the busses


John Desmond said...

Just a few comments...

a) This year, there are about 1,600 entires for the full Marathon, much the same as the previous 2 years. I think it's pretty obvious that the city authorities would not close off all of those city roads just for 1,600 runners. The relay event helps attract enough people that the whole Marathon event becomes viable.

b) Back in early 2007, just before the Cork Marathon started, I remember plenty of people talking about the the Marathon runners would run past the relay changeover points only to have loads of relay runners passing them for the next few miles. At the time, I guess it sounded credible. However, I have ran the last 2 Cork Marathons and my experience has been somewhat different...
1) The Relay changeover points are buzzing and there's a great atmosphere there as you run past.
2) For someone like me running the Marathon, the Relay runners fill in the gaps between the Marathon runners.
3) I usually spend most of the Marathon passing Relay runners, not the other way around! I remember last year at around the 24 mile mark telling a relay runner who had started to walk to keep running ;o)

and in reply to Glenn's comment...
I have taken part in three marathons but never Cork and given the rise in popularity of the relay event I probably won't consider Cork for marathon #4...I really can't see what difference the relay should make to a Marathon runner. It's still 26.2 miles, it's still as hard if not harder than some other Marathons. Anyone not doing Cork because it has a relay event is making a mistake. Try it first and then decide.

Anonymous said...


Don’t normally leave comments on blogs but I'm really disappointed about the "relay" aspect of the marathon. I am not a runner, I'm a swimmer and I ran the first stage of the marathon this year and I wasn't "fun running"- I had to train my socks off for two months before that to be able to run that 5.2 miles and i found it really challenging. I feel slightly deflated about running it after reading some of your comments and being honest its kinda put me off wanting to run in events like that again as I wont be running the full thing.

John Desmond said...

"Don’t normally leave comments on blogs but I'm really disappointed about the "relay" aspect of the marathon....I feel slightly deflated about running it after reading some of your comments and being honest its kinda put me off wanting to run in events like that again as I wont be running the full thing."...........Just to reply, the comments here on this blog about the Relay come from many different people, not just me.

As with any subject, you'll always get different opinions. You can read into them what you want but I think it is pretty obvious from the race this year that without the relay element, there would be no Cork City Marathon.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the "generation of joggers and fun runners" that the author refers to. Yesterday I completed my first half marathon.

If it wasn't for the CCM set up, I could never have imagined doing a distance like this because the likes of Ballycotton intimidate me, probably because I expect all the participants to judge me the way this author seems to.

This was certainly not the case yesterday however. The support I got from the full marathon runners was fantastic. Everyone I met along the way didn't care that I was a relay runner, they appreciated the fact that I was doing the best I could do and their support was gratefully received. In fact, it was actually a couple of sub 3hr marathon runners who convinced me to take part in the first place.

Whether it was 3 miles, 13 miles or 26.2 miles, well done to all who took part and made it such a great day.

Fantastic blog by the way, only just found it and hooked already!

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the author's comments on relay/fun-runners or the winning times. I just ran the Marathon on Monday, but I have huge admiration for those (who the author calls fun runners) who were out there on the course in that blistering heat for 5-6 hours. I wanted to give them my medal too seeing them come in crippled with pain yet as proud as can be. Being an Ironman athlete I can understand the pain and determination of a fun-runner. This leads to the question: If I walk some of the marathon in the Ironman, would I be considered, just a fun-runner?
As for the relay teams taking part, I think they are great. This is a stepping stone towards doing the full marathon which I would like to see more often. Relay teams in a triathlon are usually how someone becomes a triathlete. From sources, I know the author does not compete in swimming or cycling but would still not discriminate against him doing an Ironman relay since he is reduced to only being able to do the run part (26 miles run). I plan to swim the channel crossing in the next few years but am I a burden since I need to do it as a relay first?
As for the winners time, like it or lump it, this was the winners time. So for now, fun-runners and relay people, I think you are great to take part and run with us. Thank you for the support, banter, fun and competition. Looking forward to see all of you there again to next year!!!

Anonymous said...

I disagree also with the authors comments and would like to congratulate all those who took part on Monday. I completed the full route again & I met plenty of relay runners along the route and received nothing but support from them as well as I encouraging some who looked like they needed it. I believe the event would not be the same without the relay. I think the author should run the race first before condemning the relay participation. I also wonder what standard he considers a fun runner. I have a PB of 3hr 15min, so do I fall into that category as well. Is there not a different reason for participants to run these races rather than winning. Is it not the test of endurance to each person which drives most people to do it. You go out there and give it your best and if it takes you 7hours to complete it then you accomplished something which is extremely difficult. All these people should be applauded, not turned away from the sport. Not everyone can be a top class athlete. Not all people can be world class athletes, and on top of that I might add.....Not many may wish to be ! , We are happy to run a few evenings a week and try our best on race days. Well done again to all who took part on Monday and everyone who helped along the route to make it a success.

Unknown said...

Hi folks ,I did the full the last three years,I am slow but I do my best.Most of the people out there are doing the same so well done to them all.I am glad of the extra company on the course,the event would not have the atmosphere is has without the relay runners.This is a marathon for everyone unlike elite races like Boston.I don't think the relay runners took anything from the event ,everybody knew the difference between the two and gave the full marathon runners a extra bit of encouragement.Thanks to everybody who made it the great day it was and hopefully see you all next year

Anonymous said...

Thanks David for an interesting article.

I think you miss the whole point of what running means to most people, though. No matter how hard I train, I will never be an elite runner. I don't run races to beat other people though, its more about challenging myself to be the best that I can be. Nothing beats the buzz of setting a PB! The motivation comes from pushing myself to do something difficult and seeing myself get fitter and my times improve. Does this make me less of a runner? I dont see how my modest times take away from the competition between the elite runners at the top of the field.

Differences in natural athletic ability & time available to train will always mean that there will be a wide range in finishing times but ultimately every runner out there, fast & slow, runs for this same sense of achievement.

I'm new to Cork (& Ireland) and have been really struck by the great running scene here. Part of that strength is the incredibly friendly & supportive atmosphere at Club & BHAA races. Trying to create some kind of divide between serious & 'fun' runners works against that. If we want the running scene to continue to grow we should focus on what we have in common & continue to support those new to the sport...

Congratulations to all who took part on Monday, in what were incredibly tough conditions. It was a great day, with fantastic support & a great advert for Cork running. I did my first marathon in Dublin last year, injury prevented me from taking part in the full thing on Monday so the relay was the next best option. I tried my best to encourage every marathon runner I passed & I'm looking forward to doing the whole thing next year. Having the relay runners beside me will only add to the atmosphere I'm sure.

Thanks John for a great blog.