Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Preview of the 'Cheetah Run' 4 mile road race - Thurs 21st of May, 2009
This 4 mile race takes place in Fota Wildlife Park at 8pm on Thursday, the 21st of May. This is the first time that there has been a race in Fota and it promises to be a unique event.

Parking & Registration......The one thing about this race is that it has the potential to attract a lot of runners. How many is the big unknown. Anyone going might well play it safe and arrive early. If the numbers are big, there will be a delay in parking and with the entries. It costs €10 to enter and there will be t-shirts for the top 100 finishers.

Course........Eagle AC had a 'dry' run over the race course a few weeks ago (....actually, it was pouring out the heavens but you know what I mean ;o). The one concern that I would have is that the internal roads are pretty narrow. They are probably fine for a modest crowd but how they fare out with a large field is anyone's guess.

There's probably no real point in giving a complete breakdown of each mile of the course. Suffice to say, the following features are :

a) Most of the route is inside in the park. There is about 300 metres out on the hard shoulder of the public road inside some traffic cones.

b) The course is mostly flat although there are a few little hills. The only hill worth talking about is a very short steep section just before finish.

c) The route is really unique. There's something new around every corner....from Cheetahs to Giraffes to Flamingoes to Sea Eagles to Bison. To be honest, the slower you run, the better view you will get!

d) Not too slow mind you.......there is a 'no loitering' policy in place. Anybody seen running less than 10 minute miles will be fed to the wildlife to help offset the cost of the race.

No headphones...Eagle AC are going to impose a strict 'no headphone' rule for this race. The problem is that there are too many critters running about (the 4 legged variety) and you need to be aware of what's going on around you. During the 'dry run', members of Eagle AC had a very successful test of their new headphone deterrent system.

Overall....This promises to be a unique event. Fota Wildlife Park is a great spot and there's something surreal about running along with wallablies bouncing past and 'these yokes' running for cover. Just from a cusiousity point alone, it's worth doing. Enjoy the event and leave the record times for the other races.


Anonymous said...

John, just wondering is there an addmission fee for people who just want to go and watch tommorow night.

John Desmond said...

Regarding access to the Wildlife park itself, the official blurb is ..."Persons accompanying race entrants will be allowed access Fota Wildlife Park provided they are accompanied through the access door by an athlete in possession of a race number. Unaccompanied persons will not be admitted."

Regarding car parking........The exit barriers will upright/open from the beginning of the race until participants have departed Fota Wildlife Park.For those that don't know the area, Fota is spilt up into 2 areas. There is the Wildlife Park where access is restricted.

....and there is the public area outside with the car park, Fota House, gardens, etc. The race will go through both areas.

So I presume there is no problem getting into the car park, parking for free and watching the race there. If you are with a runner, you can gain access to the wildlife park.