Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Preview of the Shanagarry 5 Mile Road Race - Thurs 25th 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 and the fine weather, it looks likely that there might be another record number. Considering that they got 411 for the first race in the series and they got 281 for this race last year, surely the 300 barrier will be broken?

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 and next to the church. Just follow the stewards directions. See map above.

The event centre for this race is NOT in the usual small boxing hall which is located between the GAA grounds and the petrol station. Instead, it is inside a marquee in the GAA grounds.

Inside, there will be 3 queues....
Queues 1 & 2).....All those who ran in Race 1 will have numbers allocated corresponding to their finishing positions in Ballyandreen (winner will wear no. 1, second no. 2, etc). For women, the race numbers start with 301 (winner wears 301, etc).
There will be two desks in the marquee for the above pre-entered. The first will be for numbers 1 - 200, the second for numbers 201 - 425. This second desk will include all the women. People are asked to check for their numbers on the lists displayed at the entrance (in race number and alphabetical order) and ask for same at the desk.
Queue 3)...There will be a seperate entry desk for anyone who did not run the 1st race in Ballyandreen last month. 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, etc).

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.

Note from the organisers...."Regarding the course, we would like to remind runners to keep on the left after passing Garryvoe, there is no advantage to be gained by crossing over to the right and it can also be very dangerous. Also, in view of the fine weather (!) traffic to the beach, etc will be heavy and to allow for this when travelling to the race."

Notes...Ballycotton 10
Just a reminder that for non-club runners to avail of the special 2 week window for entry to the 2010 Ballycotton 10 mile road race, all 4 races in the summer series must be completed. More details in a previous post.

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