Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Preview of the Cork BHAA 'ESB' 5 km race in Mahon - Sun 21st Feb (11am)

At the moment, waiting for a BHAA race is a bit like waiting for a're waiting ages for one and then two come together! Last Sunday, there was the cross country race and this week, we have the ESB 5km race in Mahon.

Registration...This is in the Mahon Community centre, shown as a X on the map. It's very easy to find. If you are travelling down into Mahon on the Skehard road, just turn left at the church and the Community centre is in about 300 metres on the left. To get your bearings, click on this LINK. Use the + and - to zoom IN and OUT and try MAP and SATELLITE to get a clearer view.

Course...It's a short run of few hundred metres down to the start. See the map above. The race starts along the road on the way down to Blackrock Castle. After a few hundred metres, you need to follow the stewards instructions and veer off right into the car park and accross it. Now you need to be careful. Just as you get onto the walkway, you need to take a very sharp right. It's not so easy when the runners are still bunched, running fast and then have to brake and change direction. Once you get onto the walkway, you are on the nicest part of the route. You are running on a smooth tarmac surface along the water's edge with scenic views over the inner harbour. It's pretty straight and dead flat for the next 1.5 miles. Just one word of caution here. This walkway is not closed off for the race. It is a very popular amenity with plenty of people out walking with their kid's and dog's. Just keep it in mind. After the 2 mile mark, you are heading back past the large radio mast on your right. You run accross the weir, up a small ramp and then out and right onto another walkway. Here's the tough part. You need to run up and over the pedistrian bridge that goes over the South link road. It's probably a good 50 metres of uphill running and more than enough to leave you panting. The bridge is wide enough for about 2 people so if there are walkers there, runners will need to run in single file. Once you run down the other side of the bridge, you have a flat and dead straight run into the finish. The thing to remember here is that the finish is just beyond the tunnel under the main road. Once you see it, you know you're almost there.

Apres Race...That tunnel you just ran through was in fact under the Skehard road. To get back to the Community centre, just follow the road down and turn left at the church, a jog of about 1 km.If you want a closer look at the course, I have put it up on the MapMyRun website. I plotted the course in the SATELLITE view so it should be the more accurate option to look at.

Overall...Considering that the new modified Cork Marathon route is likely to follow this 5k race route in 2010, it might be of interest to anyone planning ahead to the big event in June. Other than that, it's a  flat and fast course with just one blip. The sections by the water are scenic and the path surface is good. Just watch out for those walkers!

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