Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: March 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guest Article....Race Entries - Value for money?
On a recent post after the Ballycotton '10', I raised the question of why Ballycotton Running Promotions could organise a major 10 mile race race for €15 yet some other Half-Marathon events are charging €40, €50 or even €60!! With that in mind, I am reprinting an article here by David O'Dwyer of East Cork AC on the subject of race entry fees. This appeared in a recent issue of the Irish Runner magazine and it is re-printed here on this website by kind permission of Frank Greally, the editor of the magazine. 

Race Entries.......Value for Money? David O'Dwyer
A hot topic of late is the price of race entries and how they can vary so much between comparable events around the country. What are the criteria that determine the entry fee for a race? Are competitors being adequately catered for? Are athletes getting value for money? All of this of course depends on what the primary aim of the race organiser is. Is it to provide a quality race or is it to make money?
This dicotomy is probably responsible for the significant difference in entry fees between comparable events. How else can the entry fee for say a Half Marathon in Cork vary from as little as €20 to as much as €60 for a Half Marathon elsewhere in the country? To add further to the discussion the race with the cheaper entry fee often offer a better deal to the athlete, not just in terms of prize fund but in overall organisation.
Many of the long standing races are hosted by athletic clubs or organisations with the proceeds of the race going directly back into the sport in some shape or form. Two examples of these would be the Dungarvan 10 hosted by West Waterford AC and the Ballycotton 10 organised by Ballytcotton Running Promotions. The entry fee for these races is €20 and €15 respectively. These are two of the more popular high profile 10 mile races that are well attended and well organised. Despite the relatively modest entry fee there is still a substantial prize fund that caters for the top 10 finishers and also the top 3 in most masters’ categories. Team prizes are also well catered for. It would be hard to argue that these races don’t offer value for money.
In the past few years many ‘new’ races have appeared on the race calendar. Apart from having impressive looking websites the other common denominator among these new races is the high price of the entry fee in comparison to some of the more established races such as those mentioned above. In many cases the prizes on offer are minimal with only the top 3 finishers catered for and possibly only the first in each masters’ category catered for. The team prize seems to be overlooked in many of these races. 

There are no doubt expenses to be covered by race organisers and in some cases this will be required without a main sponsor on board. The obvious expenses would include the overall prize fund, chip timing, the provision of portable toilets to name a few. The goody bag for all finishers is now almost expected for anything above a 10k with finisher T-shirt, a medal or mug, a drink and other goodies to be included.

According to John Walshe of Ballytcotton Running Promotions the main reason for increasing the entry fee of the Ballycotton 10 race up to €15 is to cover the provision of chip timing as there is no longer a main sponsor on board. An additional cost for the Ballycotton 10 that most other races wouldn’t have is the provision of buses to transport runners to and from the race. If Ballycotton can do all of this and more for as little as €15 then why are other races charging so much more?

Most road races these days will state that they have an official ‘AAI permit’. Does this give them carte blanche to charge what they please? What does the AAI permit mean anyway? It appears to be offering an air of credibility where it may not be deserved.
The fact that these new races are attracting large fields means that there is an obvious need for them. It could be argued though that the large numbers that are entering some of these races are being charged over the odds are not getting value for money. This may be generalising but the majority of the entry fields are made up of people who are new to the sport and are not members of an athletic club. Unfortunately in many cases they are slow to join an athletics club as they are seen by some to be for ‘serious or competitive runners’ only. They still need an outlet for their training effort and want to complete a race and these races sell themselves as an experience as opposed to a pure race. This is their big selling point. Fair play to the savvy entrepreneurs who have spotted this niche market but are people being taken advantage of? In a time of falling prices in the economy isn’t it time for the price of race entries to follow suit?

Do you agree with David's article? Have you taken part in any of those events charging high entry fees? Was it worth it? Would you enter again? Click on the 'Comment' link below and give your opinion.

(By the way, the Running in Cork website got in excess of 18,000 hits in the month of March 2010 so your opinion will be seen!!............John Desmond)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A few issues regarding the 2010 Ballycotton '10'....
Just one last post to wrap up issues with this years Ballycotton '10' race....

Times over the years...
With all the talk of stats recently, I asked John Quigley of Eagle AC if he could dig out some info regarding the numbers finishing at various times in the Ballycotton '10' over the years. He duly obliged and I have compiled the chart below using the raw data that John provided.

Now the thing with any type of statistics is that you have to be careful how you interpret them. However, I think it's safe enough to say that the chart shows an obvious trend.
Note that the numbers on the left are the % of the number of finishers. The times along the bottom are the various time bands.....i.e. 60-65 minutes, 65-70 minutes and so on.
1980.......Blue....Back then, there was only 151 runners in the race but the standard was very high with well over half of the field finishing under the hour.
1990....Red......This time, there are 695 finishers but a lot of people are running sub 70 minutes.
2000....Orange....There are 1223 finishers and there is an obvious trend from a decade earlier as the times get slower.
2010....Green.....There are 2367 finishers and the times slip again.
It would be worth pointing out that data for the chart above is based on finishing times, not chip times. For some of the slower runners, it may have taken them 30 seconds to well over a minute to cross the start line and then have a congested field to deal with. This must surely result in some of the times getting slower. However, it probably doesn't explain the full extent of the slower times and the reality is that the average finish time is probably still dropping.

Chip Timing......
You may have noticed that the timing chips used this year looked a bit more flimsy than the usual variety. The reason for that is that they are disposable! The organisers are asking people not to return them by post if they still have have them.....just dispose of them. It might be worth noting that last year, people that did not run and returned their timing chips could avail of the 2 week window to get their entries in for the 2010 event. We have no idea what criteria the organisers will use for entries for the 2011 Ballycotton '10' but it's probably safe to say that anyone who had entered this year and did not run will not be able to use the 'return chip' option.

Just a reminder that I have been updating the links to all of the various photo galleries all week. If you didn't notice then scroll down to that post and have a look.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lost & Found at the Ballycotton '10'....
This time it's a lost item. Someone who was going to the Ballycotton '10' race as a spectator dropped an Apple iPhone in Car Park 1 last Sunday. This was the 1st car park as you go up the hill from the small church on the outskirts of Ballycotton. The owner is anxious to recover the phone and will pay a reward if anyone finds it. If you have any info then send an e-mail to my address shown on the right hand side of this page and I'll pass on your contact details.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Another look at the Ballycotton '10' results...
I received a mail during the week from Colin O'Herlihy. He has taken the Ballycotton '10' results, taken the splits for 5 miles and has generated a new set of results showing the race positions at the 5 Mile mark and comparing them to the final positions. You can get a good feel from that as to who went too fast and how much they lost in the 2nd half.

Colin wrote..."One final bit of stats, a total of 1,277 people (54.0%) improved their race position during the second half, 17 people (0.7%) held the exact same position and 1,072 people (45.3%) lost ground. The biggest gain was one of 538 places by Colum O'Sullivan (M/unatt/Ballincollig), who eventually finished in position 1,571".

I have put the results that Colin sent me up on this webpage.

Monday, March 22, 2010

2010 Ballycotton '10' photos...(Updated Wed 31st March)
After digesting the results, now it's time to check out the photos and we have loads of them.

1) Paudie Birmingham has several galleries ready...
A gallery of 95 photos of the start...
...and several galleries of shots out around the 400m to go mark.....remember that? Top of the last hill where you thought the finish line would never appear ;o)
A gallery of 24 photos of those heading for a time of under 58 minutes.
....65 photos of runners under 65 minutes...
....121 photos of runners under 75 minutes..
....and 106 photos of other finishers over 75 minutes.

2) Pat O'Driscoll has a gallery of 104 photos up on the Eagle AC website. I like this one above.....see how far back the field stretches! I wonder how long it takes for someone at the very back to get over the start line???

3) Darren Spring has 241 photos on his race photo website HERE. (Updated Mon 22nd March 10:30pm)

4) Alan Bannon has a large gallery of 676!! photos on the Eagle AC website HERE. (Updated Wed 24th March 6:30am)

5) There are some commercial photos available from Finishline Photographs HERE. (Updated Wed 24th March 10pm)

6) There is a large gallery of photos of the finish line HERE. These were taken by Rose Gowan and can be purchased in large format if you want to. (Updated Sat 27th March 7am)

7) Irene Hartigan of UCC AC has a gallery of 151 photos HERE. (Updated Sun 28th March 7pm)

8) John Hennessy has a gallery of 40 photos HERE. (Updated Wed 31st March)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Results of the Ballycotton 10 Mile Road Race - Sun 21st March 2010...(Updated Mon 22nd Mar 7pm)
Despite the weather forecast for dull conditions, it looks as if the cold front arrived a few hours early and passed over the country around 5am on Sunday morning. By the time the race started, the skies had cleared and it was almost like a summers day at times out along the course...especially in spots where the wind was to your back and you could feel the heat coming up off the road. A few hours later and the rain returned when people were well on the way home. A few hours either side, race day could have been completely different.

As always, it was a superbly run event. If you have been to a lot of races, you begin to notice the small things that make the event run a lot smoother. With the race today, you could see that it went like clockwork and it's no mean feat to get the race started on time with that many runners to control.

It also raises a serious point. If Ballycotton Running Promotions can hold a very successful 10 mile road race with 2000+ runners for €15, how do other race organisers justify charging €40 to €60 for Half-Marathons???
Start of the 2010 Ballycotton '10'

The provisional results are now available. You will notice that there are 2 times.....your clock time and your chip time. Which one do you count?
(For beginners....the clock time is the time from when the start gun went off until you crossed over the finish line. The chip time is the time from when you passed over the mat on the start line to when you crossed over the mat at the finish line)
For me, I'd be inclined to count the clock time. In the Dungarvan 10 mile race, the clock started when the gun went off, not when you passed over some mat. In lots of other races, you always lose some bit of time crossing the start line. Should you take the faster time just because you are using a chip??

I guess it's up to each individual. To see what people think, why not leave a comment by clicking on the link below or take part in the new poll on the top right of the page.

The results with half way chip splits are now available HERE. (Updated Mon 22nd Mar 7pm)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Final post of the Ballycotton 10 week...
In this, the final post of the week, I'll look over a quick checklist and have a look at some other snippets of info.

1) Don't forget your number on Sunday! When you are rushing about on Sunday morning, it's easy to forget. Tip.....put it into your gear bag now! Remember, you should wear it on the front of your singlet/t-shirt. I know you will be wearing the timing chip but they will record your number when you finish as well just to make sure. If it's not clearly visible, you are only holding things up.

2) On the subject of timing chips, don't forget it! You should attach this to your shoe. No time!!

3) Remember, no swapping of race numbers. If you are not going, don't give your number to someone else. You already signed a form to say that you would do this anyway. They depend on a percentage of people not turning up on the day so that the numbers are reasonable. 

4) Try and car pool and get there early. If you have a bike, consider bringing it.

5) No iPods, MP3 players, radios are allowed for insurance reasons.

6) Decide what are you going to do. Get changed in the Marquee and run the 800 metres to the start line or leave your gear in the baggage area by the start. Don't forget a change of warm clothes for after the race.

7) For those of you who are faster than average, stay well out of the way of the slower runners as they finish when you are walking back towards the race HQ. It's their big day as well, don't spoil it for them.

8) They will have tea in the race hq after the race. Expect a bit of a queue though!

9) T-Shirts and Ballycotton '10' gear......don't forget that these are for sale in the race hq before the race. Check out the prices, bring the exact change and avoid leaving money in your gear bag for the duration of the race.

That's it..........enjoy the big day!
Weather forecast for the 2010 Ballycotton '10'...(Updated Sun 9am)
Update.....Good news! It looks as if the weak cold front passed over early this morning. It is cloudy at the moment (9am) but there is sunshine on the way! Conditions should be bright and dry for the race.

First of all, this is what Met Eireann are predicting....

"Rather cloudy Sunday morning with rain extending to eastern areas, but drier, brighter weather following in the west and northwest. However probably staying rather cloudy in midland, eastern and southern areas in the afternoon with further rain at times. Mild with top temperatures of 10 to 14 degrees."

What they are not saying is that a weak cold front will pass over the Sunday morning and it's very difficult to say what the actual weather will be like for the race. It might rain, it might not. There might be short showers or they might be longer.

All you can really say is that....
1) The temperature is likely to be around 12 deg C so it will be milder than recent years.
2) The wind is roughly from the South-West and it probably won't be that strong. The direction and strength may well change as the front passes over.
3) It will probably be cloudy. Wall to wall sunshine is unlikely.

What it will probably mean is that roughly speaking, the wind will be behind the runners for the first half of the race and into their faces for the 2nd half.

In truth, it will be one of those days where you just have to turn up and see how it turns out. It might rain for the duration of the race or it might be bone dry. Hopefully, it will be the latter ;o)
Race strategies for the Ballycotton 10...mainly for 1st timers
The target strategy...If you expect to be doing a sub 70 minute race on Sunday, then you'll already probably know what pace you are likely to be doing. For anyone expecting to run 70 minutes or more, here is the target pace for 10 miles based on your 5 mile race speed.

Your 5 mile race pace // Your target pace in Ballycotton
7 mins per mile //.....7 min 20 sec per mile
8 mins per mile //.....8 min 25 sec per mile
9 mins per mile //.....9 mins 30 sec per mile
10 mins per mile //...10 mins 40 sec per mile

If your pace is in between, then adjust accordingly. The 10 mile pace should give you some idea as to how fast you should be running. Your first mile should be slower due to the crowd but after that, you should stay close to this pace. Don't try to compensate for your slow 1st mile by running a lot faster in the 2nd mile, you'll only get into trouble. Keep at the correct pace and you'll run your fastest time.

The Get Around strategy...This is for the runner who just wants to get around and doesn't care about their time. Every year, there are hundreds of runners like this and most run like this.....They start in the middle of the crowd, they run along with everyone else for the first 2 miles, not really aware that they are actually running way faster than they do normally. They get to about 4 or 5 miles and they find can't keep up this pace and they begin to slow down. From here until the finish line, other runners are constantly passing them. They feel like they are unable to keep up, feel weak and feel awful as a result.The other strategy which is the one that I would suggest is to start near the back of the field. The first 2 miles are slow but that is fine as it gives you a chance to warm up. Once you get to the 4 or 5 mile mark, you'll start passing out all those runners who started way too fast. From here until the finish, you'll be constantly passing people and because you'll feel like you are running strongly, your overall experience will be positive.

Terms & Conditions apply......all of this is based on the condition that you have done enough training to be able to run 10 miles!!
Ballycotton 10 Start and Finish area...
This time, I'll look at the area around the community hall and the start / finish area. First of all, if you want to have a closer look at the map above, just click on it.

So, working from left to right or West to East...

1) The road junction where the old church is. There is a road block here and no traffic is allowed beyond this point. At this spot, you are about 1,000 metres from the start line.

2) About 200 metres after the road block, you will see the school on the right. This is the headquarters for the race and is the hub of all activity. In here, you have the school, community hall and squash courts. In this area, you have....
Parking area for bicycles.....Marquee for mens changing area....Toilets.....Squash courts for womens changing area. In the main building, you have the community hall. This will be the area where the prizegiving and some refreshments (tea & biscuits) will be after the race. Also in the hall, you will have...a help desk if you have any issues with your number or timing chip.....some traders selling Sports gear....and Ballycotton Running Promotion's own shop! In this shop, they will be selling the special Ballycotton 10 t-shirts along with some other Ballycotton '10' merchandise as well

By the way, you don't have to go into the hall. You got your race number for your singlet and the timing chip for your shoe in the post and that is all you need for the race. There is no requirement to go in and register or anything like that.

3) So, back out, turn right and continue for about 700 metres until you can see the start / finish area. Here, the road is blocked and they are only letting elite runners past so that can start at the front of the race. The rest of us mere mortals ;o) must go up the road to the right (see the arrows on the map) and go around to the rear.

4) Up here, just before you drop back down, is the baggage area. They will supply you with a plastic bag and a name tag and you can leave all of your gear here in a supervised area.

5) Down the steps here and you are back out onto the road, now behind the start line.

6) Note that if you turn right and go downhill, there are toilets down on the quayside if you need to avail of them.

7) When you finish the race, you will go back the same route. Back up the steps to collect your gear and just as you leave the baggage area, they will be giving out bananas and Mars bars here. You now return towards the Community Hall staying well in on the left so that you don't impede the slower runners coming in.
So, lets have a closer look at the start...

This is the start of the Ballycotton 10...narrow and packed! Once you get to the start area, you will see that they have it split up into the various estimated finishing times. You should go to your zone early and stay there. If everyone did this, it would be ideal as the faster runners would get away first leaving plenty of space for the runners behind. In reality however, some slow runners go up near the front and it creates havoc as faster runners are trying to get past. The big worry here is that some slow runners will get tripped as people try and pass them out. Imagine tripping and having that lot in the photo above behind you!
All you have to decide next is what time do you get to your start time zone? Get there too late and you could be way back and unable to move forward. Get there too early and you'll be cold and stiff by the time the race starts.
By the way, if your objective is just to finish the race and you don't care about your time, my advice is to start at the very back and let them all run off. This is an excellent place to start for first timers. 

In the next post, I'll look at some race strategies......

Friday, March 19, 2010

Preview of the Ballycotton 10 route... 
This time, we are going to look at the Ballycotton 10 route. The race starts about 800 metres from the Race HQ, right inside in the heart of the village itself. The first mile and a half are slightly downhill with a slight pull back up to the 2 mile mark. The next mile is pretty flat with a water station at the 3 mile mark. The next 4 miles have a few slight drags but these are really short and when you get back to the 7 mile mark, you can avail of the water station again. The next mile is flat and there is another water station at the 8 mile mark . Now, this is where it starts getting interesting! There is no getting away from the fact that the Ballycotton 10 has a tough finish. It is tough and hilly and you are going to lose time on it. If you don't care about what time you will do, then that's fine but if you have a specific target, you will need to have a cushion built up before the 8.5 mile mark. For example, say your target is 80 minutes, you are doing 8 minute miles and your splits are 1m=8m, 2m=16, 3m=24, etc up to hitting the 8 mile mark at 64 minutes. Once you hit the hill at 8.5 miles and start to slow down, you likely to lose about 1 minute by the time you get to the 9 mile mark. The last mile has some drags as well and you could lose another 30 seconds here. So, in the space of 1.5 miles, you will go from a target of 80 minutes to an actual time of 81 minutes 30 seconds.
Hence, the reason why you need a cushion.

The last 1.5 miles in some detail...The red numbers above shown the height above sea level. Around the 8.5 mile mark, the road drops down to almost sea level and then there is a sharp left and a sharp short climb until you have gained about 10 metres in height. The next few hundred metres are a slight drag, gaining height all of the time. After that, the incline eases off until you reach the 20 metre contour just before the 9 mile mark. At that stage, the worst section of the race is over as you will have climbed about 20 metres or 60-70 feet in the space of half a mile.The next few hundred metres are reasonably flat as you pass the old church on the corner and the race HQ and school. There is however still one last drag as you reach the Garda station in the middle of the village, near the 18 m contour above. The next hill is about 300 metres long and you gain about 7 metres in altitude. It peaks just after the main church. Then it's around the last corner and a run of about 150 metres into the finish.

In conclusion...Really, the hill is not that bad but it's just that it comes at a stage in the race when you are likely to be most tired and if you are on schedule, it will eat up those valuable seconds. So, if you have a target, think about building up that cushion before you get to the 8.5 mile mark.

If anyone would like to look at the route, I have also put it up on the MapMyRun website.

In the next post, I'll look at the start in more detail.
Important announcent from the organisers of the Ballycotton '10'...
The following message has just been released by Ballycotton Running Promotions, the organisers of the Ballycotton '10' race

Remember, if you cannot take part in Sunday’s race for whatever reason under NO CIRCUMSTANCES can you give your number to another runner. 
Some people are still under the illusion that they don’t want their number ‘wasted’ and think they are doing someone a favour – you are not doing anything of the sort, especially to us organisers. 
The medical and legal implications of a runner getting into distress wearing a wrong number should be clear to everyone. On the entry form which was signed by each entrant it stated clearly: ‘I also agree not to transfer my race number to another runner’ – this too could pose legal difficulties for the person passing it on. 
Wearing someone else’s number also causes headaches in trying to produce accurate results and can even deny a genuine runner a prize. This year we will have a video recording of the finish specifically to weed out people wearing the incorrect number and anyone caught doing so will be harshly dealt with. 
So, the message is – don’t even think about it. If you know someone who is contemplating doing so, pass on this warning or give us their name anonymously and we will deal with them.  
Running with another runner’s number is dangerous, it’s a nuisance (to put it mildly) and it’s cheating – and we don’t want CHEATS in our race......Ballycotton Running Promotions

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Helper wanted for the 2010 Ballycotton '10'...
As you would expect with any race of this kind with 2000+ runners taking part, there is a huge amount of work going on  behind the scenes. With that in mind, the organisers of the race are looking for people to help out on the day. It might be of interest to someone who is not doing the race for some reason but would still like to be part of the event. The following message is from the organisers...

" We require people to officiate at various points before & during our race on Sunday next (March 21st). Anyone interested must be in Ballycotton at 10am. Meeting point – Marquee changing area at 10.15am
If interested, contact Tommy at 086-2386390 "
Ballycotton 10 - Getting to the race - Car Parks & Buses...As you can see from the map above, they will be using 4 car parks for this year's event. Click on the map to enlarge it. The distances shown are from each car park to the start line. Subtract half a mile for the distance to the race HQ.
Most of the car parks are in fields. Two years ago, the ground was so wet that some (..if not all?) of the fields could not be used. For the last few weeks, it has been very dry despite some heavy rain on Thursday. Hopefully, there is a good chance that they should be ok for next weekend. 

Some basic facts and info....

  • They will have shuttle buses taking runners from the car parks to a road block near the old church, about 300 metres from the school and Race HQ. After the race, the shuttle buses will take the runners back to the car parks. Please note that these car parks are numbered so you could remember which nmber car park you are in so you can catch the correct bus.
  • Note for Ballycotton 10 first timers!! You really need to turn up early for the race. This is not an ordinary race where you can just turn up 30 minutes beforehand. You really have to see it to appreciate the difficulty of getting 2000+ runners into what is basically a Cul-de-Sac. You need to allow time for traffic jams, bus transfers, getting changed, getting warmed up and getting to the start line early enough to get a good position. You should try and get there by say 11:30am and give yourself plenty of time. Note that you cannot drive into Ballycotton! You are not going to get near the place without being stopped by a steward and be directed to the nearest car park. If you miss the last shuttle bus, you're out of the race :o( I remember a few years ago, I went down early and I still got stuck in a half mile tailback going into Cloyne and that was 8 miles from Ballycotton!! I think if I had been later, I'd have missed the race. You have been warned...Get there early
  • Just in case you arrive really early and you did not read the FAQ section..." There will be no parking within one mile of the village and a tow-away truck will be in operation from 10am onwards. " So, use the designated car parks.
  • There will be a one way system in operation in the general area again this year. This really speeds up the traffic when you are leaving the area. Just follow the stewards instructions.
  • If you are one of those people who are going to cycle in from the car parks then you probably have the best option. You don't have to arrive so early and as you'll be one of the first back to the outer car parks, you can beat all the traffic out of the area.
  • By the way, if you are one of those coming down from Dublin on the train, the organisers have a bus to meet the train in Cork at around 11:15am. Please note that the bus is there to collect the runners! If the train is late, it will wait until the train arrives. There is also a bus to take you back to the train station in the afternoon.
So, if there is one thing that I tried to impress on you here is that getting there early really pays off. Give yourself plenty of time, have a look around the race HQ and maybe buy one of those famous Ballycotton 10 t-thirts, get changed, jog up to the start and get a good position for the start.

In the next post, I'll look at the course and do a preview of it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Counting down to the 2010 Ballycotton '10'...
Needless to say, the next big race is the Ballycotton '10' next Sunday and over the next 2 days, all of the posts here will be about this race.

Needless to say, this is NOT the official Ballycotton 10 website ;o)
I may have plenty of info about the race but you should always check the official website for the most up to date information. The Ballycotton website can be found at

Event Programme...
Everyone who is doing the Ballycotton 10 should have received their race pack in a large brown envelope with the following items....
  • Race number for the front of your singlet/t-shirt. Yes, the front. Not on your back, not on your shorts, not on your forehead......on the FRONT of your singlet so that the nice organisers can see your number when you are finishing.
  • A timing chip in a small white envelope. No chip, no time! Tie it onto your shoelaces. If you are running correctly, your shoes should be the closest part of your anatomy to the timing mat on the road. Again, don't put the timing chip in our pocket or anywhere else. Timing chip on your shoes, race number on the front of your vest....not the other way around.
  • The Event Programme booklet. If you have any questions about the race, you should read the Frequently Asked Questions section on page 4 first.
Ballycotton '10' wouldn't be Ballycotton '10' without John Quigley of Eagle AC digging up a few Gigabytes of 'interesting' statistics ;o)

Entries by club....(10 or more)
Club Entries
Midleton AC 104 (2008 = 63, 2009 = 79)
Eagle AC 93 (2008 = 73, 2009 = 73)
Waterford AC 79 (2008 = 46, 2009 = 66)
St. Finbarrs AC 77 (2008 = 47, 2009 = 46)
West Waterford AC 71 (2008 = 87, 2009 = 75)
Kilkenny City Harriers 46 (2009 = 30)
Slaney Olympic AC 41
Mallow AC 38
Gneeveguilla AC 32 (2009 = 13)
Limerick Country Club AC 32
Mullingar Harriers 28
Raheny Shamrock AC 27
West Limerick AC 25 (2009 = 15)
Youghal AC 25
Donore Harriers 24
Athenry AC 21
East Cork AC 21
Bandon AC 20
Thurles Crokes AC 20
Donoughmore AC 17
Rathfarnham-WSAF AC 16
Clonliffe Harriers 15
Grange-Fermoy AC 15
Carrick-on-Suir AC 14
Crusaders AC 13
Leevale AC 13
Rising Sun AC 13
Clonmel AC 12
Ennis Track Club 12
Limerick AC 12
Galtee Runners AC 11
Ballincollig AC 10
Bilboa AC 10
Dundrum AC 10
Sportsworld RC 10

So pride of place goes yet again to Midleton AC! It says a lot about the club when you see how the number of entries have gone from just 63 to 104 in a space of just 2 years.

The other 2 Cork clubs, Eagle AC and St.Finbarrs AC also showed a marked increase in numbers.

From the East, the numbers from West Waterford AC have dropped again which is probably a reflection of the increasing popularity of their own Dungarvan 10 race and no doubt many of those club members see their race as the main event in the Spring. From the East of the Deise, Waterford AC have increased from just 46 to 79 in a space of just 2 years and overtaking their western neighbours for possibly the first time ever.

From the West, Gneeveguilla AC in Kerry have increased their numbers from 13 in 2009 to 32 this year and is a sign that the club is becoming one of the biggest in the Kingdom.

Breakdown by category....
Ignoring the places reserved for elite runners, there is a total entry of 3305 runners. That compares to 3315 in 2009 and 3087 in 2008.

F Senior 586, F35 251, F40 181, F45 103, F50 54, F55 13, F60 5, F65 5, F70 1
That gives a total of 1199 women which is 36.3% of the total. This is an increase on the previous year again. It was 35.1% in 2009 and 33.4% in 2008. 3% in 2 years....Is it showing an increase in the number of women taking up running or is it just a statistical margin of error?

MJ 15, M Senior 1252, M40 368, M45 203, M50 125, M55 84, M60 29, M65 19, M70 7, M75 3, M80 1

That gives a total of 2106 men which is 63.7% of the total. 2009 was 64.9% while 2008 was 66.6%.

Club V Non-Club...
Aprox 61.3% of the entries are from non-club runners while 38.7% are members of AAI registered clubs. I don't have any information from last year regarding this so I don't know if it's up or down. 

Breakdown of non-club by area...
unatt/Cork Count- 489
unatt/Dublin Count - 118
unatt/Midleton Count - 84
unatt/Glanmire Count - 82
unatt/Carrigaline Count - 69
unatt/Limerick Count - 55
unatt/Ballincollig Count - 47
unatt/Carrigtwohill Count - 39
unatt/Kilkenny Count - 34
unatt/Cobh Count - 32

As you expect, the bulk of non-club runners are from Cork. However, two interesting stats pop up here....
1) 118 non-club runners are prepared to travel down from Dublin for a 10 mile road race which shows how popular the event is and...
2) Midleton AC had more club entries than the non-club entries from Midleton! Again, this is a sign that the club is doing a good job of signing up the locals in the area. No doubt, the club chairman Danny McCarthy is busy trying to track down those 84 individuals who slipped through the net this year ;o)

........Thanks to John Quigley of Eagle AC and Paudie Birmingham of Mallow AC for all the work in compiling those statistics.

For those of you doing the Ballycotton 10 for the first time, now is the time to take it easy. The worst thing you can do now is to do a long /hard run between now and Sunday. Whatever your fitness level is at now, that's it. You can't improve it but you can make yourself too tired. Take it easy for the next few days and save your energy for Sunday.

Car Parking and Pooling...
The thing about Ballycotton is that it is a bit of a cul-de-sac and it can a real headache getting all the runners and spectators into this small area and back out again. This year, they have 3 car parks and they will use a 'Park & Ride' system with buses to take people into the village. The fewer cars that turn up, the easier it will be. Perhaps you might consider car pooling? Do you know someone you could share a car with? Consider it...

Don't forget that they also have an area for bicycles next to the marquee in the village. If you want to get away early, just cycle from the car park into the village and back out again after the finish. Almost certainly the fastest way to get away on the day.

By the way, is there anyone stuck for a lift down to Ballycotton on Sunday? Maybe you would like to carpool with someone? Send me an e-mail with your details or leave a comment and I'll put the request up here.

For anyone coming down from Dublin or from further afield, you may have booked into a local B&B, hotel or guest house already. If you can't get something close to Ballycotton or want something a bit closer to Cork City, there is plenty of accommodation in Midleton which is about 20 mins from Ballycotton and Cork City by car. The B&B Oatencake Lodge currently has vacancies so you can visit their website if you need someplace to stay.

Over the next few posts, I'll look at the car parking, details about the course and the weather forecast.