Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Cork County Athletics Board issue statement regarding the Bay Run and other races...
As many of you will have noticed, the previous post which was an article by David O'Dwyer regarding the price of races has attracted a good few comments. In the meantime, the Cork County Athletics Board have issued the following statement regarding commercial races.....

March 31 – County Board Notice regarding The Bay Run and other races without AAI permits
The Bay Run Half Marathon (Glengarriff to Bantry) takes place on May 2nd 2010.  This race does NOT have an Athletics Ireland permit.  Cork County Board was not approached directly or indirectly via a Cork club regarding this event.  The Board is requesting that all Cork clubs advise their athletes not to support or participate in this event or any other athletics event that does not have a permit from Athletics Ireland.

Organisers of road races and athletic events (Open Sports etc.) in Cork must apply for an Athletics Ireland permit at least 4 months in advance via the Cork County Board. Permit application forms are available by contacting the Secretary at

Noreen Murphy
Cork County Athletics Board


Unknown said...

I am curious about the requirements for having AAI permits for a race. What does this permit do for a race organiser? (apart from looking officious of course) Is this a money making scam by AAI. If I apply for a permit, is there an "admin fee" also? The permit does not guarantee quality of organisation, so what does it mean? Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the County Board should have advised against supporting this date before the closing date for entries!

Thomas said...

The Board are free to request whatever they want, but it will be a cold day in hell before I let their petty political games dictate my racing schedule (P.S. and I'm not even doing the Bay run, but it sure has nothing to do with anyone in the AAI)

Thomas said...

Of course I should have checked today's date first before letting off steam ....

Donal O'Donoghue said...

This is quite interesting, but I'd like to point out a couple of things :-

I ran the Bay Run last year, and found it to be a very professionally organized event, exceeding the standards of many club events.

Entries closed on 31 March. ie Yesterday. If the AAI really wants to discourage club members from running, they should have clearly said so, as soon as the race was lauched -- as far back as December 2010.

Finally, many club races are published on flyers, web-sites, press-releases, etc, without mentioning the usual "AAI Permit Granted", so one really cannot be sure whether a permit exists. Perhaps the AAI should maintain a web-page showing which races have been granted permits ???

John Quigley said...

I'll try to answer some of the comments to date. Some of the responses also apply to other posts.

Rich: Any race run under the rules and auspices of the AAI must have an AAI permit. If a race does not have a permit, then AAI members are (in theory) precluded from competing.
Money making scam? Hardly - permit application costs a Club €32.50. I don't think anyone is going to get rich from that. I'm not sure, but I think a 3rd party permit application, which must be done thro' a club, costs twice that, again hardly earth shattering. From the club's point of view, the main return for that is that the event is insured under the AAI policy.

Anonymous (post #2) Yes I fully agree. To date the AAI as a whole has been remiss in looking after their own turf. You can't realistically expect people not to run, having paid a high entry fee.

Thomas: While it appears, on the face of it, as simply a permit/no permit 'ho-ha', there is more to the matter. Commercial races mave been mushrooming up all over the place in the last year or so, charging 'an arm and a leg' entry fee and cleaning up, with massive profits - one high profile commercial race, last year, apparently cleared between €100,000 and €200,000 profit for the company involved. These companies rely on unpaid volunteers to garner these profits. The vast majority of these volunteers don't realise that they are helping someone else line their own pockets.

Sorry, I know it's April 1st, but the joke is on those paying high prices for races.

I've been trying for the past few years to get the AAI to formualate a decent calendar, to no avail. They change their own event dates at short notice - remember that Ballycotton and eagle both had to change date on account of this. Imho, National AAI have displayed an arrogant careless attitude to road running and may now pay the price, with many of these commercial races displacing club races.

Wrt your suggestion of the AAI listing permit status on their website, I believe that this is going to happen, in Cork at least. A bit late, but at least it's something.

The real debate behind all this is the amount of money being taken out of the sport by these commercials. In the past few weeks there have been posts on this blog lamenting the rise in entry fees by €1 or €2, while reamining about €10. These low cost races plough all their proceeds back into the sport, yet many people are happy to pay huge entries to people who are simply profiteering at athletes expense - yet people are queueing up in response to the marketing hype.

The question is how can people know if a race a) has an AAI permit?
b) is orgainised by a commercial company for profit?

a) is in the AAI's own hands. If they don't list races with permits, then we're operating in the dark.

b) Commercial companies are required, by both Irish and EU law, to list the following on their websites:
(a) the name and legal form of the company;
(b) the company’s place of registration and its registration number;
(c) the address of the company’s registered office;

Similar data is required for documents.

Many of the commercial race websites do not carry this info, clearly, imho, in an attempt to conceal the fact that they're intent on making a profit.

So...what do you want? An honest race rune by athletes, for athletes. Or, a race run by people who answer to nobody in the sporting world and take home loads of loot at our expense?

The choice is ours.

Anonymous said...

I wish to make it clear from the start that I am against the commercial races.. I have never run in one and never intend to but I don't agree either with the county board 'request'

If an AAI club organises a race then yes, they need a permit from the AAI. Non AAI organisations (such as the BHAA) obviously do not need an AAI permit.

High handed statements like this from the county board are not the way to proceed.
"The Board is requesting that all Cork clubs advise their athletes not to support or participate in this event or any other athletics event that does not have a permit from Athletics Ireland"

Terms like "any other athletics event that does not have a permit from athletics Ireland" would seem to include even BHAA events, and what will they do if club runners ignore their 'request'? suspend individual runners??... maybe the bad old days are not that far away.

As a club member myself if I am 'advised' to only run in AAI permit races then my club (and the AAI) will have one less member.

The AAI has a lot of organisational problems it would need to address before it starts getting worked up about road race permits.

Anonymous said...

I would worry that this may stop local towns and councils from putting on a funrun or charity fundraiser - it could make organising runs seem like an AAI controlled closed shop. By all means I think price comparisons should be highlighted and club runs should be supported but i'm not sure blanket statements like this from AAI affiliated groups sends the right message.

Anonymous said...

Could it not also be argued that these professionally run events have attracted many new people to the sport of running in the last few years and provides them an outlet to enjoy their sport. Whereas previously they would not have considered joining an athletics club having experienced one of these events will now consider it or else join in other club organised races therefore providing a trickle down effect to all clubs and the sport in general?

Finally John, if these events are "apparently" making such sums and clearly there is a market and appetite for such events and from my experience such town support for them, have the athletics clubs not missed the opporuntity, with such monies available this would run expense of the club for the year or perhaps the case is that there are large expenses with putting on such events and "apparent" guesses of the "profits" might be very wide of the mark.

These events are here to stay so best have an open discussion with them and see how it can be mutually beneficial rather than start an 'us versus them' siege mentality and lets have the sport of running be the winner.

Anonymous said...

If a road-race is run in conjunction with a AAI recognised athletics club then of course it makes sense to run races uner AAI rules with an AAI permit.
Other races fun/charity/whatever are absolutely none of the AAI's business.
All I understood from the ridiculous AAI statement was ill advised/timed sour grapes...
No, I am not running the Bay Run, nor am I a member of an Athletic Club. I am a fun runner (If that's still allowed in Ireland).