Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Friday, April 16, 2010

Preview of the Great Island Run (10 Miles) - Sun 18th Apr 2010...(Updated Sat 17th 1pm)
We have several new races on the local road race calendar this year and this one probably has created the biggest buzz. There are no shortage of 5km / 4 mile / 5 mile races but there are relatively few 10 milers about. As you can see from the numbers attending the Mallow '10' and Ballycotton '10', there is something special about a 10 mile race. With the shorter races, it's all about speed. With 10 milers, the pace is all important.

So what is it?.......It is basically a 10 mile road race....with an entry fee of €15.......around Great Island in Cork Harbour......with all proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society.

How many will be there?........It's really hard to know. The word is that they have 250 pre-entries already. A lot more are likely to enter on the day so I'm kind of guessing that a figure of 400-500 might turn out? It would be very disappointing if it were a lot less.

There are several factors suggesting a large turnout...
1) A new course.......a lot of people will be curious to see what it's like
2) It's for charity
3) 10 miles is a challenge. Most people will travel some distance for a 10 miler whereas they won't for a 5k.
4) There's talk that it's a fast course....more later.

Where to go?.......
The race HQ is the Great Island Community Centre which is located up high in the town of Cobh. It is located very close to the start line for the race so if you look below at the map of the course then you'll get a good idea of where it is. They will have areas for car parking so follow the stewards instructions on the day.

More info.....
The race starts at 11am and they want all runners to be at the start line around 10:40am. How realistic that is I don't know? What is realistic however is that the entry desk will probably be very very busy. Considering the number of people who will enter on the day then this is one race where you really should try to be early. Getting there between 9:30am and 10am certainly would be an advantage.

Preview of the Course.......
I've heard some people say that this is a 'fast' course. At a basic level, you start up high above the town and you finish near sea level so that has to be fast? Perhaps.

I ran the course recently so I got a good feel for what it's like.

Start to Mile 2.....You start near the Centre and you run East. At a crossroads, you take a left and you finish the 1st mile on a steep downhill section. A very fast first mile. Continue on down to the T junction, right and along the road down to Cuskinny. There is a slight fall all the way until just short of the 2 mile mark. Overall, a very fast first 2 miles. However, you're also near sea level. You've just lost all of your height advantage and you still have 8 miles to go.

Mile 2 to 3.....This course has 2 tough hills. If you were out for a training run, you might take them in your stride. At race pace however, it's a different story. So you start at mile 2 and climb a steep hill which will leave you panting if you are running at any kind of pace. Top of the hill and you turn off right. This is a lovely quiet section of road with loads of trees. The running is easy here as you recover from that hill.

Mile 3 to 4.....It starts nice enough. Loads of trees, quiet road...what could go wrong? Then the incline begins to increase a bit and you might notice the rev counter climbing. Up ahead is the T-junction and somewhere around here is the first water station.
Get to the T-junction....turn left....look....and then leave out several expletives! The 2nd thing you will do is to question the sanity of anyone who said that this was a fast course. The 3rd thing you do is try and run up this short but nasty hill. If you're not looking for the oxygen mask by the time you hit the top then you must have a few Kenyans in your family tree. On through the quiet village of Ballymore. I could say you'll enjoy the surroundings but you may well be on your hands and knees at this stage.

Mile 4 to 6.....There is some good running here. A few minor humps and bumps but nothing much. This is a nice quiet road which is up high and there are some nice views of the surrounding countryside. At the end near mile 6 is the 2nd water station.

Mile 6 to 8....This is another fast 2 mile stretch. Mile 6 starts on what is usually a very busy road. I'm not sure if the road is closed or not but if not (Update...see below), I hope they have plenty of stewards here. There is a slight fall of ground down to the junction and then right onto the Tay Road. This should be a fast enough section until you hit the T-junction around the 8 mile mark where you'll find the 3rd water station.

Mile 8 to 10.....You are now on the main road to Cobh and anyone who does the Cork BHAA 'Cork to Cobh' race every year should be familiar with this last section. It starts dead flat and as you get closer to 9 miles, there is a slight incline up to the railway bridge. It's hard to call it a hill when you consider the other two 'beauties' that you tackled earlier.
Onwards towards Cobh but a slight change after 9 miles. You'll be taking a slight diversion right and using a flatter and quieter road into the town. Anyone who has ran the old 'Streets of Cobh' 5 k race will be familiar with this section. Down past the train station and on towards the finish in the middle of the town.

Overall........I suspect that it's probably not the fastest of courses but the only way to be sure is to run it. At the end of the day, it's new, the entry fee is modest, the course is probably the best you could get on Great Island and it's for a worthwhile charity. For those reasons alone, it's worth doing.

Just get there early!

Update......Sat 17th 1pm
1) The organisers will have an extra water station if the conditions are very hot.
2) The Gardai are closing the roads on a sweeping system so as the first runner is coming to a junction a squad /bike will be 5 to 10 mins ahead notifying the stewards

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