Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Preview of the 'Cheetah Run' 4 mile road race - Thurs 20th May 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Preview of the 'Cheetah Run' 4 mile road race - Thurs 20th May 2010

This will be the 2nd year of this unique race in Fota Wildlife Park in Cork. While most races take place on country roads or around towns, this is the only race in the country in a wildlife park which is a stunning backdrop.

The basics........Last year, they got 662 entrants for this race and it was pretty crowded. This resulted in large queues at the entry desks which stretched back into the car park. Considering that, you should really try and get there as early as possible. Enter early and have a wander around the park while you wait for the start. It's a unique location so you may as well arrive early and enjoy it.

1) The entry fee is €10 and part of that goes towards some renovation work in the park.
2) The race starts at 8pm with last entries at 7:40pm. Again, try and arrive a LOT earlier.
3) If you are not sure where Fota Wildlife Park is then check out the official website for directions.
4) Headphones are banned!
5) ALL entrants must be 16 years or older. This is an AAI race over an accurate 4 mile course, not a fun run.
6) Spectators can only gain access to the park if they accompany a runner with an entry number.
7) There are limited changing facilities with no showers available.
Typical width of road within the park...

The course.......Please note that it has changed slightly from last year. It still starts up by the Cheetah enclosure but this year it heads off in the opposite direction. There is section of road in the shape of a small loop where the 2.2 mile mark and the 1 mile mark meet. It is hoped that the vast majority of runners will have passed the 1 mile mark by the time the leaders of the race come around.

Other than that...the first mile should be very fast with some downhill running. The second mile starts with a slight drop, a short section on the public road outside and a bit of a pull when you re-enter the estate. The 3rd mile is flat. The 4th and final mile starts with a hill up past the bison (this was near the start last year), then it's past the giraffe and cheetah enclosures and on to the finish by the Sea Eagles.

Refreshments afterwards in the restaurant while the prize giving will be at the park entrance.

The recently arrived Howler Monkeys give their opinion 
on John Quigley's running technique...'s a unique race in the calendar in a really nice location. The course is accurately measured but the roads within the park are narrow so congestion might be a problem especially if you are running 7-9 minute/mile pace. It's probably best to forget about PB's and enjoy the race for what it is.

More info with pictures on the Eagle AC website

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