Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: 1st leg of the 2010 Cork City Marathon Relay

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

1st leg of the 2010 Cork City Marathon Relay

Just to put this leg into perspective, there are 5 stages in the Cork City Marathon Relay event. Changes have been made to the course this year and each leg of the Relay event is more or less the same length....roughly 4.5 to 5.8 miles in length.

The Relay runners will start at 9AM on Patrick's Street along with all of the Marathon runners.

Course...Leg 1
Mile 1.
It starts on Patricks Street, turns into the Grand Parade, then the South Mall, into Parnell Place and then left along the Quay's. Just as you pass Patricks Bridge, you see the 1 mile mark, a very flat and easy first mile.

Mile 2.You stay on the quays until Shandon Bridge, cross the river and turn right onto Popes Quay. Past the church, John Buckley Sports and then left onto Leitrim Street and Murphys Brewery. The road should have barricades in the middle here as you'll be returning back down on the other side shortly. If perhaps you're not running so fast, you might even see some of the faster runners returning. Soon, just where you turn off for the Watercourse road, you'll see the 2 mile mark, another flat and easy mile.

Mile 3.
So, on to the Watercourse Road, left at the next junction followed by an immediate right onto Great William O'Brien Street. Carry on until you need to do a sharp turn just after the church. There was a great band here last year playing African drum music which really added to the occasion. So, past the church again, onto the Watercourse Road and head back towards the City Centre. Now there is a slight change in the course. See map below.....runners are approaching from the top of the picture.....the old route is yellow, the new route is in blue.....

At the N20/New Mallow Road to Watercourse Road junction, runners will turn left to complete a small loop to add a little extra to the course to make it accurate. After that, it's on towards the 3 mile mark, not too far from the 2 mile mark on the other side of the road. Overall, a pretty flat mile.
Near the 3 mile mark, there should be a water station. The question is should you drink this early in a Marathon? If you are doing the 1st leg of the relay, you are going to be finished after 3 more miles anyway so what's the point. If you are doing the Marathon, drink too much now and you'll only end up having to take a 'pit stop' later on. Personally, I'd be inclined to give it a skip.

Mile 4.Back down to the quays as you see some of the slower runners on the other side head towards the 2 mile mark. Then left onto Patricks Quay and then onto Horgans Quay as you follow the River Lee through the City. Where the quay is open on the right for ships, you'll soon come to the 4 mile mark. A very flat and easy mile.
Somewhere around the 4 mile mark, you should see another water station. At this stage, it's still a bit early to be taking on too much water but you should have been running long enough at this stage that you will be starting to sweat and losing liquids. Drink or not drink...your call. Personally, I'd be inclined to hold off until the 6 mile mark and get a bottle there.

Mile 5.
Back to the 5th mile. Continue along Horgans Quay until the end. Then left and then right onto the Lower Glanmire Road. Here as you run alongside the river, you'll see the Marina and Pairc Ui Chaoimh on the other side. A bit before the skew bridge, you'll see the 5 mile mark. Another flat and easy mile.

There is a slight climb up to the skew bridge and a slight fall after it and very soon, you see the mass of Relay runners eagerly looking for the approach of their running partners. If you are doing the full Marathon, this will be the first of 4 Relay changeovers stages that you'll run through and you'll see why the Relay event generates so much excitement!

That's it, roughly 5.2 miles and a pretty flat and easy leg. Now, only 20.8 miles to go....!!

If you would like to examine this leg in more detail, I have put it up on the
MapMyRun website. Just use the MAP view and the +/- buttons to zoon in and out.
Later, I'll look at the 2nd leg.


Anonymous said...

One of the most exciting things about the marathon is your buildup. Great advise also. Without a doubt, the best running website on the net!!

Unknown said...

Hi, would you say that this is the easiest leg for someone doing their first marathon? Really comforting to see your play by play commentary as I'm a bit stressed about doing a relay!

John Desmond said...

The first leg is probably one of the easiest. You have the buzz of starting in Patricks Street with the crowds and it's pretty flat. Just make sure you don't start too fast and you'll be fine.