Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Preview of the Cork BHAA 'Cork to Cobh' 15 Mile road race - Sun 3rd Oct 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Preview of the Cork BHAA 'Cork to Cobh' 15 Mile road race - Sun 3rd Oct 2010

At last, one of the highlights on the Cork road racing calendar....the annual Cork BHAA Cork to Cobh 15 mile road race. Last year, 800 runners took part and when you consider that it is a 15 mile road race, that's an exceptional number. In terms of numbers actually running, this is the 3rd largest event in Cork after the Cork City Marathon and the Ballycotton 10.

What's the attraction?.........For some, it's at just the right time....3 weeks before the Dublin Marathon and a great way to see what condition you are in. For others, it's the novelty.....being able to start a race in Cork City and end up in Cobh, way out in the middle of Cork harbour. It is certainly the only time you can run on the Cork to Cobh road safely. This is a race organized by runners for runners and only costs €20 to enter on the day...........while the pre-entry fee was a snip at €10 and that includes a t-shirt! So, on with the preview...

How to enter.......If you have pre-entered then you should have got your race number in the post by now. If you are new to the running scene then all you have to do is to turn up at the start, no need to go to the hotel unless of course you need to get a gear bag taken to Cobh for you.

If you need to enter then you should go to the Montenotte Hotel probably well before 9am. Just pay the €20 and take your number. Don't worry about the race t-shirt, you'll get that in Cobh. If you have a gear bag then look for the desk giving out tags and put your bag in the back of the race van.

The start...........Note that the start has moved!! It is no longer on Summerhill North but down on the Lower Road outside St.Patrick's church. In fact, the start is moving back to it's old location. Keep this in mind if you need to go to the hotel. It's about 800 metres from the hotel to the start so allow plenty of time!

Course...Starting at St.Patricks Church, we run past the railway station and towards the Dunkettle roundabout. From here, there is a change. Last year, we ran inside the hard shoulder for about a mile until the slip for Little Island. This year, we will be taking a left and onto the old road which passes Glounthaune church.

Then onwards towards the main roundabout before Carrigtwohill and then take the bridge over the main road and head towards Fota, Belvelly bridge and on into Cobh. The finish is close to the main square in the centre of Cobh. Overall, there are a few small hills but nothing major, just one small pull near the 12 mile mark and another smaller one before 14 miles.

A big factor on this course can be the wind. You are basically running East for 8 miles and then South for another 6 miles before turning East again for the last mile. I remember running this many years ago when it was wet and there was a very strong Southerly wind. Miles 1 to 8 were fine but as soon as we turned South, the very wet t-shirt that I was wearing was pressed against my chest and I could really begin to feel the body temperature dropping ( the way, you should never wear a cotton t-shirt in a race! Wear a singlet and/or a thermal vest). So, watch the weather forecast closer to next weekend and keep an eye on the wind direction.

Race Options...For those of you doing the Dublin Marathon, your choice you treat Cork to Cobh as a training run or do you race it like you would a half marathon??? Some have told me that it is too close to the Marathon to race (3 weeks)....other have said it's not. What to do??? My opinion is that the Cork to Cobh race is an ideal opportunity to test out your Marathon pace. If you have a target in the Marathon, you should have a pace in mind. Say your target is 3:30 in the Marathon. That's 8 minute/mile pace. Maybe you would like a little bit of cushion to fall back on so say 7:50 per mile...that's your Marathon pace. Do a 1-2 mile warm up on Sunday and then run to Cobh at your Marathon pace. If you get to Cobh exhausted, then you need to revise your Marathon pace. If you can run the 15 miles to Cobh and you feel like you could carry on ok, then surely that's a good sign for the Marathon. Only another 11 miles to go!! ;o)
If 15 miles is the maximum distance you can run then pace yourself. Many people have ran this race before, felt great at Fota/Belvelley Bridge around the 10 mile mark and be completely exhausted by the time they reach Cobh. Keep something in the tank...take it easy until the 10 mile mark and once you cross over the bridge and onto the island, you can push for home.
The finish and afters......As in previous years, the finish is in the same spot but the location for the refreshments / prizegiving / bag collection has changed. It has always been at the scount hall behind the Catherderal. This year, it's in the community hall.
From the finish line, walk under the arch and up the hill past the multicoloured Deck of Cards houses. At the top, turn right and you will come to a crossroads. In previous years, you would have walked straight accross and into the scout hall. This year, take a left and continue up the hill. The Community Hall is up there on the left.
Other issues....
No MP3 players allowed!!!.........Now this is important. This is one busy road and it will NOT be closed for the race. It's not so bad for the first few miles when we are all bunched together and there is a hard shoulder to run in. But, it's a different story when you are passing Fota and get onto Great Island itself. There is no hard shoulder, the road is narrow enough and the field will have thinned out by then. You really need to be able to hear what's going on around you for this race. If you are thinking about wearing them, do everyone a favour....leave them at home.
Transport......Options - You probably have a few options in terms of transport...

1) Two cars...take 2 cars to Cobh, leave one in Cobh and drive up to Cork
2) Train...The train will leave the train station in Cobh for Cork City at 12:30, 1:30, 3:00 and 4:30 pm depending on long you want to stay around after the race. The fee is €4.15. Correction....Note that the first train in the morning from Cobh back up to Cork is leaving at 8:30am and arriving at 8:54am. Probably only an option if you can leave your gear in a car near the start.

Water Stations....They will have a number of water stations spaced out along the course.....supposedly near the 3.5, 7 and 13 mile marks.

...and finally - If you want to have a closer look at the course, click on this LINK


Anonymous said...

Hiya would just to let you know that on the Cork to Cobh race at the last water stop (the ferry). There will be children with containers which will contain jelly beans as an energy boost for anyone who would like some.

Anonymous said...

Any details where the water stations will be located in relation to mile markers?

Anonymous said...

The very best of luck to everyone running this race this year, it was my first long run last year and I loved every minute of it. Gutted I am going to miss out on it this year. Really well organised race and the best of luck to all involved.

Anonymous said...

Irish rail have time tables printed as first train from Cobh to Cork on Sundays is 8.30am, arriving in Cork 8.54am.

Anonymous said...

Dreading it!!!

Anonymous said...

Irish rail time tables are really only rough guidelines. All times are +- 20min. They are a joke.

Anonymous said...

Hi fellow athletes.I can understand the safety concerns relating to the use of headphones but as someone who uses them regularly over long country roads i would miss the "boost" they give me on those challenging runs.
Can one use one's discretion in this regard? :)

John Desmond said...

It states very clearly on the info sheet handed out for this race that 'headphones are forbidden'.

Anyone wearing headphones will probably have their names deleted from the race results.

This isn't a run along a quiet country road. There will be traffic on this road and it's narrow in places. It's safe as long as you are aware of what is going on around you.

This really is one race where headphones shouldn't be worn. Keep them for the quiet backroads.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info John. Now I know where the start is we'll be going straight to St Patrick's church as we are pre-entered and don't need to drop bags at Montenotte. There's no mention of start area nor drink stations on BHAA website or entry forms.
Re. other comments on headphones I can understand the organisers banning them as they have to take road safety in to account and some people are totally oblivious to their surroundings. Last week it was in the UK news about ipods, phones etc contributing to road deaths whether used by drivers or pedestrians.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the info, reading it on Saturday evening convinced me to give it a go and am certainly glad I did.