Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Looking ahead to the start of the Cork City Half-Marathon...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Looking ahead to the start of the Cork City Half-Marathon...

This will be the first time that a Half-Marathon event has been included in the Cork City Marathon. With a limit this year of 1,000 runners, it was sold out back in April. While the full Marathon and Relay event will start at 9am on Patrick's Street in the centre of Cork City, the Half-Marathon will start about 6 kms to the east in Mahon at 11:30am.

The map above shows the route of the Half-Marathon. From mile 2 onwards, it joins the Marathon route so we'll have a look at those sections in later posts.

From the City Hall, there will be a free bus service taking relay and Half-Marathon runners to the CSO office in Mahon. See map below...(Half in Pink, Full in Green)
From here, it is a short walk to the holding area which is likely to be at the end of the Skehard Road. This will keep the Marathon route free until the runners are moved out to the start of the Half which is just around the corner.
Now, this is roughly the 10.5 mile mark in the Marathon so considering that the Half starts 2.5 hours later, anyone doing on average 14.2 min/mile or faster should have passed....(6h 14m Marathon).
This is the start of the Half-Marathon.....nice wide road. With less than 1,000 runners present, there shouldn't be any major delay in getting over the line at the start.
You then run down the road a few hundred metres, through what should be by then a pretty deserted Relay Changeover point, then take a right head towards Blackrock Castle.

Just before the Castle, the course splits. The Full Marathon and Relay runners turn off right onto the walkway and run alongside the river. The Half-Marathon runners stay on the road and run up a short hill past the Castle.

From what I understand, the split will be well signposted. Needless to say, you can imagine what it might be like if the Half started say an hour earlier......this road would be full of runners trying to decide which route to take.......and you can be sure that some would end up going the wrong way.
For the Half-Marathon runners, once they pass Blackrock Castle they run downhill slightly before tackling this short climb which is about 300 metres long. After that, it's down into Blackrock village, right onto the Marina.....


....and then dead flat for the next mile. You will rejoin the Marathon route around the 2 mile mark.

Acknowledgement......with thanks to John Quigley of Eagle AC who was involved in the accurate measuring of the course and provided background information for this post.

21 comments:

John Desmond said...

ok....moving some comments here as we were waiting for the subject to come up again....

Anonymous said...
I feel the time for the start of the half is too late.We will be running in the hottest part of the day.Seeing that relay runners will be passing marathon runners, I dont think an earlier start would have caused a problem

10/5/11 7:30 AM
Anonymous said...
I totally agree with previous. It is a bit late if its a good day.
Also if it started and ran for a few miles before joining the marathon then it would all have settled down. What they are attempting to do will cause chaos at the split area near Blackrock Castle. The strung out marathon runners will be lost in the half marathon group as they will still be in a big pack.

10/5/11 7:57 AM
RICH said...
The timings are adjusted so that the winner of the half marathon will not be across the line before the winner of the marathon. In this case, the marathon winner will just be finished by the time the half starts. Perhaps a bit late for the half to start. Its a balance between starting the full too early, and the half too late, together with predicted bottleneck points etc. Given the courses, there isn't much wriggle room. Sure we'll see what happens in 4 weeks....

10/5/11 8:58 AM
Anonymous said...
I fully agree with comment #1, why leave it so late, if it is a day like 2 years ago then temperature could be a big issue. CCM is strung out from about mile 4, as the numbers running are small (in relative terms), so why have the half merging so late, also from a point of view of pacing, I think it would benefit people looking for a 3-4:00hr time to have more company, it gets very lonely from Model farm road on. Unless it is to avoid confusion at the finish line? will they have 3 different chutes

Anonymous said...

Doin the marathon next week and have t say the half seems to be well thought out. I think it has to be started later bacause the marathon winner obviously needs to cross the line 1st. The only complaint that I have is that every year the start line gets seriously congested because of the volume of relay runners and it can be difficult to find your pacer if you want to follow one. They should think about staggering the start of the marathon & relay as well for next year.

Derek said...

I'm pulling up a chair for this one. Let the discussion begin. :-)

Anonymous said...

Cliffs of Moher Race cancels because of a lack of interest, while Cork can afford to turn away hundreds of potential half marathon people!
i met at least 10 in Ballyandreen last thursday night who would have run if they could have got in.
Why turn people away?
Ballycotton with 1 road in and out of the village can handle almost 3000 while the city of Cork can't cater for more than a 1000!
Doesn't make sense to me.

John Desmond said...

I would imagine the limit is because it is the 1st year. It probably makes sense to try 1000...see how it works and learn lessons from it.

Especially when the faster Half-Marathon runners will catch a lot of Marathon runners....may cause problems at the later relay changeovers and feed stations and they are all sharing the same finish.

Kate said...

As a petrified marathon virgin l wish we were all together, l have alot of friends doing the half and would loved to have tried to pace myself with them. I don't see the need to separate everyone. I will now have to annoy seasoned marathon runners with random chat in a bid to make it back to Patricks St in one piece!

Anonymous said...

Don't really see the point in having 2 different mass starts - relay+marathon and then a separate one for the half marathon.

This just leads to a lot of messing about at the finish.

Cork are building a really nice event - but you know who is coming to the wall - the marathon runners - the 26.2 marathon runners.

What about those who are running their first marathon? Completing their first marathon? Or completing their marathon after injury, family issues, ill-health, in memory of a loved one etc? Well they end up getting swamped at the end of the race - their achievement usually lost in relay runners "out-sprinting" them at the end. This will be increased now this year as the half marathon catches probably the bulk of the marathon field.

It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside to see the elite guys - first 10 or so in the marathon catching and over-taking relay teams at the end. The "Cork Marathon" should not be forgotten.

Start everything at the same time - it can be done - lots of cities do it. Have separate channels at the end - give each race it's chance to be separate from each other.

And before I get told off - for many it is a great achievement to run a leg of the relay or run/walk/jog the half... but I think we can all agree that a little extra applause is not unfairly due to those who do the full.

By crowding out the full - I can see the half marathon and relay taking over - where the marathon as an event becomes unsustainable for the organisers and some confused mixed race for the spectators.

Anonymous said...

As usual John excellent insight into the start of the Half.... its the next section I am (not) looking forward to :)

Personally I think this 'Half' event is an excellent addition, I only started running myself late last year and this has been my target to keep me going through the training runs. It may not have the prestige attached to it the same way the full marathon would (nor should it as the full is a great achievement), but the sense of achievement at crossing the finishing line on Monday for me will be every bit every bit as satifying. Who knows I may even be able to train on to complete the full next year.

Good luck to everyone taking part, fast or slow, elite or 'fun' runner, full, half or relay.

Anonymous said...

Hi,was wondering if there are pacers for half marathon

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what times the buses leave the City Hall?
Should all 5 runners of the relay get the early buses before 9? Would getting to the City Hall for 10 for a half marathon runner be early enough or too early?

Is there a set bus schedule I can download?

John Desmond said...

Pacers.....just to confirm that there are no pacers for the Half-Marathon.

Anonymous said...

In response to anonymous that number of people love to run the half. I have two registered entries for myself and wife that unfortunately cant run. I run most cork races so not just one of these people that couldn't be bothered. Anyhow couldn't find any facility to transfer or cancel so that someone wanting to do it could. Think maybe for future they should look at this

Anonymous said...

They were recently refunding people that had to pull out of the half marathon as their was a waiting list for people wanting to do it. I see its gone off the website now but maybe if you rang them you might be able to get refunded.

Does anyone know where do we leave our baggage on race day?

John Desmond said...

Just to confirm that until recently anyway, there was a waiting list of people wanting to run the Half....(don't bother trying to get on this list as it is full already)...however, they were giving people that couldn't run a refund (minus credit card costs) and giving that place to someone on the waiting list.

If you don't think you can run the half then you should ring the Marathon office.

John Desmond said...

Update....I have just heard that the Half-Marathon waiting list has been filled as of last weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hi John was just wondering if there will be a baggage area for half marathoners? Do we go ready to run to Mahon or is there any baggage facility?
Also I think the temperature wont be as high as Saturday ( thank God) and hopefully the course will be alot friendlier than Bandon!

John Desmond said...

I'd say all the luggage facilties areas will be in town near the finish. Just get changed and hop on the bus.

CHANGING Facilities:
On race day, the City Hall and the Millennium Hall will be available for changing and leaving your bag for later collection. All bags must have a label (available in the halls) with your race number clearly written on it. Please do not leave valuables in the halls.

John Desmond said...

Water Stations...for the Half Marathon Runners (mile markers for full Marathon)...

WATER STATIONS:
All water stations will have 250ml bottles of H2O Kidz water. In the event of warm weather, additional ‘sub-stations’ will be included along the course.

The main stations are as follows:

Marina, Lee Rowing Club (c. 15.5 miles)
Curragh Road (c. 17 miles)
The Lough (c. 19 miles)
Model Farm Road (c. 20 miles)
Inchigaggin Lane (c. 23 miles)
Mardyke, at Mardyke Bridge (c. 25 miles)
Finish Line: water & Fair Trade bananas

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for posting this map. I'm really looking forward to Monday. This will be my first 1/2 marathon. Would love to do the full next year!

Ger said...

Any advice on how to get to the city hall for the buses to the start of the half if town is closed tomorrow morning?
Thanks
Ger

John Desmond said...

You should still be able to get into the city tomorrow. A good option is to use the Black Ash Park & Ride...Top right of this page...click HOME....then scroll down until you see a picture of a bus.....details in that post.