Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Race notice...Cork BHAA PTAA 5k - Wed 31st Aug 2011

The next Cork BHAA race is the PTAA 5k in Togher at 7:30pm. Registration is at St.Finbarrs GAA grounds. The course is around the local housing estates and is reasonably flat. Definitely not the most scenic of courses but handy to get to for people in the city.

Pacers for the Cork Half-Marathon...

With the Cork Half-Marathon in Blarney coming up on Sunday the 11th of September, it's time to look at a new feature for this years race...pacers.

The use of pacers for races is a relatively new feature. It started with some of the bigger Marathons and now a number of the Half-Marathons use them. So how do they work? Basically, sets of experienced runners will run at an even steady pace for the duration of the race with the objective to break a certain time.

For the Cork Half-Marathon, they will have pacers for 1h 30m (90 mins), 1h 45m (105 mins) and 2 hours (120 mins).

There will be 2 pacers per time band and they will be wearing bright orange gear supplied by the race sponsor, John Buckley Sports, the same colour as used by the organising club St.Finbarr's AC. Due to the nature of the course......which is roughly uphill for the 1st half and downhill for the 2nd half......they are likely to adjust the pace slightly to allow for the hills.

John Buckley Sports

Please note that the closing date for cheap entries is next Saturday, the 3rd of September. The cheapest way to enter is by calling into the race sponsor John Buckley Sports in Cork City, filling out the entry form there and paying the cheaper entry fee of €20 (€25 after Saturday).

Note that anyone running this race will get a 20% discount voucher for John Buckley Sports. This is not restriced to just one item but to everything at the time of purchase. So the more you spend, the more you save. Considering that a new pair of good running shoes may be ~€100, then the discount could easily cover the cost of entry for the race.

Full details on how to enter with other race details can be seen in this earlier post.

Ballycotton 11th Aug 1977...where it all began...Part 1 of 3

Ballycotton Running Promotions recently published a small booklet about the very first race in Ballycotton and how it all started. It is reproduced here in 3 parts...

Part 1 of 3...

IN March of 2012, the famous Ballycotton ‘10’ celebrates its 35th anniversary. But let us not forget the race that started it all, and without which it is unlikely that road running in this region would have attained the popularity it now has. The date was Thursday August 11th 1977 and it was another age as far as road running was concerned. From January to August of that year, only six events on the road took place in the Cork region – the well-known Cork to Cobh ‘15’, two four-milers in Ballymore (which had 26 runners), and Ballyhooly, a five-mile race in Mallow, a six-mile in Kildorrery (where 16 ran), and the popular relays around the Lough organised by St. Finbarrs.

August 11th was a week after that Ballymore Festival race, and commitments had been received there from most of the runners to come to Ballycotton, including winner Ray Treacy. The work in organising the race had started some weeks before, with the local shops and business people being approached for donations. One of the few firms in the area at the time contributed £5, as did three of the businesses. Two more gave £2 and £1 each, and even the 50p from another was appreciated. The total came to £28.50. Trophies and plaques were purchased as prizes, costing £29.75. Entry fee was either 20p or 30p, and no race numbers were issued. Instead, as each runner finished he was handed a card with his finishing position on it, and he then gave his name to the recorder. We say ‘he’ deliberately, for at that time no women ran such a distance as five miles!

The race started at the old Post Office (just above where the race now finishes), and the course was the same as is used at present, although the finish was outside the School gate. As measuring techniques were not as advanced as nowadays, it was slightly short of five miles. Local interest was a mixture of curiosity and bemusement. Some people asked what a road race was – “is it a cycling race, or what?” When Phil McGrath and John Walshe went out to mark the road, one local person told them that the County Council would object, as they considered painting on the road graffiti!

First to enter was Michael Healy from Youghal, one of the top cross-country runners in Cork at the time. Tens of thousands of entries for a myriad of events have been received since, but Michael can take pride of place as the first runner to have ‘No. 1’ alongside his name in a Ballycotton race. BLE County Board Chairman, the late Paddy Hartnett, sent the 34 runners on their way. John Murray from Ballybraher (who has also passed away) was a spectator on that fine August evening and he was asked to act as lead car, which he duly did, accompanied by reporter Joe Duggan (also now deceased) from the ‘News and Star’.

Michael Long of Leevale, along with his girlfriend Ellen, volunteered to time the runners. It is worth noting that virtually no races in those days did this, apart from maybe taking the winners’ time. In fact, in his newspaper report Joe Duggan stated that, “the time of all the competitors was taken, a rare feat in Cork in athletics.” At the finish line the numbered cards were handed out by Seamus Hartnett, there to se the race with his parents, and who would go on to be the area’s top runner in years to come. The other locals involved were John Walshe and Dan Donovan (who both ran the race), along with Phil McGrath, and his brother Fr Tom, home from England. At the prize-giving in the local hall the trophies were presented by the late Fr Bertie Troy, C.C., Ballycotton.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cork City's new park........suitable for running?

Following on from the previous post about the proposed development of the UCC Farm in the west of the Cork City, it might be worth having a look at a potential new area.

The old city dump which later became the Kinsale Road Landfill Site is in the process of being developed into a new park for Cork City. Located just off the South Ring Road, it is central to the city and is within easy access of the main road network.

The photo above shows the UCC Farm on the left with the area used for by runners in orange. The landfill site is shown on the right on the same scale. As you can see, it is a substantial area.
The present plan involves covering part of the site with a layer of clay and then putting down a shallow layer of topsoil (~1ft in depth) over the 170 acre site. The end result should be a basic park with grass with some area set aside for playing pitches.
At present, they are drawing up a final development plan for the park which hopefully will include plenty of trails. It is thought that it may be open to the public some time in 2012.

Just out of interest, I measured a rough route around the perimeter of the proposed park on MapMyRun. It works out as roughly 2.5 kms. Two laps would be perfect for a ParkRun event mentioned in an earlier post!! ;o)

Monday, August 29, 2011

UCC Farm...End of an era??

The UCC Farm has for many years been a popular spot for runners in Cork. Located at Curraheen next to the Greyhound Stadium, the soft surface is a welcome change to the hard roads and footpaths of the city. While the Farm mainly consists of a series of football pitches, runners use the area around the perimeter and are tolerated/ignored by the ground staff of UCC.

In late August, Cork County Council announced a draft plan for the development of the Cork Science and Innovation Park...details HERE

As you can see from the map above, it covers a substantial area including the routes normally used by runners......shown in blue.

If it is developed, it should look something like this...

The current Farm running routes are shown in orange

Needless to say, it raises lots of questions....
Will it be developed in the current economic climate?
Will the new park have any suitable running routes or will it be lost for good?

The complete plan (large) in PDF format can be seen HERE

Looking ahead to the Charleville Half-Marathon Relay event...Sun 18th Sept

While a good many runners will be taking part in various Half-Marathon races at this time of year, there may be those of you not interested in running 13.1 miles or may find that it is beyond your distance at present.

One unique feature of the Charleville Half-Marathon this year is that it includes a Relay Team event. Modelled roughly on the Cork City Marathon Relay, the 13.1 mile or 21.1 km course is split up into 4 stages, each roughly 5 kms long.

Considering how flat the course is, this would be suitable for any runner just starting off but may be intimidated from taking part in a large event.

You can have a team composed of 2, 3 or 4 runners.

As you can see from the course map above, the 1st and 3rd changeover points are the same. This opens  up several possibilites as you decide who will run each leg.

There are seperate prizes also for the relay event.

More details about the Charleville Half-Marathon and ways to enter can be found in this earlier post.

Just remember, the closing date for the cheapest entries is Sunday, the 4th of September.

More details about the Half-Marathon Relay can be found in this document from the organisers HERE

Parkruns...Big in the UK...What about here in Ireland?

Parkruns.........what are they??? Basically, they are free 5 km races which take place in parks all over the UK at 9am on Saturday mornings. Each race is timed and takes place on a variety of surfaces...from urban parks, country parks and seaside promenades to nature reserves, woodland and open fields.

The first event started in 2004, the second one in 2007 and by 2010, it had grown to almost 30 events. By mid 2011, it has grown to approx 80 events so it is obviously growing rapidly at present.

A novel feature is that no numbers are issued. Runners are identified by a barcode which they wear and are then scanned at the finish line.

To find out more about these races, you can find plenty of info on the series website at

Would something like this work in Ireland?

You could certainly imagine that it would be successful in someplace like the Phoenix Park in Dublin considering the high number of runners in the capital.

What about elsewhere in the country? In Cork? Limerick? Galway?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The low down on Shin Splints...

If you suffer from pain or soreness in the front part of the lower leg when you run then it may be shin splints.

As with any medical advice, if you need help then ask a professional.

See the video HERE

(I had to move this video off the main page on the blog as it kept playing automatically)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Overall results of the Ballycotton Summer Series

Now that the fourth and final race has taken place, the overall standings have been worked out thanks to John Robinson of Mallow AC.
You can see the final results HERE
If you want to see how your position changed after the final race, you can see the overall standings after 3 races HERE
Just looking back at previous years, it looks as 2011 was the highest number ever. In 2009, a total of 210 completed the 4 races (155 men, 55 women...26% of total). In 2010, the overall number had increased to 244 (182 men, 62 women...25% of total). In 2011, the total number was 259 (183 men, 76 women...29% of total).

In terms of the mens positions and pace, the standard was down on last year. It dropped from 2:08:00 (Avg 32:00 per mile) in 2010 to 2:09:45 (Avg 32:26 per mile) this year.
In comparison to 2009, the standard was up! Back then, 2:09:45 or 33:25 per mile would have got into the top 50. On the face of it, it would be easy to assume that the standard has improved. But when you consider that the Ballyandreen race was very close to the Cork Marathon that year, it may have had a bearing on who ran and at what pace they ran.

Some races in Munster over the weekend...

Just a quick note on 3 races elsewhere in Cork, Limerick and Kerry over the weekend

Fri 26th Aug.............The Kilfinane 5 mile road race in the south-east of Co.Limerick starts at 7pm. This is the 7th race in the Ballyhoura Active Race Series. More details on the Running in Munster website.

Sat 27th Aug............There is a 5k race in Shanballymore in N Cork at 2pm.

Sun 28th Aug...........There is a 10k race in Milltown in Co.Kerry which starts at 1pm. More details HERE

Results of the Ballycotton 5 mile road race...Thurs 25th Aug 2011

In a day full of heavy showers, Ballycotton worked it's usual magic as the clouds parted and autumn sunshine greeted the runners for the final race in the Ballycotton Summer Race Series. From a previous peak of 505 runners in 2009 and 498 last year, the numbers surged ahead again with 530 taking part this year. That is the highest number ever for any of the four Ballycotton 5 mile races.

The winner of the mens race was Sean McGrath of East Cork AC in 26:16. The womens race was won by Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC in 28:53.
Start of the 2011 Ballycotton 5 mile race in bright sunshine
Results..........the full results can be found HERE

1) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a slideshow of photos around the 2.5 mile mark HERE
Downpour at the finish line while the runners were out on the course

Update......womens team results....
There was a mistake at the prizegiving after the race with regard to the winning womens team. After a inquiry, Eagle AC's women's team have been declared winner's of the race with 11 points....2, 4 and 5. Leevale also had 11pts...1, 3 and 7. They lost out to Eagle AC as their 3rd person finished lowest.
It seems that on the night, the 'second' woman in the race (non-club) turned out to be a man and this caused all of the confusion.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Results of the Cork BHAA Army/Navy 5 mile race...Wed 17th Aug 2011

The full results of the Cork BHAA Army/Navy race are now available.

The link is HERE

Accurate Course...???
I ran this race and I suspect that some of the mile markers might have been in the wrong spot. My 2nd mile was roughly as fast as my first mile despite the fact that there was a big hill in it. My 3rd mile seemed a lot slower even though I maintained the same pace.

So I suspect that some of the mile markers were in the wrong spot. In reality, it's no big deal as long as the overall distance was correct.

But was it? Someone mentioned to me that the start line was further back in previous years, not at the arch where the start and finish point was.

I plotted out the course on MapMyRun and the 1 and 4 mile mark did not match up. It suggested that the course was ~50 metres short. It would be worth mentioning that MapMyRun is not super accurate. It gives an indication, not definite proof.

I asked a few people with GPS watches what they measured. Exactly 5.00/5.01 miles. The problem here is that they should not have got exactly 5.00 miles, it should have been a fraction longer...something like 5.05 miles. A runner is very unlikely to take the exact shortest route on a course and will nearly always run slightly longer. Again a health warning.......GPS watches are prone to errors. They give an indication but do not provide conclusive proof.

In terms of race courses and accuracy, it is ok if a course is slighty too long. In that case, people will have run the required distance and all times are valid. But if a course is slightly short then all times are void.

So, was the course accurate or short?? Opinions?? Click on the comment link below...

Race Notice...Ballycotton 5 mile road race - Thurs 25th Aug 2011

Coming up on Thursday evening, the Ballycotton 5 mile road race will be the 4th and last race in the Ballycotton Summer Series.
There is one main thing to note here and it catches people every year........
the race starts at 7:30pm

The basics........Getting there...
As you can see on the map above, the easist way to get there from Cork City is via Midleton and Cloyne. If you are coming from the east then turn south at Castlemartyr and go via Ladysbridge.

As you approach the village, follow the stewards instructions for parking. Registration is at the local national school.

The distance from the parking area to the registration is about 800 metres (10 min walk). From the registration area to the start line is about 200 metres.
So if you consider parking.....walking to the registration.....the queue to enter.....walk back to the car......walk back to the start........and the 7:30pm start, you can see how people get caught out.

Entries.......If you are under any pressure for time, then get changed first.....carry the entry fee of €6 in your hand.....and go straight to the start line after you register.

If you have taken part in the first 3 races then you can find your overall position HERE

Local national school

Course..........The first 3 miles of this race are pretty easy as they are mostly slightly downhill or flat. The tough work comes in the last 2 miles. First of all, there is a short but steep hill just before the 3 mile mark which will almost certainly slow you down. At the top of the hill, you turn the corner and the 3 mile mark will be just there.
After that, it's mainly flat with some small bit of uphill and downhill running. The next hard section is after the 4 mile mark where you re-join the main road going back into Ballycotton. For any of you who have done the Ballycotton 10 road race, this is the famous hill around the 8.5 mile in that race. It's not that steep but it's about 400 metres long and gradually reduces in intensity. Once it flattens out, you'll have a nice run into the finish in the village.

Post Race...
If you have completed all 4 of the summer series......Ballyandreen, Shanagarry, Churchtown South and Ballycotton.......then you can collect a souvenier plaque near the finish line.

Back the school, there will be tea and biscuits as well as the prizegiving. The special t-shirts for the top 50 men and top 20 women in the overall series are handed out here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Video clip from the Belfast 24 hour...

This was the second year of this 24 hours race in Belfast and numbers were up on the first event. 47 individuals took part with 18 managing to break the 100 mile mark.

More details and results in this post.

Meanwhile, here is video clip to give you a feel of what it's like...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Photos of the Jack Higgins 10k Charity Run...Sun 21st Aug 2011

This 10k charity run was along the walkways in Mahon.

A small gallery of photos by Ann Murphy HERE

Monday, August 22, 2011

Entries for the Dingle Half & Full Marathon close on Wed 24th Aug...

For anyone interested, the entries for the Dingle Half and Full Marathon close next Wednesday, the 24th of August. The event itself takes place on Saturday, the 3rd of September.

There is a full preview now on the Running in Munster site now if you want to see what the course is like.

More details also HERE

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ciara Mageean wins 1500m race and sets new Irish Junior record...

On Saturday (20th Aug 2011), Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) won the IMC Grand Prix Final in Birmingham in a time of 4.07.45, beating Jessica Simpson who was second in 04:07.53. Not only did she win but she also improved on her own Irish Junior 1500m record  of 4:09.51 which she set last year in Canada when finishing 2nd at the World Junior Championships.

IMC Birmingham GP Final - 20 Aug - Results
 1 184 10 04:07.45 Ciara Mageean U20 City Of Lisburn / Ireland
2 188 14 04:07.53 Jemma Simpson Newquay & Par
3 186 12 04:11.74 Jennifer Wenth U23 Austria

In fact that time was so fast that she is now the 4th fastest woman in the Irish All Time list for 1500 metres and she is still only 19 years old.

To put that in context, here are the only Irish women to have run 1500 metres faster than 4:10...
1) 3.58.85...Sonya O'Sullivan
2) 4.04.22...Sinead Delahunty
3) 4.06.69...Monica Joyce
4) 4.07.45...Ciara Mageean (New)
5) 4.07.56...Freda Davoren
6) 4.08.63...Mary Purcell
7) 4.08.89...Deirdre Byrne
8) 4.09.12...Elaine Ftzgerald
9) 4.09.51...Ciara Mageean (Old)

When you plot those times as a graph, you can see how they compare. Obviously, Sonya O'Sullivan is in a league of her own with no one else getting close.
However, when you look at the numbers in white...this is their age when they ran their fastest times. The best times seem to have been produced when most were around 25-27 years old. Considering that Ciara Mageean is just 19 years old and is already 4th fastest woman, she must be a name to watch in the years ahead.

Video clip of the race HERE

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Launch of the 2011 Cork Half-Marathon...

John Buckley of John Buckley Sports, presents Ken Devine, race director, with sponsorship for the upcoming Cork Half Marathon at the recent launch of the race promoted by St Finbarr’s AC. Included (left to right) are Dan Kennedy (chairman), Marian Lyons (president), Ken Devine (race director), John Buckley (race sponsor), Trevor O’Neill (race committee) and Paul Gallagher (men’s captain)

Press release from St.Finbarrs AC.....
John Buckley Sports
The increasing growth in interest in running is apparent as you drive around the city day or night, and was confirmed by the numerous entries for the recently completed Cork City Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay.
 St. Finbarr’s Athletics Club, which recently celebrated their 60th anniversary and are one of the largest athletics clubs in the City, recently announced their plans for the upcoming John Buckley Sports-sponsored Cork Half Marathon which will take place in Blarney on Sunday, September 11, at 11am.

Race H.Q. will be the Blarney GAA clubhouse and the course will follow the traditional route along quiet county roads from Blarney to Grenagh and back again. The race also incorporates the Cork County and Munster Half Marathon Championships. The course is suitable for runners of all abilities and would be an ideal challenge for runners who recently completed legs of the marathon relay and are participating in the shorter local road races. This year’s race will also feature highly visible race pacers who will be there to help pace and encourage runners to achieve their target times and should make for an enjoyable half marathon experience for all.

You can enter this race online, by post or directly by calling into John Buckley Sports across the river from the Opera House. More details on how to enter can be seen in this earlier post.

Results of the Shannonvale 10k race...Fri 19th Aug 2011

After a dull dreary day, the clouds parted just in time for this 10k road race in Shannonvale near Clonakilty in West Cork. A total of 62 people took part.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Race notice...Liscarroll 10k - Fri 2nd Sept 2011

The 8th race in the Ballyhoura Active Series is coming up in the town of Liscarroll on Friday, the 2nd  of September at 7pm.
Located in the north of County Cork, it is only 10 kms west of the N20 Cork-Limerick road.
Race details......
Liscarroll AC 'Tom Fitzpatrick Memorial' 10 km Road Race
Date : On Friday September 2nd. Commencing @ 7.00 pm Sharp.
No Walking Section for Safety Reasons due to short evenings
Entries/Changing/Showers @ Community Centre beside G.A.A. Pitch
Entry Fee €10.00
Entries Taken at Community Centre from 5.30 p.m. up to 6.45 p.m. 
Course:- Flat & Fast 10Km............Out & Back Loop.
Only 17m change in elevation over whole course.
If you are coming from the direction of Cork City or Mallow, the easiest spot to turn off is at Buttevant. If you are coming from Limerick, then turn off for Churchtown.

Full preview closer to the date...

Races in Cork over the weekend.....

There are 3 races / runs in Cork over the weekend...

Friday........7pm........Shannonvale 10k. €10. Near Clonakilty.

Sunday......11am.......Blackrock Castle charity run. €20

Sunday...12 noon........Jog for Jockeys Charity 5k.....Mallow race course. €25.

First woman to attempt Enduroman

Here's an event that makes the usual Ironman Triathlon look like a fun run.....The Enduroman.

Starting at Marble Arch in the centre of London, participants run 87 miles to Dover on the coast....then swim 21 miles across the English Channel to Calais in France.....and then cycle 181 miles to the Arc de Triomphe in the centre of Paris.

Rachael Cadman from the UK is going to attempt this   and be the first woman to complete the event. To date, only 7 men have managed to complete the distance. The current record from London to Paris is 87 hours.......just over 3 days.

An interview on BBC Radio 5 can be heard HERE

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Race notice...Cork BHAA Army/Navy 5 mile - Wed 17th Aug 2011

The next Cork BHAA race is the Army/Navy 5 mile race in Ringaskiddy. Start time 7:30pm.

One week left for Dingle Half & Full Marathon entries...

The final closing date for entries to the 2011 Dingle Half and Full Marathon (Sat 3rd Sept) is now just one week away (Wed 24th Aug 2011). The orgainsers have released the following info recently.....

Ray Darcy from Today FM recently presented his show from Dingle and as many of you will know, Ray is a keen runner himself and takes part in lots of running events. While there, Ray ran the Half-Marathon course with race organiser Ken Dunne.

Newstalk..........This Friday, 19th August, the Tom Dunne Show on Newstalk will broadcast live from Killarney and the Dingle Marathon will feature at 10.50am.

Pacers.....There will be pacers for various target times in the Half and Full Marathon. In the Half-Marathon, there will be pacers for 1:30, 1:45 and 2:00. In the full, there will be pacers for 3:30, 4:00 and 4:30. In most events like this, the pacers will run at an even pace with the aim to finish just ahead of the target time according to the chip timing. In the full, it's likely that they may build up a small cushion before the hill near the end but essentially, it's a steady even pace all the way.

Accommodation.....From the organisers...."Most of Dingle town itself is full at this stage but plenty of availability exists outside of this. Roads are not closed until 8.45AM so you will have plenty of time to get in to town. Ventry, Ballydavid, Dunquin, Ballyferriter, Lispole, Annascaul etc all still have plenty to offer and its great value!"

It's easy to underestimate the impact that an event like the Dingle Marathon has on an area like Dingle. In September, the tourist numbers are dropping away rapidly and the influx of runners on the Marathon weekend give a welcome boost to many businesses in the bad thing in the current climate.

Charity..........The official partner charity for the Marathon is Blue September . The newspaper cutting on the left is from the Evening Echo.

Race Packs.......Race packs will not be sent out until the end of August. This applies to Irish addresses only. Non Irish addresses will be available for collection in Dingle on the Friday evening.

Tech Top.......Details in an earlier post
More details with pictures and links in this earlier post HERE

Ireland sends A Team to the 2012 London Olympics...

No....not that A-Team!

At the start of August, the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) confirmed that only athletes achieving ‘A’ standards will be selected for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The OCI said "This confirmation follows media speculation regarding ‘B’ standards in athletics. We both are absolutely and totally committed to ‘A’ standards only”

In a recent article in the Sunday Independent, Eamonn Sweeney makes a case for including 'B' standard athletes as well. He argues that the 'A' standard only qualification is just a reaction to public opinion and that the experience gained by younger athletes would stand to them for future events.

He is obviously not alone in that thinking with the likes of Eamonn Coghlan also making the case for 'B' standard.

The article can be seen here HERE

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Update on the Charleville Half-Marathon...

The Charleville Half-Marathon and Relay in North Cork is coming up on Sunday, the 18th of September. This is a brand new race on the calendar and with it's flat fast course, it should attract a lot of runners from Cork and Limerick as well as further afield.

Entries are now open and you can enter online HERE or you can enter by post by downloading an entry form HERE

The current entry fee is €25 until the 4th of Sept and there is a Technical Top training shirt for the first 300 entries. More details about entries and the course in this earlier post HERE

For those of you who need accommodation, this is from the organisers.......

Charleville Half Marathon Accommodation.........The Charleville Half Marathon have organised special room rates at the Charleville Park Hotel for participants who want to travel to the race location the night before the start. Runners who are intending on participating are asked to contact the hotel on 063 33708 or email to ask for the following special rates for the Half-marathon on Sunday September 18th. These are very reasonable rates for a four star hotel. Race numbers and chips can be collected at the hotel the night before the race.
The following rates are available for participants:
2 Nights B&B+1 Evening Meal @ €109pps
1 Nights B&B + Evening Meal @ €80pps
1 Night B&B @ €60pps1 Night Room Only @ €50pps

How to prevent injury while training...

15 minutes of exercise a day can boost life expectancy by three years...

Just 15 minutes of exercise a day can boost life expectancy by three years and cut death risk by 14%, research from Taiwan suggests. An expert group in the UK said that this would be considered the minimum amount to gain any benefit  but say that 15 minutes a day is a good place to start for those who currently do little or no exercise.
"The Lancet study, based on a review of more than 400,000 people in Taiwan, showed 15 minutes per day or 90 minutes per week of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, can add three years to your life.

More exercise led to further life gains. Every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise further reduced all-cause death rates by 4%.

And research from Australia on health risks linked to TV viewing suggest too much time sat in front of the box can shorten life expectancy, presumably because viewers who watch a lot of telly do little or no exercise."

More on this BBC News page...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cork Half-Marathon, Blarney - Sun 11th Sept 2011

This is a race notice for the Cork Half-Marathon coming up on Sunday, the 11th of Sept 2011 at 11am. This race starts and finishes in Blarney just to the west of Cork City and uses the usual looped circuit to Grenagh village and back.

The race is organised by St.Finbarrs AC, one of the main running clubs in Cork City and this is their flagship event of the year. One of the additional features this year is the inclusion of pacers for those trying for 1:30, 1:45 and 2 hours. As with most big races, they will be using chip timing and finish times will be texted to all competitors after the race.
The race also incorporates the Cork County and Munster Half-Marathon Championships.

The race sponsor is John Buckley Sports, one of the main sports shops in Cork for running shoes and other running related gear.

The Half-Marathon costs €20 to enter before Saturday, the 3rd of September. You can enter by the following means...

Online..........You can enter online HERE

By Post........You will find an entry form HERE in PDF format. Make cheques payable to St.Finbarrs AC. Post the entries to John Buckley Sports, Mulgrave Road, Cork.

Direct.......Probably the easiest option if you are in the city. Just call into the John Buckley Sports store, fill out a form there and then and enter.
You can find John Buckley Sports across the river from the Cork Opera House and his opening hours are Mon-Fri 9.30am – 5.30pm – late opening Friday until 7.00 – closed Sundays.

They also have a website at

20% Off Voucher.........Note also that all runners that enter will get a 20% off voucher for the John Buckley Sports store. If you use the voucher to buy something like a good pair of running shoes which could easily cost €100, then essentially you will have entered the race for free. Obviously, the more you spend, the more you save.
Late entries.........If for some reason you miss the early closing date, you can also enter on the day of the race......cost €25.
Race Souvenir...This year, all entrants will be getting a hat.......just the trick for those long winter runs ;o)

 Full race preview and more details closer to the race date.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Results of the 'John Hartnett' Ballyhooly 10k race - Sun 14th Sun 2011

This was the first year of this particular 10k road race. In previous years, the course was a tough 9.5 mile course taking in some of the local hills with several off-road sections and was called appropriately enough the 'John Hartnett Challenge'.

This year, it has changed to a more familar 10k race over a reasonably flat circuit so as to attract more runners. This year, it got 86 runners as opposed to 56 in 2009 and 63 in 2010.

The mens race was won by Sean Harnett in a time of 35:31. The photo shows Sean receiving his prize from his father, John Hartnett.
The womens race was won by Deirdre Nagle of Eagle AC in 41:00, over 3 minutes ahead of her nearest rival.

The full results can be seen HERE

Report from Athletics Ireland.....
There was an appropriate winner to the John Hartnett Challenge 10km road race at Ballyhooly in Cork as Sean Hartnett, the 20-year-old son of the former Olympian and Irish mile record holder, took the honours in a time of 35:31.

A student at Monmouth University in New Jersey, the younger Hartnett has a best of 15:21.47 for 5000 metres this year and completed the 10km circuit in a time of 35:31, over a half-minute clear of Fermoy triathlete Michael Lyons with Denis Dunne of Eagle finishing in third place.

Deirdre Nagle, also of Eagle, took the women’s race in 41 minutes flat with Karen Kenny and Clotilde Fitzgibbon, both of Grange-Fermoy, finishing in second and third positions.

Afterwards, John Hartnett spoke movingly about his young days in Ballyhooly, remembering all those who helped him to win the International Junior Cross-Country title at Vichy in France back in 1970 and of his time at Villanova University where he was ranked amongst the world’s top middle-distance runners.

He competed in the 1972 Olympics in the 5000 metres and in 1973, at Eugene in Oregon, he broke Ronnie Delany’s Irish mile record with a time of 3:54.7 – which still ranks as the 11th fastest on the Irish all-time list – and the same year he was honoured as the Penn Relays Most Outstanding Performer.

The following year of 1974, Hartnett ran a memorable 3:56.3 mile on the old Mardyke grass track during the Cork City Sports.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Race notice...Ballyhooly 10 k - Sun 14th Aug 2011

The John Hartnett 10Km. Road race -- Ballyhooly Co. Cork. -- 14th. August 2011 at 12.30 PM. Entry €10.

1) This used to be the John Hartnett Challenge in previous years. It has now been changed to a 10k.

2) This race has an Athletics Ireland licence.

More info on who John Hartnett is HERE

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kilteely 5 Mile...6th Race in the Ballyhoura Active Series - Sat 13th Aug 2011

For those of you taking part in the Ballyhoura Active Series, the 6th race is coming up on Saturday, the 13th of August at 7pm. The Kilteely 5 mile race is in east Limerick, just off the N24 road.

For more info, there is a preview HERE

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Results of Cloyne 5k road race - Wed 10th Aug 2011

A total of 396 runners turned out for this 5k road race in Cloyne in East Cork despite the fact that it was a wet evening. This was 41% up on last years figure of 280.

The winner of the mens race was Sean McGrath of East Cork AC in a time of 15:57. The womens race was won by Martina Kiely of St.Finbarrs AC in a time of 17:51.

The full results can be seen HERE

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Article on John Lenihan in the Running Times magazine...

There was an article in the September issue of Running Times Magazine on John Lenihan from Kerry, a former winner of the World Mountain Running Championships. The short piece covers some of John's racing memories and is worth a read.

You can see it HERE

There is also a 3 part video series from 2010 if anyone wants further info.........see

Technical Top for the Dingle Half & Full Marathon...

The organisers of the Dingle Marathon have just released a photo showing what the technical top for the Half and Full Marathon will look like.

Looks like a big improvement on the original white cotton t-shirts of previous years.

For those of you interested, the Dingle Half and Full Marathon is coming up on Saturday, the 3rd of September and the closing date is Wednesday, the 24th of August. More details about this event in an earlier post HERE

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Preview of the Cloyne 5k road race - Wed 10th Aug 2011

The main race this week in Cork is the 5k road race coming up in Cloyne in East Cork on Wednesday, the 10th of August at 8pm.

Directions...From Cork get on the N25 Cork to Midleton motorway, not tuning off until you come to the Lakeview roundabout at the end of the dual carriageway. At this roundabout you take the 3rd exit signposted for Cloyne, Whitegate and Aghada. Approximately 1km out this road you will come to a statue – here you can take either of the following routes to Cloyne:-

A). Via Ballinacurra to your left. This is the main road to Ballycotton. When you enter Cloyne via this route, you take a right and the main crossroads in Cloyne and the school is just up the road.

B). Via Saleen. Stay on the road south for Whitegate. You climb a large hill.....down the other side into Saleen.....up another slight hill......and then as you go downhill again, you turn left at the crossroads towards Cloyne (well signposted). This road will bring you directly to the school for registration.

Parking....There will be parking available at both entrances to the village and will be signposted.

Entries....Entries on the night will be taken at Cloyne National School from 6.00pm. The entry fee is €8 and all proceeds are going towards a local childrens playground.

Please note that there are no shower facilities.
Details on prizes can be seen on the race flyer shown in an earlier post.

The course.....As courses go, this one is pretty flat. There are no big hills or even anything that you would consider a hill. There are a few spots where the road rises a few metres at most. If it's a fast 5k time you are after then this is the one.

The race starts and finishes on the road outside the school. As you can see above, it's reasonably wide and flat. The section from here to the main crossroads in the village is approx 500 metres.

As you approach the crossroads, you have the first 'hill'. As you can see, it is only a short climb with a few metres gained in height before you turn off right onto a flat road. This is also part of the approach to the finishing straight so you gain coming back.

After the crossroads, you are on Church Street and you head down towards the iconic Cloyne round tower, one of only 2 round towers in the county of Cork. Built approx 1000 years ago and reaching 30 metres in height, it can be seen from various points along the course.

At the road junction at the round tower is the start of the loop. For now, you keep going straight and slightly downhill as you leave the village...

...and then onto a straight flat section...

...and at the end, the road veers around to the left. It begins to climb slightly now to the 1 mile mark but still, very slightly. Overall, a fast mile.

Soon, you come to the next turnoff and you are onto narrow quiet country roads.

Around the 1.5 mile mark, you turn left around a sharp corner and the road stretches ahead.....dead straight and flat with the 2 mile mark way off near the end...another fast mile.

After the 2 mile mark, you take another sharp bend and you start heading west back towards Cloyne on what is another flat road with a few bends. As you approach the round tower for the second time, the road rises slightly...

...and then you turn right back onto Church Street and retrace your steps towards the crossroads, school and the finish line.

Overall.......a fast 5k course on a reasonably flat course on quiet country roads. Considering that it is reasonably close to Cork City and Midleton, it is likely to attract a large crowd.