Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Preview of the Charleville Half-Marathon...Sun 18th Sept 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Preview of the Charleville Half-Marathon...Sun 18th Sept 2011

The next big race is of course the Cavanaghs Charleville Half-Marathon on Sunday, the 18th of Sept at 10am. The last time there was a medium distance road race in this area was the Charleville 10 mile race back in the early 90's. After that race finished, there used to be a race series on Friday evenings during the summer months before they too eventually faded away.

The new Ballyhoura race series was restarted in 2010 and now, a new Half-Marathon in Charleville is going to continue the long tradition of medium distance road races in this area. Please note also that part of the entry fee is going to St.Josephs Foundation.

Directions.....The venue for the race is at St.Josephs Foundation on Bakers Road. This road runs parallel to the main road through the town. If you are coming from the direction of Cork City then take a right as you enter the town...
...past the graveyard.....and then left on to Bakers Road.

If you are coming from the direction of Limerick City then after you pass the Topaz station on the left as you enter the town, take a left before you get to the main church. The turn will be signposted for Killmallock....

...then left at the next T-junction and then right on to Bakers Road.

This is an overview of the town.....
It clearly shows Bakers Road parallel to the main road and the approach roads. Follow the stewards directions on the day for parking. The changing facilities and showers are in the local GAA hall (pictured in map) which is right alongside St.Josephs...

Parking.......Parking will not be available on the St. Josephs site unless absolutely necessary. There is adequate parking in the schools and Dunnes Stores car park which are both adjacent to the site at St. Josephs. People will be directed by Marshalls to the parking areas. There will be no on-road parking allowed by the Gardai.
Race Pack Collection / New entries....New entries will be accepted on Saturday in the Charleville Park Hotel and on Sunday at St. Josephs Foundation. It needs to be confirmed that Relay entries will be accepted on the day....The entry fee for the Half-Marathon on the day is €30. (See updates at the bottom of the post)

Race Pack - T-Shirt, Race Number and Timing Chips...The first 300 individual entries will receive a race t-shirt in their race pack. All individual participants will receive a timing chip, race number, 4 pins and a Mahers Sports 10% off voucher. There will be separate queues for new entries and Race pack collection on Saturday and Sunday so please observe the signs.

Weekend schedule...Saturday 17th September...3pm to 9pm – Race Pack Collection/ New entries – Charleville Park Hotel
Sunday 18th September...8:30am to 9:30am - Race Pack Collection/ New entries – St. Josephs Foundation Hall, Bakers Rd. Charleville
9:30am – 3 Buses depart St. Josephs Foundation for 3 Relay Changeover points – Relay participants will travel on bus for their specific leg of the relay.
9:50am – Half-Marathon participants assemble at start area (For safety reasons, runners will be asked to start in areas which are appropriate to their pace i.e. Sub 1hr 30, 1hr 30+, 1hr 45+, 2hr+ (Pacers at front)
10am – Race Start

Team Relay event........All relay participants need to assemble at St.Josephs before 9:30am to collect their 4 numbers, 1 chip and 1 rubber wristband. Each runners needs to wear a race number and the last runner will need to put the chip on their shoe. Buses depart at 9:30am. The rubber wristband will be given to the first runner at the start and passed along to each member of the team during the race. The final member of the team should cross the line with the rubber wristband on their wrist.
There will be 3 buses to take each individual member of the team to the location they have chosen. The Buses will be numbered according to which station the participants are going to....Bus 1 – 5.3km Change-over point, Bus 2 – 10.6km Change-over point, Bus 3 – 15.9km Change-over point. Runners will return to the start/finish area on the bus at the relay station which they finish at.

Water Stations...There will be bottled water and/or cups available near each of the relay stations at approx. 5km intervals and at the finish line.

Post-race Refreshments and Food.....They will tea/coffee, sandwiches, cakes, etc. They will also have a special section for Coeliacs who require gluten free food and non-buttered sandwiches for those with dairy intolerances.

Safety...There will be over 120 voluntary stewards and runners are asked to keep on the left hand side of the road at all times on the course unless otherwise instructed by a Marshall or Garda.
Course Details......One of the main features of the course is that there are plenty of long straight and flat sections of road. It goes from the town of Charleville in N.Cork to the town of Kilmallock in SE Limerick and back again.

Start......The race starts on the grounds of St.Josephs Foundation.......straight through the main gates and right...
...and after approx 600 metres, you turn right at the next T-junction and head east. As per the race instructions, you should stay on the left hand side of the road...

Here you pass the cheese factories and pretty soon, you start to leave the town as you head towards Kilmallock. At this stage, there are some small climbs but these will be all downhill sections in the later stages of the race.

From here, there are a few minor bends in the road. Just after 2 miles, you come to the steepest hill along the course and strangely enough, it's man-made. Up ahead is an old bridge under which ran the old direct railway line which went from Cork City to Limerick City...

As a hill, it's pretty short and you have the benefit of a downhill on the other side. After this, the road begins to run parallel to the main Cork to Dublin railway line. Considering that these rail lines were laid for steam trains in the mid 19th century, the road here reflects this.....dead straight and very flat.
The first major junction and the first changevover point is at approx 3.2 miles.....

Note that this is the start of the looped secion taking in the town of Kilmallock. Once the loop is completed, you will be retracing your steps back to Charleville and the finish line.

At approx 5.2 miles, the roads turns away from the railway line and heads towards the town of Kilmallock. This was one of the principal walled towns of the province of Munster in medieval times and almost seventy percent of walls are still standing today. There is plenty of evidence of this along the race course...

.......though the arch.......left and the next junction and through the town....

.....and then left at the main church in the town...
...some bit of slight uphill running here and very soon, you are onto a very quiet country road...

There are a few bends but the road is mostly flat and straight. Near Mile 9...
.....and just before the 10 mile mark, you approach end of the looped section......

You now run back towards Charleville and the finish line in St.Josephs.
Overall.........A fast accurate Half-Marathon course which will suit anyone trying for a personal best time. With part of the entry fee going to St.Josephs Foundation and the long history of road races in this area, it should attract a large crowd.
Update.........Fri 7pm
1) The first 20 entries on Sunday morning will get tech top t-shirts so arrive early! Entries open at 8:30am.
2) There are no relay entries on the day but they will accept the next 20 as they have only 20 places left on the buses. There are 27 teams entered so far (Fri 6pm)
3) The Charleville Park Hotel will be doing a special discounted food offer in the Charleville Park hotel for all participants who present their race number.
4) 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
5) Showers.........There are showers available at the GAA changing rooms which is beside the GAA Field away from the main clubhouse.

1 comment:

Paul O'Toole said...

The Charleville race is clearly not "Ireland flattest half-marathon"; that honour probably goes to Clontarf (greatest net climb 50 ft), compared to approaching 80 ft climb on the return Chrleville leg. It's arguably not the straightest either, if you count the number of turns runners must make. As for are more likely to be battling the wind in Clontarf, whereas today, wind was not a big factor despite the gusts, due to the excellent cover.