Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: November 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Poll...How much do you spend on running?

I came across a poll recently from an American magazine where they asked people how much they spent each year on running? This includes shoes, gear, race entries and travel.

This was the result....

21%: More than $1,000
9%: $750 to $999
19%: $500 to $749
28%: $250 to $499
19%: $100 to $249
3%: Less than $100

So what about on this side of the water? Give it some thought and take part in the poll on the right hand side of this page.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Two Cork athletes named for the Irish Cross Country Team

Following the Senior Inter County Cross-Country Championships in Sligo last Sunday, Cork athletes Claire McCarthy of St.Finbarrs AC and Mark Hanrahan of Leevale AC have been named for the Irish Team for the 18th SPAR European Cross Country Championships. This takes place in Velenje, Slovenia on the 11th of December.

Senior Women...Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC),  Claire Gibbons-McCarthy (St.Finbarrs AC),  Aoife Culhane nee Byrne (DSD AC),  Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC),  Eilish Kelly (Raheny AC)
Senior Men... Joe Sweeney (Dundrum South Dublin AC),  Andrew Ledwith (Fr. Murphy’s),  Paul Pollock (Abbey AC),  Mark Hanrahan (Leevale AC),  Gary Thornton (Galway City Harriers)

Ballycotton 10 Entry form...

Panic no  more! ;o) ...The entry form is HERE

Post it ASAP!

Reminder.........If you didn't post your entry on the Tuesday, don't think you are too late. If you post on Wednesday then you should still get in ok.

GPS and Heart Rate Monitor Watches...

Over the last few weeks, I have been making a few small changes and additions to the site. The most recent one is that I have now added a section on watches to the Running in Cork store.

On it, you will find a selection of Garmin and Polar watches which can be purchased via Amazon in the UK. If you buy any of the watches there by clicking on the links, pay a small commission to me which helps offset the running costs of this website. It doesn't cost you anything extra. In fact, Amazon pay a commission for any products bought during the session which starts there.....even if they are non-running related items.

So if you are buying anything from then you might consider starting there on one of the product links......which then starts a session......and then purchase whatever you want.

When you begin to look at the various models of say Gamin watches on offer, it's not always obvious what is a new or an old model. For example, the Garmin Forerunner 205 is an old model while the 110 is a new watch. Even if you are just considering buying a watch and you don't want to puchase one via Amazon, it's worth having a look at the page to see what models are old and which ones are new.

The page is HERE

New Entry Guidelines Announced for New York City Marathon

For anyone interested in doing the New York City Marathon in 2012 or in future years then this might be of interest. In order to increase the number of places available for their lottery system, they have had to reduce the number of guaranteed entries. These are the changes...

Qualifying by cancelling entry: In the past, applicants to the marathon who canceled their entry according to cancellation guidelines were eligible for guaranteed entry to the following year's race, and could continue to cancel and receive guaranteed entry in subsequent years. The new policy preserves the guaranteed entry following cancellation but prohibits guaranteed entry by this method following a second consecutive cancellation.

Qualifying by being denied entry three consecutive times: In the past, applicants to the marathon have been eligible for guaranteed entry if they have been denied entry three years in a row. This policy will be eliminated; however, applicants denied entry for the three years 2009-11 will be eligible for guaranteed entry in 2012.

Qualifying by finishing 15 previous New York City Marathons: The ING New York City Marathon offers eligibility for guaranteed entry to runners who have finished 15 or more New York City Marathons, including the previous year. NYRR will discontinue this policy, though all runners who have already accumulated 15 or more finishes as of 2015 will be grandfathered in.

Qualifying with a fast marathon or half-marathon time: The ING New York City Marathon has always had time qualifying standards. The time qualifying standards will be tightened to 75-percent age-graded times in five-year increments; for details, go to:

The 2012 New York City Marathon will be on Sunday, the 4th of November. The official website is HERE

Monday, November 28, 2011

The lowdown on the Ballycotton '10' entries...

It's that time of year again as the mad rush to enter the 2012 Ballycotton 10 Mile Road race begins.

For new runners.......The Ballycotton '10' is the 2nd largest race in Cork and is one of the largest 10 mile road races in the country. It attracts not only local runners but also runners from the rest of Ireland and the UK. Entries open about 3 months before the race in March and the open section with 2,500 entries fills up in about 3 days.
The 2012 Ballycotton '10' race will take place on Sunday, the 4th of March.

First of all, a quick recap...
Just in case you are seeing this for the first time, a quick look to see what group you are in when it comes to entries...
A) Any athletics club member OR anyone who ran in all 4 of the Ballycotton Summer Series races can avail of a 2 week window to get their entries in (closing date Dec 15th).
B) Anyone living overseas can avail of a 6 week window (closing date 9th Jan)
C) If you do NOT qualify for one of the above conditions then you have to try and be one of the first 2,500 entries!!!

More details in an older post HERE for the lowdown...Here are the sequence of events...

1) Monday 28th Nov 2011......The organisers will post out entry forms to anyone that provided them with a stamp addressed envelope. If you have not done so already then you should get everything ready on the Monday.........envelope, stamp and €15 entry fee.
2) Tuesday 29th Nov 2011...AM. Some if not most people will get their forms in the post. Going on previous years, many will not. You should fill it out properly (instructions below) and get it in a postbox that has an evening collection.
3) Tuesday 29th Nov 2011...PM. The entry form will be available online which you can download and print.

As soon as it appears, I will be putting up a notice on the Running in Cork Facebook page to inform the 900+ subscribers there. If you are on Facebook and have not already subscribed then visit the page HERE and click the LIKE button. As soon as I send out the notice, it will appear on your Facebook wall, no need to be constantly checking. After that, I will put up the link on this site but you need to keep checking here. The Facebook page if you use it is the easiest option.

Again, your objective is to try and get it in a post box for collection on Tuesday evening.

4) Tueday 29th Nov 2011...Entry forms will be available in the following retail outlets on Tuesday evening...John Buckley Sports (Cork), Ger Wyley Sports (Dungarvan) and local shops in Ballycotton and Shanagarry.
Going on previous years, if you post your entry form on Tuesday night, Wednesday morning or Wednesday afternoon before the last post is collected then I'd be reasonable confident that you'll get in ok.

Post it Wednesday night, Thursday morning or Thursday afternoon and you are in the 'maybe' bracket. Post it on Friday and you are likely to be too late. If you take the approach of 'Ahh sure.....I'll post it next weekend'..........that's fine except the entries will be well closed by next week!!
Don't forget that the fact you are reading this on a Monday or Tuesday means that you are ahead of most. There will be loads of people who will not have checked the details in time and will miss out. That's why if you can follow the instructions here, post it Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning then you're probably as good as in.

Please note that you can only enter by post. There is no online entry and you cannot drop your entry in to someones house. By having postal entries only, everyone has the same chance of getting in.

The entry form....when you get it, cut off the section for entries only. DO NOT RETURN THE WHOLE FORM! I think the organisers have a pretty good idea of what the entry conditions are at this stage and they don't need you sending them the whole form to remind them ;o)

Read the advice given by Ballycotton Running Promotions below on what to do with the entry form. Read it would be a shame to go to all that trouble in sending off a form early only to be disqualified because you filled out the form incorrectly.

BEFORE YOU FILL OUT THE FORM…...Instructions from Ballycotton Running Promotions
Read all of it carefully – all the information you need is there...
Each person should fill out their own individual form – when people fill a form for someone else, it invariably leads to mistakes in spelling, date of birth, etc which causes problems to the information already on the data base.
Fill out the form in sequence (surname, first name, age on day of race, date of birth, male/female, etc.) Please write in BLOCK CAPITALS

Remember the club is Athletics Ireland club – (not BHAA, soccer club, GAA club).

Telephone/email contact is convenient for checking mistakes!
If you ran in ALL FOUR of this year’s Ballycotton Summer Series 5-mile races, tick the box.
Sign your name on the bottom… by doing this you also agree NOT to transfer your number to another runner in the event of being unable to run.

Please detach (tear, or cut off if form is downloaded) the section of the form with your details and only send this along with the entry fee of €15 to: Ballycotton Running Promotions, Ballycotton, Co. Cork.

Entry fee is €15. Cheques or postal orders should be made payable to Ballycotton Running Promotions. Don’t staple cheque to form. Cash is sent at your own risk.

Do not send a stamped addressed envelope - you can also send more than one form in the same envelope if required.
Using registered post won’t make any difference – it either gets there in time or not.
The first 2,500 postal entries opened are automatically accepted. After that, any AI club member or any runner who ran in all four of the 2011 Ballycotton Summer Series will be accepted up and including Thursday December 15th. Anyone living overseas will be accepted up to and including Monday January 9th.
As soon as the first 2,500 entries have been received, a notice will be posted on this website. Unless you qualify under the above headings, please do not continue to send in entries. It only causes extra work and expense to send them back.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cork ladies take Gold at the Inter-Counties X-Country Champs...Sun 27th Nov 2011

The Athletic Association of Ireland Inter-County Cross Country Championships were held in Sligo on Sunday, the 27th of Nov 2011.

The Cork ladies team finished 1st on the 8km course. The five scoring team members were....Claire McCarthy..2nd..31:27...(St.Finbarrs AC), Lizzie Lee..6th..32:24..(Leevale AC), Michelle Finn..9th..32:34 and Carmel Crowley of Bandon AC..18th..33:30

Place No Name County Time
1 181 Treacy, Sara Louise (U.23) Meath 31.10
2 269 Mc Carthy, Claire Cork 31.273 210 Culhane, Aoife Rathfarnham W.S.A.F. A.C. (IND) 31.30
4 280 Harty, Kerry Down 31.31
5 279 Kelly, Eilish Roscommon 31.36
6 272 Lee, Lizzie Cork 32.247 287 Britton, Una (U.23) Wicklow 32.27
8 217 O'Mahony, Orla Clare 32.32
9 275 Finn, Michelle (U.23) Cork 32.3410 289 Turley, Julie Down 32.41
18 273 Crowley, Carmel Cork 33.30Senior Women
Place County Team Total
1 Cork (A) 35 2 6 9 18

2 Dublin (A) 50 11 12 13 14
3 Meath (A) 119 1 31 39 48


In the Senior Mens 10k race, the Cork team finished 3rd.
Place No Name County Time
1 309 Sweeney, Joseph Dublin 32.07
2 286 Ledwith, Andrew Meath 32.53
3 277 Pollock, Paul Antrim 32.58
4 334 Mulhare, Michael (U.23) Laois 33.21
5 379 Hanrahan, Mark...Leevale AC...Cork 33.356 464 Thornton, Gary Galway 33.41
7 317 Hehir, Sean Clare 34.03
8 431 Dunleavy, Emmet Sligo 34.13
9 275 Mc Ginley, Eddie Antrim 34.19
10 331 Mulhare, Dan Laois 34.23
11 168 O'Hanlon, Gary Louth 34.23
12 381 O'Leary, Killian Cork 34.24
16 380 Mc Mahon, Brian Cork 34.37
37 378 Mc Carthy, James Cork 36.17
53 383 Dineen, Stephen Cork 37.40
59 376 Mc Grath, Sean Cork 38.01
Place County Team Total
1 Dublin (A) 103 1 15 17 20 22 28
2 Antrim (A) 109 3 9 13 19 24 41
3 Cork (A) 182 5 12 16 37 53 59


Reebok to sell running shoes in India for as little as $1?

It seems as if the Sporting multinational Adidas have plans to introduce a very cheap training shoe in India under their Reebok brand. While normal Reebok shoes retail in Europe for approx €40 to €100, they are planning to make a very cheap shoe which may retail in India for the equivalent of €1 to €2. In a pilot project in 2010, Adidas sold 5,000 Reebok shoes in three Bangladeshi villages, reportedly for the equivalent of between $1.14 and $1.70.

According to a local market research consultant...."If you want to exploit a $7tn consumer-driven economy like India, you have to adopt a high-volume, low-price business model with razor-thin profit margins. Two-thirds of India is on a very modest income so if you waited for incomes to rise to levels where they could buy Adidas shoes at Adidas prices, you would have to wait a very long time. The challenge for multinational companies is how to make goods at a price that consumers want but at a cost that they can still make a profit on. If you import materials, you have to pay an import duty, she says, so to keep costs low, Adidas will be finding materials and labour locally. And it will be relying on its quality, rather than its brand name, to distinguish it from equally cheap alternatives."

While the final product may be more suited for walking rather than running, it does give some idea about how cheaply shoes can be made. If a good quality running shoe in Europe or the USA costs 50 times as much, are they 50 times better? Or are the major sporting shoe companies happy to maintain the current status quo and keep a very generous margin?

Canadian woman sets new Australian 1000k record

More news from the crazy world of Ultra-Running....and you know it's crazy when you have to count the number of zero's in the distance ;o)

Canadian Bernadette Benson has just set a new record as the fastest person ever to run the 1000km Bibbulmun Track which stretches from Kalamunda to Albany in south-west Australia.  She ran for 14½ hours a day, covering an average daily distance of 65km, to finish in 15 days, nine hours and 48 minutes.

The 42-year-old Canadian ran for 14½ hours a day, covering an average daily distance of 65km, to finish in 15 days, nine hours and 48 minutes. This took almost a day off the previous record of 16 days, eight hours and 15 minutes held by Perth man Paul Madden. Benson, who completed the track with the help of her husband Rolf following in a car, said she rested for between four and six hours a night and ate more than 5000 calories a day.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Results of the Tramore Valley Park 5k - Sat 26th Nov 2011

The first race in Cork City's newest park got off to a great start with almost 300 runners taking part. While the Tramore Valley Park still has that 'raw' look about it, a few more months of work and some spring growth should see a big improvement. It will most likely be open to the public sometime in 2012 and I would presume that road races there will be a regular feature in future years. As a course, it certainly isn't as flat or fast as say the Marina circuit but there are no huge drags either.

The winner of the mens race was Chris Harrington of Leevale AC in a time of 15:43. The womens race was won by Annette Quaid of Leevale AC in a time of 17:58

The full results can be seen HERE

Leading lady Annette Quaid on the 1st lap

"Forget the race...where's the camera?"

Photos.....(Updated 10am 29/11/11)
The is a slideshow HERE
Another one HERE
Another gallery HERE

Masters athletes in the USA get caught for doping

You would think that cheating and doping in sports would be confined to young athletes but it doesn't seem so. In 2011, the US Anti-Doping agency have caught 11 masters in his 50's and three in their 60's. While some can be explained away by people taking certain medications because of their age, there are others who are doping to enhance their athletic performance in competitions.

At that age, you'd have to wonder what's the point? It's not like there is some huge amount of money at stake?........or is it a case of old habits die hard???

There is an article about it on the Associated Press website

Can the kick at the end of a Marathon be fatal?

Possibly some of you may have heard that there were two fatalities at the Philadelphia Marathon last weekend. They were aged 21 and 40 and both died at or near the finish line.

In relation to this mishap, Dr. Lewis Maharam, the board chairman of the International Medical Directors Association said that he believes that the final sprint to the finish line can prove fatal to vulnerable hearts.“Runners are not bullet-proof,” said Dr. Maharam. One of the bits of advice that he gave was that runners should avoid caffeine–especially super-caffienated energy drinks–on race day.

No matter how young runners are, Dr. Maharam suggests that marathoners get an annual physical where doctors can screen for hidden heart ailments that may manifest themselves come race day. Though it seems like more runners are dying in marathons, Dr. Maharam says the absolute risk of dying has remained stable at one out of every 50,000 entrants.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Preview of the Tramore Valley Park 5k - Sat 26th Nov 2011

This 5k race is hopefully the first of many in this location. The Tramore Valley Park is the name for Cork City's newest grassland park. Located just off the South Link road, it is very easy to access even for runners coming from further afield.

The race is organised by Bishopstown Lions Club in association with East Cork AC. The entry fee is €8 and ALL proceeds are going to Marymount Hospice. Please note that the race starts at 11am.

The main sponsor for the race is the Edge Sports Shop. They will be sponsoring all prizes for the race. They are actually located very close to the new park and are right alongside the Kinsale Road Roundabout. Shown on map below...

The Edge Sports shop Specialises in Running, Cycling, Swimming and Triathlon.  All sales staff participate in at least one but generally 2 or more of the sports and are able to give excellent advise to customers.  The new Superstore boasts a large Running Department and Swimming Department on the 1st floor; with stacks of bikes, clothing, accessories and electronics on the ground floor.  Keen runners for the respective clubs - Robert Patterson (St. Finbarr's AC), Dave Lyons (Mallow AC) and Barry Donovan (Leevale AC) rotate between the two shops depending on the day of the week.  Video Running Gait Analysis is available on demand at both shops to help customers select the best shoe for their running needs.

Current Sales promotions include for example a Free running T-Shirt with any pair of running shoes at the North Main Street Shop, and the Garmin Forerunner 110 at a Special Offer price of 160 Euro (without Heart Rate) and 190 Euro (with Heart Rate).

A final word - there is plenty of parking and customer toilets at the Superstore location.  Bike servicing is also carried out at very reasonable rates.  All of the full time mechanics have cycled for Ireland as well as having a background in bike mechanics.

Opening Hours:
Monday - Wednesday: 9.30 - 6.00pm
Thursday - Friday (LATE): 9.30 - 8pm
Saturday: 9.00 - 6pm
Sunday: 12 - 6pm

North Main Street:
Monday - Friday: 9.30 - 6.00pm
Saturday: 9.00 - 6pm

You can find their online store at

The exact location of their store can be seen on Google maps .

They also have a smaller shop on the North Main Street in Cork City. All contact details are on their website.

Update!.....The Edge Sports Shop are giving away a Free Sponser gel (worth 1.25 Euro) with ANY purchase to any customer mentioning "Cork Running Blog"; strictly only 1 gel per customer.

Getting there.......
1) If you are coming out of Cork City on the South Link Road then easy enough, just turn left into the park.
2) If you are coming from the direction of the Kinsale Road Roundabout...which is probably the majority....then please CANNOT turn right off the South Link Road and into the park...See the red X and the green dots.

Take the exit which will take you down past Harvey Normans, right at the next junction...past the entrance to the Black Ash Park and Ride...straight through the traffic lights and into the park.

Notes from the organisers...
The only entrance is off the South Link Road - either directly across from Woodies/Park and Ride or left turn coming out from the city. There is no right turn off the carriageway going from the Kinsale roundabout to the city.
Follow instructions/directions to the car park once inside the park. There are overflow parking facilities if the numbers are large.
Registration (€8), light refreshments after the race and very limited changing facilities will be in a marquee near  the city council offices
Toilet facilities will be available near the start/finish area. There will be water available near the finish.
Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the park.
Prizes: First 5 individual men and ladies thereafter category prizes for men and ladies Over 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60.
Other Facilities: Ample parking facilities near the Start/Finish area. Toilets will also be available. Note that only very limited (if any) changing facilities are available. Please come prepared. Light refreshments served afterwards.
Access Permission granted by Cork City Council
Athletic Permit granted by Athletics Ireland
Certified measured course using Jones Counter by John Walshe (Ballycotton Running Promotions)
Race results produced by Ballycotton Running Promotions

The Course.........
The course consists of 2 laps of a 2.5km route. About 70m after the start there is a sharp left hand bend. But the road is wide here and this should not be a problem. In general, the road surface is good. There are 2 sections where the surface is hardcore (like a forest road)......the top right of the map before the 2 mile mark and the stretch just before the the finish line. Otherwise, it is a flat course with a short slight drag at the one and half mile and two and three quarter mile marks (before the start line).

The park is not open to the public. It is still in a state of development. But spectators are welcome on this occasion and should fine good vantage points in order get a view of how the race develops.

There is a swale (large open drain) alongside (but well off the road) for some of the race route. The level of water will be deep enough at this time of the year. It should be regarded as dangerous and out of bounds.

Please note that the map above is an old one. The route as shown is reasonably accurate although one slight bend just after the start is omitted. The photo which is from ~2009 shows the site being capped. This is now all grass.

Overall........This is going to be a 'must do' race for a lot of people. The entry fee is only €'s for a worthy cause...reasonably fast and accurate course.......the curiosity of what the new park looks like.....and the fact that it won't be open to the pubic for several months yet should mean that it will get a good turnout. The current forecast is that it will be breezy but dry.

Guest Article - Charity or Farce? ...By David O’Dwyer

Guest Article - Charity or Farce? ...By David O’DwyerRunning and marathon running in particular have long been associated with raising money for charity. The Dublin Marathon has raised hundreds of millions of Punts and Euros since 1980 and the London Marathon has raised some £450 million since 1981. Simply completing a marathon however is no longer deemed enough of a challenge for some fund raisers in their stated aim to raise money for their chosen charity. Some sort of edge is required in order to make their marathon challenge stand out among the other participants. This has usually meant some sort of gimmick in order to give their effort some additional novelty. The imagination is the only limiting factor in choosing something from wheelbarrow pushing to running backwards. I can recall an old news clip from one of the early Dublin marathons, possibly from “Reeling in the Years” where someone ran with a ladder on their shoulder! I’m not sure how they fared.

For many dressing up in some form of costume will ensure they stand out from the crowd and get seen on TV. British media coverage of the London marathon and the Great North run is particularly fond of such gimmicks and they receive plenty of TV coverage. These costumes can range from a Super hero outfit to a deep water dive suit! The dressing up in a costume won’t do much for ones performance though, mind you the record for the fastest marathon time dressed as a superhero was set in the London Marathon in April of this year by David Stone(aka Superman) in a not too shabby 2.42.46. There were apparently 35 new Guinness World Records set in London this year and they ranged from Superman to a Panda and even a snail. There was also some guy juggling a football and another solving 100 rubiks cube puzzles as he made his way round the course.

Consider for a moment the issue of falling standards despite the increase in numbers participating. Is it a stretch to say that all of this pageantry is a contributing factor to the overall fall in standards? It would be crazy to suggest that running in a superhero costume is somehow causing the overall standard to fall however it is not crazy to suggest that David Stone could run even faster without his cape flailing in the wind behind him in the London marathon. Yes the aim of the individual is to raise money for charity and not necessarily to run a fast time but is the quality of the event somehow compromised? Or is it a perfect marrying of the two extremes? On the one hand you have elite athletes clocking 2.05 for the marathon and on the other you have Krusty the Clown cartwheeling around the course.

The money that is raised for charity is all very commendable and very much appreciated by the charities in question but is it appropriate to combine it with the elite marathon running? Big City marathons are unique in that they offer the opportunity for “joe public” to run in the same race as world class athletes. It is one of the few opportunities for mere mortals to toe the line with an Olympic Champion. Is it somehow taking away from the race as an athletic event when Haile Gebrselassie is attempting to set a world record while Postman Pat is taking part in the same race? Is dressing up in a costume somehow disrespecting the elites in the field? This is certainly one point of view but the flip side is that it enhances the whole event. It adds a carnival type atmosphere to the whole day and let’s be honest here it’s going to be easier to run the race without wearing a costume so you could argue that it is even harder to complete the marathon while dressed as Mickey Mouse. 
This is no doubt an emotive subject and the knee jerk reaction will be where is the harm in it? There is nothing wrong with using marathon running as a method for raising money for charity and if anything it can be argued that it has helped to raise the profile of marathon running. However when you compare it with other sports there is no argument. There is no other sport that combines the sublime with the ridiculous. Would a Connemara Pony be allowed run in the Grand National, or how about completing the Tour de France on a BMX?

One idea that has not caught on is aiming to run the marathon in as fast a time as possible and getting the appropriate sponsorship money for that. Has anyone ever raised money by saying that they’ll run the marathon in a particular time and as a sponsor you give extra money if they beat that time? Now that sounds it would be harder to do than complete the marathon dressed in a Batman suit and cape.

Agree or disagree? Put forward your point of view by clicking on the comment link below...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reminder about Ballycotton '10' entries...

Just a reminder! The entry forms for the 2012 Ballycotton '10' race are out next Tuesday, the 29th of Nov 2011. It is very likely that the first 2,500 entries will be filled in 2 to 3 days.

Whether you went with the SAE option or you are going to download the form on Tuesday and print it out, you should still get everything else ready. The entry fee is €15. If you need to get a postal order, do it this week. Get the envelope and stamp this week. Pop it in the post next Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. If you can find a post box with morning collection then so much the better. Do NOT wait until Thursday or Friday to post it.

If you are unsure about the entry conditions then look at this earlier post.

On the subject of race entries, another race coming up in early 2012 is the Dungarvan 10 mile. In recent years, it has gone from a relatively small race with a few hundred entries to one of the largest road races in the south-east. For many Waterford based runners, it is now their main 10 mile race and that in turn has taken some of the pressure off the Ballycotton event.

The Dungarvan 10 mile road race is on Sunday, the 29th of January 2012 and is the first race in the John Buckley Sports Munster Ten-Mile Spring Classics Series. It is pre-entry only with a limit of 1,500 runners.

The cheapest entries are before the 16th of December so it's better to enter sooner rather than later.

More info up on the Running in Munster website.

Dublin loses one of it's most famous tracks

Back in the 70's, the athletic track at the UCD campus in Belfield, Dublin was one of the finest in the country. Starting this week, the diggers were in ripping it up. The reason given for it's closure was “health and safety concerns” and as you can see from the photo below, it was neglected for years.
There is a proposal to build another track elsewhere on the campus but obviously, it would be a lot cheaper to re-surface the existing one rather than build a completely new one. According to an Irish Times article today, they speculate that the real reason is that it will ..."end up as a car park or the site of student accommodation".

The full Irish Times article can be seen HERE  (Photo: Bryan O’Brian)

While this may appear as a Dublin related news story, it raises the issue of other running track around the country. These tracks are not just the preserve of elite athletes intersted only in track and field events. Plenty of athletic and running clubs use them for speed training, especially during the winter months when the roads are dark.If a track like this in the capital city can be left go to ruin, what about other tracks elsewhere?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Article from the Guardian on barefoot running

There was another article recently in the Guardian about barefoot running. It basically came to two main conclusions...

1) There is no real evidence that barefoot running reduces injuries. Lots of theories but nothing factual.
2) Anyone starting off running barefoot needs to change how they run and how their feet hit the ground. People who continue to heel-strike when barefoot, and who may "force" a forefoot landing put a huge strain on the calf muscle and Achilles tendons. As such, it's a skill. Some master it, some don't.

It does however suggest that it may be benefical as part of a training programme where it loads the joints differently and activates muscles in different patterns.

The full article can be seen HERE

Running Magazines...Value for money?

Looking at the sports section in a large newsagents like Easons, you can't help but notice the range of running magazines on offer. Beside the Irish Runner, the rest seem to be mostly UK based with some from the US as well.

The thing though is that they all seem to be priced around the €6 mark. While magazines like the Irish Runner may have Irish related content, the rest seem to have material that is freely available on the Internet. The news is usually 1-2 months old. They usually have advice or training schedules which can be found easily for free elsewhere. After that, it seems to be mostly adverts or info about UK races which are of no relevance.

When I was putting together the Running in Cork bookstore with approx 40 titles, I got a good idea of the general price of the books on offer and some are not that more expensive than a magazine. Some of the books, especially the training ones would have a lot more detailed info compared to what might be available on say 2 pages in a magazine. In terms of value for money, I would suggest that books...regardless of where you buy them...are much better value than running magazines.

Yet there are plenty of these magazines on the shelves so someone must be buying them.

Q. Do you buy some of these running magazines? Especially the UK based ones? and why?

Click on the comment link below...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Alan O'Shea from Cork runs 2:19 in Nice Marathon

Alan O'Shea of Bantry AC ran 2:19:35 in the Marathon Des Alpes-Maritimes Nice-Cannes in the south of France on Sunday, the 20th of November 2011.

Finishing 10th out of 7000+ entrants, his time was almost 4 minutes faster than the 2:23:22 that he posted in the Dublin Marathon just 3 weeks earlier when he was the 3rd Irish finisher.

His time of 2:19:35 is just over 4 minutes outside the 2:15 required to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

Category results of the Cork BHAA Mount Oval 6 mile...Sun 20th Nov 2011

Somewhere around 200 runners turned out for this 6 mile race near Rochestown to the south of Cork City. Starting and finishing in the residential area of Mount Oval, the race followed a hilly route to the south taking in some quiet and some busy roads. Appearently there was a problem with lack of stewards at one road junction ~4.5 miles which resulted in some runners going the wrong way which wasn't great.

The category results are below. The full results are now HERE.

Leading group around the 1 mile mark...
Photos......(Updated 8:30am Tues 22nd Nov)
Maggie Chojan has a slideshow HERE

Ian Dorgan has a slideshow HERE

Men...1) 32:43 Shane Coffey, Deloitte. 2) 33:04 John Meade, Joyce Wolfe Physio. -) 32:13 Con Marshall (non-reg). 3rd reg) 33:36 Cillian O'Tuama, Arris
M40...1) John Malone, Quality Hotels. 2) John Dunphy, Flexible Connectors. 3) Sean O'Sullivan, ESB
M45...1) Mark Bickerdyke, Blarney School of Motoring. 2) John Cashman, Midleton News. 3) Eddie Byrne, IPS
M50...1) Andrew Geany, Apple Computer, 2) Eamonn Murphy, St. Patricks College. 3) Mossie Shanahan, Sisks
M55...1) Tony Huff, Team Adidas, 2) Dan Kennedy, DMP, 3) Dan Horgan, Midleton UDC
M60...1) Jimmy Murray, HSE, 2) Paddy Joyce, Mallow
M65...1) Paddy Daly, Army, 2) Billy Caball, BHAA
M70...1) John O'Leary, Bookdeal
Mens Teams
Grade A...1)  51 IPS, 2)  -- no second, 3)  -- no third
Grade B...1)  82 Midleton News, 2)  99 ESB, 3) 102 EMC
Grade C...1) 154 Pfizer, 2) 156 Sisk Builders, 3) 172 UCC

Ladies...1) 40:32 Geraldine O'Shea, Cork County Council (F40), 2) 42:48 Orla Crosbie, HSE, 3) 43:06 Gillian Cotter, UCC, 4) 44:02 Elaine Guinane, Dept of Ed
F35...1) Theresa Crowley, 2) Michelle Leighton, Angela Walsh Properties
F40...There were no prize winners in the F40 category
F45...1) Mary O'Keeffe, Midleton News, 2) Kitty Harrington Buckley, HSE, 3) Marie Creedon, CSO
F50...1) Frances O'Connor, Dept of Ed, 2) Margaret Rohan, Midleton News, 3) Joan McCarthy, BOI
F55...There were no prize winners in the F55 category
F60...1) Mary Linehan, Linehans
F65...1) Maggie Dunne, Avondhu Motors Factors
Ladies Teams
Grade A...1)   9 Dept Ed, 2)  12 HSE
Grade B...1)  21 Midleton News, 2)  31 BOI

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New York Times article on Europe's fastest man

The New York Times had an article recently on the fastest man in Europe...Christophe Lemaitre from France.

In a sport where the vast majority of athletes can be traced to being of West African origin, he is unusual in that he is the only white sprinter ever to have broken 10 seconds for 100 metres.
Just as East Africans living at altitude appear to have a natural ability for distance running, West African athletes and their descendants appear to have more success in sprinting. Research published in the early 1970s suggested that black sprinters had several major differences from their white counterparts: less body fat, shorter torsos, thinner hips, longer legs, thicker thigh muscles, thinner calf muscles and a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibres.

Lemaitre who is still only 21 years old has a 100 metre PB of 9.92. By the way, 9.92 is the exact same time that Carl Lewis ran in Seoul in 1988 to win gold and set a new Olympic record. With the fastest sprinters in the world heading to London next year, it will be interesting to see what he can do.

The full article is HERE

Knitlympics...the book everyone has been waiting for

This new book called Knitlympics has just been published. I know, I can hardly contain your excitement ;o)

If you ever had the urge to knit your own Olympic athlete then here's your chance!

No ticket for the mens 100m Olympic final in London? No problem, knit your own! I'm sure they'll accept it.

Figures include Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis, Cathy Freeman, Mark Spitz, Ian Thorpe and of course the 'must have' Olympic Torch!

A slideshow of the figures can be seen on the Telegraph website and the book can be purchased on the site. Go know you want to :o))

Friday, November 18, 2011

Random photos with a Cork theme...

I came across these two photos while I was looking for some other material...

The Irish 100m record holder Ailis McSweeney from Cork suspended in mid-air during the women's 4 x 100m relay heat at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona, Spain on the 31st of July 2010. Alongside is the legendary Merlene Ottey.

Somewhere underneath the national flags are Derval O'Rourke from Cork after winning the silver medal in the Women’s 100m Hurdles final during the European Athletics Championships, in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, July 31, 2010. Under the Turkish flag on the left is the race winner Nevin Yanit.

2008 10,000m Olympian Jorge Torres misses US trials because of accident in Ireland...

This piece appeared recently on the Running Times website.

It seems that back on the 25th of September, Jorge Torres from the USA won the Loughrea 10k in Galway in a time of 30:58. In the article, it reports that Torres was 'struck from behind by an automobile' while he was warming down. It now seems as if his injuries were more serious than originally thought.

From the Running Times website.....
For the first week after being struck from behind by an automobile in Ireland, 2008 U.S. 10,000m Olympian Jorge Torres kept believing there was still a chance. A chance it was nothing more than a bad bruise. A chance physical therapy and rest would heal the throbbing in his leg. A chance the clean X-rays he had in Ireland and Colorado were telling the whole truth.
Meeting with his doctor after an MRI, however, revealed the final truth: torn ligaments and tendons in his right ankle, and more damning, a fractured tibia on the same leg. The bone, Torres was told, could easily have displaced. Were it to separate, screws would have to be inserted into the tibia. The doctor called for six to eight weeks of no running.
“After hearing that news, and pretty much knowing that I wouldn’t be anywhere near the kind of form needed going into the Olympic trials, we shut it down,” Torres says. “We just need to let it heal, change our focus and set new goals and move forward.”

The full article can be seen HERE

Female US Racewalker qualifies for trials but can't go to Olympics...

I came across this story earlier this week from the New York Times.

Erin Taylor-Talcott is an American racewalker. After posting a time of 4:41:36 in a recent 50k race, her time was actually faster than the United States men’s Olympic trials standard of 4:45. The only catch though is that there is no 50k racewalk for women at the US trials or at the Olympics.

From the New York Times....
"A 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) racewalk became an Olympic sport for women in 1992. There is also a separate 20K race for men. The I.A.A.F. said there was insufficient interest among female competitors to hold an Olympic race at 50 kilometers, calling the event “pretty much nonexistent.” Yet, Taylor-Talcott excels at the longer distance, having won first place in the past two 50K United States championships for women, a race that is contested nationally but not internationally in major meets. Unofficially, she is the 14th-fastest woman ever at 50K, recording her best time on Sept. 11 at a race in Ocean Township, N.J. And she is faster than some elite American men in a sport that requires competitors to keep one foot on the ground at all times and to straighten their leading leg as the body passes over it."

On Wednesday she finally gained provisional entry into the trials and, according to a spokeswoman for USA Track and Field, perhaps became the first woman to do so in a men’s event. Taylor-Talcott can compete in the 50K Olympic trials as a so-called guest upon agreeing not to try to participate in the men’s event at the London Games, the national governing body said."

While Taylor-Talcott will be allowed to take part in the 50k mens race to highlight the issue, she is very unlikely to reach the 2012 Olympic participation standard of 4 hours 9 minutes for men.

It does however raise an interesting dilema....what would happen if say the worlds fastest 50k female racewalker actually achieved the mens qualifying time? Would she be refused entry based on her gender?

The New York Times article can be seen in full HERE

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Results of the Run for Mark in the Dark race - Wed 16th Nov 2011

There was a large turnout of 442 runners for this charity run in Cork City yesterday evening. There were 168 in the 5k race while 274 took part in the 10k. For a damp dark November evening, that's an impressive number.

The full results with lap splits can be seen HERE

Just out of interest....for those that ran, what did you think of the race or event overall? Was the course bright enough for a road race? Click on the comment link below...

Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon coming to Dublin in 2012...

The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon Series are a collection of road running events owned and operated by Competitor Group, Inc. in the USA. They operate a multitude of races in the US and they now seem to be expanding their presence in Europe. They have just announced that they will be holding a Half-Marathon in Dublin in August 2012 as part of their European series of races.

Here is the press statement......
Competitor Group, Inc. has reached a partnership with Athletics Ireland to launch the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon, which is expected to attract 10,000 participants and is currently scheduled for Monday, August 6, 2012.
“Ireland and its capital city of Dublin are a perfect fit to host a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event,” said Peter Englehart, CEO of CGI.  “Dublin is a bustling city with a great love of sports, outdoor entertainment and world-class cultural offerings. We are extremely happy and pleased to bring an event of this caliber to the city and we know there will be a lot of excitement around this race every year.”
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon is now part of an international series of musically themed marathons and half-marathons, uniquely combining entertainment with a scenic 13.1-mile road course. The event features live bands performing at every mile along the route, cheerleaders encouraging runners, themed water stations and a finish line concert headlined by a major act.
Race weekend in Dublin will begin with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo where all participants go to pick up their race number. The expo will feature several running and fitness retailers, exhibits with free nutritional samples and a series of interactive clinics.
“This event provides a perfect stage to grow local participation in athletics and it also comes at a time when we are increasing our focus on sports tourism,” said John Foley, CEO of Athletics Ireland. “Competitor Group is a worldwide leader in the endurance sports sector and it has an international presence that will help bring runners to Dublin from around the world. We want people to come to Dublin for our beauty and our culture and leave with an unforgettable running experience.”

Is this a good or bad development? In terms of publicity and attracting overseas runners and tourists to the country, it may have great potential. Or will it be just mainly locals? In terms of the existing race calendar, it seems as if the market just got a whole lot more crowded.

Good or bad? Are you interested in doing it? Leave your opinion by clicking on the Comment link below...
Half Marathon Registration Fees
€ 33 – Promotional price when online registration opens
€ 40 – December 1 – February 28
€ 45 – March 1 – April 30
€ 50 – May 1 – July 31
€ 60 – Expo Registration (if available)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is the Olympic torch coming to Dublin or not?

There has been a lot of speculation over the last few months as to whether the Olympic flame would come to Dublin or not. When the route was announced at the start of November, there was no mention of a Dublin event and it looked as if it wasn't going to happen.

This week however in a submission to the British House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the London 2012 Olympic chairman Sebastian Coe said..."I don't want to go into particular details. I have spent a lot of time on this both in Northern Ireland and in conversations with the Republic. From a personal perspective I would like to see a small visit south of the border but, as you can understand, these are complex discussions but it is our ambition to do this."

The torch is being taken to four places in Northern Ireland - Belfast, Derry, Coleraine and Newry.
If the southern leg goes ahead, the torch could be brought to Dublin on June 6 after a symbolic border crossing at Newry marking the peace process.

Listening to a recent radio interview, the Minister of State Michael Ring said that he was hopeful and that it was up to the Olympic Council of Ireland. Reading between the lines, it certainly sounded as if the chances were a lot higher than 50:50  and that the Olympic Council of Ireland were the body in charge and would be the ones making the announcement.

It's probably safe to say that it will be the first and only time the olympic flame will ever be in Dublin.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Preview of the 'Run for Mark in the Dark' charity run - Wed 16th Nov 2011

The ‘Run for Mark in the Dark’ is coming up on Wednesday, November 16th at 7.30pm. It is being run simultaneously in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Belfast. The proceeds of this event will go to the Mark Pollock trust to help Mark with his rehabilitation.

The Cork event takes place on the Monahan Road/Centre Park Road circuit and there are entries on the night too. Option of 5k or 10k distance.

This link is a video about Mark - Please vote for it on the site, the winning charity gets €10K……

Some information on Mark:
Mark Pollock is a truly inspiring individual. Having lost his sight at the age of 22 Mark has never let that hold him back. He took hold of his life and never looked back competing in the world’s harshest environments across desert,mountain, ocean and polar regions including 6 marathons in 7 days in the Gobi Desert, a race to the South Pole, and the Round Ireland yacht race; all this despite being completely blind. He made his living as a motivational speaker around the globe and inspired many people to think about how to face challenges and make decisions.

Having overcome his blindness tragedy struck again on the 2nd July 2010 when Mark fell from a second story window and suffered a catastrophic spinal injury which has left Mark paralysed from the waist down. The following clip is of an interview with Mark conducted by the BBC six months after Mark's accident.

The past year has been incredibly difficult for Mark and while he has dealt with every emotion he is determined not to rest on his laurels. You can check out Mark's blog at

He has done a lot of research to find out what he could do and was in hospital for 15 months. He has just been released and is now following a programme of aggressive physical therapy in an attempt to regain any feeling or movement that he can.

The Mark Pollock Trust was set up by Mark's friends and supporters in order to raise funds for this rehabilitation programme, which will involve a daily aggressive physical therapy programme of up to 3 hours per session, input from physical trainers and physiotherapists and repeat visits to a spinal injuries recovery facility in America called, Project Walk. ‘Run for Mark in the Dark’ is the Trust's first official event, although many friends, old and new, have been hosting running and cycling races, events in their homes and donating directly to the Trust, allowing Mark start to rebuild his life and to start training.

The four fundraising runs will take place in Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Galway simultaneously and range between 4 km and 10km (distances vary depending on the location). Each location has a walking option, so everyone can participate. The cost of the event is €25 per person for this very wothwhile cause. Log onto to enter.

On the night....You can also enter on the night at the Clarion hotel. There is plenty of on street parking along Victoria Road. If you are not sure of where the Clarion hotel is then see the map above. It is 530 metres from the hotel to the start line.

Course.......The route used is the Monahan Road / Centre Park Road circuit. The race starts and finishes next to Kennedy Park. The loop is 2.5 kms and you have a choice of doing 2 loops.....5 kms......or 4 loops........10 kms. The course is dead flat and very fast.

In general, the course is well lit with plenty of street lights. The photo below shows the first corner which at the south-east  of the loop. Lots of light here, no issues...

On the north-east corner...shown below....there are plenty of trees. While the leaves are mostly gone at this time of year, it will most likely be the darkest part of the course so watch your footing here...

At the western end of the loop, you are back onto a well lit junction at the roundabout and garage...

Please note that the course will be plenty of race stewards and hi-vis vest are not required on the night.
Post Race.......Runners can use the health club facilities in the Clarion hotel for a shower etc.
A goody bag can be collected be at the Clarion afterwards and they will be selling tee shirts before and after.

Draw for prizes (Top Draw Prize valued at €500 - 2 nights bed and breakfast, one evening meal with a bottle of wine in Kudos bar and approx €50 of pre/post dinner drinks for two people in the Clarion Hotel Cork) in the Clarion after the race also.