Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: March 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Road races this weekend...Sun 1st Apr 2012

These are the road races in Munster this weekend...

Cork...Sun 1st (11am)...UCC 10k...€5/ €8...Cork City
Cork...Sun 1st (2pm)...Rosscarbery 10k fun run...€5
Waterford...Sun 1st (12 noon)...WIT AC 5k...€10 / €12
Tipperary...Sun 1st (12 noon)...Tipp AAI County Novice B road championships...Moyne
Limerick...Sun 1st (1pm)...Castleconnell 10k...€15 pre-entry/€20 on the day
Kerry...Sun 1st (1pm)...Ballyheigue 10k race / 5k fun run...€10
Clare...Sun 1st (1:30pm)...Michael Egan Memorial 4 mile...€15/€20...Quilty

The Cork BHAA UCC 10k race takes in the Lee Road / Straight Road circuit. As per usual, it's €5 for registered runners and €8 for non-registered.

Route of Olympic Torch in Dublin on 6th June 2012

On the 6th of June 2012, the Olympic torch will do a short tour around the streets of Dublin. Starting at Croke Park around 9:15am, it will follow the approximate route as shown above until it reaches the Mansion House.

For a closer look, a map of the approximate route can be seen HERE

Update on times...
Torchbearer    Road Name    Approx Time
Cillian Kirwan    Howth    8am
Henry Shefflin    Croke Park Jones Rd Entrance to Fitzgibbon St    9.35am
Brian Brunton    Fitzgibbon Street to Mountjoy Square North    9.40am
Robbie Lyons    Mountjoy Sq. Nth to Junction Hill St/ Denmark St    9.43
Aaron Fallon    Junc. Denmark St/Hill St to Garden Of Remb.    9.46
Michael Carruth    Garden of Rememberance to Cathal Bruagh Street    9.50
John Grimes    Cathal Bruagh Street to GPO O’Connell Street    9.54am
Edward Grimes    Cathal Bruagh Street to GPO O’Connell Street    9.54am
Aine Holden    GPO O Connell Street – Marlborough Street    9.58
Shane Horgan    Marlborough Street to CHQ Building Custom House Quay    10.01
Anne Ebbs    CHQ Building Custom House Quay to Common Street    10.04
Lee Kinsella    Custom Hse, Quay/ Commons St to Mayor St    10.07
Olivia  O’Toole    Mayor Street to Seville Place    10.10
Lauren Lawless    Seville Place to Guild St before junc Mayor St    10.13
Bernard Brogan    Guild St before junc. Mayor St to S. Beckett Bridge    10.16
Paul McGrath    Samuel Beckett Bridge to  Grand Canal Theatre    10.19
Mark Pollock    Grand Canal Theatre to Clarence Place/Macken St    10.22
Gareth Myhal    Clarence Place/Macken St to Junc Lr Grand Canal St    10.25
Aine Costello    Junc Lr Grand Canal St to Hogan Place/Holles St Junc    10.28
Joan Freeman    Holles Street /Hogan Place Junc to Merrion Square East    10.31
Irial Finan    Merrion Sq East to Junc Baggot St Lr/Lr Fitzwilliam St    10.33
Anthony Sutherland    Baggot Street Lr Junc to Upper Fitzwilliam St    10.37
John Collins    Fitzwilliam Street Upper to Leeson Street Bridge    10.40
Edward Byrne    Leeson Street Bridge to Dartmount Walk/ Canal Road    10.43
Niamh Reid-Burke    D.M Walk / Canal Road – Canal Road After Ranelagh Rd Junc.    10.47
Alva Nolan    Canal Rd to Grove Rd East after Rathmines Rd Junc    10.50
Gillian Garrett    Grove Rd East to Grove Road Middle    10.53
Ger Keelan    Grove Road Mid. To Junc. Harold Cr. Rd / Clansbrassil St    10.56
Mubarak Habib    Clanbrassil Street Upr. To South Circular Rd Junc    10.59
Denis Hickie    Sth Circular Rd to Lr Clanbrassil St/ Donavan Lane Junc    11.02
Karl Flood    Lr clan. St/Donavan Lane to New St South/ Fumbally Lane    11.05
Gary O’Brien    New St Sth / Fumbally Lane to Patrick St / Bull Alley St Junc    11.08
Mark Kenneally    Patrick St /Bull Alley St to Christchurch Pl (Jury’s Hotel)    11.11
Pamela Lacken    Christchurch Place (Jury’s) to Parliament St Junction    11.14
Kenneth Egan    Parliament Street Junct to- Dame Street /Trinity St Junc    11.17
John Treacy    Dame Street/ Trinity St Junc – Nassau Street/ Dawson St    11.20
Natalya Coyle    Nassau St /Dawson St Junc /Nassau St / Kildare St Junc.    11.23
Ruby Walsh    Nassau St /Kilare St Junc / Clare St Merrion Sq West Junc    11.26
Ronald Delany    Merrion Square West Junc to Government Buildings    11.29
Bridget Taylor    Government Buildings  via Ely Place to St Stephens Green    11.37
Sonia O’Sullivan    St. Stephens Green    11.40

Guest Article...Olympic ticket fiasco by Paudie Birmingham

The following article was written by Paudie Birmingham of Mallow AC about his experience in buying tickets for the 2012 Olympic games in London....

07/07/2005.   What a terrible day for London.  Islamist terrorists detonated four bombs across London.  Fifty-two people, and four bombers were killed.  Earlier that morning Londoners were waking up to the news that London would be hosting the Olympics in 2012 for the first time since 1948. For me and for most people I guess growing up I would always watch the Olympics and wish I could be there to watch in person. So the news that the Olympics were coming to our next-door neighbours was met with joy. 

The world 7 years ago was a very different place than it is today.   On the day before the bombing Bog Geldof and Bono were trying to convince the G8 in Scotland to drop the debt in the world’s poorest countries and Ireland’s unemployment rate was at 4.5%.  (Now we have Enda and Michael Noonan taking the place of Bob and Bono and the G8 seems to be the Troika).

So as the dust settled on London after those terrible attacks thoughts started turning to the Olympics. Tickets,tickets,tickets.  Thinking back I think I remember Sebastian Coe saying that his Olympics would be the Olympics for everyone and that tickets would start from £10.  Well that was seven years ago so I guess you might expect them to cost slightly more by now.  Oh if it was just that simple.   
I am one of the lucky ones and I have got myself a ticket for 1 night.  Lots of my running friends also entered the lottery and were not as lucky so they unfortunately will be watching the Olympics on TV as if it was in China or some other far off country.  I’m sure there will be plenty of overpriced package deals to be got if you have the funds but as we are in harder times I think this option will not be for everybody. 

To get my tickets I had to enter the strangest lottery.  The London Olympics committee in their wisdom decided to give people the option to put in a range in which you would basically bid for tickets.  In my case I looked for tickets for 3 nights.  My preferred seats would be category D seats but could pay for category C if there were no D seats.   What’s the difference???  Well two Cat C seats cost £250 + £12 delivery.  I think the Cat D seats were £90ea. 

While waiting for months to see if I got tickets I got plenty of e-mails telling me how my I could be part of the occasion by buying limited edition merchandise.  Everything from Olympics pins from £6 to coins up to £550. Hmm… I think not.  After all, I could be liable for £750 worth of tickets if I got tickets for all the events I applied for.  So, after several months waiting to see if I was successful, I received an e-mail in June 2011 informing me I got one of my preferred nights and it was a Cat C ticket. Ok that’s £250.  Not too bad. 

Next to see where my seats will be.   Oh sorry that information is not available.  And more to the point will not be available until you receive your ticket in April 2012.  I found this really strange as I went to the world athletics championship in Berlin in 2009 and not alone could I get a great seat for 55 euro but I could pick my seat at the time of booking.   And this was the night Usain Bolt broke the 200m record and it was a packed house.  Now that’s value. 

Anyway back to London.  In late January, an e-mail was sent to successful tickets winners to update their address.  Sounds good but you cannot update to an address other than on a credit card you own.   As stated earlier, times are different and not everybody has the joy of having a credit card these days.   In my case I travel now due to work commitments and spend long periods of time away from my home house so I guess I will just leave the home address so they can get delivered there.  STOP.  Please note these tickets will need to be signed for upon delivery.   Hmmmm.  Ok I will need somebody in the house to collect my tickets.   When will they arrive?  Sometime in April.   Hmmm.  They sure don’t make things easy.  So I have my ticket but will I get it into my hands?  Well who knows at this stage.   All I can guarantee at this stage is that I have paid for them and also paid £12 delivery for something I have no idea when it will arrive.

Ok so what’s next?  Somewhere to stay for a few nights.  A two night stay in London during this wonderful time will just set me back approximately £400.  Sounds like I’m living it up now.  Afraid not.  This is a self-catering apartment.  I couldn’t afford the £700+ required for a 3 star hotel.   Flights next.   Lets not even go there.   Ok all in all its about £1000 to go for 1 night to the Olympic games.  Is it worth it?  Well I sure hope so.  

My opinion has changed – I don’t believe these are the Olympics for everybody.  It’s for those lucky enough to still have a job that pays enough to do this.  I’m one of those and for that I am very grateful.   Ireland currently has an unemployment rate of 14.8%.  Lots of people who have lost their jobs have taken up running.  Lots of time on your hands, it’s an inexpensive hobby, and a good way to keep fit and feel good at a time when things are bleak -  but I wonder -  will some of our torch bearers be made up of the 14.8% or will it be only made up of professionals???  Maybe a celebrity here or there:  Maybe even a Seoige girl to add a bit of glamour?

I understand that to run an event the size of the Olympics is a massive undertaking but let’s hope that the organisers don’t forget that it’s the ordinary Joe Soap who gets up early in the morning to sit in front of the TV hoping that one of their heroes gets to win a medal. Shouldn’t one of Joe Soap’s be given the lifetime opportunity to be a torch bearer – regardless of their sporting or academic achievements?  Over commercialising the event and excluding the average Joe Soap, in my opinion, will do this wonderful event an injustice.  I’m sure lots will disagree with me but my fear is that it’s quickly turning into how much money can be squeezed from hosting the Olympics.

Friday, March 30, 2012

126 Mile Run For Irish Special Olympics Athletes

In an effort to raise funds for Special Olympics Ireland, Brian Maher and Mike Sheridan plan to run the 126 miles from Limerick to Dublin, one mile for each of the Irish Special Olympic Athletes. Brian is a DJ and  Radio presenter at Spin 1038. Mike is a TV Presenter and Journalist. Their plan is to complete the 126 miles non-stop in 30 hours in April. More details on their website...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sharon Gayter from the UK sets new Mizen to Malin record...

Ultra distance runner Sharon Gayter from the UK arrived at Malin Head in Donegal on Thursday morning to set a new Mizen to Malin record. Having set out from Mizen Head in Cork  at 7am last Sunday morning, it took 4 days, 1 hour and 39 minutes to run the length of Ireland. That is roughly 21 hours faster than the time of 4 days 23 hours that Jen Salter set in June 2011 when she ran in the opposite direction from Malin to Mizen.

Gayter is a holder of several distance records including a 7 day treadmill record set last December.

Event Notice...MonsterMAC 2012 MultiSport Adventure Race - Sat 28th Apr 2012

For those of you who might be interested in trying something different, the 2012 MonsterMAC Multi-Sports Adventure Race is coming up on Saturday, the 28th of April 2012 in Millstreet Country Park in Cork. Located in the Boggeragh Mountains to the south-east of of the town of Millstreet itself, it is within easy reach of participants in Cork, Kerry and Limerick.

There are a selection of courses on offer and basically involve trail running, cycling and kayaking. Please note that entry fee's increase after the 31st of March. All entries close on Thursday, the 26th of April 2012

More details on the Running in Munster website

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Results for Munster Ten Mile series after 3 races

The standings in the John Buckley Munster Ten-Mile Spring Classics Series have now been calculated. A total of 221 people have completed  the first three races.....Dungarvan, Ballycotton and Mallow. You can see them HERE.

If you notice any omissions or errors then contact before Monday next, April 2nd.

I can't remember what the figure was for last year but in 2009, a total of 243 people had completed the first three races. That's a drop of 22 this year by comparison despite the fact that the numbers at each race were way up. Reason? Possibly because some could not get into the Ballycotton race? Or did more people opt to do fewer races?

The fourth and final race in the Spring Classics Series will be the Kilnaboy ‘10’ in Clare
on Sunday April 8th, commencing at 2pm.

15 excuses for failing a drugs test...

1. In 2005, American cyclist Tyler Hamilton offered a unique explanation after drug testing officials discovered evidence of blood doping. Hamilton said the different blood found mixed with his own could have come from a “vanishing twin” whom he had absorbed in the uterus....Thirty-four years earlier.

2. German runner Dieter Baumann, a former Olympic champ in the 5000 meters, tested positive for nandrolone. His two-year suspension cost him the 2000 Summer Olympics. Baumann voluntarily underwent further tests that showed fluctuating amounts of nandrolone in his system depending on the time of day. Baumann’s explanation: the nandrolone was in his toothpaste, which obviously had been spiked.

3. Tennis star Petr Korda tested positive at Wimbledon in 1998, claiming the nandrolone in his system came from a veal entree. Some experts estimated he would’ve had to eat 40 calves a day for 20 years to account for the levels of nandrolone in his system.

4. Five North Korean soccer players tested positive for steroids at the Women’s World Cup in 2011. The North Korean delegation claimed the steroids were unknowingly included with traditional Chinese medicines based on musk deer glands. The federation said the players needed them to recover from being struck by lightning during training.

5. Cyclist Alberto Contador was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title after testing positive for clenbuterol. The Court of Arbitration upheld the test findings and banned him for two years. Contador claimed the positive test was caused by eating contaminated meat on a 2010 Tour rest day.

6. Cuban high jumper Javier Sotomayor tested positive for cocaine at the 1999 Pan American Games and was stripped of his gold medal. Cuban dictator Fidel Castro defended him, blaming the sabotage on the “Cuban-American mafia.”

7. Fani Halkia, who won gold for Greece in the Olympic 400m hurdles in 2004, tested positive for methyltrienalone in Beijing and was banned from competition for two years. Her story? She blamed it on tampered diet supplements. Fifteen Greek athletes, including 11 members of the Olympic weightlifting team, were also suspended for methyltrienolone. That’s a lot of tampering.

8. Spanish cyclist Isabel Moreno disappeared two days before the Beijing Olympics after she allegedly failed a drug test. Moreno’s reason for disappearing from the scene? She didn’t admit to the positive test, saying instead on her website that she had an anxiety attack and needed to go home.

9. Bulgarian tennis star Sesil Karatancheva attributed one of her two positive tests for nandrolone to being pregnant despite the fact her urine samples showed no evidence of a pregnancy.

10. Ben Johnson (winning above), who famously tested positive for stanozolol at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 after defeating American Carl Lewis for the 100 meters gold medal, blamed his positive test that day on a spiked energy drink. He was banned for life in 1993 after another positive test.

11. Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati tested positive for marijuana after winning gold in the giant slalom at the Nagano Olympics in 1998. He claimed second-hand smoke and was allowed to keep his medal.

12. Richard Gasquet, a French tennis player, tested positive for cocaine at a tournament in Florida a few years ago. He said he kissed a girl who had ingested cocaine at a nightclub. A tribunal cleared him to return to competition.

14. Baseball’s Manny Ramirez blamed his first positive test on a medication given to him by his doctors. The medication? A women’s fertility drug. Experts say the drug is commonly used by athletes to restart their bodies’ natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. Ramirez, suspended a second time, is serving 50 games of a 100-game suspension at the start of the 2012 season.

15. American track star Justin Gatlin said he didn’t know how high levels of testosterone got into his system at a 2006 track meet in Kansas. His coach, Trevor Graham, blamed a vengeful massage therapist for rubbing a cream containing the steroid into Gatlin’s legs without his knowledge.

Treacy warns of danger of cuts to sports...

Speaking at a sports conference in UCC last Monday, John Treacy, the chief executive of the Irish Sports Council has warned against cutting funding to Irish high performance athletes. In other countries where funding has been cut, there has been a major drop in performance levels.

Treacy, an Olympic Silver medalist in the Marathon in the 1984 Los Angeles games, said..."We have seen other countries where they were heading into the Olympic games and they cut off investment and the performances did drop. We can’t reduce funding because if we do we will have a drop-off in terms of performance. Our athletes will inspire our young people to take up sport and lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Another speaker at the conference, Prof Barry Houlihan, who specialises in sports policy at Loughborough University in England, said it was important to note that 80 countries that have participated in the Olympic Games have never won a medal. Considering the size of the country, Ireland has punched above it's weight in the past in terms of medals.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reminder about discount for Bay Run entries for Mealagh Valley finishers...

There are now just 4 weeks to go to the closing date for entries to the Bay Run Half-Marathon in west Cork (22nd of April). The race itself is on Sunday, the 6th of May at 12 noon.

This is a reminder to anyone that did the Mealagh Valley 10 mile road race on the 12th of February that you are entitled to avail of a 20% discount. If you didn't notice the discount code on the day then you can send me an e-mail and I can give it to you.....(my e-mail is shown on the right hand side of this page).

Just let me know what your time was as well so I can find you. The results post can be seen HERE.

Running Times interview with David McCarthy of West Waterford AC...

At the start of March, the US athletics magazine Running Times had an interview with David McCarthy from Dungarvan, Waterford. Back in January, he ran won an indoor mile race in Boston in 3:55.75 and in February, he won a 3,000 metre indoor race in New York in 7:57.50. He is currently finishing off his studies at Providence College in Rhode Island and will graduate in May. He will then prepare for the 1500m in the European championships in Helsinki in late June.

In the interview, McCarthy said...“The Europeans are the main goal for me this summer. Obviously the Olympics are there but I haven’t even qualified yet. I’m sticking to short-term goals, no long-term goals. I just want to go to Europeans and compete well. I mean if I can’t compete well there, there’s no point in thinking about the Olympics. After that I’ll hopefully get races around Europe and what comes, comes. If I get an Olympic qualifying standard (3:35.50) that would be great but my plan is to continue to enjoy my running as long as possible."

Growing up, David McCarthy had a host of national titles. Silver in the 800m at the Youth Olympics and an U23 5,000m bronze. He was the Irish age 16 record-holder for 800m (1:51.22). He ran 1:49.93 and ran 3:48.24 (1500m) indoors before his 18th birthday. In total he won 10 Irish Schools titles in five years and uniquely held the Intermediate Boys 400m, 800m and cross country titles concurrently.

The interview can be seen HERE and is well worth a read.

Typical training week :
MONDAY: a.m. – 5 miles; p.m. – 8 miles and strides 
TUESDAY: a.m. – 5 miles; p.m. –   some form of minute repeats (e.g., 5 x 5 min., 9 x 3 min., 12 x 2 min. or a ladder session working from 2 min. up to 5 min. and back down – never does same session twice in same season, always changes)
WEDNESDAY: 12 miles      
THURSDAY: 5 miles; p.m. – 10 miles and strides 
FRIDAY: a.m. - 5 miles; p.m. – 6-mile tempo @ 5-minute pace
SATURDAY: Easy Day (off or 30 min. easy)    
SUNDAY: 16 miles   

Monday, March 26, 2012

Navy recruits prepare for the Great Island 10...

A large contingent of navy recruits are currently in training for the Great Island 10 mile road race on Sunday, the 15th of April. All proceeds from this race go to the Irish Cancer Society. If you are interested in collecting sponsorship then contact Sonya at or on (087) 790 4895.

Entry fee for Cork Marathon increases on the 31st of March

Just a reminder that the entry fee for the 2012 Cork City Marathon, Relay event and Half-Marathon will increase on the 31st of March. It will increase by €10 after that and a further €10 at the start of May.

Details HERE

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Video on Stride Analysis...

I came across this video clip a few days back. It deals with subjects like Stride Angle, Arm Angle, Over stride Angle, Trunk Angle, Toe Lift Angle, Bounce and Crossover Angle. Some food for thought...

You can see it HERE

Friday, March 23, 2012

Results of the SKINS Facebook competition...

Just before the 2012 Ballycotton '10', there was a competition on the Running in Cork Facebook page for two SKINS tops courtesy of Maher Sports. Entrants had to guess what the winning time of the first woman in the race might be. Congratulations to Shane Mullaney of Thurles Crokes AC who won a top by guessing 54:50, just two seconds away from Maria McCambridge's time of 54:48. Someone else had guessed 54:45 so Shane won by just one second!

The other SKINS top went to Nicola Doherty who had the highest number of 'Likes' on her guess.

The Running in Cork Facebook page can be found at

Running USA issue annual Half-Marathon report

Running USA have just announced their annual Half-Marathon report and it finds that yet again, the Half-Marathon is still the most popular distance for a race. In 2011, there were an estimated 1.6 million finishers which was 16% up on the 2010 figure. In a 2011 National Runner Survey, the half-marathon was also the favorite distance to run for 35% of men and 39% of women. It is also the fastest growing road race distance in the United States with finishing numbers having tripled from 2000 to 2011 (482,000 to 1,610,000), an increase of 234%.

Interestingly enough, the Half-Marathon has proved to be more popular with women as they made up 59% of the total. This is the exact opposite to the Marathon numbers in the USA where men make up 59%.

How does that compare to the gender balance in Ireland? In the 2011 Bay Run Half-Marathon in west Cork, women accounted for 40% of all the runners. In the June 2011 Cork City Half-Marathon, women made up 47.6% of the field. If the trend here follows that in the USA then perhaps in future years, women might be the majority in local Half-Marathons? Only time will tell.

Back to the Half-Marathon stats.....
1) The average age was 38.2 for a male and 35.3 for a female.
2) The average finishing times were 2:01 for males and 2:20 for females.

World's Largest Half-Marathons.....
In 2011, Göteborg in Sweden regained the #1 ranking as the world’s largest half-marathon with 42,904 finishers vs. 2010’s top half the Bupa Great North Run who slipped to #2 with 37,512 finishers. Over the past decade, the Great North Run has held the #1 position 8 out of 10 years. Göteborg 2011 also became the largest annual half-marathon ever (previous record, 40,523, Göteborg 2009).

2011 World’s Largest Half-Marathons (finishers):
1)    Göteborg, Sweden    42,904 (largest annual half-marathon all-time)
2)    Bupa Great North Run, Great Britain    37,512
3) Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas, NV    33,257
4)    OneAmerica 500 Festival, IN    30,659
5)    Paris, France    23,673
6)    Country Music, TN    22,015
7)    Walt Disney World, FL    21,991
8)    Vattenfall, Germany    20,250
9)    Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio, TX    19,546
10)    P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona, AZ    19,343
11)    Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego, CA    17,194
12)    Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle, WA    17,101
13)    Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia, PA    16,519
14)    Nike Women’s, CA    16,126
15)    Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago, IL    15,320
16)    Standard Chartered Singapore, SIN    14,655
17)    Solutia Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis, MO    14,611
18)    Fubon Taipei Int’l, TPE    14,325
19)    Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah, GA (inaugural)    14,163
20)    Disney Princess, FL    13,799

No Cork BHAA race on Sat 24th March...

Please note...the Cork BHAA are NOT holding a 5k race on Saturday 24th March in the Tramore Valley Park in Cork City. There are some race calendars which have a race listed on this day but they are incorrect!

The most accurate and detailed calendar for races in Cork and Munster is located on this site. You'll find the link at  the top of this page or go to

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ron Hill overlooked as Olympic torch bearer

In a somewhat bizarre move, one of the UK's most famous runners Ron Hill has been overlooked as a torch bearer for the Olympic torch. Some 7300 people will carry the flame across the UK in the 70 days before the games.

73 year old Ron Hill is the former 1969 European and 1970 Commonwealth marathon champion and is still equal 10th all-time on the UK marathon rankings with his 1970 time of 2:09:28. He is perhaps better known for his record-breaking streak of having run at least a mile every day since December 1964. His nomination was rejected on the basis that there were too many applications.

Ballycotton '10' results now official...

The final results with 5 mile splits for the 2012 Ballycotton 10 mile road race are out now. See HERE

In some cases, the times given are from when the race started as opposed to when the runner crossed the start line. The organisers issued the following statement..."Due to technical difficulties with the sheer volume of runners crossing the starting line, some chip times are not available. However, as is the practice in all such events (IAAF rules), it is the gun time which is the correct one and this is always used for record purposes, etc."

In previous years, the organisers used to post the results booklet out to all finishers but this has become increasingly pointless as they are freely available on the Internet. If you want one then they will have the 28-page brochure available at all races in the Cork region over the coming weeks. Anyone outside the area can have a copy posted free if they email the organisers. 

For links to photos and video clips, see this earlier post

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Irish Racewalking results from last weekend...Sun 18th Mar 2012

Some of the the top Irish race walkers took part in the Lugano Trophy in Switzerland last weekend in some wet conditions.

In the Womens Under 20 race over 10kms, Kate Veale of West Waterford AC finished in 1st place in a time of 47:01, almost three minutes ahead of her nearest rival. In 4th place, Emma Prenderville of Farranfore Maine Valley AC in Kerry finished in 51:32. Emma had finished in 3rd place in 2011 with 50:50.

In the mens 20k race, Rob Heffernan of Togher AC finished in a time of 1:20:39. In previous years, Rob finished in 1:20:54 in 2011 and 1:20:44 in 2010 so he's in a good shape at the moment as he prepares for the Olympics in London.

In the womens 20k race, Olive Loughnane of Athenry AC finished in 10th place with 1:32:26.

In the Mens Under 20 race over 10kms, James Treanor of Shercock AC finished in 5th place with 45:08.

The full results can be seen HERE

The next major race walking competition is on Saturday, the 25th of March in Dudince, Slovakia. In it, Jamie Costin (West Waterford AC) and Colin Griffin (Ballinamore AC) will be hoping for a qualification time of sub 3:59:00 for 50 kms for the London Olympics. Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny AC) will also be taking part but has already qualified for London having recorded a personal best of 3.57.58 last September

Postscript......Results from the 50km race walkers Jamie Costin and Colin Griffin in Dudince, Slovakia. Both athletes were trying for the Olympic 'A' standard time of 3:59. Jamie Costin dropped out at 32 kms and Colin Griffin was disqualified 10km later after a third warning flag. Brendan Boyce achieved the 'A' standard for the second time in six months by taking six seconds off his personal best time of 3:57:58.

Results of the Cork BHAA Janssen 4 mile race - Sun 18th Mar 2012

A total of 217 runners turned out for this 4 mile road race in Little Island on Sunday, 18th of March 2012. That's down on last year's figure of 261 but that's no real suprise when you consider there were four races on this particular weekend. It says a lot of about how popular running has become when each of the shorter races can still get over 200 entrants each with over 1000 turning out on Monday for the Mallow '10' as well.

The winner of the Janssen 4 mile was Mark Hanrahan of John Buckley Sports in 19:04. The womens race was won by Laura Crowe of Novartis in 23:51.

The full results can be seen HERE

1) Doug Minihane has a gallery of photos HERE
2) Joe Murphy has a slideshow of photos HERE

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Graham Canty of Cork GAA team promotes Great Island Run

Now that the Mallow '10' is out of the way, some of you may be interested in another 10 mile race coming up in Cork next month. The Great Island 10 mile road race is on Sunday the 15th of April at 10:30am. Pictured above is Graham Canty, captain of the Cork GAA team that won the 2010 All Ireland football championship. Proceeds from the race go to the Irish Cancer Society. The race website is HERE

Jedward run LA Marathon...

Hot news from the world of showbiz! ;o)

Apparently, the dynamic duo of John and Edward Grimes, otherwise known as Jedward, ran the Marathon in Los Angeles last Sunday. Their time for the 26.2 mile course was just over 4 hours but they are not in the official results as they were too late to enter.

Maria McCambridge qualifies for London Olympics...

Just two weeks after winning the Ballycotton 10 mile road race at the start of March, Maria McCambridge from Letterkenny AC has now qualified for the 2012 London Olympics. On Sunday the 18th of March, Maria ran 2:36:37 in the Rome Marathon, breaking the 2:37 'A' standard qualifying time by 23 seconds.

Running 18:23 for the first 5k and 36:43 for the first 10k, Maria was in 100th place overall and the 19th woman at that stage. She went through the halfway point in 1:17:34 which was on target for running 2:35:08. In the latter stages, she slowed slightly but less so than her fellow competitors. At the finish line, she finished as the 9th woman and in 43rd place overall.

Video clips of run HERE

Three Irish women have now qualified for the Marathon in the 2012 Olympics. Linda Byrne ran 2:36:21 in Dublin last October. Ava Hutchinson ran 2:35:33 in Houston, Texas in January and now Maria McCambridge running 2:36:37 in Rome last Sunday.

The important point here though is that Ireland can only send three women athletes to the Marathon in the Olympics. There are still Marathons like Barcelona at the end of March and Rotterdam in early April and someone else may yet post a qualifying time from those. In light of that, the 16 second difference between Byrne and McCambridge may yet be all important but it may come down to current  form and consistency if someone has to be dropped.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Results of the Mallow 10 mile road race...Mon 19th Mar 2012

A record 1088 runners took part in the 2012 Mallow 10 mile road race on Monday, the 19th of March 2012. This is an increase of 45% on the figure for 2011 which is a huge jump. To paraphrase a certain former politician, the running boom just got 'boomier' ;o)

The winner of the mens race was Alan O'Shea from Bantry AC in a time of 52:35. In second place and just 8 seconds behind was Martin Conroy of Ballina AC in 52:43. Looking at the photos of the race near the 6 mile mark, Martin was back in 3rd place then with a considerable gap so he must have really put in a fantastic last 4 miles. In third place, George Waugh of Bandon AC ran 53:03 after finishing second in the Ballinhassig 4 mile just two days earlier.

In the womens race, it was another closely contested affair with just six seconds between the first two. As you can see from the picture above (right), Lorraine Manning of Raheny Shamrocks AC (1166) and Angela McCann of Clonmel AC (616...obscured) were almost neck and neck near the six mile mark. In the end, Lorraine managed to stay ahead winning in a time of 58:55. Angela was 59:01. In third place, Barbara Cleary from Dublin (143 in pic above) ran 59:32.

Results......The results can be found....HERE

1) Doug Minihane has a huge gallery of about 800 photos HERE
2) A slideshow of photos by Joe Murphy of Eagle AC HERE 

1) A rough video clip of the start......

2) Just before the start...

3) Two video clips from Ruairi O'Mahony of the finish...
a) Finishers up to roughly 64 mins....

b) Finishers between 64 and 75 mins...

43 years ago this weekend...The International Military Championship in Ballincollig

St.Patrick's Day 1969. Some 7,000 people gathered in Ballincollig to watch the Olympic 5,000m champion Mohammed Gammoudi from Tunisia take part in the International Military Cross-Country Championships. The article below was written by John Walshe in 2009 for the Evening Echo and is reproduced here with his kind permission...


St Patrick’s Day in 1969 fell on a Monday and the weekend was marred by torrential rain and gale-force winds. But despite the inclement weather, around 7,000 spectators braved the conditions and headed to Ballincollig where they witnessed an inspirational performance by an Irish Army team who finished second in the International Military Cross-Country Championships held over a gruelling course.

And they were also privileged to see one of their own, 22-year-old John Buckley from nearby Blarney, not only lead the Irish team home but also notch up an illustrious victory over the man who had won the Olympic 5,000 gold just five months before, Mohammed Gammoudi of Tunisia.

Today, John Buckley is the proprietor of the well-known sports shop that bears his name just across from the Christy Ring Bridge on Mulgrave Road. The enthusiasm for the sport is as great as ever, the runners’ physique still remains and it’s hard to believe four decades have passed since that famous day

Known as the CISM Meeting, the International Military Championship had at last come to Ireland in 1969 and the eight national teams taking part included squads from Tunisia and Morocco, the latter having finished in the top three for the previous six years. There was also a prominent team from the United States selected from all branches of the armed forces. It included former indoor three-mile record holder Tracy Smith from California and Bill Clark, runner-up in the previous year’s Boston Marathon.

But unquestionably the star attraction was Gammoudi, the defending champion. Born in Sidi Ach, Tunisia, he was one of the pioneers of the African long distance running revolution that would change the face of the sport forever. One of the favourites for the 10,000m at the previous October’s Mexico Olympics, Gammoudi was out-sprinted by Naftali Temu of Kenya and Mamo Wolde from Ethiopia, leaving him with the bronze medal. A few days later, in the final of the 5,000m, three runners were in contention at the bell with Gammoudi leading Temu and another Kenyan, Kip Keino. The last lap was run at a furious pace, and although the two Kenyans gave charge, Gammoudi held on to his lead to win the gold.

The Irish challenge for Ballincollig was made up in the main from members of the FCA, as John Buckley explains. “I suppose you could say we were headhunted because of our running talent, I can’t say we did much military training,” he recalls with a smile. “We felt we had a very good team with the likes of Sean O’Sullivan who was the National champion, Tom O’Riordan, Danny McDaid from Donegal, Kildare-man Jim Timoney and of course Matt Murphy from Rising Sun.”

At the start of that winter’s cross-country season, Buckley had two main aims - to make the Irish national team for the International (now World) Championships in Glasgow and to get on the Irish military team for Ballincollig. His training had gone well, clocking up an average of 100 miles a week. Made up of ten sessions, it included a long run plus an interval and hill session. “I worked as rep for Bachelor’s at the time so I was away two nights a week but when at home I trained with the likes of Ritchie Crowley, Pat O’Connell, Jerome O’Leary, Haulie Madden, Tim O’Donovan and my brother Denis.”

Buckley was in great form coming up to the All-Ireland but came down with a bad ‘flu the week of the race. Against his better judgement he decided to run but finished well down the field and was controversially omitted from the Irish team for Glasgow. One week later, in the trial for the military team, he felt a good deal better and came in third. “I really wanted to prove a point in Ballincollig so there was a fair bit of pressure coming up to the race,” remembers Buckley. “There was great hype in the build-up with Gammoudi coming. I had met him two years earlier in Luxembourg and had my photo taken with him and his brother, who also ran.”

On the Sunday morning when Buckley woke early and heard the rain beating on the window, he was happy. It would make the race more a test of stamina rather than speed and he preferred it when the going was soft. “I felt good before the race, the confidence was high and of course we had huge support on the day which gave us all a boost.” Buckley got away with the leaders and as the race progressed he knew from the crowd that the Irish team were in with a chance of making the medals. He was the leading Irishman and ahead of Gammoudi which really spurred him on.

Up front, the Moroccans were well in control with the 22-year-old unknown Ou Moha Bassou defeating his countryman Haddou Jabor by a foot in a thrilling sprint to the line. Hannachi of Tunisia and Joachim Leiss, the West German holder of the European 1,500m indoor title, finished within three second of the winner to take the third and fourth spots.

The winning time was 32 minutes and 32 seconds with Buckley crossing the line just 23 seconds later for a brilliant ninth position, two places ahead of his team-mate Sean O’Sullivan with Gammoudi following in 12th place. Tom O’Riordan came in 15th, Matt Murphy 19th, Jim Timoney 25th, Danny McDaid 26th, another Corkman, Pat O’Connell 42nd and the late Eddie Spillane 46th. When the points were tallied the Irish had a total of 105, giving them the silver medals ahead of Tunisia, France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium and the fancied USA who never got to grips with the conditions.  “I was delighted with my finishing position and of course the silver team medal was the icing on the cake,” recalls Buckley.

Writing the following week in the Sunday Independent, John Comyn described the Corkman’s race as “one of the greatest performance I have seen by an Irish athlete in an international event.” Comyn also commented on the huge crowd who braved the elements which proved “that there is still a great following for the sport in Cork.”

John Buckley would go on to win the All-Ireland Inter-Clubs and Inter-County titles in 1972 and then, almost 20 years later, become World Veterans champion three times over in the M45 age-group. But that wet and muddy day exactly 40 years ago on the fields of Ballincollig where he defeated the famous Mohammed Gammoudi must surely rank as one of his finest moments.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Results of the Ballydehob 10k - Sat 17th March 2012

The numbers were up this year with 235 runners taking part in this 10k road race in Ballydehob in west Cork, an increase of 15% on the figure of 205 for 2011. The mens race was won by Stephen Cleary in 33:57 with Maura Regan of Eagle AC winning the ladies race in 40:28.

The full results are HERE

The walkers can be seen HERE

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Results of the Ballinhassig 4 mile - Sat 17th March 2012

Just over 200 runners turned out for this 4 mile road race in Ballinhassig on the 17th of March, 2012. The mens race was won by James McCarthy of East Cork AC in a time of 20:17 with George Waugh in second place with 20:28, just 11 seconds adrift. In the womens race, the top two positions were only decided in the last few hundred metres with Martina Kiely of St.Finbarr's AC taking first in 23:47, just 9 seconds ahead of Carmel Crowley in second with 23:56. can find the full results HERE

1) John O'Driscoll has a gallery of photos HERE

Friday, March 16, 2012

Preview of the Mallow 10 mile race - Mon 19th March 2012

At this stage, online entries have closed and they are up around the 1,100 mark which is way ahead of last year. You can still enter the race on the day for €20 but it's important that you get there early so that they have plenty of time to put everyone into the system.

All entries and number collection will be in the Mallow Youth Centre. The race starts at 12:30pm. The organisers are saying that the last entries to be taken will be at 11:30am. The Dry-Fit running top will be given out to ALL runners at the finish line.

The thing to remember with the Mallow race is that there are 3 main points in the town that you will be using...
A.....This is the location of the Youth Centre. Entries, race number collection, prizes, refreshments, etc will be here.

B......This is the START. It's about 1 mile from the Youth Centre so allow yourself time to get there.

C.....This is the FINISH. It's a short walk back to the Youth Centre.

Getting to the Youth Centre..........If you are coming from Cork City, then turn right at the main roundabout on the main N20 road and drive into the town. Keep going STRAIGHT.....shown above as Davis Street. You need to look out for the statue on the left....see pic below...

Turn left here and head up the hill. As it flattens out, you'll see a shopping centre on your right and then the road takes a sharp left. After this, the Youth Centre is just down there on the right. Parking is available in three different car parks within 250 metres of the centre. Just follow the race stewards directions on the day.

Pacers....The Mallow race will have pacers again this year. There will be one pacer for 60 mins and two pacers for the other pace bands. Each pacer will have a matching colour singlet and helium filled balloon as follows:
60 min - BLACK singlet
70 min - WHITE singlet with WHITE balloon
80 min - GREEN singlet with GREEN balloon
90 min - RED singlet with RED balloon.

Safety Notice...!
1) The organisers have also said that there is no need to bunch around the pacers. Give yourself some distance as you need to be able to react to potholes, bollards etc… or if someone trips.
2) There is an unexpected obstacle just before the 9 mile marker. Emergency flood relief works have caused one lane of the road to be unavailable. They will have Gardai on duty, and there are traffic lights also, but theyneed people to be aware of traffic in this area (only for about 30 metres)

Headphones / MP3 Players / iPods / etc.....As the roads are not closed, all of these devices are

Munster Ten Mile Series.....The Mallow '10' is also the third race in the John Buckley Sports Munster Ten-Mile Spring Classics Series. The others are the Ballycotton '10', Dungarvan '10' and Kilnaboy '10'.

Water Stations....Water on course at mile 4 and 7 and at the finish

Course...See the map above....please note that the start point for the race is about 1 mile from the hall where you collect your number. Keep this in mind and plan to use it as part of your warm-up for the race.

While there are a few small hills and drags, there is nothing really bad. Some people have posted their fastest 10 mile times on this course and it is probably as fast as say the Dungarvan 10 course.

The race starts in a residential area just beyond the garage shown above and heads out of town. The first few hundred metres are on a straight and wide road.

As you approach the bridges, you run underneath them....and after this, there is a steady climb. Nothing too serious and considering that they are around the 1 to 1.5 mile mark then they shouldn't take too much effort. Around the 1.5 mile mark, you join the main N20 road. From here until the roundabout, you are running inside a pretty wide hard shoulder so you are not near the passing traffic.

The only spot where you have to be careful is near the roundabout where the hard shoulder gets a bit narrow.

After that, you turn left onto the main Killarney road. It's not the nicest of roads but the sheer number of runners makes the traffic slow down. The first water station is around 4 miles.This section of road has a reasonable hard shoulder so there is plenty of space for runners. Out around the 5 mile mark however the road narrows and the Gardai usually have to control the traffic here.

Out around the 6 mile mark, you start the nicest part of the course with mostly quiet rural roads...

 ...and after the bridge over the river Blackwater, there is a gradual pull until you reach the road heading back in towards Mallow at the 7 mile mark.

The road here is pretty flat with long straight sections for the next mile or so. Just before the 8 mile mark, there is a short downhill section, a sharp right followed by a sharp left...

Just after this, there is a short flat section which is then followed by a small hill. Nothing serious but with tired legs, it can have an impact. Eventually, you should see the road and rail bridges ahead and the 9 mile mark is just beyond it....

From here, you run due east and parallel to the river. Just after the church, there is a slight downhill to the bridge as you turn left over the river Blackwater for the last time...

Then left after the bridge and run due west for several hundred metres until you see the final bend up ahead....

Once you get around this corner, there is only about 100 metres to the finish.

If you want to have a closer look at the course, Mallow AC have put up the course on the MapMyRun website.

Launch of the 'Leevale 2012 Open Track and Field Meet'...

Last Wednesday evening, Leevale Athletic Club held the launch of their 'Leevale 2012 Open Track and Field Meet' at Mahers Sports in Cork City. Amongst those present was Ciarán Ó Lionáird who was home on a short break. Ciarán echoed the comments of the other speakers, saying that he felt kids starting off in athletics should have an opportunity to try sprints, jumps and distance events and the Leevale meet fills an important gap in the athletics calendar. He also had plenty of words of  advice for the youngsters who attended on the night. Ciarán has now returned to the USA to resume his training for the 2012 Olympics in London.

The Leevale Meet for adults and juveniles will be held at the CIT track in Bishopstown in Cork City  on the weekend of Sat 14th and Sun 15th of April 2012. More info on this flyer for the event.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Looking ahead to the road races next weekend...Sat 17th to Mon 19th March 2012

You know the joke about waiting for a bus and then two come along together. It's a bit like that this weekend when there will be four races in Cork in just three days. The main event is of course the 10 mile race in Mallow on Monday which is likely to attract 1,000 or so entrants. For anyone looking for a shorter distance event, you can choose from the following...

Sat 17th March...
1) Run West Cork 10k........For those of you in west Cork, there is a 10k race in Ballydehob to the west of Skibbereen. This race starts at 11am and you can see more details in an earlier post.

2) Ballinhassig 4 mile.........Closer and just to the south-west of Cork city, there is a 4 mile race in Ballinhassig at 11am. Organised by Rising Sun Athletic Club, this is the one that may well struggle to get the numbers with so many other races on. If you're thinking of just one short race this weekend then you might consider this one. Rising Sun AC are a small club and every person that they get helps make the race viable financially. It costs €8 to enter and there are the usual refreshments available afterwards.

Sun 18th March.......The Cork BHAA have their Janssen 4 mile road race in Little Island at 11am. Entry is the usual €5 for registered runners and €8 for non-registered. Note that the start line is about 1 mile from the hall so give yourself plenty of time.

Monday 19th March....Mallow 10 of Thursday morning, they had 980 entries. Online entries for the Mallow '10' close on Thursday (15/3/12) at midnight. After that, you can still enter on the day for €20 and there is a dry-fit top for ALL entrants. More info in an earlier post. Full preview of the race on Friday.

Maeve Kyle...the first female Irish Olympian in athletics

Back in 1956, Maeve Kyle became the first Irish woman to take part in athletics in the Olympics when she competed in the 100m and 200m in Melbourne. At the time, it caused a bit of consternation in consevative Ireland with some people writing some 'stern' letters to the Irish Times! ;o)

She would later take part in the 1960 Rome Olympics and 1964 Tokyo Olympics (where she reached the semi-finals of both the 400m and 800m). She then went on to take bronze in the 400m at the 1966 European Indoor Athletics Championships in Dortmund. As well as being involved in athletics, Maeve also played hockey for Ireland and gained 58 caps.

The Newstalk Off the Ball sports programme interviewed Maeve recently and you can hear the 20 minute interview here...

On the Running Review website, James Sullivan also has another interview. You can read it HERE