Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Race Notice...Midleton 5 mile road race - Thurs 3rd May 2012

The annual Midleton 5 mile road race in East Cork is coming next Thursday, the 3rd of May 2012 at 8pm.

Directions and Instructions...see the map below of Midleton.
a) Entries on the night will be taken at the GAA hall (€10).  €2 each entry will go to the locally based Lets Get Together Suicide Prevention Group. Entry desks will open at 5pm.

The GAA hall is located opposite the local train station. If you are coming from Cork City, then take the slip road for Midleton....then first left and onto the relief road going around to the west of the town...and at the next junction, turn right...over the rail lines....and then first left at The Session Bar. The GAA grounds are up this narrow road on the right.

b) On Tuesday evening (1st May), you can pre-enter at the local Community Centre between 6 and 7pm. This will allow you to collect your race number and avoid the entry queue on Thursday evening.
c) No Headphones!! Due to insurance reasons, anyone found wearing them will be disqualified. Out of all the local races, you can expect it to be enforced here.
d) Travel to Midleton by Train....Considering that the GAA grounds are just across the road from the train station, this might be an option for anyone in Cork City wishing to travel down.
Depart Cork...Arrive Midleton (D 17:15...A 17:38), (D17:45...A18:09), (D18:15...A18:39)
Depart Midleton...Arrive Cork (D 21:45...A 22:08).
e) As well as parking near the GAA grounds, they also have use of Hurleys Super Valu Overflow Car Park located just behind the Mill Wheel Bar on the Mill Road. This is just a few minutes walk from the GAA Pavilion.
f) The start line for the race is about 1km from the GAA hall. The finish line is about 1.5 kms.
g) FREE DRAW!! A free draw for a pair of running shoes will take place after the race. Just put your race number into the  box provided at Midleton GAA Pavilion to be in with a chance of winning.

Course....The race starts on O'Dwyers road and takes in a loop to the south-west of the town. There are some small pulls but they are pretty minor. The last mile of the course is especially fast. Overall, it's a nice course on reasonably quiet country roads. Last year, they got around 400 runners for this popular road race. Expect a similar number again this year.

Old ruined fortified house near the 3.3 mile mark.

Fionnuala Britton achieves Olympic 'A' standard in California...

In the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational at Stanford University in California over the weekend, Fionnuala Britton from Wicklow ran 31:29.22 in the women's 10,000 metre race. As this is faster than the Olympic 'A' standard of 31:45, she has now qualified for the 10,000 metres in London.

Even though she had already qualified for the Olympics in the 3,000 metre steeplechase, it is generally felt that she would be a lot more competitive over the 5k/10k distance. This move to the track follows on from a successful winter season after she won the European Cross Country Championships in Slovenia last December.

Race result...
Event 59  Women 10000 Meter Run Kim McDonald
    Name                    Year School                  Finals
  1 Betsy Saina                  Unattached            31:15.97
  2 Amy Hastings                 Brooks                31:19.87
  3 Fionnuala Britton            Ireland               31:29.22
  4 Julia Bleasdale              Melbourne Tr          31:29.57
  5 Janet Cherobon-Bawcom        Unattached            31:33.50

This performance now makes Fionnula Britton the 4th fastest Irish woman over 10,000 metres...
1..30:47.59..Sonia O'Sullivan..
2..31:08.41..Catherina McKiernan
3..31:28.78..Marie Davenport
4..31:29.22...Fionnuala Britton

In the video clip above, Fionnuala is in the dark red top with purple shorts...(video is 34 mins long!)

Other Irish Results......
1) Alistair Cragg posts a DNF in the men's 10k despite running well for the first HERE
2) Orla Drumm ran 4:13.27 in the women's 1500 metres finishing in 5th place. This is just 7 seconds outside the Olympic 'A' standard of 4:06. Orla ran 4:18.48 at the recent Leevale track meet in mid-April...Results
3) Mark Christie...Ran 13:37.32 in Section 1 of the 5,000m (17th position)...Results
4) Brendan O'Neill...Ran 13:41.06 in Section 2 of the 5,000m (5th position)...Results
5) Kerry Harty...Ran 10:13.83 in the women's 3000m steeplechase...Results
6) Joe Sweeney...Ran 28:45.17 in section 2 of the 10,000 metres (25th position)...Results

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Event Notice...Cork Graded Track and Field League...1st May-26th Aug

The John Buckley Sports Graded Track and Field league will be held at the CIT track in Bishopstown in Cork City on the dates shown above...

A programme of eight graded meetings is planned for male and female athletes over 17 years of age. The Shot, Discus, Hammer and 56lb WD events are limited to athletes over 18 years of age on the day. Track events will if necessary be divided into separate races on the basis of performance, which could involve mixed participation.

All meetings on the 2012 calendar feature a middle distance race of some description or another, so there’s something there to satisfy everybody. You may, of an evening, do as much or as little as you like. The admission charge is €5 per meeting and entries will be accepted on the day. Each athlete will receive a performance certificate and electronic timing will be used.

While events are open to athletic club members only (i.e. Athletic Ireland members), it is open to athletes from outside Cork as well. For anyone who has never tried a track event before, these are ideal events to start off with.

Shakespeare Marathon in England cancelled two minutes before start...

The Shakespeare Marathon in Stratford-upon-Avon in England was cancelled on Sunday morning, the 29th of April just two minutes before the start time. All runners were forced to complete only the half marathon after the crashing winds and lashing rain created conditions deemed dangerous by officials. Forcing themselves through a driving headwind for the last five or six miles, several runners described the conditions as they stepped over the muddy line as "the worst I've seen".

The full marathon which attracted just over 1000 entrants in 2011 is two times round the circuit of the half, and officials were worried conditions underfoot would deteriorate as the mud was cut up the first time around and the rain continued to pour down. But others felt it should have gone ahead and some felt the decision to cancel it came far too close to the 9:30am start time.

Paul Hawkings, Club Captain of the Stratford-upon-Avon Athletic Club, described it as a "dreadful" decision after the race. "I thought it was stupid," he said. "People have travelled a long way." The 56-year-old competed in the London Marathon last week, so was only planning to run the half marathon today anyway, but it was those who had trained for months to compete in the full marathon that he felt for.

The winner of the women's race Lucy Flanner said that..."It felt more like cross country,".

Tori Pena sets new Irish pole vault record...

At the San Diego Triton Invitational in California on Saturday, 28th of April 2012, Tori Pena set a new Irish Pole Vault record of 4.52m. This improves on her previous best of 4.50 set back in March when she qualified for the 2012 London Olympics. Her position in the competition this weekend was joint first.

Women Pole Vault Invitational
    Name                 Year School     Finals
  1 Hendry, Kelsie   Canada              4.52m  
  1 Pena, Tori          Unattached        4.52m
  3 Hintz, Kelsy       San Diego St.    4.22m 
  4 Vause, Leah        Unattached       4.12m
  5 Jamerson, Megan   Unattached    J4.12m 
  6 Maaten, Dayna     Univ. of Win      4.02m

Race notice...Bandon Half-Marathon and 10k - Sat 12th May 2012

This Half-Marathon and 10k road race is coming up in the town of Bandon in West Cork on Saturday, the 12th of May 2012. The Half-Marathon will start at 9:30am while the 10k will start 45 minutes later at 10:15am.

Considering it's relatively close proximity to Cork City, it is likely to attract a good sized field. Bandon is just 20 miles (31 kms) to the south-west of Cork City which is roughly a 35 minute drive....

 Both race routes are on roads to the west of the town. There will be t-shirts for the first 100 in Half-Marathon and first 50 in the 10km. The races have AAI approval and will be chip timed over an officially measured course. Bandon Athletic Club are currently fund raising for the construction of an all weather running track in the town which would be of huge benefit to the West Cork community.

As an added incentive this year, the race committee is offering bonus prizes for the first person to break the course record in both events. Colin Merritt of Carrig na bhFear AC holds the men’s record for the half at 1.11.35. Bandon AC’s top female road runner, Carmel Crowley is the holder of the women’s record over the distance, 1.24.14. In the 10K, Chris Harrington from Leevale AC completed the 10k in a time of 34.08 with the women’s top time being 40.16 by Nollaig Hunter, also of Leevale AC. 

10k.....The entry fee is €15 until 10pm, Thursday the 10th of May.
Half-Marathon...The entry fee is €25 until 10pm, Thursday, the 10th of May.

You can also enter on the morning of the race between 7am and 9am (10k - €20, Half-Marathon - €30).

You can enter by post by downloading the entry form in PDF format HERE

You can enter online HERE

More information on the race on the race website... Preview here in the days just before the event.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Events this weekend in Cork and Munster...Fri 27th-Sun 29th Apr 2012

There are plenty of events this weekend in Cork and Munster. Follow the relevant links for more info...

Waterford...Fri 27th (6:30pm)...Glornamara 4 mile fun run...€10...Tramore

Cork...Sat 28th (10am/11:30am/1pm)...MonsterMAC MultiSports Adventure Race...€42-€69...Millstreet Country Park...Race info

Cork...Sun 29th (10:30am)...RÁS BÓTHAIR 5 Mile Race, Glounthaune...€10...Race info

Cork...Sun 29th (1pm)...Riverstick/Kinsale AC Open Sports...Athletics...Senior 100m/

Limerick...Sun 29th (11am)...Ballysimon 5 mile...€5...5th race Feet on the Street Spring Series

Kerry...Sun 29th (11am)...Castleisland 10 mile road race...€30...Includes Running top, BBQ, Gym vouchers... Race info

Results of the East Cork Road Championships...26th Apr 2012

The East Cork Road Championships were held in Ballynoe to the north-east of Midleton on Thursday, the 26th 2012. In total, 78 runners took part with the men running 5 miles and the women running 2k on what are very hilly courses.

The mens race over 5 miles had a field of 38 runners. The winner of the race was Frank Hayes from East Cork AC in 28:17.

Place    Time    Name    Team    Race Age Category    min/mile      
    1    0:28:17    HAYES, Frank    East Cork AC    M40    05:39.3    3373    1
    2    0:29:19    CANAVAN, Darragh    Midleton AC    M    05:51.7    3374    2
    3    0:29:23    HENNESSY, John    Midleton AC    M40    05:52.5    3395    3

TEAM:     1   East Cork AC    33, 2   Midleton AC        46,  3   Youghal AC        57

The womens race over 2k had a field of 40 runners and was won by Eadaoin O'Neill of East Cork AC in 7:44. In nearly all road championships, the men outnumber the women by a large magin, 2:1 might be a typical ratio. In this particular case, there were more women than men which is unusual. Perhaps it's a sign of the current trend in running?

Place    Time    Name    Team    Race Age Category    min/mile      
    1    0:07:44    O'NEILL, Eadaoin    East Cork AC    F    06:13.2    683    1
    2    0:07:49    AHERNE, Maeve    Carraig na bhFear AC    FJ    06:17.3    445    2
    3    0:07:58    HAYES, Laura    St. Catherines AC    FJ    06:24.5    768    3

TEAM:      1  Midleton AC    19, 2  St. Catherines AC        50

Scoring system for teams... It takes three women outside of the first three to score and four men again outside of the first three to score.Only one team per club allowed.

The full results can be seen HERE

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Interview with Irish Olympic Silver medalist John Treacy at the 2012 Brighton Marathon

Prior to the Brighton Marathon in mid-April, there was a Saucony seminar which included an interview with John Treacy, winner of the silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles. In this interview, he talks about his running career, his success in winning the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Glasgow in 1978 and in Limerick in 1979. He also goes through his race in that 1984 Olympic Marathon final when he was up against Carlos Lopes of Portugal and Charlie Spedding of Britain. The interview is here...

Interview with Ron Hill at the 2012 Brighton Marathon

Prior to the Brighton Marathon in mid-April, there was a Saucony seminar which included an interview with running legend Ron Hill.

Over his long career, Ron Hill has held many national and world long distance running records including a world record for 10 miles (16 km) (47:02, Leicester, April 1968; 46:44, Leicester, November 1968). Hill represented Great Britain three times in the Summer Olympic Games between 1964 and 1972, in the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres events. At the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Hill placed 18th in the 10000 metres, in a time of 29:53.0, and 19th in the marathon, in 2:25:34.4. In the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, he placed seventh in the 10000m. In 1969, Hill won the European Championships Marathon on the Marathon-to-Athens course. In 1970, Hill became the first British runner to win the Boston Marathon, by a wide margin, shattering the course record by three minutes with a time of 2:10:30. In July, at the British Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, he became the first man ever to break the 2:10 barrier, clocking a world record time of 2:09:28. Hill's final marathon was the 100th Boston Marathon, in 1996. He completed 115 marathons, 112 under 2:50, 103 under 2:45 and 29 under 2:20.   

Hill was also famous during his career for his trademark string vest. When asked as to why he wore it, he said... “I was looking for a way to get more air passing over the body, which evaporates sweat and cools the body – it didn’t won’t work if the body is covered by a full, cotton vest. It was in 1968 that I had the thought to wear a string vest, as it’s full of holes! I went to my local Army and Navy store in Stockport, bought the vest and it worked. The first time I wore the string vest was in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City."

Ron Hill is also famous of course for his running streak in that he has not missed a day of running since the 20th of December 1964. That makes 17,295 days if you include today, the 26th of April 2012.

In the interview here, Ron Hill talks about his running career, his Marathons and about his famous running streak....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Coverage of the Great Ireland Run in Dublin on RTE Player...

Back on the 15th of April 2012, the Spar Great Ireland Run was held in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Among a host of elite national and international runners, the star of the show for the 10k race was Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia, the World and Olympic record holder for both the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres. He is the reigning Olympic champion in both events and also won the 2004 Olympic title over 10,000 m.

For anyone that didn't see it, RTE still have the race on their Player service. The programme is 91 mins long. The elite womens race starts ~15:00 and the elite men and the masses start ~34:00. Some 11,000 people took part in the event. The RTE Player can be found HERE until Sunday, the 6th of May.

A selection of of the results....
Pos    Gender    Name    Club    Finish Time    Gun/Chip
1    M    KENENISA BEKELE         00:27:49   
2    M    AYAD LAMDASSEM         00:28:48   
3    M    DANIELE MEUCCI         00:28:49   
4    M    JOSE MANUEL MARTINEZ         00:29:00   
5    M    NICK MCCORMICK         00:29:04   
6    M    JESUS ESPANA         00:29:22   
7    M    MARK KENNEALLY    Clonliffe Harriers    00:29:23
17    M    23    JAMES MCCARTHY    East Cork AC    00:31:15

43    M    249    RUAIRI ODONNELL    Limerick AC    00:33:34

72    M    384    DAVID RYAN    Clonmel AC    00:34:52

Pos    Gender    BIB    Name    Club    Finish Time    Gun/Chip
1    F    107    GEMMA STEEL    Charnwood A C    00:32:06   
2    F    104    CHARLOTTE PURDUE         00:32:10   
3    F    105    CHRISTELLE DAUNAY         00:32:27   
4    F    101    HELEN CLITHEROE         00:33:02   
5    F    108    ROSARIA CONSOLE         00:33:46   
6    F    103    LINDA BYRNE    DSD AC        00:33:49   
     F    5058    CATHERINA MCKIERNAN         00:35:35
13    F    113    ANGELA MCCANN    Clonmel AC    00:36:43
265    F    884    HELEN LEONARD    Rathfarnham WSAF Athletic Club    00:39:14
563    F    709    ÁINE ROCHE    Clonmel AC    00:42:23
968    F    918    CARMEL MAC DOMHNAILL    West Limerick A.C.    00:44:57

Kenya announce Olympic marathon squad

When it comes to Marathon runners, Kenya has an embarrassment of riches. Up to now, they had 278 men and 61 women who had reached the Olympic 'A' standard for London. The problem of course is that they can only send 3 men and 3 women.

Today, they finally announced their 6 athletes.

Wilson Kipsang...Ran the second-fastest time in history with his 2:03:42 win in Frankfurt last October. Also won the London Marathon last weekend.
Abel Kirui...Set his PB of 2:05:04 in Rotterdam 2009 and won the World Championship in Daegu, South Korea last Autumn.
Moses Mosop...Debuted in Boston last year with 2:03:06 behind Geoffrey Mutai, both clocking the two fastest times in history, albeit on a downhill course with a tailwind. Went on to win the Chicago Marathon in October, then finished third and top Kenyan in this year’s Rotterdam Marathon. Has run no slower than 2:05:37.

Those not selected include world record-holder Patrick Makau, last year’s London Marathon winner Emmanuel Mutai, last year’s Boston and New York champion Geoffrey Mutai.

The women’s team comprises the trio of athletes who filled the top three spots at last weekend’s London Marathon –
Priscah Jeptoo...Won the silver in the World Championships Daegu last year. Smashed her PB by more than two and a half minutes in London last weekend to finish third with 2:20:14.
Mary Keitany...She won the 2011 London Marathon in 2:19:19. Improved on that last weekend to defend her title with an African record of 2:18:36, making her the third-fastest woman in history.
Edna Kiplagat...Won the 2010 New York title, then became world champion in 2011, leading a Kenyan sweep of the medals. Improved her PB to 2:19:50 when finishing second to Keitany last weekend in London.

Berlin champion Florence Kiplagat and Dubai second-placer Lucy Kabuu – both recent sub-2:20 runners – were among the top names who missed out.

Results of the Cill na Matra 10 mile race - Sun 22nd Apr 2012

This 10 mile charity race in Cill na Matra near Macroom in West Cork attracted a field of 135 runners and walkers. The course was reportedly slightly long at approx 10.3 miles so that is reflected in the times.

The results are still provisional as I'd suspect that they may have made a mistake in the top ladies.

The first man home was George Waugh in a time of 55:29. Philip Harty was second in 58:15 with Simon Mangan third in 60:32.

On the basis that the provisional results have an error then the first woman home was Carmel Deane in a time of 78:08. Geraldine O'Sullivan was second in 79:07.

The provisional results can be seen HERE

Results of the Ross 10k Charity Run...Sun 22nd Apr 2012

This 10k charity run in Rosscarbery in West Cork on Sunday, the 22nd of April 2012 got a field of 115 runners and walkers.

The first man home was Stephen Cleary in a time of 35:40. The first woman was Triona Hayes in a time of 48:18.

The results in PDF format can be seen HERE

Race Notice...Rás Bóthair 5 mile race - Sun 29th Apr 2012

This is a new race on the calendar and it's located just off the roundabout by the Jack Lynch Tunnel to the east of the city. The entry fee is €10 and the race starts at 10:30am.

Directions......Registration for this race is at Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil which many of you may know better as the old Ibis hotel that was located just off the tunnel roundabout. The current Gaelscoil took over the building in mid-2011.

In the photo above, the northern entrance to the Jack Lynch Tunnel is bottom left. The main road to Midleton is bottom right. The road to Glounthaune is upper right. The road on the lower left goes to the Dunkettle Roundabout and the road up top is the M8 motorway to Fermoy/Dublin.

The entrance to the Gaelscoil is from the north, next to the lower orange arrow shown above. If you are coming from the Dunkettle roundabout, the Dublin road or from the tunnel, you will need to take the slip road to the left which is the old road to Glounthaune.....

At the next smaller roundabout, take a left and then the Gaelscoil is just up the road on the left.

The map also shows the start which is just up the road in the direction of Glanmire. The route heads down towards Glounthaune (yellow arrows) and returns downhill from the north (orange arrows) and finishes next to the school.

Course.....This photo shows the course in full. The first two miles are very flat and likely to be very fast. Just before you reach the church in Glounthaune, the road begins to rise. As you turn left, there is a very sharp climb and this is by far the hardest part of the course.

You go under the old bridge, sharp right, right again and then continue the climb. In fact you are climbing from about the 2 mile mark to roughly the 3.7 mile mark. The road then levels out and after the 4 mile mark, you turn off left and start a long downhill section. The finish is near the school.

Overall.....A tough five mile route, especially the section after Glounthaune making it possibly one of the toughest 5 mile races in Cork? The proximity to Cork City and ease of access should make it an attractive option for some runners.

Sponsor.......The main sponsor is the Edge Sports. For more details on the location of their stores, see this previous post or visit their website at

From the organisers....
On Sunday the 29th of April at 10:30am Gaelscoil Ui Drisceoil will host a five mile road race and a two mile fun-run/walk from their new school in Dunkettle. (Formerly the Ibis Hotel)

Registration for the race will take place on Saturday the 28th of April and at the school between 3 p.m. and 5pm or on the morning of the race from 9 a.m.

The race will start at the entrance to Dunkettle House and proceed East along the old Cork-Midleton Road to Glounthaune Church, runners will then take a left up the hill under the Old Bridge where they will turn right and loop around onto the Caherlag road travelling West along the highlands past Eirn’s Own, turning left at the cottages and finishing at the school where water and refreshments will be provided.

There will also be a shorter two mile fun-run or walk for those who not wish to participate in the longer event.

The entry fee will be €10.00 and there will be parking on the morning in the school with overflow of parking in Dunsland Garden Centre.

Running has really taken off in recent years, which is evident by the number of runners on the roads morning, noon and night. This is an excellent opportunity to participate in a local event over a challenging new course.

“Failte Roimh Cach”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Results of the Cork BHAA Stride by the Tide race - Sun 22nd Apr 2012

A total of 141 runners turned out for this beach race over approximately 4 miles last Sunday, the 22nd of April 2012 in Redbarn near Youghal in East Cork.

     Athlete     Business     Cat.     Time                   
1     Michael Morgan     Temp.         23.29   
2     John Malone     Quality Hotels     0/40     23.41   
3     Martin O'Keeffe     Quality Hotels     0/40     23.53

    Athlete     Business     Cat.     Time                     
1     Margaret Murphy     H.S.E.         26.06     
2     Mary Sweeney     Fit 4 Life     0/50     26.17     
3     Valerie Vaughan     Pilates Physio         26.59

The results can now be seen HERE

Photos by Doug Minihane HERE

Bay Run Half-Marathon looking for pacers...

Now that the 2012 Bay Run Half-Marathon is coming up on the 6th of May, it's time to get those entries in before the closing date at the end of the month if you are thinking of doing it.

More info in an earlier post or on the race website.

A new feature this year will be the use of pacers and the organisers are looking for people who can run comfortably at a steady pace for the following times.....90 mins, 105 mins and 120 mins (1:30/1:45/2:00). Needless to say, you get a free entry to the event with the dry-fit top, medal, etc.

If you are interested then contact Ronán at

New Film...Town of Runners

Town of Runners is a new film following the lives of two young athletes in the small town of Bekoji in Ethiopia. Perhaps like it's Kenyan equivalent of Iten, this Ethiopian town is noted for having produced many of that countries world class athletes.

Orla Barry on the Newstalk radio station has a ten minute interview with the film director Jerry Rothwell. The clip can be found starts at 6:00 and lasts until 15:21

Screenings......For those of you in Dublin, this film will be screened at the Lighthouse Cinema at Market Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7 on the following dates....

Tues 24 April (17:00), Wed 25 Apr (17:00), Thurs 26 Apr (17:00), Frid 27 Apr (18:15), Sun 29 Apr (18:15), Mon 30 Apr (18:15), Tues 01 May (18:15), Thurs 03 May (18:15)

Races and events next weekend...Sat 28-Sun 29 Apr 2012

Just a quick look ahead to some of the events next weekend that might be of interest.....

Saturday 28th Apr.......
Cork....Monster MAC Multi-Sport Adventure Race......This event is coming up on Saturday in the Millstreet Country Par and involves running, cycling and kayaking. More info on the Running in Munster site.

Sunday 29th Apr.....
Kerry......There is a brand new 10 mile road race in Castleisland, Co.Kerry. This one will be of particular interest to those in Kerry, West Limerick and North Cork. The entry fee is €30 and includes a dry-fit top as well as two free passes to the state of the art gym there which can be used at a later date. Proceeds from the race will be used for the upkeep of the outdoor track in Castleisland which I understand is the only one in Kerry and is a vital resource for athletics in the region. More info on the Running in Munster website.

Cork...For those of you who fancy something shorter, there is a 5 mile race in Glounthaune just to the east of Cork City. This will start at 10:30am. More details in a later post...

Cork...For anyone interested in Track and Field, Riverstick /Kinsale AC are holding their annual open sports at the Riverstick GAA grounds. For adults, there is a 100m and 1500m race on a grass surface. Details HERE.

.............and finally, just a quick look back! There is a new race video up now for the Ballintotis 4 mile race last week. See the results post.

Road Running and Marathon Seminar...Wed 25th Apr 2012

Mahers Sports in Cork City are holding a Road Running and Marathon Seminar in their store on Wednesday, the 25th of April. Dave O'Brien and Joanne Fearon are the guest speakers. Details in the flyer below...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Olympic Marathon through the ages...

...including #903...the great Emil Zatopek...winner of the 5k, 10k and Marathon in the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 and broke the existing Olympic record in each event.

Success of Ireland's Marathon Mission...

There can be no doubting the success of the Ireland's Marathon Mission. Set up just two years ago at the start of 2010, it has transformed the elite Irish Marathon running scene. Four years ago in 2008, Martin Fagan was the only Irish athlete to reach the 'A' standard of 2:15 for the Beijing Olympics when he ran 2:14:06 in the Dubai Marathon. No woman reached the 'A' standard then.

Fast forward to 2012 and Mark Kenneally has already qualified for the London Olympics with a time of 2:13:55 which he set in the Amsterdam Marathon last October. It remains to be seen if any more men will join him but several others have come closer to the 'A' standard than in previous years.

For the Irish women, the Marathon Mission has had a huge impact with four now having run faster than the 'A' standard of 2:37 with more possibly to come.

The Irish Indepent have an interesting article about the Marathon Mission HERE. It details how it was set up and how it operates.

Mary Keitany runs 5th fastest time ever at London Marathon...

The big international event this weekend was of course the London Marathon. With more than 35,000 people taking part, the mens race was won by Wilson Kipsang of Kenya in a time of 2:04:44. The womens race was won by fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany in an impressive time of 2:18:36. Not only was this a new Kenyan national record but it was also the fifth fastest time ever by a woman in a Marathon.

Rank    Time    Name    Country    Race    Place    RaceDate
1    2:15:25    Radcliffe, Paula    GBR    London    1    4/13/03
2    2:17:18    Radcliffe, Paula    GBR    Chicago    1    10/13/02
3    2:17:42    Radcliffe, Paula    GBR    London    1    4/17/05
4    2:18:20    Shobukhova, Liliya    RUS    Chicago    1    10/9/11
5    2:18:36    Keitany, Mary    KEN    London    1    4/23/12
6    2:18:47    N'dereba, Catherine    KEN    Chicago    1    10/7/01
7    2:18:56    Radcliffe, Paula    GBR    London    1    4/14/02

Keitany's 5km Splits: 16:51, 16:45, 16:51, 16:47, 16:23, 16:16, 16:08, 15:45.

Keitany must now be one of the favourites to take gold in the Olympics this summer. And if you are looking at the photo above and wondering just how tall one of the fastest Marathon runners in the world is, the answer is 5ft 1" (1.55m).

The event of course had some of it's more whackier entrants. David Stone (42) from Exmouth, in Devon, dressed as Count Dracula and completed the run in two hours 42 minutes, smashing the previous record of three hours and two minutes as the fastest book character.

Fauja Singh, believed to be the oldest marathon runner at 101, completed his race in seven hours and 49 minutes, some 35 minutes faster than the 8:25 which he ran in Toronto last October. The east Londoner has said this would be his last marathon so he can concentrate on shorter distances and faster times!

Other records broken on Sunday included the fastest marathon dressed as a jester in three hours one minute by Alexander Scherz, the fastest marathon dressed as a Roman Soldier in two hours and 57 minutes by David Tomlin and the fastest marathon dressed as a vegetable in two hours and 59 minutes by Edward Lumley.

There are some photos on the BBC Website HERE

The race also had it's tragic moment when a 30 year old woman collapsed and died near the finish of the 26.2-mile race. The event's organisers say that she fell as she approached Buckingham Palace. Medical attention was given at the scene, but she was declared dead later in the afternoon.

This has of course raised the subject in the mainstream press about how safe running a Marathon actually is? The reality is that fatalities are very rare. The 30-year-old woman who collapsed close to the finish line of the 2012 London Marathon is the 10th participant to die since the event began in 1981. Five of these were linked to heart conditions like blocked heart blood vessels or a structural congenital problem with the heart. Similarly, US research has looked at nearly 11 million runners who participated in marathons or half-marathons between 2000 and 2010. Over the decade, 59 of the runners had a cardiac arrest - where the heart stops working - and 42 of these people died. This means one death in every 259,000 runners. Most had underlying heart conditions or heart disease.

As with all types of strenuous physical activity, you are advised to seek a medical opinion before you start a training regime.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Results of the Bride 10k in Rathcormac - Sun 22nd Apr 2012

The inaugural Bride 10k road race in Rathcormac got off to a great start with 246 people taking part. Conditions on the day were a little tough with a strong headwind on the uphill sections during the first half of the race. The first man home was John Meade of St.Finbarr's AC in a time of 34:32, just five seconds ahead of Kevin Wilmot of Bandon AC. The women's race was won by Annmarie Power of Eagle AC in a time of 45:03.

Place    Time    Name    Team    Race Age Category    min/mile       
1    0:34:32    MEADE, John    St. Finbarrs AC    M    05:33.3
2    0:34:37    WILMOT, Kevin    Bandon AC    M    05:34.1
3    0:35:48    O'SULLIVAN, Rory    St. Finbarrs AC    M    05:45.6

1 44    0:45:03    POWER, Anne-Marie    Eagle AC    F    07:14.9
2 53    0:46:27    FENNESSY, Eleanor    Eagle AC    F    07:28.4
3 57    0:46:44    BUCKLEY, Sheila    Midleton AC    F    07:31.1

The full results can be found HERE

Forty runners complete the 2012 North Pole Marathon

This unique Marathon covering the full 42.2 km distance was held recently on the 6th of April at the Geographic North Pole. A total of 40 athletes from 18 countries took part in the event. Contestants had to run 10 loops of a 4.22 km course marked out on the ice as armed personnel kept an eye out for polar bears.

The first three finishers were Andrew Murray from Scotland in 4:17:08, Luis Alonso Marcos of Spain in 4:19:38 and James Matthews (GBR) third in 4:41:01.  
The women's race was won by Demelza Farr of Australia in 6:06:36 followed by Great Britain's Rebecca Newmann (6:11:39) and Julie Brailsford (6:14:40) in second and third, respectively.

If you are thinking about doing the 2013 race then you better start saving as it costs a 'cool' €11,900! This includes accommodation in Spitsbergen, return flights from Spitsbergen to the North Pole camp; accommodation while at the Pole, entry to the official North Pole Marathon; helicopter flights in the polar region; t-shirts, medals and souvenirs; professional photos of each competitor in action; a DVD of the race; and hotel accommodation on return from the Pole.

Video of the 2012 race here...

Results of the Claragh Mountain race...Sun 15th Apr 2012

This mountain race up and down Claragh Mountain near Millstreet was held last Sunday, the 15th of April 2012. A total of 46 people took part and the race was won by Tim O'Donoghue in a time of 29:31. The first woman was Ida Donovan from Dublin in 42:30.

The website has a number of photos HERE

1    Tim O'Donoghue    2537    M    29:31    East Cork    Cork
2    Ed Murphy    2568    M    30:50    Gneeveguilla AC    Cork
3    Mike Cunningham    2509    M40    31:05    Bilboa AC    Limerick
4    David Power    211    M    31:16    Waterford
5    Tom Blackburn    2501    M40    31:53    Bilboa AC    Limerick
6    Ross Alexander    2546    M    31:54    Coolquill    Tipperary
7    Donal Coffey    2540    M    32:36    Leevale AC    Cork
8    John Barrett    2550    M40    33:10    Desmond C...    Cork
9    Sean Harte    2555    M    34:33    Cork O    Waterford
10    Ger Griffin    2505    M50    34:45    Bilboa AC    Limerick
11    Brian Flannelly    2502    M    35:03    Cork O...    Tipperary
12    Brian Murphy    2539    M    35:07    Cork
13    John O'Shea    2556    M50    35:51    Limerick
14    Robert McEvoy    2552    M    36:39    Cork O    Cork
15    David McBride    2563    M40    37:40    Kerry
16    Pat Breen    2559    M    37:50    Waterford...    Limerick
17    Pat Murphy    2566    M50    38:13    Eagle AC  
18    John Shanahan    2569    MJ    38:25    Bilboa AC   
19    Sean Manning    2506    M40    38:38    Limerick
20    Shane O'Leary    2553    MJ    38:44    Cork
21    Tadhg Vaughan    2545    M40    39:38    Coolquill    Tipperary
22    Donal Cashman    2542    M40    39:39    Cork
23    Kevin Wilkinson    2514    M    39:49       
24    Simon Long    2544    M    39:50           
25    Gearoid Ryan    2551    M    40:09    Cork O   
26    Kieran Lynch73    2531    M    40:47           
27    Daniel Casey    2547    M    41:06    Kerry
28    John Daly    2507    M40    42:08    Limerick
29    Ida Donovan    2548    F40    42:30    Dublin
30    John J Healy    2538    M40    44:03    Kenmare AC    Kerry
31    Elaine O'Donoghue    2554    F    44:30    riverslic...   
32    Stephen Murphy(Cork)    2562    M50    Rising Sun    Cork
33    John Lombard    2543    M    45:54    Cork
34    Tim O'Callaghan    2523    M40    47:10   
35    Noreen Harvey    2549    F40    47:25    Mallow AC    Cork
36    Patricia Blackburn    2535    F40    47:38    Bilboa AC    Limerick
37    Patrick Cleary    2541    M60    47:48    Kerry O    Kerry
38    James Melody    2564    M    48:09    Clare
39    Brian Byrne    2536    M60    49:32    Riocht    Kerry
40    Mary Finn    2567    F50    49:45    Millstreet    Cork
41    Sharon Lucey    2558    F    50:27    Cork
42    Ted Feehan    2561    M70    52:20    Cork
42    Denis Allen    2557    M40    52:20    Newmarket    Cork
44    Barthalomew Kearney    2565    M50    Leevale    Cork
45    Shane Browne    2560    M    59:18    Duhallow    Cork
46    Julie Byrne    2570    F50    69:00    Kerry

Friday, April 20, 2012

Preview of the Bride 10k...Sun 22nd Apr 2012

This 10k road race on Sunday the 22nd of April 2012 in Rathcormac is a brand new event on the calendar. Organised in conjunction with Grange Fermoy AC, the race course has been accurately measured by Jones Counter. The race entry fee is €10. The race starts at 12 noon.

Rathcormac is just off the M8 Cork to Dublin road in NE Cork and is very easy to get to. If you are coming from Cork City, then just turn off at Watergrasshill and follow the signposts. As you enter Rathcormac from the south, take the first left at the crossroads just after the small garage.

The entrance to the local GAA grounds is a narrow roadway in the middle of a row of bungalows on the left. Follow the stewards directions for parking.

One feature of this race is that the race headquarters, start and finish lines are all very close to each other. You can register for the race at the GAA grounds between 10am and 11:45am. Runners will have use of the shower facilities there after the race.

Course......As you can seen from the map above, the start point is just up the road. You run down past the GAA grounds and then left through the town itself. This part of the course is dead flat and the field should start to thin out as it goes Rathcormac itself. On the other side of the town, you take a left onto a quieter road which is the route north-west to Ballyhooly.

Pretty soon, you reach the one mile mark and the road begins to climb. That first hill marks the end of what is a fast first mile and the start of a climb for the next two miles as you go from 50 metres to 150 metres in altitude. Sometimes the gradient changes but it is for the most part a long gradual climb. At about 1.7 miles, you cross over the M8 motorway for the first time...

After that, the course continues to climb as the country road twists and turn and eases a bit near the two mile mark...

After this, the gradient increases again until you go through a crossroads at about 2.3 miles...
All along this section, there is a fine view to the north-east as you look across at Corrin Hill near Fermoy. The road now continues past the 3 mile mark until you reach a wooded section where you turn off left...

Now the road is very narrow with trees on both sides of the road. Just around here, you hit the highest point of the race course and the second half of the route is a lot easier. Initially, the fall is slight but as you approach the 3.7 mile mark, you get a good idea of how high above the valley floor you are...

You pass the 4 mile mark on a long straight downhill section. At the end of the hill, you turn left at the T-junction...
Now the road continues to drop at a more gentle rate until you reach the hump-backed Ballybrowney Bridge...

After this, there is a very gradual uphill section as you run past the 5 mile mark. After that, the road drops again until you reach the next T-junction. This is the end of the narrow country roads as you are now on the R614 road. Soon, you cross over the M8 motorway again for the second and last time...

From here, you continue on in towards Rathcormac as the road twists and turn on what should be a fast section of the course. After you pass the 6 mile mark, the finish is just ahead...

Overall......Basically, a 10k road race with two halves. The first mile is flat and is then followed by two miles of uphill running. The first two miles of the second half are mostly downhill on narrow quiet country roads followed by a flattish last mile. Probably not the fastest of courses but the ease of access and relative proximity of Cork City might make it an attractive option for many.

Info from the organisers...All runners and walkers are welcome to Rathcormac Cork for the first Annual Bride 10K Run/Walk. If you are a budding Olympian or just want to try and shed a few pounds  the Bride run is for you. The course has a climb for the first 4km after that it is mainly down hill or flat. The cost of the event is €10 per runner, entries will be also taken on the day from 10am -11.30am at Bride Rovers GAA club house. The race will start at 12.00 from Bride Rovers GAA grounds and will also finish there.  Prizes will be offered to the first three men and women. There will also be prizes offered to the first two men and women in the following categories, U19's, 40+, 50+ and 60+. Refreshments will be provided at the GAA club house after the race.

Irish athlete Joanne Cuddihy wins 400m race in Australian National Championships...

From last weekend (14th/15th Apr)...Irish athlete Joanne Cuddihy of Kilkenny City Harriers AC won the womens 400m race in the Australian National Championships in a time of 51.69, just 0.14 outside the required Olympic 'A' standard of 51.55. Catriona Cuddihy (Kilkenny City Harriers), younger sister of Joanne was also competing and finished in eight position recording a new personal best time of 55.03. Joanne is in lane 4 of the video clip below...

Results of the Ballintotis 4 mile road race...Thurs 19th Apr 2012

The 2012 Ballintotis 4 mile road race in East Cork attracted a huge field of 737 runners this year, an increase of 32% on the figure for 2011. It's a remarkable figure for what was the first evening road race of the summer season.

The mens race was won by James McCarthy of East Cork AC in a time of 19:56, well ahead of Chris Harrington (20:43) and John Shine (20:52) of Leevale AC. The womens race was a much closer affair with the first three women finishing within ten seconds of each other. Sinead Ní Chonchuir of Eagle AC won in a time of  23:41, seven seconds ahead of Martina Kiely of St.Finbarr's AC in 23:48. Just three seconds behind in third place was Annmarie Holland of Eagle AC in 23:51.

The full results can be seen HERE

1) Photos by Denis Barry HERE
2) A slideshow of photos by Joe Murphy HERE

Race Video...
Produced by Denis Barry with commentary by John Cashman...

Waterford...Race notice for the Butlerstown 10k - Fri 20th Apr 2012

For those of you in East Cork or Waterford, the Ger Wyley Sports Summer Series continues this evening with a 10k road race in Butlerstown just to the west of Waterford City. It starts at 7pm and the entry fee is €10.

More info on the Running in Munster website.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Preview of the Ballintotis 4 mile road race - Thurs 19th Apr 2012

After a long dark winter, the first road race of the Summer Season starts in Ballintotis near Castlemartyr in East Cork on Thursday, the 19th of April at 8pm. This 4 mile road race is sure to attract a huge crowd so give yourself plenty of time for parking, queues for entry and then get to the start.

Location..... Ballintotis is just off the main N25 Cork to Waterford road. It is located just a few kms west of Castlemartyr. If you are coming from Cork City then look for the turn off right about 5 kms after Midleton. There is a green signpost showing that the turn off is coming up. If you are coming from the easterly side then drive through Castlemartyr and take the first left after Lough Aderra which you can't miss.

The entry fee is €10 and a T-shirt is included in that price.

Info from the organisers.....Ballintotis will again host the opening evening fixture on the extremely busy Cork road running calendar on Thursday April 19th. Two years ago, the inaugural ‘4’ miler at the picturesque venue, located just off the Main N25 road between Midleton and Castlemartyr, proved an outstanding success with nearly 450 runners taking part. Twelve months on over 550 went to the start line, whilst another sizeable contingent took part in the non competitive walk.

This year’s race was officially launched by the Lakeside at Loughaderra with Donal O’Sullivan, General Manager of Trabolgan Holiday Village, joining local organisers to kick start the countdown to an occasion that will again see all proceeds going towards the Ballintotis Area Community Council Building Fund.

East Cork AC who previously held the fixture in nearby Castlemartyr are again to the fore in the organisation and promotion of the race as are members of the highly respected Ballycotton Running Promotions team. Without the tremendous help and co-operation of both the aforementioned the race would not be possible to stage.

Currently the main objective of the Ballintotis Community Council Committee is to provide a suitable multi purpose floor on the splendid new Community Centre which is located adjacent to the Church grounds. Since last year’s race tremendous progress has been made as reflected by the fact that the Centre will be HQ for the big April 19th fixture. The staging of the race at the venue over the past 2 years has generated a vital part of the funding which has seen such major work already completed.

So this year (weather permitting) the focus will both be on the new construction and the Car Park of St Colman’s Church which will again be the venue for after race refreshments on the lake side at Loughaderra. The start line is approximately 200 meters from the race base and the course will see the runners pass the Car Park as they set out on what is predominantly a fast flat course along quiet country roads, before finishing back in front of the Church.

Entry fee for the event is €10, with all finishers receiving a souvenir tee shirt. There is a wide range of prizes in all categories along with a plentiful supply of spot prizes. For those who make the headlines up front some attractive prizes are on offer topped by a family weekend break at Trabolgan Holiday Village for both first man and first lady across the line. Incidentally, James McCarthy of East Cork AC won the event in both 2010 and 2011 while Rhona Lynch and Niamh Roe of Eagle AC won the women's race in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Race time on Thursday 19th is 8pm with all participants urged to arrive early and follow the advice of the stewards in relation to parking..

Meantime a non competitive walk will also be held beginning at 6.30pm over the same course. Again entry fee for adults is €10 which automatically entitles the participants to the aforementioned commemorative tee shirt.

Children accompanied by an adult can partake free of charge.

Entry to both the race and walk, changing facilities, refreshments and prize giving will all be centred in close proximity.

Further information is available by calling Sean Murphy or John Cashman on the special race line number 086-8778182.

A flyer for the race can be seen HERE

Basically, it is a loop course with the start and finish area overlapping by about 200 metres. The start line is very close to the church and right next to the lake...

The start is on the approach road to Ballintotis from the main road to the north. As you pass the church, the road opens up...

and then you turn right at the next junction. This is where the only real hill of the race starts...

Coming so early in the race, it's a pretty minor affair. Around the half-mile mark, you pass the 16th century  Ballintotis Castle...

 and then you are onto the quiet country roads in the area. The photo below shows what you can expect....

.......narrow quiet country roads with a hedgerow on either side.

At around 3.5 miles, you come back onto the hard shoulder of the M25 road as you pass Lough Aderra....

Then it's next left, back onto the narrow road again and on to finish just outside the church.

Overall.....a 4 mile road race on a relatively flat circuit on nice quite country roads. No real hills to speak of so you can expect to get a fast time. The only issue might be that the start is narrow but it's no worse than say the likes of Ballyandreen. A nice race to kick off the summer season of evening races.

More info from the organisers...
Designated Car Parks/General Information
2012 Ballintotis ‘4’ Mile Road Race Thursday April 19th - 8pm
This is located adjacent to ‘Ballintotis Community Centre which is the Race H.Q. The car park will cater for walkers, early arrivals for the race, stewards and other race officials. It was also used for last year’s race. (Please note use of this car park is dependent on favourable conditions)
CAR PARK ‘B’ This is located approx 0.5 miles from Race HQ and is the situated beyond the school and close to Balllintotis Castle. It will cater for runners arriving from 6.30pm onwards. *After the race traffic heading in a westerly direction towards Midleton from this car park will be directed left on the road known as the Kiln Boreen.
CAR PARK ‘C’ This is located at the eastern side of Loughaderra Lake and will initially be for all race traffic approaching from Castlemartyr and Youghal direction. It will be also be for use by runners arriving later from any direction. The car park is just under 0.5 miles from Race HQ.

Other Notes
**After 7.30pm it is important to note that access to all car parks will be via the road on the Castlemartyr side immediately east of Loughaderra Lake.
*Also note that the field used as a car park on N25/Church Cross Junction last year is not available this year.
*A temporary lighting system is also being erected to assist participants on their return journey to each car park.
*Weather permitting refreshments will be served and prizes will be presented in the Church Car Park adjacent to Loughaderra Lake. In the event of rain these will take place in the Community Centre.

Note To All Participants
The organising committee has decided to open an entry desk from 1pm at the newly built Ballintotis Community Centre. Whilst this might seem a very early hour, we feel it could facilitate a number of people who commute regularly on the N25 Cork/Waterford road. It will also of course be an advantage to local people living in the vicinity of the race.
Overall we urge runners to arrive early and please follow the advice of stewards and members of the gardai. Hopefully with a bit of luck weather wise, we will all have another enjoyable evening in Ballintotis.
- Further enquiries to John Cashman or Sean Murphy on 086 8778182.