Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Results of the Bandon Half-Marathon and 10k race - Sat 12th May 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Results of the Bandon Half-Marathon and 10k race - Sat 12th May 2012

Blue skies and sunshine greeted the runners for the Bandon Half-Marathon and 10k race on Saturday, the 12th of May. With the Half starting at 9:30am and the 10k at 10:15am, it was still reasonably cool at that time of day which made for perfect conditions.

The numbers for the Half-Marathon were well down on last year with 220 taking part as opposed to the 362 in 2011. Looking back at the comments for last year, it had gotten off to a bit of ropey start with the race website back then promising a flat fast course which of course it wasn't. Some people who had entered last year on that assumption may well have decided to skip the event this year as a result. There is probably a lesson in there for all race organisers. If you are going to describe your course, tell the truth or else you'll end up doing more damage in the long run.

With reference to the 10k race, the numbers were up with 345 taking part this year as opposed to 315 in 2011.

Race Report...To be honest, I can't say that I'm a big fan of Half-Marathons. I like 10 mile road races but the 'Half'?? I don't know. Maybe it's the word 'Half'...I prefer 'Full'!! ;o) With that in mind, I really wasn't going to bother with the race until I had done up the race preview. I saw the hills and the country roads and it kind of looked appealing. So I ended up doing the Bandon Half-Marathon after all.

From the outset, it looked well organised. Plenty of parking, number collection was easy and the start line was just a short distance away on a quiet road. With only 220 taking part, there was no issue with space and I'd guess you could have twice the number and it would still have been ok. After the race started, there were plenty of stewards on hand to direct us over to the right hand side of the main road as we left the outskirts of the town. After about 1.8 miles, we turned off right onto the quieter and nicer country roads.

I had written about some short hills in the early stages in the race preview but in truth, they seemed pretty tame. Just after the 4 mile mark, I was beginning to feel the pace a bit as I lost the group I was with as we turned left and went up a short hill. The incline in question was actually the slope of a bridge for the old Cork to Bantry railway which used to pass underneath the road here until the service closed in 1961. Looking into the fields, you could still see the old telegraph poles.

I knew from the preview that the real work was going to start around the 4.7 mile mark and that's the way it turned out. The next 1.3 miles were by far the hardest part of the course will several long drags in it. It was just before the final hill that someone had put out what was probably the most unusual water station I had ever seen on a race....a table, a water dispenser, some plastic cups, nobody in sight and big note to tell the runners 'Help Yourself'! If only I was running slow enough to avail of the offer ;o)

At the top of the hill, we hit the 6 mile mark and there was an incredible view way off to the north-west with plenty of mountains visible....Nowen Hill near Dunmanway, Shehy Mhór near Inchigeelagh, Musheramore in north-west Cork and Mangerton near Killarney in Kerry. From here, we began the long descent and eventually started to head east again. At nearly the 9 mile mark, we had completed the loop and we were then retracing our footsteps until we joined the 10k race course at around 9.8 miles.

The 10k runners had started their race 45 minutes after the start of the Half-Marathon. From where I was when the two races merged, the Half-Marathon runners were about 30 seconds per mile faster than the 10k runners. This was the first time I have ever seen this in a race and it seemed to work well. Prior to the joining, there were large gaps in the Half-Marathon field and if you lost the person you were running with then you were on your own. Once the races merged, the road was full and it really helped to be passing out the 10k runners for the rest of the race.

The last real hill of the day was the one that included the 11 mile mark. This would have been the only major hill that the 10k runners would have had to undertake. There was another smaller one just afterwards but the run in to the finish was downhill and pretty fast. After that, it was a jog back to race HQ for a fine spread and to sit out in the sun :o)

Any bad points....?? As it's still only the second year of the race then there are probably a few things that could be improved. One issue I would have is the lack of t-shirts for the slower runners. As it turned out, just under half of the Half-Marathon runners got a t-shirt. Why should the slower runners lose out? Either give everyone a t-shirt or get rid of it altogether.

The other issue is probably the price. While it is still cheaper than some other races, it will probably be still too expensive for some runners.

Overall......would I recommend it? Yes I would. If you are only interested in flat courses and fast times then it's probably not for you. If you whinge and moan about the slightest incline, then it's not for you. But if you want a well organised race on quiet roads then it's a race that should really get a lot more than 220. I've done a lot of races on many courses over the years and this is certainly one of the better ones.

Bandon Half Marathon – Senior Men – 1st five
1 Kevin Wilmot    MO    Bandon AC    Bandon Half     01:14:26
2 John Meade    MO    St Finbarrs AC    Bandon Half     01:15:11
3 Eamonn O Donovan    MO    Bandon AC    Bandon Half     01:16:50
4 Michael Morgan    M35    St Finbarrs Cork    Bandon Half     01:17:03
5 Rory O' Sullivan    MO    St Finbarrs AC    Bandon Half     01:17:59

Bandon Half Marathon – Senior Women – 1st five
19 CARMEL CROWLEY    F40    BANDON AC    Bandon Half     01:25:12
28 Ann Marie Holland    FO    Eagle AC    Bandon Half     01:26:03
39 Maura Regan    FO    Eagle AC    Bandon Half     01:32:59
42 Esther Murphy    F35    St Finbarrs AC    Bandon Half     01:33:54
44 Collette Holland    FO    Eagle AC    Bandon Half     01:34:15

The provisional results for the Half-Marathon can be seen HERE

Bandon 10k– Senior Men – 1st five
Nr Bib Name Cat Club Race Finish
1 Cathal O' Donnabhain MO ST Finbarrs AC 00:34:06
2 Timothy Twomey MO Leevale AC 00:34:24
3 Michael Dullea M35 00:34:51
4 Donal Coffey MO Leevale AC 00:35:12
5 Alexander O Shea M35 00:38:04

Bandon 10k– Senior Women – 1st five
21 Catherine Keohane FO Leevale 00:43:21
24 Noreen  Crowley FO  00:43:45
31 Denise Twohig FO ST FINBARRS AC 00:44:04
33 Margaret Callanan F45 Fit For Life/ Bandon 00:44:28
34 Ronnie Barry F35 00:44:35

The provisional results for the 10k are HERE

1) Doug Minihane has a large gallery HERE

Comments?? Did you take part in the race? What did you think of it?


Anonymous said...

first time doing this and this was excellent. you now have a number of high quality reasonably priced excellently organised half marathons/long races on the cork calendar- cobh 15, charleville 13.1, blarney 13.1 and the bandon 13.1. fair tough course. some of the mile markers were out of place earlier water stations before 6.5 would have helped but other that a excellent race in a lovely setting. all for 25 quid!!!!

paddy m said...

great day out, fantastic atmosphere at the finish line.Really well organised event well done to Tom Laffen and all involved!!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the 10k yesterday.well done to all concerned.
only 2 improvements to be made.
1.Water to be ready at stations rather than having to wait for cup to be filled(the rest was welcome)
2.Me to train harder and improve time for next year!

Anonymous said...

Not enough water stations and not enough people manning the stations that were there.
Long tough uphill sections makes for a stern test of endurance. Not necessarily a bad thing but no pb's here I reckon

Anonymous said...

Very well organized with some great roads to run on ..tough course but great training for Cork in 3 weeks time ...Nice spread afterwards and weather was perfect for running ...Well done Bandon AC. Must admit some very testing hills ...Ian

Anonymous said...

Great race,testing half marathon,lovely course,brilliantly organised,piped band at start was a lovely touch and the drums at the finish was brill.
Well done to all in Bandon a.c.
P.S looking forward to next year

Anonymous said...

Well done to all in Bandon a.c. Excellent half marathon,my first time doing it and I ill be back.Great organisation and wonderful weather. Hats off to all in Bandon.

Anonymous said...

Very good half marathon.Pipe band at start was a lovely touch.Course challenging but lovely countryside around Bandon.Take a bow Bandon A.C.

Anonymous said...

great event and super atmosphere at the finish really enjoyed the half, well done bandon ac

Anonymous said...

i pb'ed it and this was my 5th half marathon but the legs were very wobbly at the end. it was probably down to the course and my effort but there should have a water station at mile 3/4. excellent race and a great stamina builder for cork city marathon.

Anonymous said...

DO Ya think it is tougher than the blarney 1/2

Anonymous said...

My first 1/2 Marathon and really enjoyed it. Really well organised and thanks to Bandon RC & AC for a great day and a special thanks to whoever organised the sunshine :-).

John G said...

I did the 10k. Great day - Bandon AC and the Rugby club had things well organised. Agree with earlier poster; the pipe band at the start was a really nice touch, really added something to the occasion. That hill leading up to Bandon Golf Club was a real tester, but the downhill 1/2 mile to the finish was really welcome. There was even iced baths afterwards in the changing area if you wanted it.All in all, a really good race.

Anonymous said...

I did the 10k and really enjoyed it. The hills were tough but good experience. I loved the atmosphere and the sandwiches, cakes and tea afterwards were lovely and much appreciated. Very well organised.

Anonymous said...

Great half marathon, lovely route. Will do this instead of the bay run every time. Well done Bandon AC.

Anonymous said...

Bandon -v- Blarney? The long hill in Blarney is tough,but once you get through that, the pain is over.The strategic placing of the last hill before the finish in Bandon is pretty horrendous.
I'd say Bandon is tougher but the scenery and quiet roads more than make up for it!!

John Desmond said...

Bandon V Blarney...Without a doubt, Bandon is harder but it's a much nicer course.

@francork said...

I did this race in 2011 and really enjoyed it, hills and all! I'd forgotten about the t-shirt thing until I read it in your race report. At the time I remember thinking it was a bit mean but it wasn't a major issue. The price is OK, though if they could drop it to €20 and guarantee a t-shirt I'd say the numbers would shoot up. Saturday didn't suit this year but def planning doing this again in 2013.

Anonymous said...

what a great event well organised
pipe band at start created the atmosphere. I did the 10k pull from to the golf club was the worst part.
Fab finish samba band! This event is not to be missed roll on 2013. well done Bandon A.C

Anonymous said...

I'd agree on the Bandon v Blarney.

Bandon is tougher since Blarney really only has one proper testing hill which argueably goes on longer than any of the ones in Bandon but Bandon has 2 very tough hills with a couple of more testing uphills aswell

Anonymous said...

Bandon Half Marathon will become must.It is a genuine race organised by people who know what they are doing. If everyone who finished got a t-shirt they could wear it with real pride. So come on T-Shirts for all finishers.