Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Results of the Bay Run Half-Marathon - Mon 6th May 2012

Monday, May 07, 2012

Results of the Bay Run Half-Marathon - Mon 6th May 2012

Photo by Gearoid O'Laoi

A total of 827 runners turned out for this year's Bay Run Half-Marathon while 143 walkers took part in the shorter 10 mile walk. Despite the weather forecast of cloudy conditions, the bad weather arrived much later than expected resulting in plenty of sunshine for the race.

The mens race was won by Cathal O'Donovan in a time of 79:02 while the winner of the womens race was Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC in 82:55.

1 Cathal O' Donovan 01:19:02
2 Pascal Schwaller 01:19:16
3 Anthony Malone 01:21:20

1 Lizzie Lee, Leevale AC...01:22:55
2 Anne Marie Holland, Eagle AC...01:24:20
3 Maura Regan, Eagle AC...01:28:33

The official results can be found HERE

Full results also HERE

Did you do this race? Any comments?

Photos...(Updated 10th May)
1) Some commercial photos HERE
2) A gallery of 442 photos HERE 

Race Report......This was actually the first time that I ran took part in this particular event. As a backdrop for a race, the scenery of West Cork is superb with views of Bantry Bay or the mountains of the Beara Peninsula never too far away. The race started in Glengarriff itself which was a hive of activity just before the 12 noon start. The road for the start was fairly wide and even with 800+ runners, there was no issue about finding a suitable spot. There was also plenty of space in the first half mile or so through the town to pass out slower runners and find a group that were at your speed. There was a slight uphill section through the woods but nothing too serious and it was followed by an easy downhill section back into the town. A relatively easy start to race.

The next section of the race after the 3 mile mark was a different story however. There was a long climb for about a mile out of Glengarriff which was especially testing. It's not that the gradient was particularly tough but running at pace uphill takes it toll. It was here that it was obvious that the groups that had formed earlier were beginning to fray. After a short flat section near mile 4, it was uphill again to around the 5 mile mark. From here, there were some great views out over Bantry Bay with the Sugarloaf prominent on the Beara Peninsula and Mount Gabriel clearly visible way off beyond the Sheeps Head Peninsula. From here, it was downhill and fast to about the 8 mile mark and then reasonably flat for the next mile.

The last section of the race was from about Ballylickey onwards, roughly the 9 mile mark. It was as we approached Bantry that the number of cars began to build up. I'd suspect that in reality, a 12 noon start for this race is too late. In previous years, it used to be 9am I believe which might be better from a traffic point of view but not great for anyone traveling down from the city. Something around 10:30am might make a better compromise?

The last few miles had it's share of short pulls but nothing too serious. There were signs out on the road around the 10 mile mark saying to stay on the footpath? I'm not sure if that was mainly directed at the walkers but for a road race and runners, it's completely unrealistic. In Bantry itself, the traffic was diverted away and there was a fine downhill section all of the way to the finish line. All very well done except for the finishing was out by around 90 seconds! Not that it mattered a huge amount as there was chip timing but it's not exactly rocket science to set the right time. So whoever was looking after the timing, no points on that score. If the clock at the finish line isn't accurate then there's no point in having one there.

Overall points taken from the event...
1) There is obviously a huge amount of work in organising an event like this, probably way more than most people realise.
2) Huge boost to the towns of Glengarriff and Bantry at a time I suspect would be very quiet otherwise.
3) Very weather dependent. Great when the sun is shining but a very exposed course when wet.
4) Too much traffic for a 12 noon start.
5) Tough course. Not one for setting personal best times but a very scenic location. Probably ideal for anyone who wanted to do it as say part of a weekend away.

In conclusion...If you have never done the Bay Run before then the notes above might give you some idea of what it's like. Having done the Maxi-Marathon in Killarney and the Dingle Marathon before, I found it to be very much like those in style. Considering that the race got 800+ runners on a day when the Limerick Marathon and Half-Marathon was on then it's an impressive number. I know that given the choice and having to travel to either from Cork City, I'd much prefer to be doing a Half-Marathon around Bantry Bay than running one on the streets of Limerick.


Anonymous said...

I've done the Bay run 3 times, and would agree that it's a tough course, but hard to beat in terms of the scenery.
The atmosphere is a bit flat though, particularly at the end.
The organisers are very lucky that the weather seems to hold up for this event most years.
Good organisation, but they could possibly do more to liven up the finish line eg present prizes, or have live music or something. Having said that, the square in Bantry is nice, and Bantry Bay is a lovely setting.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything said above. I personally would have preferred a 10.30 start but I suppose its a call the organisers have to make. Was there a bigger entry last year and did the late start put people off?
Great atmosphere, with stewards and guards in good humour and lots of enthusiastics kids manning the water and sweet stations.
Well done on a superbly organised event.

Anonymous said...

I would have loved to take part but I couldn't justify the entry fee for a half marathon!

Anonymous said...

Well organised race, atmosphere at start was great and throughout the race, especially at water stations.
I preferred the earlier start time, nice to have the race done by 12:00 to have more time to explore the area.
The clock time at end was disappointing, but the quicker time is burned in my memory so I'm keeping it :-)

Anonymous said...

I will certainly keep great memories of running my first half-marathon.
What a lovely part of the world!
The event was very well organized but found the road very crowded at times: cars passing way to close to runners to my taste.
I will be wearing the BayRun t-shirt with pride.
A running Frenchman...