Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Final post before the 2013 Cork City Marathon...

Friday, May 31, 2013

Final post before the 2013 Cork City Marathon...

So this is it, the last post before the 2013 Cork City Marathon. I will update this post and add to it if I have any additional info.

Just to recap...
Preview of Relay Leg 1 HERE
Preview of Relay Leg 2 HERE
Preview of Relay Leg 3 HERE
Preview of Relay Leg 4 HERE
Preview of Relay Leg 5 HERE
Preview of Half-Marathon HERE


Marathon Pace Bands......One of the keys to a good Marathon time is to run at an even and steady pace for the distance. If you have a target in mind, then you'll need to know what your mile splits are.

Click on this LINK and you can create a pace band for your time. Ideally, you should cut out the strip and laminate it. Put it around you wrist and use a piece of tape to keep it in place. If you can't laminate it, then cover it in clear sellotape. Otherwise the paper will just absorb the sweat from your wrist and break.

Final Tips & Thoughts for the 2013 Cork City Marathon and Relay...
Some final thoughts...

1) What to wear...If you are doing the full Marathon, you should wear whatever gear you are used to and trained in. This is not the time to try out that new running top! For half and relay runners, it's not so important.

For men, nipple burn is a very real issue over the longer distances. Use good quality waterproof plasters to protest exposed areas and use loads of vaseline or bodyglide to protect any area that might rub...i.e. thighs, underarm, toes, etc.

Don't wear anything made from cotton. Wear as little as possible!!  Leave the sweatshirts, hoodies, tracksuit bottoms and so on at home. Consider wearing a hat/cap to stop the salt from your sweat going from your forehead into your eyes.

2) Drink...This year, they will be giving out Lucozade Sports as well as loads of water. If you haven't used this before in your long training runs then be careful. It may end up not agreeing with you or giving you cramps. Take on plenty of water especially if you are taking gels.

3) Using the racing line...Please note that the course is accurately measured by a Jones Counter over the shortest possible route. See the example below...

You should be running from corner to corner on the 'race line' taking the shortest possible route. The Marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 kms), there are no medals for running 27 miles! All of those long sweeping bends add up and will lose you time. Every year, runners are stuck to the right hand side going through the Jack Lynch tunnel even though the racing line is on the left! Why?!?! Use your head....follow the racing line.

4) Relay Changeover.......Every year there are problems here. Imagine the are running the 1st leg and you get to the Relay changeover. You are confronted with a mass of several hundred runners. Where is your running partner? He said 'he was wearing white' .....unfortunately, half the relay changeover are wearing white! Imagine the 2nd stage runner looking out for the 1st person coming in. The first batch of relay runners arrive in dribs and drabs and he's watching everyone. Now 20 minutes later, there is a wall of runners arriving....some relay runners, some Marathon runners. Trying to spot the 1st stage runner is not as easy as they first thought.
Every year, you hear stories of relay changeovers where minutes have been lost as people wander around looking for their team member. Plan ahead to make the changeover easier. Maybe wear a distinctive colour? Be at a certain position....back or front? Some people use balloons! Discuss it with your team members and plan ahead.

5) Relay Strategy ...Consider letting the slower people go first. Otherwise, once they start, everyone around them will be going faster than them and overtaking. It's an awful lot easier to run when you are passing people rather than to have everyone passing you. If you are a beginner, start slow. It will take about 2 miles before you get warmed up properly. It's so easy just to start too fast, for oxygen debt to kick in around the 1 mile mark and then you spend the rest of the time trying to recover. Start slow, find your pace and give it everything in the last mile.

6) Pacers for the Full and Half-Marathon...The pacers for the Full Marathon will have an estimated finish times on their back. They will also have small helium balloons as well so that they can be easily spotted. There will be pacers for the following times...3:00, 3:15, 3:30, 3:45, 4:00, 4:30 and 5:00

The pacers for the Half-Marahton are...1:30, 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:15 and 2:30.

If you have a particular target in mind then pacers can be very useful. For example, if you are trying to break say 4 hours then you have a choice of going with the 4 hour pacer and trying to stay with them. Or maybe you would prefer to stay with the 3:45 pacer for a while and build up a cushion and try and hang in there at a slower pace for the last few miles?

You can also use the pacers to stop your self going too fast. This is the BIGGEST MISTAKE that new runners make. They run too fast early on. If for example your target is to break 4 hours then you should never be ahead of the 3:45 pacers. An even and reasonable consistent pace will produce the best times.

Word of caution! Pacers go on chip times, not gun times. If you start way ahead of time then you need to take this into account.

7) Acknowledgements...An event like this just doesn't happen overnight. Months of work have gone into organising the Cork City Marathon to make it the success that it is. Some might consider the event to be expensive but there is a huge expense in organising an event of this size in a city. An event like this causes a major disruption for a lot of non-running people in Cork so full credit to the Cork City Council who are the driving force behind the event.

.......and of course, we have to acknowledge the many volunteers who will turn up on Monday to steward the course, hand out water and do a variety of other jobs. When a lot of runners have finished and gone home, they will be there whatever the weather is like.

With roughly 1600 runners in the full Marathon, 2000 in the Half-Marathon and hundreds of relay teams, it really is one of the major races in the country.


hieronymusgrouch said...

Great article, as always. Nearly everything covered. All you have to do now is hold a parasol over my head as you pace me to a sub 4 finish!

Anonymous said...

Hi John
Thanks for all the info as usual,one small typo you forgot to mention the 4:15 pacer in the full.
best of luck to all on Monday