Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: March 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sponsored post...Cotswold Outdoor

Recently, I was asked to have a look at a company called Cotswold Outdoor and if I would be interested in writing a post about it.

Cotswold Outdoor are a company that cater to the outdoors market and they have a part of their site set up for the Irish market with everything priced in Euros.

As well as dealing with outdoor activities like hillwalking and camping, they also have a large range of products which are relevant to running. One of the suggested brands that I was asked to look at was Jack Wolfskin. Just under this brand alone, there are hundreds of products listed that seems to cover everything to do with outdoor activities from camping to walking to running. Just under base layers alone, they list 49 Jack Wolfskin products.

Another part of the site that caught my eye was the section for trail running under the 'Activity' tab. As well as the usual watches, base layers, jackets and so on, they have a nice selection of trail running shoes. I know from my own experience that using an old pair of runners on trails or mountains isn't the best as the shoes weren't really designed for the job. I've had running shoes in the past which have literally fallen apart from running on rough surfaces on trails.

The photo above shows a typical running shoe for the road compared to a trail version. The one on the left is an Asics Gel Cumulus and is designed for the road. Lots of cushioning in the heel....very light mesh on the top of the shoe to cut down on weight and a limited amount of grip. It is designed to provide cushioning for someone constantly running forwards on a flat hard surface and landing in a consistent fashion. The problem is that with a trail or mountain race, there is a lot of lateral movement of the shoe and the soles in conventional running shoes seem very prone to coming apart. The upper mesh is also liable to rip and the lack of grip is a major factor in muddy conditions.

By contrast, the one on the right is an Inov X-Talon 212 which is a trail running shoe. There is less cushioning but this makes the sole stiffer and more durable. The upper mesh is replaced with a more robust fabric to resist scuffs and tears. The soles also have a much better grip.

For anyone is doing any type of trail running on a consistent basis then it might be worth looking at a pair designed for the job.

If you're interested in trail running shoes or some other outdoor gear, have a look at

Reminder....Prices for the Cork City Marathon, Half-Marathon & Relay go up tomorrow

Just a reminder that the entry fees for the 2014 Cork City Marathon, Half-Marathon and Relay goes up on Tuesday the 1st of April.

More details about the event in this earlier post.

To enter, go to

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Photos & results of the Cork BHAA UCC 10k road race...Sun 30th Mar 2014

Results......Click HERE

Photos...(Updated 30th Mar :11:45pm)
1) Kieran Minihane has a gallery of over 300 photos HERE
2) There is a slideshow of photos from Irene Hartigan of UCC HERE 
3) Doug Minihane has a gallery of 600+ photos HERE 

1) John Kissane has about 15 minutes of runners as they approach the finish line (first three missing).

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Results of the Doneraile Park 5k fun run...Sat 29th Mar 2014

This 5k fun run in aid of Baltydaniel National School was held in Doneraile Park on Sat 29th Mar 2014.

1 17:59 LYONS, Dave MS 05:48
2 18:48 MOLONEY, Paul MS 06:04
3 19:40 CROWLEY, Stephen MS 06:21
4 20:20 BLUETT, Ursula FJ 06:34
12 22:59 UNSEHER, Annie FJ 07:25
17 23:33 KEATING, Maria FS 07:36

The results can be seen HERE

New start to UCC 10k

The Cork BHAA UCC 10k road race is on Sunday the 30th of March at 11am. Please note that the start point for the race has changed...

Instead of the usual start on the hill in Sundays Well, it is now on Mardyke Walk outside the stadium. Other than that, the route remains the same....out the Lee road...past the Anglers Rest...and in the Straight Road to finish near the County Hall.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Upcoming Track & Field events in Limerick...Apr & May 2014

For those of you interested in senior track and field events, there are a few in Limerick during April and May.

a) The Thomond Games take place on Tuesday the 1st of April 2014. More details in this post on the Running in Munster site.

b) The Limerick County Athletics Board are organising an open track & field meet on Friday the 9th and 16th of May 2014. More details in this post on the Running in Munster site.

Event notice...Mount Hillary Trail Race - Sun 30th Mar 2014

The first race of the Munster League 2014 takes place this Sunday, 30th March, in Mt. Hillary, Banteer at 1pm. Registration will take place at the Glen Theatre and you must register here before 12.30 to allow sufficient time to travel to the race start location.

The race is 10km (300m climb) and entry is 10 Euro. The route will be fully marked, following waymarked signs in an anti-clockwise direction mainly along forest roads, but with some open hillside at the top and woodland paths.

There will have a junior race on offer on the day as well. This race will start at 10.45am and will be 2km in length. As usual, only juniors over the age of 10 years can run this race. Any juniors under the age of 10 can run the 'Kiddies Race' but must be accompanied by an adult. This run will be the same as the Junior Race.

Directions: Banteer, Co. Cork.....Registration and parking is at the Glen Theatre in Banteer. For those coming from Mallow, head West on the N72 (towards Killarney) for about 20km. Turn left at the R579 junction (signposted Banteer/Nad). Travel on this road for about 3km (going straight through Banteer Village) and the Glen Theatre is on the right hand side.
OSI grid reference: W389 962.......More info HERE

The race itself starts about 3km from registration, but it will be necessary to carpool to the start location as parking is limited there.

There will be refreshments and prizegiving aftwerwards in the Glen Theatre, Banteer.

NOTE: If you competed already in 2014, bring the race number assigned to you as it is valid for the rest of the 2014 season. However, if this is your first race of the season, print off and fill out the following registration form:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Former UK athlete Daly Thompson's slightly' controversial comment :o)

On the theme of former athletes saying controversial things, I came across this piece today. Daly Thompson was the Olympic Decathalon champion back in 1980 and 1984 and was one of the best athletes in the world in the early 80's. He was however well known for his outspoken views.

In a recent interview, he was asked whether he would use his experience and work for the governing body UK Athletics. His response was...“Most federations are not that way inclined. They’re usually inhabited by people who have been unsuccessful and who don’t want to surround themselves with people who have been successful.

“It’s maybe a generalisation,” he adds, “so I hope nobody gets offended, but if you employ people like me who just want to get stuff done in the best way, it makes them look bad.”

Guess he won't be applying to work with them anytime soon ;o)

You can see more of the interview on the Athletics Weekly website.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Video of the Midleton Indoor Marathon last February...

Precision Timing are well known in Ireland for their chip timing of various road races. They were also responsible for the timing of the Midleton indoor marathon which was held back on the 22nd of Feb 2014.

They recently released this short video clip about the event...

Blog extract from Sonia O'Sullivan as she prepares for the Great Island 10 mile road race #1

The Great Island 10 mile road race in Cobh is coming up on Sunday the 13th of April and all proceeds from the race go towards the Irish Cancer Society. There is also a 5 km fun run/walk option for anyone not up to the longer distance. More details in this earlier post.

One of those taking part in the race this year is the former World champion and Olympic silver medalist Sonia O'Sullivan. She has written a blog extract for the organisers as she prepares for the race and it is shown below...

Blog extract from Sonia O'Sullivan...With 3 weeks to go to the Great Island 10, I hope you have all put in some miles and starting to look forward to the race in Cobh on April 13th.

I have been training really well the last few weeks and starting to look forward to the challenge of a 10 mile race. It takes a bit more thinking about the early pace when running 10 miles as opposed to 10 kms and important not to get too carried away with the fast early pace down the hill at Ballywilliam as there isn't too much time to recover before changing gears to grind up the hills before passing through Ballymore, then it's rolling like a roller coaster before downhill to Cobh cross and then a flat run home .

I have been breaking my training down recently to include some hill running, faster paced running and a little bit of track work to help increase the efficiency in my running.

Every Sunday I have been running in a hilly forest, not too far away in a place called Ferny Creek. It

is a well known training place in Melbourne and everyone believes they gain fitness and strength each week from running the hills. I run for 90 minutes .

Monday is a recovery day and starts with a 50 minute swim at 6am then an easy 50-60 mins run with a friend and also our dog Snowy.

Tuesday is a session day, I like to work on my heart rate fitness on Tuesday and run 6x3mins with my HR just below threshold so working hard but not as fast I can and staying in the aerobic zone. This allows the recovery between efforts to be short, normally around one minute before starting the next 3minute effort. It's a good session as I set my watch to beep after 3minutes and then again after 1minute so there is no time wasted and I can run home after 24minutes of good running.

Wednesday is an easy 60-70mins running, then Thursday feels like a day off. I take Snowy for a walk in the morning then meet some friends at the grass track for some "speed" work usually some 200 or 400m efforts with staggered start for different abilities so it can get a little competitive and lots of fun. I have been training consistently at this level for 5 weeks now since my last road race over 10km in Mount Juliet in February.

I would like to think I am getting fitter and faster each week and I really hope that I enjoy the hills around Cobh more this year than in 2013.

I have one more week in Australia before getting on the big plane so I am hoping to have a good weeks training here before I leave, then a couple of easy weeks to recover and rest before the Great Island 10.

Event notice...Ballyhoura Mountain Marathon - Sat 3rd May 2014

This 26.2 mile mountain marathon takes place on Saturday the 3rd of May 2014 on the Ballyhoura Mountains on the Cork - Limerick border. The race starts and finishes in the town of Kilfinane and weaves it's way through narrow country roads and up forest trails as it takes in a large loop. Runners usually finish from 4-6 hours, and the walkers coming in anything up to 9 hours.

More info on the Running in Munster website.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Irish athletics commentator Jerry Kiernan lashes out at €600k grant for GAA

Jerry Kiernan is a former Irish international athlete having represented Ireland in the Marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Currently, he is a commentator on athletics events when aired by RTE and is well know for speaking his mind.

In an interview on Newstalk radio, Jerry Kiernan was critical at the granting of a public grant of €600k to the GAA for the development of spectator facilities at a stadium in London. He argued that the GAA were the richest sporting organisation in the country and that they didn't need public funding.

Here is an excerpt of what he said..."It’s very difficult to be a top international sports person without help along the way. It’s very, very difficult. The GAA is largely a local association. The standards to play it, there’s not an awful lot required. If you wish to run an Olympic Games and I’ll just give you an example. If you wish to run the 1500m in the next Olympic Games, you have to be able to run the equivalent of a 3.52 mile. That’s the standard which is required at international level. I’m sure it’s the same in swimming, I’m sure it’s the same in rowing and everything else. There are standards applied for getting money for international sport. There is no standard applied to GAA getting money except their popularity."

The full audio is below.
Jerry Kiernan on Newstalk Breakfast

Event notice...The Great Railway Run - 25km, 10km & 5km - Mon 5th May 2014

This event is usually held on in early November every year. This year, it has been moved to the  Bank Holiday Monday, the 5th of May.There are a choice of three distances.......a 25 km race starting at 9:30am from Cork City to Carrigaline, a 10 km race from Monkstown to Carrigaline starting at 10:45am or a 5 km fun run from Shanbally to Carrigaline starting at 11:30am.

The run will roughly follow the route of the old Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway which ran from 1850 until 1932.

For a large part of the run, the route will follow the old railway line that skirts the shores of Cork Harbour. Each event will finish at Carrigaline GAA Club. Shower facilities will be available in the GAA Club after the race and there will be bus transport to take runners back to the start areas after the race.

The pre-entry fee is €30 for the 25K and €20 for the 10K until the 1st of May. All proceeds from the event will go towards Carrigaline Lions Club

Entry form HERE

More details on the event website.

A full preview of the course can be seen HERE

Monday, March 24, 2014

Crazy Irish ex-priest banned from 2014 London Marathon...

During the marathon of the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece, a former Irish priest Neil Horan ran onto the course just after the 22 mile mark and stopped the leading runner Vanderiel de Lima. The Brazilian athlete was stopped for about 15 seconds and then had to regain his momentum again. He was subsequently passed by two other athletes and finished in third place.

It has just emerged that the very same Neil Horan was planning to run this years London Marathon as a charity entrant for St.John's Ambulance.

When the charity found out who he was, they issued the following statement..."It has been brought to our attention that you have a history of disrupting major sporting events and hold extremist religious views which are not in line with St John Ambulance charity’s values. Due to the above reasons we have no option but to retract this offer and remove you from the London Marathon 2014 team with St John Ambulance.”

In response, the ex-priest said..."It’s nearly 10 years now since I disrupted a sporting event and I’ve said many times that I will never do anything like that again. I’m extremely upset at this decision."

New book called 'Loughrea's Marathon Man' due for release...

In the world of books on running, one from an Irish author are far and few between. Next Friday the 28th of March, Jarlath Fitzgerald will launch his book titled “Loughrea’s Marathon Man” at 8pm in the library in Loughrea, Co.Galway

Description...From South Africa to the Arctic circle and from Japan to Mumbai, Jarlath Fitzgerald has traveled the world over the last twenty-five years. Not as a tourist, but as an athlete.

The Loughrea man has raved all sorts of conditions and covered all kinds of terrain in his bid to complete 100 marathons and ultra marathons across the globe.

This is his story.

Book for sale on the night priced at €10, and also available in News ‘n’ Choose, Main Street, Loughrea. For more information contact Jarlath: 087-9711026.

The book can also be purchased online from Amazon...
Loughrea's Marathon Man: How I ran 100 Marathons all around the world

Press release for the relay event in the Cork City Marathon...

Please note that entry fees for the Cork City Marathon, Half-Marathon and Relay events go up at the end of March. If you are thinking of entering then you should enter as soon as possible.

More info in this earlier post.

The organisers issued this press release today for the relay event...

The Cork City Marathon already has Team Batman – will your team be the A-Team?

24 March 2014: The Cork City Marathon already has a Team Batman, but if you think that your team could be the A-Team then get ready, get set and get training for the Cork City Marathon Team Relay and Half Marathon 2014.

With race day 2014 rapidly approaching there is no time for excuses, the Cork City Marathon offers a pace and length suited to everyone so register today for the team relay or half marathon and get training for Bank Holiday Monday 2 June 2014.

“Cork City Marathon 2014 is all about encouraging individuals of all levels and abilities to get involved – from first timers to professional athletes. In recent years we have developed the concept of group participation with the introduction of the Team Relay, Youth Relay and the Inter-Services Championships encouraging some healthy competition among colleagues and school mates,” said Race Director Jim O’Donovan.

“The team relay is fantastic for work colleagues, not only will it encourage employee wellbeing and team building, but it will also boost morale while raising funds for charity, helping to meet CSR objectives,” he added.

There are five stages of the team relay, each team member will complete at least one leg of the marathon course varying in distance from the shortest, 4.5 miles, to the longest, 5.8 miles.

The PCH International team relay are running the Cork City Marathon in 2014, in conjunction with Buckley Kiely & Co. Accountants.

“The Cork City Marathon provides a great platform for teambuilding, camaraderie within office, and also the bragging rights of who gets the best time! There will be 6 relay teams participating this year and also some individual members doing the full and half marathon,” said Sean Corkery, Group Finance Manager of PCH International.

“It was decided that MS Ireland would be our nominated charity this year as Richard Fowler from Buckley Kiely & Co. recently had a family member diagnosed with the condition. The teams are very focused on beating the fundraising target of €22, 000 which was raised from the 2013 marathon,” he added.

Now in its eighth year, the Cork City Marathon is an internationally recognised marathon, with certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). In 2013, over 7,000 people took part in the Cork City Marathon, an event that is quickly becoming one of the major events in the Irish sporting calendar. One of the fastest courses in Ireland, the Cork Marathon has been praised for its inclusivity, with entry fee concessions for those who are unwaged and in receipt of benefit ensuring that young and old and those with varying ability are included in the marathon.

Enter your relay team online before 31 March to avail of the special discounted entry fee. Teams can be comprised of friends, family, work colleagues, groups and clubs – it’s all about having fun and getting fit in the process! 

Entry forms and full details on the Cork City Marathon Team Relay are available online at  

Launch of the Ballintotis 4 mile road race...

The Ballintotis 4 mile road race is one of the largest evening road races in Cork and always attracts a huge crowd. There was an official launch night for the race last Friday evening when organsiers, sponsors and members of Ballintotis Fit4Life came together at the local community hall.

The race is coming up on Wednesday the 16th of April 2014 at 8pm. More details in this earlier post.

Liam O'Brien from East Cork AC (the promoting club), James McCarthy winner of the race for the last 4 years, John Cashman, Brian Herlihy of Castlemartyr Resort sponsors of  the main prize for this year's race  which is one year free membership of Castlemartyr Resort Leisure Centre for both 1st Male and 1st Female. Sean Murphy and Jean O'Gorman of the race committee.

John Cashman (L), Miah McGrath of McCarthy & McGrath one of the race sponsors & Sean Murphy (R)

More photos of the launch can be seen HERE

Photo credit : John Walshe

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Results of the Mallow 10 mile road race...Sun 23rd Mar 2014

Conditions were almost ideal for this year's Mallow 10 mile road race and the host club Mallow AC put on a fine show.

Looking at some quick stats, 961 runners took part. That means that there were 21.1% no shows. Not as high as the 28% or so that there were with Ballycotton but I'd guess you'd expect that considering that the closing date was later and it was much easier to get in....i.e. less of a panic.

The percentage of women finishers was 39.9% which is very much in line with Dungarvan with 41% and Ballycotton with 38.4%.

1 Brian MAHER        Kilkenny City Harriers  M 50:12
2 Sean HEHIR        Rathfarnham WSAF     M 50:25
3 Philip HARTY        West Waterford AC     M 51:18
4 Alan OSHEA        Bantry AC     M 52:07
5 Trevor POWER        Waterford AC     M 53:27
6 Chris HARRINGTON        Leevale ac     M 54:00
7 Colin MERRITT        Carraig Na bhfear AC     M     M40 54:07
8 John MEADE        St Finbarrs     M 54:20
9 David Mansfield        Clonmel AC     M 54:20
10 Cornelius MARSHALL        St Finbarrs     M 54:35

38 Jill HODGINS             F     FO    1264     (59:22)     59:22
68 Ailish MALONE        Clonliffe Harriers AC     F     FO    966     (1:01:33)     1:01:33
74 Adele WALSH        St Senan's     F     FO    1191     (1:01:53)     1:01:55
80 Angela MCCANN        Clonmel AC     F     FO    1010     (1:02:38)     1:02:38
86 Maria DOLAN        Rathfarnham WSAF     F     FO    745     (1:03:16)     1:03:22
92 Nollaig HUNTER        Leevale ac     F     F40    1270     (1:03:45)     1:03:48
94 Carol FINN        Leevale ac     F     FO    1208     (1:03:51)     1:03:51
126 Anna DORIS        Midleton AC     F     F40    243     (1:05:46)     1:05:47
132 Madeline LOUGHNANE        Thurles Crokes     F     FO    2     (1:06:11)     1:06:12
139 Mary SWEENEY        St Finbarrs     F     F50    637     (1:06:33)     1:06:33

The provisional results can be seen HERE

Photos...(Updated Mon 24th @9pm)
1) Mick Dooley has a small gallery HERE 
2) Doug Minihane has several galleries...
    a) 77 of the start area HERE
    b) 361 photos near the 2 mile mark HERE
    c) Mile 8...sub 65 min runners HERE
    d) Mile 8...65 to 80 min runners HERE
    e) Mile 8...80 to 95 min runners HERE
    f) Mile 8...95 min plus runners HERE
3) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a slideshow of photos HERE 
4) Kieran Minihane has a gallery of 138 photos HERE 
5) Adrian Ryder of Klickapic Photography has about 1000 photos split over two albums...
   a) Near the 3 mile mark HERE
   b) Near the finish line HERE

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Last minute problem with the Mallow 10 technical t-shirts.

Message from Mallow AC...Due to a last minute problem with the quality of t-shirt supplied for the Mallow 10 we have had to go back to the supplier and have them remake new t-shirts.  When you finish the Mallow 10 you will receive a cotton t-shirt. 

In the coming 3 weeks we have a commitment that a mallow 10 souvenir technical t-shirt will be supplied to everybody who finished the race. This will be sent via post to the address that your bib number was sent.  

If for any reason your number was not posted to you and you did completed the race then you should send your full address to and put “mallow 10 t-shirt” in the subject line. 

We apologise for this inconvenience and are working to do everything to resolve the problem.

Irish results from the IAAF World Challenge in Melbourne, Australia...Sat 22nd Mar 2014

Both Mark Hanrahan of Leevale AC and Laura Crowe of An Ríocht AC were both in action in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday in the IAAF World Challenge.

In the mens 5000m, Mark broke the 14 minute barrier to set a new personal best time of 13:58.03.

Womens 1500m
1    Mercy CHERONO    KENKEN     4:08.57   
2    Zoe BUCKMAN    AUSAUS     4:09.59   
3    Bridey DELANEY    AUSAUS     4:10.35   
4    Melissa DUNCAN    AUSAUS     4:13.73   
5    Jenny BLUNDELL    AUSAUS     4:13.89   
6    Nikki HAMBLIN    NZLNZL     4:14.19   
7    Kaila MCKNIGHT    AUSAUS     4:14.63   
8    Heidi GREGSON    AUSAUS     4:14.75   
9    Laura CROWE    IRLIRL     4:18.87   
10    Camille BUSCOMB    NZLNZL     4:18.88   
11    Lucy VAN DALEN    NZLNZL     4:20.18   
12    Anna LAMAN    AUSAUS     4:23.30

Mens 5000m
1    Isiah Kiplangat KOECH    KENKEN     13:29.05   
2    Ben ST.LAWRENCE    AUSAUS     13:46.17   
3    Malcolm HICKS    NZLNZL     13:47.21   
4    Brenton ROWE    AUTAUT     13:51.46   
5    Liam ADAMS    AUSAUS     13:56.50   
6    Mark HANRAHAN    IRLIRL     13:58.03   
7    Mitchel BROWN    AUSAUS     13:59.10   
8    Christopher HAMER    AUSAUS     14:01.95   
9    Brandon HARGREAVES    AUSAUS     14:10.16   
10    Brady THRELFALL    AUSAUS     14:29.05   
11    Matthew COX    AUSAUS     14:29.54

Cork Graded Athletics League...Summer of 2014

The Cork Athletics Board has just announced the fixtures and dates for the graded athletics league which runs from mid-May to late July. The league has been a big success since it's inception and is due in no small part to the continuing sponsorship of John Buckley Sports.

Note that the small numbers above indicate the order of the track events on the night.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Last update about the Mallow 10 mile road race...

The main race this weekend in Cork is of course the Mallow 10 mile road race on Sunday. Entries for this closed some time back and there are no entries on the day.

Race headquarters is at the Mallow Youth Centre. Please note that as the race numbers were already posted out, there is no need to go there before the race. The race itself starts at 12:30pm.

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. Changing, post race 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.

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

Previous posts......
1) Full course preview HERE
2) Mallow 10 entry list (Updated 21st Mar)....HERE
3) Update on chip timing...HERE
4) Info on pacing groups...HERE

More updates from the organisers...
• The race is run on public roads, so be prepared for the unexpected
 • Obey Stewards and do not take any unnecessary risks
• Wearing of headphones is strictly prohibited
• When you have finished, do not run back out the course

The Race 
• The race will start at 12:30 sharp, do not be late.
 • The race will be using chip Timing. The chip is attached to your number.
 • You do not need to hand back your number after the race.
• Your race number should always be worn on the front, on your singlet/t-shirt, not on your shorts. This will facilitate the reading of the chip at the finish line thus giving you an accurate time.
• Under no circumstances can you transfer your race number and if this occurs you will be denied entry in the future.
• Pacers at 5 minutes intervals from 60 minutes to 95 minutes.
• 2 Water Stations (bottles) on the course (3.5miles and 7 miles)
• Water/Chocolate at finish
• Please proceed immediately through the finish chute where you will receive your 'goody bag' (including your dry fit t-shirt)
• Prizes Top 5 and First three in all categories
• There will be absolutely no entries taken on the day of the race.

If you have any questions or didn't get your race number in the post then e-mail padraic.birmingham AT

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Is there any interest in a 10,000m track race next Summer in Cork?

Over the last few years, a very successful graded track and field league has been held at CIT during the summer months. This has been of particular interest to those who specialise in track and field athletics as well as some of those more used to the road running but wanted to give the track a try.

Over the course of the summer, most of the usual distances were covered from 100m to 5000m on the track. The 5,000m race last June attracted a field of 20 runners who had finishing times from 14:47 to 21:38.

One event that has been absent up to date has been the longest track race, the 10,000m. It's a little bit unusual in that it is included in major athletic championships but at 25 laps, it's not exactly the most spectator friendly race for smaller meets.

David Comber of Leevale AC asked me to put up a short notice to ask if anyone would be interested in a 10,000m race in Cork this summer. He wrote..."I was thinking about trying to organise a 10,000m track race over the summer as part of the Cork Graded Leagues, it would be a good opportunity for anyone looking to go to Nationals to get a bit of practice at running 25 laps."

If you think it's a good idea then leave a comment saying so and maybe your estimated 10,000m time / 10 k road race time. You don't have to leave your name if you don't want to. This is just an exercise to gauge the level of interest. If enough people are interested in a 10,000m track race then perhaps the organisers might put one on.

Note : From what I remember, these graded league races are only open to club athletes.

Question about the number of non-club runners...

For the Ballycotton 10 mile road race in the last few years, roughly 60% of the people that enter and take part are not members of running or athletic clubs. After a previous post which looked at the high number of people that don't show up on the day, Gearoid left this comment below...

Maybe an interesting discussion point arising from the big number of non club members in the race would be the number of regular runners who are not members of clubs, whether clubs make enough effort to entice people to join and the advantages of being a club or non club member. I suppose part of the answer may be the high number of runners who come into the sport via the BHAA and who see no reason to join a club. Any thoughts?

No doubt a lot of people are just happy enough to get around on the day and would have no interest in joining a club. Others however who are looking to improve would obviously benefit from the structured training that a club can provide.

So if you are not a member of an athletic or running club then why not?  Do you see it as being too serious? Maybe you're not interested in getting fitter and faster? Click on the comment link below...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mallow AC announce pace groups for Mallow 10 mile next Sunday...

With the Mallow 10 mile road race coming up next Sunday, the organisers Mallow AC have announced their team of pacers from 60 to 95 minutes.

From Mallow AC...Pacers are there to help you have the best 10 mile road race that you have ever had, with the Pacers on hand to help you reach your goals AND encourage you along the way!

Here are some FAQ’s with answers, on the pace groups:

What is a pacer?...A pacer is the runner in the group who carries a balloon and leads the group to the finish line in a specific time goal. The pacer will run even splits and encourage on the group along the way. Pacers run to chip time and not gun time so don’t worry with the crowd before hand. Your time only starts when you pass the gantry at the start.

What pace groups will be offered for the Half Marathon for the following goal finish times:

60 min Alex Bruce-Littlewood & Darragh Canavan
65 min John Collins & Johnny O'Sullivan
70 min John Desmond & Mike Mullins
75min Johnny Daly & Pat Healy
80 min Ger Meaghan & Liam Murphy
85 min Noreen Harvey & Ide Kelleher
90 min Dick Riordan & TBD
95 min John Dunphy & Claire Fowler

Where do I meet my pace group on race morning?...Beginning 10-15 minutes before the race, the pace team will all be within the starting corral, according to pace. Feel free to join the pace group at the starting corral and have a fun meeting your goal finish time with the group

Do I have to stay with my pacer the entire race?...NO! Feel free to use the pacer as a guide to how your race is going. If at any time you feel the pace is too fast you can always slow down on your own. Also, if you feel strong towards the end of the race, feel free to pick up the pace and beat your goal. The pacers are there to help you achieve AND beat your goal.

Who are the pacers?...The Pace Team is comprised of talented runners who have been chosen based on their recent success. Let them guide you to the finish line on race morning.

What should I do after the race?...Celebrate! Please take the time to thank the race volunteers and also let your pacer know that you appreciate their hard efforts to make it a fun race. These pacers bring a lot of energy and excitement to this race. Also, carrying a balloon for 10 miles is HARD WORK and a big sacrifice of their own personal best finish time.

Race notice...Clonakilty 10 mile & 4 mile road race - Mon 21st Apr 2014

Every year, there are a few new races that pop up on the calendar. This one is of particular interest as it is for the very popular distance of 10 miles.

The course has only one long gradual hill in it and it should be a reasonably fast course. Anyone who has done the Clonakilty half or full marathon should be familiar with some of the roads used for the 10 mile. The first 5 miles of the 10 mile race are much the same as the marathon course.

The 4 mile race takes in a loop closer to the town.

More details in a later post but for the moment, you can enter online HERE

IAAF article on Cork athlete Ciarán Ó Lionáird

The IAAF had an article in their online magazine recently about Irish international Ciarán Ó Lionáird from Cork.

Here's a little excerpt...

"When we arrived at the track it was set in the middle of some cornfields," says Ó Lionáird. "It had a rickety old grandstand with a pub on the corner of the track. It was like a throwback. “I remember the perfect weather: 18-20°C and no wind. I went through the first lap in 59 seconds and was dead last. Then I ran the middle two laps in 1:51 or 1:52. I remember running the 600m to 400m section super-fast and passing about six guys. 

 "The race was run in almost total silence. I hit the bell in 2:37 right on the shoulder of the leader and finished second [behind the Ethiopian Dawit Wolde]. I remember crossing the line, looking at the time and thinking: did that just really happen? 

"Nate, who had finished just behind me, said, ‘man, you’ve just changed your life.’ It was only when the news filtered through to Ireland and I got messages on my phone that I realised what had happened. It was amazing.” 

 Ó Lionáird had set a new personal best of 3:34.46, hacking an incredible six seconds from his previous record to qualify for for the Daegu 2011 World Championships.

The full article can be seen HERE

Results of the Ballydehob 10k road race...Sun 16th Mar 2014

1    Garrett Lordan     Ages 18 to 39    Male    0:37:51
2    Stephen Lynch     Ages 18 to 39    Male    0:38:52
3    Enda Fitzmaurice     Ages 18 to 39    Male    0:39:19
8    Margaret Murphy     Ages 18 to 39    Female    0:40:44
9    Anna O’Neill     Ages 40 to 49    Female    0:41:52
18    Brigid Hartnett     Ages 18 to 39    Female    0:44:18

The full results can be seen HERE

Monday, March 17, 2014

Race notice...Ballintotis 4 mile road race - Wed 16th Apr 2014

After a long dark winter, the summer evening road racing season* kicks off on the 16th of April with the Ballintotis 4 mile road race in East Cork. Located just to the west of Castlemartyr, it always attracts a huge crowd. In 2013, they got over 800 runners and I'm sure that the organisers will be hoping for another bumper crowd this year again.

Ballintotis is located just west of the town of Castlemartyr is is only about 17 minutes from the Jack Lynch Tunnel.

A preview of the course can be seen HERE

From the organisers...As in previous years the event will be held in conjunction of East Cork A.C and with the help of Ballycotton Running Promotions. Last year over 800 runners including the great Sonia O'Sullivan went to the start line. 

Entry fee for the race is 10 euro which includes a free t shirt to all finishers. Please note there will be no online entry for the race. Entries will be taken on the previous evening Tuesday 15th April at Ballintotis Community Centre from 5pm to 7pm and and again at the same venue on race day from 1pm onwards.  

This year the first man and the first lady across the line will receive a year's free membership of the magnificent Castlemarty Resort Leisure Centre.  The second prizes will be weekend accommodation at the superb family friendly Trabolgan Holiday Centre.

Overall there will be prizes for the top 6 men and top 6 ladies with an extensive category prize list.
Please note proceeds from the race will go towards the continued development of Ballintotis Community Centre, which has recently been built.

-For more information on the big race please call 086-8778182.

* The traditional summer season in Cork usually starts with the Balintotis 4 mile in mid April and ends with the Ballycotton 5 mile race in late August. 

Results of the Ballinhassig 4 mile road race...Mon 17th Mar 2014

A total of 184 turned out for this year's 4 mile road race in Ballinhassig organised by Rising Sun AC, a drop of about 9% on the 2013 figure of 203.

1  19:59 O'SHEA, Alan Bantry AC M 04:59.7
2  20:36 SWEENEY, Gavin Togher AC M 05:08.9
3  20:44 HEFFERNAN, Elton Togher AC M 05:10.9
8  21:59 GIBBONS-MCCARTHY, Claire Leevale AC F35 05:29.7
20  25:05 O'NEILL, Anna Doheny AC F40 06:16.1
33  26:08 BARRY, Ronnie Bandon AC F35 06:31.9

The full results can be seen HERE

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Update on the chip timing for the Mallow 10 next Sunday...

For those of you who are doing the Mallow 10 race next Sunday, please note that they will be using chip timing as before except that this year, there will be a timing mat at the start line. The obvious implication of this is that everyone will have to cross over the mat so the start area is about half the width of previous years when runners were spread across the whole road. The benefit is that your time doesn't start until you cross the line so not being near the front isn't an issue.

Starting Corral Guidelines from Mallow AC...
2009 to 2013...From 2009 to 2013 Mallow AC have operated the start line using chip timing but the times have always been based on gun time. Basically your time started once the race started. As the race has got bigger this means that people lose seconds waiting to pass the start line.

Changes in 2014...Based on feedback after last year’s race we have decided to go with chip timing based on when you pass the start line this year. The benefits of this is that you will see exactly how long it took you to cover the 10 miles from when you pass the start line.

Precision Timing...We have teamed up with Precision Timing this year to help us provide this service. At the start line there will be a 5-meter wide gantry. Every runner will need to pass under this and only from there will your timing start.

Starting corral...
When you arrive to the race start you will see the starting corral. The corral will be quite long so please find your appropriate area in the corral. There will be a team of stewards at the start area that will me more then happy to help you find your corral position. There will also be signs along the corral with estimated finish time. Remember your pacers will also be in the starting corral. Look out for the balloons. This should give you an indication of where you should position yourself.

Smart Start...It is for the benefit of everybody if you follow the times indicated. It gets very busy once the clock starts and it can have an effect on everybody’s times if you are in the wrong zone. If you are targeting a Sub 85 run then it could hinder you if you are up at the sub 65 section. Nobody likes to start a race with people running up their back. If you locate yourself in the 85-minute section then you are running with like-minded people who will all help you achieve your goal.

After you pass the Gantry...
Remember your chip doesn’t start until you pass under the gantry. The race clock has started from the Gun but not your personal time. The road widens out immediately once you pass the gantry. Your will be able to find your space once you clear the gantry.
You won’t lose time so remain calm while waiting to pass.

Race notice...Passage West Community 10k road race - Fri 25th Apr 2014

Following the success of the inaugural 10k race in Passage West last year, various clubs and organisations in the town have come together again to organise a 10 km race for the 25th of April 2014.

Located to the south-east of Cork City and just a 10 minute drive from the South-Ring road, this 10k race is in close proximity to a lot of people...

The course itself takes in waterfront walkways and some country roads to the west of the town. It certainly isn't an easy course and it can be split into two halves. The first 3.5 miles are pretty flat while there are some 'nice' hills in the second half ;o)

This is a proper road race in every sense of the word. Leevale AC have been involved in getting the course measured properly by Jones Counter. It also has an Athletics Ireland licence.

The local GAA club are offering their facilities for registrations, changing area, showers, post race refreshments and prize giving. Supervised car parks are available at the GAA grounds and the Soccer club.

Proceeds from this years race go towards the Cork City Hospitals Children's Club. During the year, they bring sick and deserving children from CUH, Mercy Hospital, St. Gabriel's and the Cork Deaf Association on numerous trips, as well as hosting many fun and exciting events.

Preview...A full preview of the 10 km course can be seen HERE

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ballymore Cobh AC at launch of Great Island 10...

At the recent launch of the Great Island 10 mile road race, one of the clubs in attendance was Ballymore Cobh AC. This is of course the former club of Sonia O'Sullivan and is one of the smaller clubs in the Cork area. The registration figures for the end of 2013 show that they have a membership of 49 juveniles and 19 adults.

The Great Island 10 mile road race is coming up on Sunday the 13th of April and all proceeds are in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. Online entries are now open and you can find full details about the race in this previous post.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Some stats on the 2014 Ballycotton 10...

Just a quick look back at some of the numbers for this years Ballycotton 10 race.

1) Number of finishers...In 2012, a total of 2617 people ran the race. That dropped to 2601 in 2013 and 2571 in 2014. In most normal races, a drop might be considered a reflection on the popularity of a race but that can't be said for the Ballycotton 10 as the online entries had sold out in 90 minutes last December and they could have taken many more entries if they were able to.

The slight drop is most likely due to the change in the entry process and just the number of people not turning up on the day. The most remarkable thing about it is probably just how consistent it is year after year. The difference between 2012 and 2014 was only 1.8% despite the fact that there was an extended window for club runners and potentially lots more could have entered. It seems that the club entry level is pretty constant as well and the organisers can be reasonably sure that if they keep the same entry criteria then 2,500 to 2,600 people will turn up in March of 2015.

2) The number of no-shows...This was an issue that came up in the comments section for the results of the race. The graph below shows the change in the last two years...

It was 26.9% in 2012, 26.2% in 2013 and 28.5% in 2014. The slight rise this year may be due to the fact that there were a lot more places available online and there may have been more 'impulse' entries as opposed to previous years when people had to print out forms, get a postal order or cheque and post them off. Again, the most remarkable thing really is just how consistent the levels are. The organisers can say that roughly 1,000 people are almost certain not to turn up on race day.

Some might ask then why can't they defer their entry to the following year because they are injured, sick , etc. It is fine from an individual point of view but it would be a nightmare trying to administer hundreds of people trying to defer their entry. At the end of the day, this is a race run on a non-profit basis by volunteers and it's up to individuals in December where they want to enter or not. It's not the organisers fault if someone can't make it to the start line.

Just on a further point, I did a quick check to see if club runners were more likely to turn up on race day. I took the numbers for the ten largest clubs and checked them. There was quite of bit of variation between the clubs as they ranged from 20% to 40% no shows. However, when I took the numbers for the ten clubs as a whole and worked out the no shows then the average level is at 28.5%, exactly the same as the overall figure. runners are no more or no less likely to turn up on the day as compared to a non-club runner.

3) Percentage of women....Back in late January, I had a post up which showed the percentage of women in the Dungarvan 10 mile road race had grown from 28.5% to almost 41% in the last five years.

With the Ballycotton 10, it has stayed pretty consistent for at least the last three years. In 2012, it was 36%. In 2013, it was 39% and in 2014, it dropped slightly to 38.4%.

One possible answer to this might come from the fact that athletic clubs tend to have a higher percentage of men compared to women. As there was an extended window for club runners to enter then it might offer one reason as to why the number of women is steady at about 39%.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Irish Times article on the Ballycotton 10...

In today's Irish Times, Frank McNally writes an account of his experience of the Ballycotton 10 last Sunday. He start's the article with..."The start of the Ballycotton 10-mile road race is a bit like the running of the bulls in Pamplona." 

You can read it at

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Looking ahead to the 2014 Cork City Marathon...

The main event on the race calendar in Cork is of course the Cork City Marathon on the June Bank Holiday Monday. With a choice of full marathon (26.2 miles), Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) and the Relay, there is something there to suit everyone.
Here is a press release from the organisers...Speaking at the launch of The Cork City Marathon 2014, which will take place on Bank Holiday Monday 2nd June 2014, Race Director Jim O’Donovan said: “The Cork City Marathon 2014 is all about encouraging individuals of all levels and abilities to get involved – from first timers to professional athletes. In recent years we have developed the concept of group participation with the introduction of the Team Relay, Youth Relay and the Inter-Services Championships encouraging some healthy competition among colleagues and school mates.

The Inter Services Championships encourages teams and individuals from the various uniformed bodies, such as the Gardaí, Naval Service, Fire Brigade, Ambulance, Coastguard, etc., to run for the honour of their Units.

We are encouraging everyone to get involved in 2014, it’s all about team spirit, participation and that special sense of achievement. Make 2014 the year that you run the Cork City Marathon,” he added.

Now in its eighth year, the Cork City Marathon is an internationally recognised marathon, with certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).  In 2013, over 7,000 people took part in the Cork City Marathon, an event that is quickly becoming one of the major events in the Irish sporting calendar. One of the fastest courses in Ireland, the Cork Marathon has been praised for its inclusivity, with entry fee concessions for those who are unwaged and in receipt of benefit ensuring that young and old and those with varying ability are included in the marathon.

Last year, the first year of the Youth Challenge, saw more than 100 youth teams take part in the 26.2 mile marathon relay challenge, each team member (5 persons) completing a stage of the marathon, with a maximum distance of 5.8 miles (9.3km) each.

This year will see also see a Guinness Wold Record Challenge by Alex O’Shea, who will attempt to break the record for running a marathon in his full firefighter attire, including fire hazard boots.


Entry forms and full details on the Cork City Marathon are available online at

Entries......Please note that the entry fees go up after the 30th of April.

It's also worth pointing out that the relay contestants will each receive a dry fit top as opposed to a cotton t-shirt like in previous years.

Pictured at the launch of the 2014 Cork City Marathon are Sonya O'Sullivan, Army (retired), Trevor Murphy, Airport Fire and Rescue Service, Alex O'Shea -Cork City Fire Service, Cian Mac Phartalainn, Naval Service, Patrick Roche-Naval Service, Brian Cotter- Prison Service & Finbarr O'Dwyer-Prison Service

If you want to see what the route for the Cork City Marathon looks like then watch this 13 minute video put together by Rob O'Farrell...

1) Marathon...HERE
2) Half-Marathon (13.1 miles)... (provisional)...A preview of the Half-Marathon course with maps and photos can be seen HERE
3) Marathon Relay...
a) Leg 1 of 5 can be seen HERE
b) Leg 2 of 5 can be seen HERE
c) Leg 3 of 5 can be seen HERE
d) Leg 4 of 5 can be seen HERE
e) Leg 5 of 5 can be seen HERE