Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: September 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fancy an Anti-Gravity Treadmill for Christmas?

It sounds like something out of a science fiction film but anti-gravity treadmills actually exist. They used compressed air in a sealed chamber to reduce a runners weight on a treadmill by up to 80%. This creates less impact when running which reduces stress on joints and important issue for those recovering from various injuries.

Check out the video below....

From what I understand, there are a number of these machines in Ireland including the Mardyke Arena in Cork.

Dingle Ultra-Marathon comes to an end...

Going back to 2010, the Dingle Marathon was one of the first to add an ultra race to their list of events. At the time, there were relatively few ultra events in the country and their 50 mile race on the road was one of the longest in the country. Fast forward to 2014 and there is a marathon nearly every weekend somewhere in Ireland and there are loads of ultra races to choose from. For example, there was the Kerry Way Ultra on the same weekend as Dingle this year and there was an ultra in the Glen of Aherlow just a few weeks later.....and that was just in Munster.

The thing with ultras though is that the numbers are always going to be small. Any race organiser has to balance the cost and effort of putting an ultra event on against the number of people that will actually enter it.

Back in May of 2014, the Dingle Marathon organisers announced that they were replacing the 50 mile ultra with a 39.3 mile ultra instead.

Today, they announced that the ultra race is going to be scrapped altogether.

"Update RE Dingle Ultra Marathon 2015. The bad news is that we are not going to continue the ultra marathon any longer. We have had four great years organising this amazing event. The decision has been made to put all time, energy and resources in to making the half and full marathon even better again. I know a large number of people will be disappointed but we are certain we have made the right decision. Our full concentration is now on making the half and full marathon the best experience possible for all that take part."

Is it a case of there just being too many races? How many more ultras in Ireland will follow suit?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Freight train crosses marathon route in US...

At the Mill Race Marathon in Columbus, Indiana last Saturday, nothing less than a freight train crossed the path of the marathon runners. As you can see once it did stop, runners kept going in front and even through it! Crazy stuff. You'd have to wonder though who in their right mind would organise a marathon that crosses an active railway line?

Results of the Buttevant 5k & 10k charity runs...Sun 28th Sept 2014

From the organisers...."Awbeg Macra held their first 10K Road Race and second 5K Fun, Run, Walk or Roll in aid of the irish Cancer Society last Sunday the 28th of September. Conditions were excellent and registration exceeded 100 for the second year in a row. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us on the day, especially John Paul O’Shea and International Miss Macra Brid Cooney who lead out the walk. Thanks to the Crossroads Bar for their continued support especially Bert, John Buckley and Geraldine. They are an amazing help to us throughout the year. Prizes were awarded to the top 3 finishers in the 10K. Fastest times are given below."

5K Fun Run Walk
102 Daniel Roche 23.59
107 Darren Noonan 26.29
137 Dave Manton 29.59
149 John Paul O’Shea 31.37
112 Billie Fitzgerald 32.30
114 Gerard Fitzgerald 32.37
122 Pauline Sweetnam 33.07
111 Richard McCarthy (Son) 33.17
164Danny Broe 35.11
127 John Joe Breen 36.09
103 David Schulte 36.40
158 Katie Cronin 36.55
162 Martin Murphy 36.55

10K Run
205 Patrick Zajac 37.57
212 Tadgh O’Connell 41.00
203 Adrian O’Sullivan 42.24
214 Eoin Carroll 42.50
206 Mark Cleary 46.06
213 Kieran O’Connell 49.25
202 Micheal, Freemount 51.39
215 Thomas Strich 51.57
219 Darragh O’Keeffe 56.05
218 Kate O’Regan 56.48
204 John O’Sullivan 57.24
216 Catriona O’Connor  59.20
207 Ann Daly 60.12
217 Sean Ahern 60.22

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kenyan Dennis Kimetto sets new marathon record in Berlin

30 year old Dennis Kimetto from Kenya set a new world record of 2h 02m 57s when he won the 2014 Berlin Marathon on Sunday 28th Sept 2014. Emmanuel Mutai who finished in second place in 2h 03:13s also broke the old record of 2h 03m 23s which was set by Wilson Kipsang in 2013. The temperature today was a cool 8 deg C in contrast to other warmer years so conditions were perfect.

Full race....2h 50m long. Finish ~2:12. Commentary in German...

After winning the race, Kimetto said...."I feel good because I won a very tough race. I felt good from the start and in the last few miles I felt I could do it and break the record."

These are the marathon records as they were set over the last 30 years....

2:08:05    Steve Jones     United Kingdom    Oct 21, 1984    Chicago Marathon
2:07:12    Carlos Lopes     Portugal    Apr 20, 1985    Rotterdam Marathon
2:06:50    Belayneh Dinsamo     Ethiopia    Apr 17, 1988    Rotterdam Marathon
2:06:05    Ronaldo da Costa     Brazil    Sept 20, 1998    Berlin Marathon
2:05:42    Khalid Khannouchi     Morocco    Oct 24, 1999    Chicago Marathon
2:05:38    Khalid Khannouchi     United States Apr 14, 2002    London Marathon
2:04:55    Paul Tergat     Kenya    Sept 28, 2003    Berlin Marathon
2:04:26    Haile Gebrselassie     Ethiopia    Sept 30, 2007    Berlin Marathon
2:03:59    Haile Gebrselassie     Ethiopia    Sept 28, 2008    Berlin Marathon
2:03:38    Patrick Makau     Kenya    Sept 25, 2011    Berlin Marathon
2:03:23    Wilson Kipsang     Kenya    Sept 29, 2013    Berlin Marathon
2:02:57   Dennis Kimetto     Kenya    Sept 28 2014    Berlin Marathon

The chart above shows the progression. As you can see, the record is broken by about 20-30 seconds each time and the question now is how long will this new record last?

It will also no doubt raise the question again of whether a sub 2 hour marathon is possible? In this interview, the former record holder Wilson Kipsang said he believes that a sub 2 hour marathon is possible after the record gets into the 2:01 region first...

So is it really possible? The current record of 2:02:57 is 4:41 minute mile pace. A 2 hour marathon would be an incredible 4:34 per mile pace.

By the way, the current half-marathon record is 58:23...4:27 per mile pace.

Results of the Evening Echo Womens mini-marathon...Sun 28th Sept 2014

Roughly 10,500 turned out for the annual Evening Echo womens mini-marathon in Cork City raising millions for charity in the process. The results for the first 20 women are shown below. The full results will be in the Evening Echo during the week with some photos. Going on previous years, I think it may well be just the finishing position rather than having times for everyone.

First 3 women in the mini-marathon...Laura Crowe of An Ríocht AC, Michelle Finn of Leevale AC & Sinead O'Connor of Leevale AC. Photo : Gearóid Ó Laoi

1 Laura Crowe (Riocht) 21:24;
2 Michelle Finn (Leevale) 21:50;
3 Sinead O’Connor (Leevale) 22:29;
4 Martina Kiely (St Finbarrs) 22:56;
5 O Murray (Ferrybank) 23:14;
6 Aisling Moran (Leevale) 24:03;
7 Louise Shanahan (Leevale, MJ) 24:43;
8 Carmel Parnell (Leevale, F55) 24:49;
9 J O’Connor (unatt) 24:58;
10 M Ahern (Leevale, FJ) 25:21;
11 E Leahy (unatt) 25:39;
12 Aine Moran (Leevale) 25:46;
13 M Dennehy (unatt, F35) 25:47;
14 C Cooke (UCC) 26:07;
15 Aine Collins (Doheny, F40) 26:16;
16 U UiMhuirithe (unatt, F50) 26:28;
17 Eilish Downing (Ballintotis Fit4Life) 26:51;
18 A Shine (Leevale, F40) 26:53;
19 E Leahy (Midleton, FJ) 27:26;
20 L McCarthy (UCC) 27:33.

Photos......(Updated Thurs 2nd Oct)
1) The Evening Echo has a small number of group photos....
a) Cork ARC Cancer at the city hall
b) Breakthrough Cancer Research on the quays
2) Kieran Minihane has over 800 photos HERE
3) The Evening Echo have a number of commercial photos for sale. Look HERE 
4) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has over 500 photos HERE   

1) From the Irish Examiner...

Results & Photos of the BHAA Cork to Cobh 15 mile race - Sun 28th Sept 2014

A huge crowd of 744 runners turned out for this years Cork to Cobh race.That's well up on last year and back in line with other years. I wonder did the fact that today's race was 4 weeks before Dublin rather than the 3 weeks of last year make a difference?

The weather conditions were almost perfect. No real wind. It was raining at about 8am so it looked like it was going to be wet but that soon cleared and it was dry for the race.

Again, it was another well run event. Highlights.....
1) There is a certain novelty of starting a race in Cork City and finishing down in the outer harbour in Cobh
2) Ideal race to test your target marathon pace for Dublin
3) Pre-entry price of €10 and that includes a dry fit top.
4) The only chance in the year that you can run on this road which is otherwise way too busy.

It really has to be one of the best value races in the country. There are no shortage of half-marathons which cost 5 times the price.

One downside which keep coming up every year is the lack of water bottles. The route however is not suitable for bottles. It's a very busy road and you can't expect volunteers to be picking up bottles with cars whizzing past. Plastic cups aren't great but they really are the only practical solution. Everyone drops these within 100m of the water station and it makes it much easier to collect.

Pos Name Cat Prize Time Company Team
2 John Meade M2 01:22:14 Joyce Wolfe Physio
3 Colin Merritt 0/40A M3 01:22:29 ARMY

The full results can be seen HERE

This chart shows the numbers of runners and their pace. As you can see, the numbers are back up this year...the 4th highest ever. Besides the obvious growth in numbers over the last 10 years, the most obvious change is the huge growth in those running over 8 minute miles. A lot of this would be accounted for by more women running now and the larger number of slower runners overall. No matter what speed you are running, 15 miles is still 15 miles. It's always a tough race and perhaps even tougher for those who are out the longest.

Photos...(Updated Sun 22:30pm)
1) Doug Minihane has a gallery HERE (Check again on Monday for loads of finish line photos from Doug)
2) Paudie Birmingham of Mallow AC has 230 photos HERE
3) Colm McDonagh has some photos about 300m before the finish line HERE
4) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has loads of photos HERE

Someone left this top in the hotel this morning. Give the guys in the BHAA a shout if you own it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Results of the North Mon 5k...Wed 24th Sept 2014

This 5k was organised by North Mon Past Pupils Union in association with St.Vincents Hurling & Football club.

1 Paul Duggan    St. Finbarrs 45 m    17.32    1st man
2 Noel Daly    Mallow Ac 40 m    18.00    2nd man
3 Ciaran Bouce    Eagle    35    m 18.04    3rd man
8 Mary Dennehy    Wibbly Wobbly Wonders 35    f 20.42    1st woman
18 Rosario Molina    Happy Feet 40 f 23.07    2nd woman
19 Brenda Harris     45 f 23.12    3rd woman

The full results can be seen HERE

Preview of the Cork to Cobh 15m race...Sun 28th Sept 2014

The Cork BHAA are holding their annual 15 mile Cork to Cobh race on Sunday, the 28th of October. Entries on the day will be taken at the Montenotte Hotel and the fee is €20. They will transport gear bags from there to the finish line in Cobh....just look for the tags in the hall and the van outside.

The race starts at 9:30am.

Course...Starting at St.Patricks Church, you run past the railway station and towards the Dunkettle roundabout....up over the flyover by the tunnel......then taking a left and onto the old road which passes Glounthaune church.Then onwards towards the main roundabout before Carrigtwohill and then take the bridge over the main road and head towards Fota, Belvelly bridge and on into Cobh. The finish is close to the main square in the centre of Cobh. Overall, there are a few small hills but nothing major, just one pull at 12 miles near the old IFI plant and another smaller one before 14 miles.

Overall, it is pretty flat for the first ten miles or so with the hardest sections coming in the last five.

Transport......Please note that you have to make your own way back to Cork City.
Options - You probably have a few options in terms of transport...
1) Two cars...take 2 cars to Cobh, leave one in Cobh and drive up to Cork
2) Train...The train will leave the train station in Cobh for Cork City at 12:30, 1:30, 3:00 and 4:30 pm depending on long you want to stay around after the race. The fee is €5.70 (2014 price).

Pace......If you are going for a specific time in the Dublin City Marathon in four weeks time, then it's an ideal chance to test your target marathon pace. Say your target for Dublin is 3h 30m.....then you could run Cork to Cobh at 8 min per mile pace. If you arrive in Cobh and you're comfortable then 3h 30m is a realistic target. If you're exhausted after 15 miles at that pace then you should think about a more realistic target. If you add in a warm up of a few miles beforehand then all the better. It will give you a more accurate appraisal.

Race.....Just remember that the last third is the hardest. Over the years, many people get to the Belvelly Bridge by Fota tired and then struggle over the last 5 miles. Going slightly slower in the early stages will pay off in the later stages in this race. Even effort always gets the best results.

Weather........(Updated Fri 11:30am).....The forecast is that it will be cloudy and dry with a light westerly breeze. Temp in the mid teens so it looks pretty good.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Running and Walking Trail opens in Blarney...

A new walking and running trail has just opened in Blarney near Cork City. It is located at the Blarney Driving Range which is on the approach road to Blarney once you turn off the N20 Cork/Mallow road.

If you look at the map above, you can see the approach road from the N20 bottom right which is alongside the Clogheenmilcon Sanctuary. This is on the left as you drive in towards Blarney. Go past the next T-junction and the driving range is about 200m after it on the right.

There are a choice of two loops...a shorter 1.5km loop and a longer 3km one. The surface is mostly grass which is cut short once a week. Short sections are made up of compact gravel/crushed stone.

The fee for the course is €3.

There is also a tea shop for the driving range which might be of interest to any groups wanting to make a social event out of it as well. They serve all the usual things like tea/coffee/cakes/scones, etc.

You can see more info in the brochure for the walk HERE

This short video will give you a good idea of what it is like.

This new facility might make a welcome change for some people who would like to get away from the traffic even if it's just for the occasional run.

A preview of the course by Mike McGrath can be seen on the Eagle AC website.

Medical Plan now required for all AAI approved races...

For those members of athletic clubs who are involved in organising road races...."Going forward Athletics Ireland will require a Medical Plan to accompany a Permit Application."

The relevant form can be seen on the Munster Athletics website.

Mallow 10 top arrives at last...

The Mallow 10 mile road race was held in March 2014....results, photos & comments in this earlier post. The original race notice promised a technical top for all finishers but due to some mix up, this was not available on the day and a cotton t-shirt was given out instead. The organisers...Mallow AC...said that the proper dry fit tops would be posted out at a later date.

In the meantime, there have been a few people asking about the tops and whether they would be sent out at all. My one arrived in the post today so I presume most people will be getting theirs as well.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Reminder...Killarney 10 mile road race - Sat 27th Sept 2014

For anyone interested in a 10 mile race, the inaugural Killarney 10m is coming up next Saturday the 27th of September. The primary purpose of this race is to raise funds for the development of a 200m outdoor track in Killarney which will be used by all of the local athletic clubs.

The race starts at 1:30pm and you can enter online here...

If you are in the Killarney area, you can enter at Feet First 28 High St or at the Kerry Outdoor Sports Shop, Fairhill, Killarney.

A number of high profile former athletes have given their support to the event. One of those is Gillian O'Sullivan who represented Ireland in the 20km race walk at the Sydney Olympics and won a silver medal in the same event at the World Championships in Paris in 2003..........I think the new track in Killarney is a very exciting project. It gives the local community a great chance to make exercise part of their lifestyle. One of the main barriers to people maintaining their fitness is accessibility to facilities. Now people will have a fantastic facility at their doorstep. What I really like about it is that for children and young adults exercise can become a routine no matter what the time of year or weather conditions. It encourages adults and children to keep a healthy lifestyle. In addition if there are children who excel in athletics, they can maintain their training all year round. I know I would have loved to have such a facility when I was starting out.....Gillian O'Sullivan

More info in this earlier post and on the race website.

Notice...North Mon PPU 5k, Knocknaheeny - Wed 24th Sept 2014

For anyone interested, there is a 5k race in Knocknaheeny this evening (Wed 24th Sept) at 7pm. It is organised by the North Mon Past Pupils Union is association with St.Vincents Hurling & Football club. Entry fee is €5. Race HQ is at the St.Vincents clubhouse on Kilmore Road (~400m east of Apple plant).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Notice...Nathan Kirwan 5k Charity Run/Walk - Sun 5th Oct 2014

This 5k charity run /walk is coming up in the village of Shanbally near Ringaskiddy on Sunday the 5th of October 2014 at 10am.

Some info from the organisers about Nathan Kirwan......Nathan aged 24 from Currabinny, Carrigaline, graduate of Marine Engineering, sailor, diver and boat builder suffered a severe neck break in June 2013 resulting in a spinal cord injury. Nathan was due to begin the next chapter of his life in September as an engineer on board a cruise ship sailing around the world. As his friends, neighbours and family it is our aim in the upcoming months to see that Nathan is given the best possible chance of recovery so that he can fulfill all of his potential and promise and reach his ultimate goal and walk again.

More info on this Facebook page.

The venue for this charity run is Shamrocks GAA grounds which are just to the west of Shanbally. If you follow all of the signs from Cork City to Ringaskiddy then you will pass the entrance.

Preview...More info including maps, photos and a preview of the course HERE

Preview of the Evening Echo womens mini-marathon in Cork...Sun 28th Sept 2014

Although it is advertised as Munsters Premier 4-Mile Road Race, it is in reality a 3.8 mile charity walk/run with a road race at the front of it. In the past, a lot of fast runners used to avoid it as there were a lot of issues with runners unable to get near the front and be able to start ahead of the mass of walkers. Things have improved in the last year or two with a new tag system which allows club runners get up near the front.

Tag or no tag, if you intend to race it then you need to get to the start early! There are somewhere in the region of 11,000 women taking part and when there are that many people, it is going to be very crowded.

Remember it starts at 1pm.

Course...The start of this race is on the Centre Park Road.

Mile 0-1....The first mile or so is very flat with only a slight uphill around the 0.8 mile mark as the road joins the Marina. This should be a very fast mile as long as you stay clear of the mass of runners/joggers/walkers/prams....etc.

Start of the Marina section near the 1 mile mark 

Mile 1-2.....Dead flat along the Marina. Probably the most scenic part of the run. Again, it should be a very fast mile. If you have started too fast, this is about where you should find out. Pace yourself for the first 2, you can pick it up over the last 2 if you have gone too slow.

Mile 2-3....This section includes the only real hill. There is a nasty pull from the 2 mile mark up to St.Michael's church, a distance of about 300 metres......

Start of the only real hill near the 2 mile mark

You are going to lose some time here. After that, it's reasonably flat with a slight fall downhill into Beaumount about the 2.7 mile mark. Then past the AIB bank and Post office and take a sharp right down Maryville Road. Around the 3 mile mark, there is a very steep downhill section. By far, the hardest mile.

Mile 3-3.8....After the initial downhill section, the remainder of the mile is flat with the finish on the Monaghan Road, near Kennedy Park.
....and finally, it is worth mentioning what a significant event this is for the city of Cork. With around 11,000 taking part and many getting sponsorship, it is probably no exaggeration to say that several million Euro will be raised for various charities. For many of those taking part, it may be closest they ever get to any sort of road race.

Update........A bit more detail in this preview HERE

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bandon AC take part in European Clubs Track & Field Cup in Portugal

Over the weekend, there were two competitions held on the Iberian Peninsula for junior club athletes from all over Europe. In Castellon in Spain, the European Champion Clubs Cup Track & Field juniors Group A was held. The Group B competition was held in Leiria in Portugal and Bandon AC were the only Irish team taking part.

Scott Gibson won the 400m, Laura McSweeney won the Shot Put and placed 3rd in the hammer, Fiona Everard was 3rd in the 800m and 4th in the 1500m, boys 4x100m relay team were 3rd, Thomas McCarthy was 3rd in the Steeplechase.

The full results can be seen HERE

Excerpt From the Bandon AC website.....On Sat 20th of Sept a number of Bandon AC athletes, coaches and officials will be on a journey into the history books. The club have two teams competing in the European Junior Track & Field Championships in Portugal, not only is this the first time Bandon AC will be competing in this event, its the first time both boys and girls team from the same club have qualified to represent Ireland in this event. This is truly a fantastic achievement for the club and the people involved. 

Full report on the Bandon AC website

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Results of the Charleville Half-Marathon...Sun 21st Sept 2014

Conditions were perfect for this years Charleville 9 deg C at the start and hardly any wind....a big contrast from the heat of 2013. The sun didn't really appear until about the 2 hour mark and most runners were nearly home at that stage.

This was only my second time doing this race as I had done it previously in 2012. The big difference for me was the road closure this time round. In 2012, we had a stream of cars trying to pass hundreds of runners which really didn't work well. It was so much better this year with nothing but runners taking up the whole road. Without the hassle of traffic, it made it a very nice course to run on.

The whole event seemed to be very well organised and it had the look and fell of a well run club race which of course is exactly what it was. Full credit to the host club North Cork AC for putting on a fine event.

Martin Fagan & Maria of the 2014 Charleville Half-Marathon

1 Martin FAGAN  1:03:58 Ages 18-39  (1) Male  (1)
2 Ismail SSENYANGE 1:06:06 Ages 18-39  (2)    Male  (2)
3 Sergiu CIOBANU 1:06:19 Ages 18-39  (3)    Male  (3)
4 Paddy HAMILTON 1:06:29 Ages 18-39  (4)    Male  (4)
5 Brian MAHER 1:07:41 Ages 18-39  (5)    Male  (5)
6 Geert MAES 1:08:27 Ages 18-39  (6)    Male  (6)
7 Greg ROBERTS 1:09:16 Ages 18-39  (7)    Male  (7)
8 Tim STESSENS 1:09:30  Ages 18-39  (8)    Male  (8)
9 Simon RYAN 1:10:13 Ages 18-39  (9)    Male  (9)
10 Colm SHEEHAN 1:10:51 Ages 18-39  (10)    Male  (10)

21    Maria MCCAMBRIDGE 01:12:26 Ages 18-39  (1)    Female  (1)
29    Siobhan O'DOHERTY 01:16:24 Ages 18-39  (2)    Female  (2)
39    Barbara SANCHEZ 01:17:37 Ages 18-39  (3)    Female  (3)
53    Ailish MALONE (29)    01:19:08    01:19:06    Ages 18-39  (4)    Female  (4)
79    Ann-Marie HOLLAND (32)    01:23:19    01:23:13    Ages 18-39  (5)    Female  (5)
89    Anna-Meria COSTELLOE (33)    01:24:41    01:24:36    Ages 18-39  (6)    Female  (6)
112    Mags DEMPSEY (410)    01:27:06    01:26:58    Ages 18-39  (7)    Female  (7)
122    Patricia MC COSKER (737)    01:27:32    01:27:22    Ages 18-39  (8)    Female  (8)
125    Niamh CRONIN (240)    01:27:34    01:27:26    Ages 18-39  (9)    Female  (9)
130    Margo DINAN (491)    01:27:45    01:27:38    Ages 45 - 49  (1)    Female  (10)

The full results can be seen HERE

Photos.....(Updated Mon 11pm)
1) Paudie Birmingham of Mallow AC has a gallery of photos HERE and HERE
2) The organisers have loads of pre-race and start line photos HERE the 13 mile mark HERE...and finish line photos HERE (Facebook account required to view)
3) Doug Minihane has 400+ photos HERE
4) An Brú AC (Bruff) have loads near the finish line HERE
5) A number of photos from Kevin O'Connor of the start HERE
6) Mick Dooley of Eagle AC has a number of photos HERE 
7) James Cottam has a gallery on Facebook HERE (Facebook account required to view) 
8) Sean Simcox has 300+ photos in Kilmallock HERE
9) Ireland Through a Lens have some out round the 7 mile mark HERE 

Some stats from Paudie Birmingham of Mallow AC.....
 A quick look at the results today in Charleville compared to the Dublin Half yesterday. 
Total to run Charleville.  667. Total to run Dublin.  6128...9 times the size
Sub 70min...Charleville had 8. That’s 1.2% of the total field....Dublin had 1 sub 70.  0.02% of its total field. 
Sub 80min...Charleville had 59. That’s 8.9% of the total field...Dublin had 58.  That’s 1% of the total field.
Sub 90 min...Charleville had 161. That’s 24% of its total field...Dublin had 441.  That’s 7.2% of the total field.
Women under 1:30...Charleville had 16...Dublin had 18.

Munster Half-Marathon Championships.......The Charleville Half-Marathon also doubled up as the Munster Half-Marathon Championships.

Team Results...
Men's Club Team Name
Leevale A.C...13
St Finbarr's AC...32
Clonmel Ac...55

Eagle AC...56
West Limerick AC...103
BMOH AC...117
An Bru Ac...137
West Waterford AC...142
Mallow AC...145
Kilmallock Ac...161
Midleton AC...168
Grange Fermoy AC...180
Templemore Ac...217
North Cork Ac...221
Watergrasshill Ac...221
Bilboa Ac...255
Dooneen Ac...276

Women's Club Team
St Finbarrs Ac...13
Eagle AC...37
West Limerick AC...56

Mallow AC...73
Watergrass Hill AC...79
An Bru AC...115
North Cork AC...134
Kilmallock AC...142
Clonmel AC...144

The individual results can be seen HERE  

1) Start of the race...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Results of the Rebel Run4Fun 5k, Ballincollig...Sat 20th Sept 2014

A total of 173 people turned out for the third and final race in the Rebel Run4Fun 5k series in Ballincollig on Saturday 20th Sept 2014. This series was organised by the Cork Sports Partnership with the aim of highlighting the Ballincollig Regional Park as an area for recreational use for runners and walkers.

1  SHINE  JOHN  16:41     5:23/M
2  COMBER  DAVID 17:19     5:35/M
3  HARTY  BRIAN  17:44     5:43/M
12  O CALLAGHAN  RACHAEL  21:20  6:53/M
13  DUFFY  DOLORES  21:24 6:54/M
16  HOLLAND  SIOBHAN  22:08 7:08/M

The full results can be seen HERE

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rebel Run4Fun 5k in Ballincollig...Sat 20th Sept 2014

Just a reminder that the 3rd and final race in the Rebel Run4Fun 5k series organised by the Cork Sports Partnership is coming up on Saturday morning the 20th of Sept in Ballincollig.

The entry fee is €10 if you enter online until lunch time today Friday 19th.

You can enter on the morning of the race for €15.

Pre-Registered participants can collect their timing chip and event number in Our Lady of Good Council Primary School which will marked on the morning.
Sign in will be open from 8.45am until 9.30am with the event starting at 10am sharp.
Participants that are registering on the morning are asked to arrive in plenty time to register their details and get their timing chip/event number.
Please note when signing in and registering there will be little or no parking by the school, and participants will be directed to main event car park by Lidl which is about a 700m walk.

Refreshments of water, fruit and cereal bars sponsored by Lidl are available afterward.

Directions and course preview at

Big turn out for the Join Ray for 5k in Cork

While this wasn't the usual type of 5k race, a large crowd still turned out for this fun 5k in the Lee Fields in Cork City on Thurs 18th of Sept. From what I understand, it cost just €5 to enter and runners got a tech top for that price.

Today FM have a small number of photos on their Facebook page ....scroll down for the Cork pics.

Video from Tony Kelleher of Togher AC...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Looking forward to the Charleville Half-Marathon next Sunday 21st Sept

The big race next weekend in Cork is of course the Half-Marathon in Charleville in North Cork. Here is the info for the event from the organisers...

Late entries........Saturday 20th September at the Charleville Park Hotel 12 –6pm. Special late Entry rate of 40 until 6pm. Note that there are no entries on the morning of the race.

Saturday 12 noon – 9pm Race Pack Collection at the hotel (incl. Number, Pins, Race T-shirt, Free “Distance Running” Magazine).

Sunday 21st September @ St Josephs Foundation, Bakers Rd.
8 am to 9:30am – Race Pack Collection only – St. Josephs Foundation Hall, Bakers Rd. Charleville
9:30am – Race Pack Collection Closes
9:45am – Half-Marathon participants assemble at start area (For safety reasons, runners will be asked to start behind the pacemakers for their particular estimated pace)

Pacers.......There will be pacers running at the following paces; 1:20, 1:25, 1:30, 1:35, 1:40, 1:45, 1:50, 1:55, 2:00, 2:05, 2:10, 2:15..........Having pacers every 5 mins is a welcome development as the usual 'every 10 or 15 minutes' is very much hit or miss. The most common mistake people make is that they start too fast and pay for it in the second half of the race. Staying with a pacer is a good way to get the first few miles under the belt before pressing on...JD

10am – Race Start

Water Stations…There will be small bottles of water and/or cups available at each of the water stations at approximately 5.3km intervals along the course and at the finish line.

12pm - Post-race Refreshments and Food…..There will be tea/coffee, and an extensive range of sandwiches, cakes, buns etc. available for runners as they cross the line. (There will also be a special section for Coeliacs who require gluten free food and non-buttered sandwiches for those with a dairy intolerance.)

Course Preview.......A full preview of the course with maps, directions and photos can be seen HERE

Video of the course...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

View from the Back...Pt.1

In all road races, there is usually quite a difference between those at the front end and those at the rear in terms of speed and ability. Sometimes those at the back get a bit of a raw deal despite having paid the same entry fee. These are some of the views of one such local runner...

The back markers of a race always seem to get a raw deal of which I used to be one and in the odd race often still am although running for over a year now.  In a 5 mile race in SE Limerick last year (tough course), the gantry was even taken down before another girl and myself were even in just because there was a gap between us and the rest of the field. My time was 55 mins which was a pb for me at the time.

On another occasion in a 5 mile race in Cork last year I took off too fast and ended up coming in over the hour mark which was one of my worst races ever. Fair enough and I had guys in a jeep driving behind me towards the end but the stewards had all stepped down so I had to keep asking the guys in the jeep where to go as I didn't know the area and the road had reopened which meant I had to run up the footpath into the line asking runners that were coming out to warm down where the finish line was making a complete fool of myself.

Something that organisers of races might take into consideration is that no matter how slow you are everybody pays the same registration fees etc and deserves the same treatment and allowances should be made for slower runners.

Back of the Pack

Monday, September 15, 2014

Some race stats on the John Buckley Sports Cork City 10 Miler...

Some Race Statistics on the John Buckley/St finbarrs 10 mile Road Race by Alex O'Shea...

*494 race participants took part in the inaugural John Buckley/St Finbarrs 10mile Road Race. Information as per precision timing results.
*317 male = 64% of the field
*177 female = 36% of the  field.
*At least 46 clubs (Athletic, Triathlon & Fit 4 Life) took part.
With a wide geographical spread. This accounted for 50% of the overall field but could be higher as some club runners may have failed to enter there club name when registering.
*The course was advertised as one of the flattest fastest 10milers around. Did it live up to the description? Looking at some stats the winner Mark Hanrahan of Leevale AC would not normally compete at the 10 mile distance, so it would be hard to draw a conclusion based solely on his result.
So I looked at the next man home St Finbarr's athlete John Meade. John competed in at least 3 of the well known 10 mile events this year.
53:38 John Buckley 10m
54:20 Mallow 10m
54:21 Dungarvan 10m
& from all accounts on a day with a bit less headwind we could all achieve faster times.

The organisers would like to thank everyone for making it a great race.
*From the countless volunteers
*Precision Timing

Hope to see you all again next year.....Alex O'Shea, St.Finbarr's AC

Garmin Forerunner 10 watch lost at 10 mile race...

Someone contacted me to say that they lost their Garmin Forerunner 10 watch at the John Buckley Sports 10 mile race last Sunday. It is purple in colour and the owner had it at the finish line but lost it sometime after that. If anyone found it then send me an e-mail and I'll put you in contact with the owner. You'll find my address on the right hand side of this page.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Results of the John Buckley Sports Cork City 10 mile road race - Sun 14th Sept 2014

A total of 500 runners turned out for the inaugural John Buckley Sport Cork City 10 Miler on Sunday the 14th of September 2014. Organised by St.Finbarr's Athletic Club, this new 10 mile race replaced the old half-marathon in Blarney.

When it was announced back in July that it would be changing to a half-marathon, there was a mixed reaction. Just looking at the numbers, the record for the Blarney Half was 501 in 2012. The figure for the new 10 mile race almost matched that so there is no real drop.

Race sponsor John Buckley of John Buckley Sports presenting the winners prizes to Orla Drumm and Mark Hanrahan

1 Mark HANRAHAN     Leevale AC    M    MSenior 51:22
2 John Meade        St. Finbarr's    M    MSenior 53:38
3 Colin MERRITT        Carrig Na Bhfear    M    M40+ 54:36
4 Danny Smith        ballynonty ac    M    MSenior 55:49
5 Darren MOLLOY        Naval Service    M    M35+ 56:18
14 Orla Drumm        Crusaders AC    F    FSenior 59:15
33 Carmel CROWLEY     Bandon AC    F    F45+ 1:02:12
42 Ann Marie HOLLAND     St Finbarrs    F    F35+ 1:02:53
73 Laoise NITHUAMA     F    FSenior 1:07:05
77 Anna Doris Midleton AC    F    F40+ 1:07:36

The full results can be found HERE

Photos...(Updated Tues 9am)
1) Gallery by Doug Minihane HERE
2) Kieran Minihane has 300+ HERE 
3) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has some presentation photos HERE 
4) Joe has another gallery HERE with 600+ photos. Some of these are also available on the Eagle AC Facebook page if you want to tag anyone.
5) Another album from Joe with 357 photos HERE

Results of the Liscarroll NS 5k fun run/walk...Fri 12th Sept 2014

This 5k fun run/walk was organised by Liscarroll National School and was held in Doneraile Park on Friday the 12th of September.

The results can be seen HERE

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ciara Mageean & Paul Robinson finish 3rd in New York 5th Avenue Mile

The New York 5th Avenue Mile Race was held on Saturday the 13th of Sept 2014. Irish athletes Ciara Mageean and Paul Robinson finished 3rd in their respective races and picked up $2,500 apiece.

For Ciara Mageean, her time of 4:21.2 was a huge improvement on the 4:35.47 which she ran last week at the Great North City Games Mile in Newcastle. I'm not sure if the time will count for official record as it is a dead straight course and doesn't have all the corners that are on a full size track but if it did, it would place her second on the Irish all time list. Only Sonia O'Sullivan has run a faster time.

1. Jenny Simpson 4:19.4...$5,000
2. Brenda Martinez 4:19.6...$3,500
3. Ciara Mageean 4:21.2...$2,500
4. Heather Kampf 4:21.4...$1,500
5. Ingvill Makestad Bovim 4:21.9...$1,000
6. Morgan Uceny 4:22.0...$750
7. Hannah England 4:23.1...$500
8. Jordan Hasay 4:23.9...$250
9. Treniere Moser 4:234.3
10. Mary Cain 4:25.5
11. Laura Weightman 4:26.9
12. Sarah Brown 4:28.3
13. Violah Lagat 4:29.3
14. Sally Kipyego 4:29.4
15. Brie Felnagle 4:31.1
16. Beverly Ramos 4:33.6
17. Gesa Krause 4:35.6
18. Diane Cummins 4:40.2

Womens Race video.......remember, she is just 22 years old, just back from injury and only started training last March! What a talent.

For Paul Robinson, it was a great result to finish 3rd in such a prestigious race. His own personal best on the track is 3:54.77.

1. Jordan McNamara 3:51.0...$5,000
2. Garrett Heath 3:51.0...$3,500
3. Paul Robinson 3:51.1...$2,500
4. Augustine Choge 3:51.2...$1,500
5. Ryan Hill 3:52.3...$1,000
6. Matt Centrowitz 3:52.4...$750
7. Dan Hulin 3:52.9...$500
8. Kyle Merber 3:53.5...$250
9. Lawi Lalang 3:53.9
10. Ciaran O’€™Lionaird 3:54.3
11. David Torrence 3:55.4
12. Will Leer 3:55.9
13. Andy Bayer 3:56.9
14. German Fernandez 3:57.5
15. Ben Blankenship 3:57.8
16. Michael Rutt 4:03.4

Mens race video...What a finish by Paul Robinson. Within a whisker of finishing first.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Preview of the John Buckley Sports Cork City 10 Miler...Sun 14th Sept 2014

The big race this weekend is of course the John Buckley Sports Cork City 10 Miler organised by St.Finbarr's AC. More info in this earlier post.

Course Preview......You can see a preview of the 10 mile course HERE

Remember that you can still enter on the morning of the race at Lee Rowing Club next to Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Entries open at 8am. Entries close around 9:30-40am.

Note that there is a technical top for the first 800 entries. Roughly 400 people have already pre-entered. If you are entering on Sunday then do so as early as possible to make sure you get a top.

Update from the organisers St.Finbarr's AC...
1) People will collect the tee shirt after they finish / collection point will be between the finish & the boat club. The first 800 entries are entitled to a shirt . To keep track of this, the first entrant got number 1 and so on – no tee shirt for anybody with number higher than 800.  With the launch of a new race it’s impossible to gauge the expected numbers, hence tee-shirts for the first 800 entries only.
If anybody pre-entered before the deadline last Sunday and didn’t receive their number in the post we will look after them at the registration desk on the morning (they will definitely get a tee shirt). If anybody pre-entered late (online or in John Buckley Sports) after the numbers were posted on Monday, their number can be collected from the registration desk.

2) There will be two timing mat’ at the start and one at the finish.

3) Two water stations – 250 ml bottles sports caps (approx 4.5 ml and 7.5 (near halfway point for marathon opposite Harty’s Quay).

4) There will be some overtaking at the end of the second lap Centre Park Road / Monahan Rd – fastest 10% is lightly to catch the slowest 10% of runners (just like in the John Buckley Sports 5K). Runners  on their first lap stay tight to left hand side as usual, the runners passing will be turning off to the right anyway so should not be an issue.

5) Pacers...There will be 60, 70, 80 and 90 minute pacers

John Buckley (L) and Paul Gallagher of St.Finbarr's AC (R) showing off one of the 800 tech tops

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Q&A with Michael Herlihy, race director of the Charleville Half-Marathon

The Charleville Half-Marathon is coming up on Sunday the 21st of September and the standard entry closes today the 11th. For more information on the race, see this earlier post or to register, go to

The Charleville Half-Marathon at this stage is well established and has earned a reputation as a fast half-marathon course. In this Q&A article, I've asked race director Michael Herlihy about the race itself, how it came about, where the money from it goes and some of the plans for the future.


Q. Ok Michael, most people may know you as the race director of the Charleville Half-Marathon and as a former winner of the Cork City Marathon. Can you tell the readers a bit more about yourself? I think you may have gone to the US on a sports scholarship when you were younger? Your various personal best times for various distances?

MH...I wasn’t in any way a special talent as a juvenile athlete, just basically known for my high mileage training as a juvenile, inspired by some advice by former North Cork AC coach, Fr Liam Kelleher (Coach to numerous Irish International athletes) and by the magazine interviews that he did with top athletes. Under the guidance of my club coach David Doyle I achieved consistent training to get me to a decent level. I went to the North Mon for a year after finishing secondary school in Charleville. I had been developing steadily from a poor juvenile to this point where Br John Dooley helped me for a year. After this year when I finished 3rd in the Irish schools XC, I secured a scholarship through Br Dooley in Loyola University, Chicago. However, I returned home after a semester, not liking the structure and culture of the American System despite the success I had there initially. I was determined to try to make it in Ireland as a runner but was possibly a bit naive about the impact that the lack of support available in Ireland and in the Irish University system would have on my running career. I went through a period of prolonged injury in my early 20’s while in UL but eventually began to find my form again when I spent almost 3 full years in Australia working as a sports science scholar at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra between 2004 and 2008. There was a very good group of distance runners there despite the fact that the distance running programme had been cut from the very medals-orientated AIS. When I came home in 2008/9 I ran some personal bests of 68:21 at the Bantry Half and 50:57 in the Mallow 10 but have struggled to maintain that standard of performance since returning. However training is going well again with the help of the group training sessions of Donie Walsh of Leevale so I am hoping to hit some good times before the end of the year on the road and progress from there. After 23 years in the sport I still just love training hard and racing in good events.

Q. Where did the idea for the Charleville International Half-Marathon come from? What was the inspiration for it and what was it set out to achieve?

MH...The idea for the Charleville Half came from the fact that when I came back from Australia, I was finding it very difficult to get a decent competitive flat long distance road race in Ireland. I was running and winning races like Bantry, Dingle, Blarney half-marathons and Cork Marathon but all of them were not races designed for neither fast, nor competitive running. I ended up flying to Milan and Berlin for half-marathons to run against athletes I didn’t know in fields that were dominated by Kenyans just to try to run fast times.

Therefore, with the support of the rest of North Cork AC, we went ahead and put the Charleville Half on to the end of the Ballyhoura Series which I was co-ordinating at the time and made it the grand finale event of the series, in the same way that the old Charleville 10 mile road race used to be the grand finale of the old Ballyhoura 5 mile series. Our club, needed a fundraiser for the growing membership it had also, especially with the growing size of our juvenile membership. It also responded to the need for a race which would be flat and allow all runners of all ability levels set a personal best which was true to their current level of fitness (especially those preparing for Autumn Marathons). So we saw a niche and capitalised on it. It wasn’t a massive success at the start but it is beginning to show benefit for our clubs hard work now as we have learned about organising an event over the past number of years.

The other inspiration for me personally as a race organiser for this race was that there was and still is a lot of people bemoaning the fact that standards in distance running are falling but very few race organisers seem to want to adapt to the current social and sporting environment in which our top distance runners have to operate. Obviously prize money is a factor but the most obvious factor for me is that there is very few if any race organisers trying to put together a race for the top runners which can be done with a few emails and phone calls to athletes and their coaches just to highlight their race. There are a lot of races being put on for participation which is great and it is a large goal of the Ballyhoura series since I first set it up overall. However a lot of people forget that the top runners don’t ring each other up and organise to race each other at a specific event on a specific date. Therefore because there are so many events these days, there is a big need for race organisers, especially those from athletics clubs to put together a decent field of athletes and help them to race each other.

Our elite field this year is a testament to the kind of race which can be put together with a bit of effort. The extra accommodation and meals are sponsored by the local Charleville Park Hotel so the cost of these does not come from race funds. I believe that it is the responsibility of athletics clubs who organise road races, to try to promote the sport through organising a competitive event rather than just expecting a competitive race to happen when they organise an event. That isn’t a specific dig at any particular club or event but rather it is just pointing out an opportunity for clubs to promote their race in another way and help the sport at the same time. Not all races can offer fast courses or have the revenue or sponsorship for good prize money but where possible, I think there is some responsibility to promote the sport in this way where an event is generating a lot of revenue from the sport. It is the basic principle of giving back something to the sport that you receive from.

Commercial events obviously are in it to make money primarily but athletics clubs with profitable events need to reflect on what they are about when organising a road race event. If clubs don’t attempt to promote and organise competitive events for athletes then who will??? It’s debatable whether most runners in an event notice the runners at the front end of the race and add value in other ways in terms of prestige but I would hope that some enjoy being able to be part of the same race as some top athletes like we have in our event. Some don’t like the idea of big prize money being given to the winning athletes but usually these people are unaware of the link between the inspiration that our top runners provide to young athletes in clubs around the country and the need to provide this inspiration to ensure that young athletes stay in the sport. One of the main reasons for falling standards is because there is less excitement among young athletes about achieving as a senior athlete, so often the most talented athletes are drawn away from our sport or struggle to justify the sacrifices relative to the kind of lifestyle that they could have outside it. Every runner can give back to the sport they participate in by supporting our event and events like it which help all levels of participation and not just the ones that make them money.

Q. Can you tell us a bit more about St.Josephs Foundation? What do they do and how much has the Charleville Half-Marathon contributed to them? What difference does that money make?

MH...St Josephs Foundation provides services for people with special needs and disabilities. They help people from a large geographical area in North Cork and South Limerick. There have been significant cuts in their funding and staff due to the recession. This has put a lot of pressure on the families of the children and adults who use the daily services of the centre. Many of our athletics club members have close or distant family members or neighbours who use the services provided by the charity. Their services are wide ranging for the hundreds of clients that they service. Their mission statement is to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to live the life of their choice to their fullest potential. They are in the finishing stages of developing a horse-riding centre which has been shown to be very beneficial for therapeutic purposes for many of their clients. Our donation of 2000 euro per year is relatively small compared to their overall operating costs but it all adds up for charities like this. They rely on community support and charitable donations like ours. They have their own non-competitive Cycle-Walk-Run event this Sunday 14th September. There is a 10k run/walk event which all runners can participate in.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about North Cork AC and your role in it? I know they were a very small club in the past but seem to have a much higher profile in the last few years. 

MH...North Cork AC at one stage was the third largest club in the country and produced a number of international athletes in the 1980’s under the guidance of Fr. Liam Kelleher. They even had their own track in Tullylease near Dromina. However it has gone through the doldrums at various stages like many clubs do. I resurrected the club with the help of a number of other members in 2009 and we now have 220 members which are half adults and half juveniles. We are getting some good success at juvenile and junior level at the moment, especially in the distance running and throws events. The aim was to set up a club which was inclusive and provided for athletics activities for a wide a range of abilities and age groups. Obviously you can only provide programmes such as Little Athletics, Couch to 5k, Fit4Life and competitive athletics where you have both the human and financial resources as well as appropriate facilities to support these. I coach juveniles and adults along with 5 or 6 other coaches. About a quarter of our members are competitive athletes, while others participate in the programmes we run and in participation orientated events like the Doneraile 5k series.

Q. What difference does the proceeds from the Charleville Half make to the club? 

MH...Due to the fact that we are in a rural area where there is currently a lot of unemployment, we have tried to keep the cost of membership of the club as low as possible so that there is not a large cost to low-income families when they join our club and so that athletics at all levels is easily accessible. The Charleville Half helps us to subsidise training trips and travel to All-Ireland championships around the country. We subsidise entry fee’s and other competition costs which all add up over a year in athletics. Obviously, the more successful the athlete is, the more expensive it is to subsidise their activities. This is the case for many clubs in Cork who have competitive athletics programmes and also at the same time try to be inclusive. We also have aspirations of contributing to the development of an athletics track in the North Cork region in collaboration with other clubs in the area so we aim to set aside a certain amount each year so that we can apply for grants in the future to subsidise such a project. The aim is to make our club more sustainable in the long term with more coaches and a wide range of members involved. This can only be done with good financial strength and cohesiveness in the club.

Q. I understand North Cork AC use the current tartan track in St.Josephs. Looking at photos of it, I presume that it is a 200m track? It does look a little non-standard in that it seems to be very elongated? Longer straight sections with very sharp corners? I presume this was likely because of the size of the space available? What impact does this have in terms of training?...for adults? Any issues with running bends? 

MH...Yes, the idea behind developing the 400m track came from the fact that our fastest junior and senior runners were finding it very difficult to train effectively on the 206m track due to the tight bends. However, it’s a great facility for coaching our younger juveniles, the little athletics group and beginner runners because it’s easier to monitor them when they are close by. Without this track, we probably wouldn’t have been able to set the club up again. However if we are to continue to make athletics attractive and sustainable for the new generation of athletes, I believe we have to provide good facilities where they can enjoy training and competing to their full potential. At the moment we are hitting a glass ceiling which isn’t obvious to most. Our junior and senior athletes could achieve a lot more with better facilities and our club could grow significantly. Traveling almost an hour and back to Cork or Limerick athletics tracks to train isn’t sustainable in the long term for our club members. We as a club and the collection of clubs in North Cork, have to be able to grow and develop enough to provide a better standard of facilities.

Q. You mentioned recently that the club would like to see a proper 400m track in the North Cork area with a tartan surface. Can you tell us more?

MH...The membership levels in athletics clubs around Cork county and Ireland are soaring, however, there appears to be stagnation in the reaction to this growth. Some clubs and county boards have been very enterprising in providing for this growth with good facilities. However there seems to be a lack of recognition in general among clubs in Cork/Munster that if we fail to respond to the growth in popularity of our sport in the short term, then our sport will fail to make the most of our potential for growth in the long term.

One of the ways that we as a club are trying to respond to the growth in popularity in our sport is by using whatever income we get from the Half-Marathon to re-invest in the sport and facilities locally. Obviously our entry fee for our event is going to be more than other similar events if we are;
1.    Trying to give something back to the sport by investing in a competitive athletics race.
2.    Trying to fundraise for facilities for current and future generations of athletes.
3.    Fundraise for a charity in the local community.

We have suffered a lot of criticism from people for our entry fee being slightly more than other similar events but usually it is because individuals don’t have the awareness or take the time to see what we are trying to do. It is a very difficult thing to try to work towards developing an athletics track. However, in our initial stages of development there seems to be a lot of promise in that many recognise the benefit that an athletics track would have for all clubs in the area and all members, no matter what level of ability. When I train on the track in Cork I see lots of groups of runners of various different levels of ability training there. The main hurdle that we face is generating the resources needed to overcome the initial difficulty of securing a site for a facility, but we along with the other clubs in North Cork are working towards overcoming this.

Q. What are the plans for the future of the Charleville Half-Marathon? 

MH...There are a lot of opportunities to develop the race even further but there are also a lot of challenges in doing this. For now we are going through a good phase of steady growth and trying to achieve the right balance in saving for the future and at the same time trying to invest in the race now. A lot depends on whether runners decide to continue to participate in our event. Maybe we can make it an event with the same level of reputation as the Ballycotton 10 or maybe it will fall by the side like the Dromina 10 mile road race did back in the 1980’s. Some people have suggested developing a marathon event on top of the half-marathon with a similar flat course. However the reality is that club races like ours depend on the good will of our members to organise it and the community around us to support it so for now we will concentrate on doing a good job with the event we have.
It also depends on runners, whether they are club runners or not, to support our event not just because we provide as good a quality event as the commercially organised events, but because when they participate in a club event like ours, the money all goes back into the sport.

As a club we try to provide as high a quality a standard event as possible and provide good value for money but it should also be recognised that our event stands for other things that not all other events stand for. I hope that runners will recognise the need to support events that are both participation and competitively orientated. I also hope that they will see that by supporting club events that it is like supporting your local shop and businesses. It will eventually benefit you as a runner to do so. People have the freedom of choice but I believe they should also recognise a certain level of responsibility to put something back into their sport which provides them with such enjoyment. That probably sums up what I as a race-director, athletics coach, administrator and athlete am all about. Thanks for asking the questions and providing the opportunity to demonstrate this through your blog. I don’t pretend to be any expert in this area but my intentions I believe are right in trying to innovate and develop the sport to be inclusive of all people who can both participate and compete. Our sport provides a very good template for the development of young and older people but we as a sport need to be proactive in developing it and putting it out there.