Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Some stats for the 2015 Cork City Marathon...

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Some stats for the 2015 Cork City Marathon...

Now that the 2015 Cork City Marathon is over and the dust is beginning to settle, it's time to have a look at some of the stats for the event.

First off, the overall numbers in each event....

Marathon.....There were 1129 finishers in the full marathon which is up 3.7% on last year. That's down on earlier years but there are more marathons to choose from now.

Half-Marathon...The Half numbers were up 17% this year compared to 2014. Some people mentioned congestion at the start of the half this year so perhaps the increased numbers have something to do with it? It's hard to imagine it growing by similar amounts again and for there not to be even more congestion. Either they cap the numbers or do something like starting in waves which might be easier said than done.

Overall, there were probably around 6000 people taking part across the three events....(based on the assumption that an average relay team might have 4 people).

Relay......The relay team numbers were up 4% this year. As you can see from the graph above, the big drop in relay numbers back in 2011 was a result of the half-marathon being introduced.

Gender Balance......In the full marathon, 21.9% of the finishers were women while it was 43.9% in the Half-Marathon. The most notable thing is probably just how consistent it is from year to year.

Just for comparison, the figure for the 2014 Dublin marathon was 30.3% while in the USA, the average marathon there in 2014 had 43% women running.

Marathon Finishing Times....The chart below shows the average finish time in the full marathon. The average man finished around 3:50 while the average woman finished around 4:10. It's interesting to compare this to the stats for the average male and female finisher in the USA who are about 30 minutes slower.

* The chart above was compiled by taking the number of finishers in 10 minutes blocks...e.g. gross times from 3:20:00 to 3:29:59. This would have the result of pushing the graph slightly to the left. However, the net times would have been faster anyway than gross times so it probably ends up being reasonably accurate.

Half-Marathon Finishing Times.....The chart below shows the times for men and women in the Cork City Half-Marathon. The average man is about 1:45 while the average woman is about 2:00-2:05.

Again, comparing this to the USA, the average finish time in Cork for both genders is about 18 minutes faster than the US.

* The chart above was compiled by taking the number of finishers in 5 minutes blocks...e.g. gross times from 1:45:00 to 1:49:59. This would have the result of pushing the graph slightly to the left. However, the net times would have been faster anyway than gross times so it probably ends up being reasonably accurate.

Relay Finishing Times....These are the times for the relay teams in the Cork City Marathon. The average team completed the 26.2 mile course in about 4 hours.

Conclusions.......Based on the above stats, it would seem as if the marathon and the relay event are pretty stable and unlikely to grow much more. The Half-Marathon however looks as if it may continue to grow. The big question however is how to allow the numbers to grow and not cause even more congestion at the start?



Anonymous said...

In fairness the congestion for the half wasn't bad at all, by the time we were back on the monahan road there was plenty place to be over taking. Some people will complain about anything!

weerunaz1 said...

Nice work John.Start it somewhere else.It is a Cork city council gig surely they have the pick of the city having ceded to the church not to run on a Sunday morning and upsetting church traffic thus negating the chance of everyone having a bit of crack and staying/spending in city that night.

Anonymous said...

Maybe move the half to a new starting point. Somewhere where there is not so many twists and turns to begin with.
Could they change the course so that it begins on Patrick street? Not sure if it would be possible but it would give a nice wide start.
I saw a few people saying the relay should be got rid of but that would be be insane. I think the relay adds atmosphere to the whole thing. It would be a boring old road if it was just full marathon.

Overall they are on to a good thing, a few tweaks here and there, better advertising and maybe a better quality tshirt for 10th year would be great.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting insight into the data. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Ran the full and found the atmosphere with the relay runners and half marathoners fantastic. However the junction where they joined us was crazy and definitely threw us off pace for a while. We were running 3.30- 3.35 hour pace, so maybe it wasn't as bad for other marathon runners. Overall a fantastic event, well done Cork

Anonymous said...

I was running 8.20's in the full ( not earth shattering but everyone has their own Everest!). When we met the half it was chaos. I was tired but still running faster than everyone on the half. All the way down the marina and centre park road it was llike being at the start of a race again - ducking and diving between people, up and down footpaths etc which is tough after 15 miles. Sorted itself out by the time we hit the quays but had lost a lot of time and spent a lot of energy.

You can't please everyone but I think having the half run 4 miles before joining the full would help a lot. It must have been tight for them running through the Atlantic pond aswell.

Ali B said...

I didn't find the start of the half too bad. It was obviously congested for the first 500 odd metres but like many similar events the start always is. As soon as you come out past the roundabout its fine, so you don't really have to wait very long. Other events I have been involved in will enforce what position you start in based on the time you are looking to finish (which you specify when signing up).

Anonymous said...

Some great stats there John (as usual) and very interesting to see how we compare to U.S. marathons etc.

I'd feel sorry for anyone running the full and getting caught in a crowd when the two merged (the full is hard enough as it is!). The Relay is a great 'way in' for people to take up running and it also allows others (e.g. regular runners) to take part if they are not doing the full or the half.

A very small note, running on gravel in the entrance to the Atlantic Pond area (for the half) wasn't idea as you can get small stones in your shoes (the last thing you want to do is stop to take one (or two) of your shoes off when you're trying to get a good time).

A very enjoyable race and brilliant support -especially in the last few miles.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise the church was to blame for not running on a Sunday. Exactly how many church's are affected and how many people are in those church's on a Sunday compared to the numbers running. Surely people can go to mass on a Saturday night if it means that much to them and most can still probably access the church on Sunday anyway. I think the city would benefit hugely economically if it were ran on a Sunday. The relay needs to stay as that is what got me (and i am sure many others) back running six years ago. Now i have ran 6 halves and 4 full. Would still be sitting on the couch if it wasn't for the relay. Half was a little congested at the start this year and a few tighter turns around streets with alot of parked cars and people trying to walk out their houses as you ran past but it was fine once you hit Monahan Road.

Anonymous said...

Figures and breakdowns are very interesting and excellent .. I had thought the marathon numbers were going down so its great to see this is not the case. I did the half-marathon myself ... and personally I didn't find the start any more congested than last year - yes, its a little bit tight as you go around the terrace houses - what with cars parked - which you cannot see as there's a sea of runners in front of you. No cyclists on the course this year either for a change - I think the weather kept them away - which is a huge plus. Fantastic race, hats off to the organisers, and all the supporters for being out there in that crappy weather. Well done Cork!

weerunaz1 said...

Possible alternative route for the half finishing on Patrick street.

Needs tidying,hopefully the hotlink works and as we're at it why can't we start at 2pm after the 'rush hour' traffic from mass.
Feedback please.

Jonathan said...

Loved this marathon, my 8th but first in Cork. The off road made it for me, however I did find the congestion frustrating. Around the 10th mile (I think) walkers in the middle of the path were hard to navigate & again around the 25/26th it got very congested on the narrow path. Loved the cool rain, can't wait for next year!

STew said...

Thoroughly enjoyed running my first ever marathon and getting in under 3:30.

The crowd were absolutely brilliant considering the conditions and I strongly agree with others, the relay adds a good atmosphere to the whole event with the big crowds at the changeover points.

Downside for me was hitting the marina / pairc only to overtaken by the leader and chasing packs of the half marathon, that was pretty demoralising. Plenty of full runners pretty disheartened on the South Link Rd. Needs a re-think I reckon.

Also, Cork (and Dublin) should be run on a Saturday or Sunday. I think you would definitely draw bigger numbers because 1) participants would rather not hang around all of one of our few BH weekends waiting for the race day, and 2) participants would like the Sunday/Monday as a recovery day. No brainer for me but there's obviously pressure from various interest groups to keep the City open on Saturday and Sunday.

That said, I had a great experience and would do it again. Just no wind this time please.

Anonymous said...

Hi john,
Fantastic website.
Thank you.
I was a spectator for years, was thrilled to do cork relay a few years ago and this year did my 3 rd Cork half marathon. I'm even considering making the big jump to 26.2 so I feel having the 3 events on together opens the event to many.
Ps do u have any idea re the route of the original Cork marathon in the 80s. I rem it passing on the Ballinlough rd.

John Desmond said...

For info on the original Cork Marathon route, go to the 'Articles' tab near the top of the page and look at the articles written by John Walshe. You should get a rough idea of where the route went.

peterm78 said...

I know the discussion here is split across both this blog post and the original Cork Marathon results/photos page.

I've ran all of the Cork Marathons since it restarted in 2008 and 2009 and can say (just from my own experience) that the weather is one of the greatest factors in determining the success of the event. Supporters cannot really be expected to be out for very long in conditions like we had on Monday (or similar a few years ago - another wet year).

As other posters have said it's not just an easy matter of moving the marathon to Sunday. This would be great for people like myself who have to travel down to Cork on Sunday and then due to possible work/family committments travel back on the Monday evening to be set for a Tuesday start at home/work.

There's a couple of competiting processes here. The relay cannot exist without the marathon. The marathon couldn't exist without the relay's financial might. The half could live without both the relay and the marathon but could it grow to 5 or 6 thousand if it was a stand-alone event? Runners with a better knowledge of the Cork/Munster scene could answer this. The logistics involved in making the course possible for the marathon must be very complex (it looks to me as a stranger that every major road in Cork city is somehow touched by the marathon event)

As marathons goes Monday's number makes Cork the third largest in Ireland after Dublin and Belfast?

I don't know the roads/streets around the city to suggest alternative routes but after doing all of the modern Cork marathons I can say I like the course.

My suggestion would be to consider the following:

1. Consider postage of numbers/bibs - this would allow people a little flexibility in travelling down to Cork on Sunday afternoon.
2. Consider a more far reaching advertising/awareness campaign about the marathon/half/relay. It would be really interesting to see how many runners from outside Cork/Munster travel to the event. With social media, apps, running related social media I see no reason why a well structured, well thought out marketing/advertising campaign cannot be built.
3. Is it possible to start everything at the same time? Is it logistically possible? Would this create too much of a strain on resources?
4. I think we can take it that it's going to be always Marathon Monday so discussions about Saturday/Sunday are really not on.
5. Consider a team/club event within the marathon?

TWO's COMPANY said...

Hi, Just found this blog...great stats... and I must say impressive average times.

I will be flying in from overseas to take part in this and am curious to know what is the start time for this Asia we tend to start around 5am to avoid heat.... hardly a main consideration in Cork I think :)

John Desmond said...

Hi Tony

It's usually around 9am / 9:30am I think.

TWO's COMPANY said...

thanks a lot John