Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: March 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Notice...Ballyhoura Mountain Trail Marathon, Half-Marathon & Ultra - Sat 30th Apr 2016

The annual Ballyhoura Mountain Marathon is coming up this year on Saturday the 30th of April 2016. This year, there is a choice of a Half-Marathon and an Ultra-Marathon as well.

This event is organised by the Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA) and is one of their most popular events locally. The race HQ is in Kilfinane in Co.Limerick.

More details here...

Irish Sports Monitor Report shows rise in numbers running

The Irish Sports Council released a report yesterday outlining the participation levels of Irish people in sport. For it, a telephone interview with 4,292 people was conducted between May and October of 2015.

The term 'sport' here is a pretty wide brush as it covers a very wide range of activities. Some of the key findings are...

1) A decline in participation in 'sport' from 48.0% in 2013 to 46.3% in 2015. This is in contrast to constant increases in previous reports.

They make this comment on the drop..." In previous reports it was hypothesised that the economic downturn might have contributed to increased levels of physical activity. With improvements in the economic situation more recently, and increasing levels of employment, the converse may now apply with those returning to work, and leading busier lifestyles, possibly sacrificing some of their sporting activity."

2) The number of people running went from 8.4% to 8.8%. This represents an almost 5% rise in number of people running. In terms of the poll, this would an increase from 361 to 378 people who answered 'running'.

The most popular sport is 'Exercise' but this is a very wide field. It includes going to the gym, fitness classes and more. In terms of defined activities, running is now the most popular activity at 8.8%.

As for why the drop in swimming?...or dancing! :o))

The one advantage running has as a sport is that it can be done in a short space of time. Get changed...out the and get changed. Contrast that to some activities which you can't do from home and you have to spend time traveling to and from a venue.

Another interesting graphic is the breakdown by age...

 I suspect the high levels in the 16-19 age group might be explained by students in secondary schools doing PE classes. The rest...20 and declining activity with age as I'd guess is to be expected.

It is though in marked contrast to those who run on a regular basis as seen from race participation levels. There are relatively very low numbers of people under the age of 25 running while the peak in the age of people running tends to come from the 35-44 year old group.

The full report can be seen here...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wibblies raise over €6000 for new Community Defibrillator

The Wibblly Wobbly Wonders were out in force on Good Friday the 25th of March to support four of their members who were running a marathon to raise funds for a new defibrillator for the Ballyvolane area.

The route was a circuit around the local Dunnes Stores in Ballyvolane...a loop of approx 840 metres.

Around....and around....and around.....and around....52 times in fact!

Supported by their fellow Wibblies, the four...Patrick Murphy, John Murphy, Billy Murray & Paul O Mahony completed the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles in 4 hours 17 minutes.

With donations from members of the public and from local businesses, a total of €6,361.58 was raised. This money will now be used to purchase a new defibrillator which will be be kept in Dunnes Stores, Ballyvolane and be available for the whole community to use.

Well done the Wibblies!  W W W

Kieran Minihane has a small gallery HERE

Fundraiser for Aoife Lucey Leukemia Fund

West Muskerry AC are helding a fundraising event next Saturday the 2nd of April for one of their members.

More info HERE

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Coffee Run in Eyeries, West Cork...Sun 3rd Apr 2016

This might be of interest if you're down on the Beara Peninsula next Sunday.........COFFEE RUN Sun. 3rd April 10am
We are having our first Coffee Run on Sunday next, 3rd April at 10am. We are meeting in Eyeries Village, at the pump. Returning to the village in about an hour to 'Rhonwens Eyeries Bistro' where we can catch up and chat over a coffee and whatever else Rhonwen will conjure up for us.

So, if you feel like stepping it out for a leisurely run walk please join us on our new date. The run will be an ' out and back' route so we should all be home at the same time and cater for all paces.

Emphasis on participation from all ages and abilities and meeting up at the Bistro after.

See you Sunday!...Eyeries Running Promotions.

Results of the Doneraile GAA 5k fun run in Doneraile Park...Sun 27th Mar 2016

Just 44 people took part in this 5k fun run/walk in Doneraile Park on Sun 27th March 2016

1 Tadhg O’Callaghan 19:51
2 Dara O’Sullivan 20:00
3 Mark Reid 20:14
4 Mei Ming 21:23
5 Jennifer Goggin Walsh 21:35...
13 Elenor Twomey 24:45

The full results can be seen HERE

Tramore Valley Park in Cork City unlikely to open now until 2017

Back in December of 2015, I had a post up about how it had been announced that the Tramore Valley Park in Cork City was likely to open to the public in May or June 2016. It now seems as if this has been pushed back to early 2017.

This of course impacts on any resumption of the 5k parkrun there as the City Council will only consider giving it permission once the park opens officially to the public.

The parkrun organisers issued the following today..."Probably the last update for a while. Cork City council are only able to consider restarting the event once the park is officially open to the public with an operator onsite to manage events. Due to budget constraints this will most likely not be until early next year. If anything change in the meantime needless to say we'll put an update here. Thanks to all the volunteers & participants who've been involved up 'til now."

Up to a few weeks ago, I had presumed that the reason it wasn't open already was because the ground works hadn't been completed. On a recent radio programme however, a local city councilor made it clear that the main reason was financial.

The first 5k race to be held in Tramore Valley Park was back in Nov 2011. Since that time, we have heard about the park 'opening next year'. I'd be inclined to take that 'early 2017' date with a pinch of salt as well.

Previous posts...

Tramore Valley Park expected to be open to public early Summer 2016

Parkrun in Cork City cancelled indefinitely

Parkrun in Cork City on Sat 30th Jan 2016 cancelled due to ongoing large numbers...

Photos of the new path to Douglas




Guest article...63 year old Martin Rees sets new age best world record for 10 miles

Martin Rees is one of the best masters athletes in the UK and over the weekend, ran an amazing 56m 14s for 10 miles. In this guest article, John Walshe of Ballycotton gives the background to this remarkable time.


While the attention of the athletics world was on Cardiff at the weekend, a much smaller road race in Wales produced another amazing performance by master athlete Martin Rees of the Les Croupiers club.

The Teifi 10-mile event took place in the town of Lampeter, Ceredigion, attracting less than 80 runners. But in finishing second overall in a time of 56:14, 63-year-old Rees (yes, 63!) reduced the previous world age best by the huge margin of five minutes and 10 seconds.


Two weeks before, Rees had established another world age-63 record for the half-marathon when recording a time of 73:50 at Bath. The Welshman from Port Talbot only took up running at the age of 37 in 1990 when a friend asked him to run a local 10km, which he completed in around 44 minutes with hardly any training.

After that, he quickly realised that he had the potential to become really good and a local hero of his, Shaun Tobin, the captain of Swansea Harriers, asked him if he’d like to go along and train with him.

Rees rates three races that he did in 1996 when aged 43 as special to him. He says: “I was probably running at my absolute best and I was running around 30:20 for all the 10km races that I ran in.”

In 1997 (at 44) he ran his fastest 10-mile time of 49:23 and has since recorded times of 50:43 aged 50 and 55:47 at the age of 60. After retirement from the Port Talbot steelworks where he worked for 33 years, he now has more time for training and also the necessary recovery.

Interestingly, the Shaun Tobin mentioned above has Cork connections as his mother came from the Mardyke area of the city. Back in 1998, Tobin came over to Ireland and won the Ballyandreen ‘5’ in a time of 24:54. It was this connection that prompted Rees to show interest in the same race and he was due to take part on a couple of occasions but injury prevented him from doing so.

Teifi 10 mile results for 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Results of the Boherbue to Kiskeam 4 mile road race...Mon 28th Mar 2016

The annual Boherbue to Kiskeam 4 mile road race was held on Easter Monday the 28th of March 2016 and attracted a field of 120 runners, a welcome jump of about 25% on the figure for 2015.

Jack O'Keeffe Festival of Road Races...KISKEAM-BOHERBUE '4'     Monday 28 March 2016

Place    Time    Name    Team    Race Age Category    min/mile       
1    0:19:41    HARTY, Michael    East Cork AC    M35    04:55.2
2    0:19:59    MCCARTHY, James    East Cork AC    M    04:59.7
3    0:20:19    O'SHEA, Alan    Bantry AC    M35    05:04.7
8    0:22:03    FINN, Michelle    Leevale AC    F    05:30.7
18    0:24:04    KIELY, Martina    St. Finbarrs AC    F    06:00.9
22    0:24:34    FINN, Carol    Leevale AC    F    06:08.4 

The full results can be found on the Gneeveguilla AC website HERE


Winners of the 2016 Boherbue to Kiskeam 4 mile...Michael Harty of East Cork AC and Michelle Finn of Leevale AC

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Irish & Cork runners at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Cardiff...Sat 26th Mar 2016

The IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships were held this year in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday the 26th of March 2016. While the elites were at the front end of the field, it was also a mass participation event with just over 12,000 taking part.

In the elite women's section, the only Irish woman taking part was Lizzie Lee from Cork. In wet and windy conditions, Lizzie posted a time of 75:36.

52nd Lizzie Lee (Leevale) 75:36

In the elite men's section, there was a full Irish team which finished 8th out of 14 teams.
14th Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) 62:46
41st Thomas Frazer (Crusaders) 65:20
42nd Kevin Seaward (St Malachy's) 65:23
50th Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers) 66:30

Many of those taking part will also have their eyes firmly set on qualifying for the Olympics in Rio. Ireland can only send a team of 3 but more than that have already gone inside the qualifying time of 2h 19m.

Kevin Seaward    IRL2:14:52    Berlin (GER)    27.09.2015
Mick Clohisey    IRL2:15:11    Sevilla (ESP)    21.02.2016
Sergiu Ciobanu    IRL2:15:14    Berlin (GER)    27.09.2015
Paul Pollock    IRL2:15:38    Berlin (GER)    27.09.2015
Gary Thornton    IRL2:17:19    Berlin (GER)    27.09.2015
Thomas Frazer    IRL2:17:45    Rotterdam (NED)    12.04.2015
Sean Hehir    IRL2:17:48    Berlin (GER)    27.09.2015

Looking at the times above, do the selectors send the three with the fastest marathon times? In that case, Paul Pollock would miss out but based on his performance in Cardiff, he is in great shape and faster than the other Irish runners by some margin. Whatever they decide, someone is going to be disappointed.

A number of runners from clubs in Cork also ran. The fastest of these was Tim O'Donoghue of East Cork AC who was just a bit slower than some of the elite Irish runners. Tim is in flying form at the moment having finished 2nd in the Dungarvan 10 mile in January and 4th in the Ballycotton 10 mile at the start of March.

Tim O'Donoghue

These are some Cork club runners that broke 90 minutes in Cardiff....

Pos    Name        Cat    Cat Pos    Club        GunTime    Chip ChipTime
7    Tim O' Donoghue    MS    7    East Cork AC    01:06:58    01:06:56
90    Conor McCauley    MS    83    Leevale AC    01:14:54    01:14:47
140   Alan O'Brien     MS     81     Eagle AC      01:14:44 01:14:42
144    Tony Kelleher    M45    5    Togher AC    01:17:07    01:17:00
207    Eric Browne    MS    176    Togher AC    01:19:10    01:19:02
246    John O'Callaghan    M45    6    Eagle AC   01:20:14    01:20:05
301    Ronan Boland    M50    5    Eagle AC        01:21:34    01:21:25
302    David Butler    MS    238    St Finbarr's AC    01:21:35    01:21:28
364    David O'Keeffe    MS    279    Togher AC    01:22:51    01:22:39
702    Killian O'Connor     MS   412   Eagle AC    01:26:48     01:26:38

The results for the elite runners can be found HERE

The results for the non-elite runners can be seen HERE

Photos...(Updated Sun 27th @21:38)
1) Gearóid Ó Laoi has some nice photos HERE

Fall at the start of the elite men's race

Some of the non-elites

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Results of the Sheeps Head 10k in Ahakista...Sat 26th Mar 2016

The annual Sheeps Head 10k race was held in the small village of Ahakista on Saturday the 26th of March 2016. The numbers were down by a massive 46% this year, a pattern that is similar to the Ballydehob 10k which was held last Sunday.

At first, I thought the drop may have been to some wet weather but the race photos show that it was dry.

1 Michael HARRINGTON  37:40    Senior  (1)    Male  (1)
2 Patrick MC CARTHY  39:07    Ages 40 - 49  (1)    Male  (2)
3 Keith MALLON  40:16    Senior  (2)    Male  (3)
11 Siobhan REDDY  46:35    Ages 40 - 49  (1)    Female  (1)
16 Maria HURLEY  47:42    Ages 50-59  (1)    Female  (2)
20 Jenifer WICHERLEY  48:24    Ages 40 - 49  (2)    Female  (3)

The full results can be seen HERE

1) The organisers has a few photos HERE   

Results of the Liscarroll AC 5km race in Doneraile Park...Sat 26th Mar 2016

This 5km race in Doneraile Park in North Cork was organised by Liscarroll AC and 88 runners took part.

Liscarroll AC 5K Easter Run Saturday 26th March 2016

1 Alfie Davis Lombardstown 18.19
2 Paul McDonnell Dublin 18.52
3 George O'Sullivan West Limerick A.C. 19.53
4 Grainne Egan North Cork A.C. 20.01
6 Lorraine Bolster Mallow A.C. 20.14
14 Mei Ming Liscarroll A.C. 21.15

The full results can be seen HERE

1) Liscarroll AC have a number of photo on their Facebook page....Set 1...Set 2...Set 3...

(Photo from Liscarroll AC shows Grainne Egan of North Cork AC winning the womens race)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Events in Cork this weekend...Sat 26th to Mon 28th Mar 2016

There is no shortage of events this weekend although the weather doesn't look great with showers of rain never too far away.

Cork...Mon 28th (11am)...Bantry Bay 5k Bunny Run...€?...

Cork...Mon 28th (2pm)...Boherbue to Kiskeam 4 mile road race...€

As always, there are plenty of other races elsewhere in Munster. The full list is on the race calendar.

Ongoing development works at the Ballincollig Regional Park

Back in May of 2015, I had a post up about the proposed new paths that were going to be developed in Ballincollig Regional Park. It was announced in Feb of 2016 that they were going to start.

The map below shows the area concerned. As well as building new bridges and widening existing paths, the Yellow/Orange area will be a new path.

Work is now well underway on the new bridge as seen below. They are replacing the narrow bridge with one that is a lot wider.

The area below shows the start of the 'Orange line'. The view on the left is the way it used to look and on the right, the new path is being created.

The view below shows the another area on the 'Orange' line. What it use to look like and the new wide path.

The 'Yellow' part of the new path will run behind the football pitch as shown below...

The photo below shows the new path being built. A layer of hardcore goes down first as a base and then a smooth tarmac surface will be put down on it.

This is a photo taken on Thurs 24th March. They have just started on the section by the football pitch (where the orange and yellow lines meet).

All of this work should be finished sometime in April of 2016.

So you might well ask, what is the significance of this? Other than a new path and a wider bridge, does it really matter?

This is why it is might be significant. Up to now, the western and eastern ends of the Ballincollig Regional Park have been connected by narrow twisting paths. Fine for individuals walking or running but too narrow and uneven for any sort of organised run.

Ballincollig AC helped to develop a 3km route at the western end of the park as outlined in this post from April 2015. If a 5km race was going to held there up to now, it involved doing roughly two loops which wasn't great when the paths and bridges were narrow.

With the new pathway, it means that the option of using the eastern end of the park can be used. For example, this is a potential 5k route that I put together...

It uses the existing 3km route as well as the new paths and eastern part of the park as an out and back section. Another option might be to start at the eastern end and take in the loop on the western end...

There may well be other options but what it does show is that there is now a viable 5k route contained within Ballincollig Regional Park itself.

As well as having the potential of holding 5k races there, it does raise the possibility of maybe a weekly 5k parkrun? There are certainly enough runners locally and from Cork City to justify it.

Thanks to Vincent Florish for the photos

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rob Heffernan to be awarded Olympic Bronze medal after appeal

Back in the 2012 Olympics in London, Rob Heffernan finished in an agonising fourth place in the mens 50km race walk. The winner of that race was Sergey Kirdyapkin from Russia who would later fail a drugs test.

RUSADA...the Russian Doping Agency...banned Kirdyapkin for three years and two months from 15.10.2012, with the cancellation of the results of the July 20, 2009 - September 20, 2009, June 29, 2010 - August 29, 2010 December 17, 2011 - June 11, 2012. In other words, he was somehow clean for the Olympic Games which of course was a farce.

Today...the 24th of March 2016.....the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) have decided the following...

"Sergey Kirdyapkin...All competitive results obtained by Mr Sergey Kirdyapkin from 20 August 2009 to 15 October 2012 are disqualified".

This should mean that Rob Hefferan will be retrospectively awarded the bronze medal from the 50km walk at the London 2012 Games.

Of course, medal or no medal Rob is still straining hard for Rio as seen in the Mardyke today...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Free 10 week Couch to 5k programme in Mallow starts 29th March 2016

This might be of interest to any beginners in or near the town of Mallow in N.Cork.

Mallow AC are holding their annual Couch to 5k course over 10 weeks and it's absolutely free!

From Mallow AC....Every feel like you want to try out running.   Think it's not for you?   Well why not give it a try. From March 29th Mallow AC will be starting their couch to 5 Km program. The program lasts for 10 weeks and geared to total beginners. Training will be on Tuesday & Thursday in Mallow and on Saturday morning in Doneraile. This is our forth year running this course and to date we have had over 160 people who successfully completed the 5km after 10 weeks. This year make sure you are one of those. For more details, go to

Carrigaline Road Runners AC receive €1000 grant from Cork County Council

The grant awards made under the Cork County Council Municipal Grants Scheme 2016 for groups in the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District were announced on Monday the 21st of March. While a number of different sporting bodies were awarded grants, Carrigaline Road Runners AC managed to secure a grant of €1000.

The full list of grants given can be seen HERE

If you are a member of a club who might be interested in applying for future grants, check out the page on the Cork County Council website HERE

Monday, March 21, 2016

Cork runners take top two places in MSB 5k race in Dublin

The MSB St. Patrick's Festival 5k Race was held in the centre of Dublin on Sunday the 20th of March 2016 and attracted a large field of 1312 runners. The winner of the race was Colm Sheahan of Leevale AC pictured above closely followed by Michael Harty of East Cork AC.

Place   Name           Net Time         Gross Time      Bib     Cat     Sub Cat Club
1       Colm SHEAHAN  14:43   14:43        1175    MS (1)  Leevale AC
2       Michael HARTY   14:42     14:44        1236    MS (2)  East Cork
3       Sean HEHIR      15:05        15:05        313     MS (3)  Rathfarnham WSAF

This is a photo of the top 3 men out on the course.... L to R...Sean O'Hehir, Michael Harty and Colm Sheahan.

If you examine the results closely then you'll see that Michael Harty actually ran the 5km course one second faster than Colm Sheahan but finished second. This was due to the fact that for whatever reason, it took Michael two seconds to cross the start line whereas Colm started at the front.

It doesn't change anything of course as the first person to break the tape wins the race but it reminded me of the recent Ballycotton '10' comments when some runners were debating whether the times should be in order of gun time or chip time.

The photo above shows the holding area before the start of the race. Colm is on the left and Michael is on the right. By the time the runners had moved up to the start line, Michael had lost his front place resulting in a two second delay.

Photo by Stephen McGuinness

Those two seconds would make all the difference though at the finish line.

Photo by Stephen McGuinness

It's just one of those quirks of road racing that is unusual and rarely seen.

The full results can be seen on the MyRunResults website.

1) Stephen McGuinness has a nice gallery HERE
2) Sportsworld Running Club has some HERE

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Results of the Ballydehob 10k road race...Sun 20th Mar 2016

The annual Ballydehob 10k road race in West Cork was held on Sunday the 20th of March 2016. Despite the dry weather, there was a huge drop of 54% in numbers this year with just 60 runners in the 10k. This is a big change from a few years back when it used to attract about 200 runners.

1    Cillian O'Tuama     Male 35 - 44    35:50.6
2    Michael Coakley     Male 19 - 34    36:35.2
3    Patrick Mccarthy     Male 45 - 54    38:05.3
6    Ronnie Barry     Female 35 - 44    42:23.3
9    Margaret Murphy     Female 35 - 44    42:48.7
16  Julie O'Brien     Female 19 - 34    45:56.9

The full results can be seen HERE

Photos...(Updated 13th Apr 2016)
1) The organisers have a gallery HERE