Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Ballycotton Summer Series : A Personal Journey

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Ballycotton Summer Series : A Personal Journey

Thursday the 27th of August 1992. That was the date of my very first Ballycotton 5 mile road race. At the finish line, I saw someone handing out some plaques and I duly found out that they were for people who ran all four races in the Ballycotton Summer Series. I remember looking at someone's plaque and seeing names like 'Ballyandreen' and 'Churchtown South' and thinking 'Where in the name of God are they?' :o))

I made up my mind there and then that I'd do the Summer Series the next year.

So I went back in 1993 and completed the series. And the next year, and the next one and so on. Fast forward to the Ballycotton 5 of 2017, my 101st Ballycotton Summer Series race and my 25th plaque for 25 years in a row.

In 1994, I managed to get into the top 50 for the coveted Summer Series t-shirt. I managed to stay there as far as 2013 for 20 years in a row. After that, auld age (and a lack of training ;o) caught up with me.

Truth be told, it's not really any major physical challenge to complete the 100 races. The hard part was just getting to the start line and avoiding holidays and injuries.

Over the last 25 years, some things have obviously changed a lot and still some things haven't.

Back in 1992 & 1993, there was no Facebook, blogs or websites. I'm not even sure if there was email back then or at least if I had it. It was really a case of turning up at a race and picking up a flyer to find out about the next one. You didn't get to see the results until maybe a week or two later when John Walshe would be wandering around at the next race handing out printed copies.

Some things haven't changed much though. John Walshe and Ballycotton Running Promotions still organise the races in much the same way as they did back then. The courses are exactly the same, the same low entry fee and the same emphasis on putting on a quality road race.

How long will I continue? Not for another 25 years anyway that's for sure! :o)) I always knew the 100 mark was coming up at some stage in the future but it was only just before the Ballycotton 5m race that I realised I had passed it in Churchtown South. If I missed a race now, it wouldn't be the end of the world. After all, no streak can keep going forever.  I guess though for me and for a lot of other local runners, the Ballycotton Summer Series is the highlight of the Summer season of road races. Long may it continue to be so.


Donal O'Donoghue said...

Well done John, -- I'm currently at 85+ in the West Waterford AC Summer Series -- if I keep at it for another 3 years, I just might overtake you ;)

And every year, it's almost as if there's somebody crawling around on their hands and knees, just for the plaque.

Anonymous said...

Best thing you wrote by a long shot.
Well done.

Alan Foley said...

Great stuff GL !

Anonymous said...

Well done John and well done to Ballycotton Running Promotions who have provided us all with so many summer running nights, so many discussions on which race is the toughest etc. etc. It is a fantastic series.

Long may it continue and never say never - you might reach 200 :-))

Anonymous said...

what was your fastest time in those races John?

John Desmond said...

My fastest time was 27:59 in the Ballycotton 5m in 1996.

Anonymous said...

Very Well Done John - its a pity there aren't more Race Series like Ballycotton in other parts of The Rebel County

John Dunphy said...

That's amazing John,wow I know you now about 9 years had no clue of this amazing run you were on,well done great achievement.