Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: 2020

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Weather 10-Day Trend: Fri 1st Jan 2021 to Sun 10th Jan 2021

Located as we are on the edge of the North Atlantic, the Jet Stream above us plays a huge part in what type of weather we get. When the Jet Stream is strong and going in a straight line from West to East, it brings in a succession of low pressure weather systems from the North Atlantic.

At the moment however, it is twisting and looping which allows high pressure weather systems to dominate our weather.

Friday 1st of January 2021... The weather chart above for New Year's Day shows a high pressure system out in the Atlantic and this is dominating the weather for the next few days.

As the arrow shows, it is bringing Arctic air down from the North which is going to keep things bitterly cold. As the pressure is high, it is going to mean that rain is unlikely. With the air mass having to pass over the whole country before it gets to Cork, it will also likely mean that the moisture levels will be reduced and Cork may well see lots of sunshine.

This is likely to be the weather pattern for the rest of the weekend.

Monday 4th January 2021... By the time we get to Monday, the high pressure system will have gradually moved towards Scandinavia. This will mean that the winds will gradually change from the North to the East.

The important point here is the source of the air mass. This won't be like the 'Beast from the East' a few years ago when we have freezing cold air coming in from Siberia. This time around, the air is originating from around the Black Sea which is a milder region.

From about Monday until Thursday, it is likely to stay cold and dry. The long term forecast is for the weather to change at the end of the week but that is still a long way off.

Running Weather in Summary... The take home message is that it's going to good weather for running for the next week or so. Just wrap up well and make the most of it.

Just be careful of the roads and paths early in the morning as the temperature is likely to remain in low single figures and there will probably be a lot of frost and icy spots.

We have another 10-weeks to go until we get to mid-March and we put the winter weather behind us.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

12-Week Running Programme for Beginners - 2021


A number of people have been asking about a running programme just for beginners.

The 12-week running programme is designed with beginners in mind and get them used to running on a regular basis.

The programme is tailored for each individual person and it's not some sort of generic one-size fits all plan. The plan is dynamic in that it adapts according to the progress being made.

The problem with fixed plans is that they are not going to suit everyone. Every person is different and each person progresses at their own rate.

With the 12-week plan, some people will able to run say the 5k distance early on in the programme. In that case, the remainder of the programme is used to move beyond the 5k distance. Others might take 12-weeks to get to their 5k distance. The priority is that each person is making gradual progress at their own rate.

For it to be of value...

a) You'll have to answer questions initially so that a suitable programme can drawn up. This will be based on what you do currently and what time you have available. It's a plan designed to suit your life and work schedule as opposed to the other way around.

b) An email is sent to you every week with your individual training programme. You'll have to provide feedback every week and the following weeks plan will be based on this.

c) You really do have to follow the plan. There is no point dipping in and out of it or be off doing other things every weekend when you're supposed to be doing a training session. The plan can be adapted if training days are missed but they should be occasional.

The cost for the 12-weeks is €69.

If interested, email: johndesmondrunning AT gmail DOT com

Friday, December 25, 2020

Friday Fun: Jigsaw of Jerry Forde & Claire O'Brien at Glenville


Here's a nice one for the Christmas period. Try out this 176-piece online jigsaw of the main man Jerry Forde and Claire O'Brien at the Grenville Run.

Click HERE

There is a selection of previous jigsaws on this page HERE

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Weather 10-Day Trend: Fri 25th Dec 2020 to Sun 3rd Jan 2021

With the Christmas break coming up, I am sure that many of you will be availing of the time to get out for a run. The weather forecast for the next 10-days is a mixed bag however.

On Christmas Day, a high pressure system out in the North Atlantic will dominate our weather keeping things dry.

On Saturday, this will move further west allowing a low pressure system to form to the north of Ireland and the UK. This will be the dominant weather feature for Sunday and the start of next week as cold northerly winds bring winter showers down across the country.

It really be a missed bag with plenty of sunshine mixed with bouts of showers from Sunday to Wednesday.
From the middle of next week, a high pressure system will become dominant again allowing some more settled dryer weather for the rest of the week.

The only consistent feature for the 10-days is that is will feel quiet cold with the temperature well down into single figures. In sheltered spots when the sun comes out, it might feel quite pleasant but otherwise, you need to wrap up.
Summary... Lots of potential showers from Sunday to Wednesday but also some clear spells. Improving in the second half of next week. Cold in the wind.

GOAL Virtual Mile - Christmas 2020

The GOAL mile is usually held over the Christmas period at various locations all over the country and raises much needed funds for charity.

With the ongoing pandemic, the GOAL mile is going virtual this year.

More details HERE

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Results of the Newmarket Virtual 5k - Dec 2020

With the COVID restrictions in place, the only alternative for road races at the moment is to hold a virtual event. The Newmarket 5k was one such race and it got in the region of 200 entries last weekend.

 The top three men and women were....

1     Conor O'MAHONY     00:15:49    M    MS    An RΓ­ocht AC
2     Kane COLLINS     00:16:18    M    MS    North Cork AC
3     Mike SHEEHY     00:16:30    M    M40    West Limerick AC
1    Annette O'REILLY     00:20:35    F    FS    Kilfinane AC
2    Mary OSHEA     00:20:38    F    FS    Gneevguilla
3    Esther REQUENA FERRI     00:20:58    F    FS    Crusaders

The full results can be seen HERE

Message from Duhallow AC...  Massive congratulations to our virtual 5k winners for 2020 with massive thanks to Fitness Solutions,Sportswear Specialists Mallow Co.Cork

1st man  Conor O’ Mahony 15:49 AN RIOCHT
1st woman Annette O’Reilly 20:35 kilfinane A.C
TEAM PRIZE- Grange Fermoy AC most participants to run in the event
You can still take part and register up to 24th of December πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ» click below link to enter
Thank you all for making our event the success that it is we really appreciate it.
Many thanks for your support throughout the year
Happy Christmas and all the best for 2021


Duhallow Ac

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

New park on Haulbowline Island to open early 2021


 Finally! It was announced at Cork County Council Municipal District meeting on Monday the 21st of December that the new grassland park on Haulbowline Island is going to open.

Cork County County signed the lease on Friday the 18th of December and it comes into effect on the 1st of January 2021. It is expected that the park will open to the public in early 2021.

This park was originally supposed to open in May 2019 but got delayed with the wrangling between various state bodies.

The new park is located alongside the Haulbowline Naval Base in the middle of Cork Harbour and directly opposite the town of Cobh.

The image below shows an aerial view from 2019 or so...

As you can see, there is a car park on the bottom left and there are a number of walking / running trails within the park. The outer trail makes for a 1km loop so it's wouldn't be so hard for someone to do a short walk/run of 5k or so by doing multiple loops.

While there are some trees on the site, it is in a very exposed location in the middle of the harbour.

Parkrun?... As with any new park, the question that arises is if a 5k parkrun could be held there? It might be possible to include some smaller loops but I presume the minimum number of big loops for a 5k would be four.

The nearest 'town' as such is Ringaskiddy which is pretty small. The nearest large population areas are  Carrigaline, Passage West and the south-east of Cork City. 

 Cobh of course is just across the water but there is no direct ferry service. There is always the option of coming across via the ferry at Glenbrook.

The one large 'population centre' is of course the naval base itself. It's not hard to imagine getting enough runners for a weekly parkrun.

A children's 2k parkrun could certainly could fit there but that would mean everyone driving there.

Road Race?... It's also not hard to imagine some sort of 5k race being held there. Start in Ringaskiddy... down the road to the new park... do one loop and back again. There would be very little traffic on the road so it might be an option.

Whatever about the various options for events, it's good to see a new public park in the Cork Harbour area.

Previous posts...

New Public Park in Haulbowline in Cork Harbour ...Sept 2018
Work continues on new park on Haulbowline Island ... Oct 2018
Latest update on the Haulbowline Island works ... March 2019

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Guest Post: The Year is nearly over... by Pat Walsh

πŸŽ…πŸŽ… The Year is nearly over. πŸŽ…πŸŽ…
I write this week, on my last official post of the year, as next Friday is Christmas day and you have better things to be doing with your time. I am hoping to run the Virtual GOAL mile on the day and make room for some food and refreshments later.
No running inspiration here this week, just a few personal words.
Thanks to everyone for your support this year. Not sure now what my intentions were for the year, but like everyone they were blown off course and it became a survival battle for many.

No races and lack of social contact was hard to take for a ‘social butterfly’ like myself, who loves meeting and mingling with people. But that was the Year and what we all had to do.
I am a runner and I survived, I managed to keep running even with smaller groups and actually got stronger on my own than I thought I could. I ran a Marathon and a few other smaller events that kept me going.
The real tragedy of the year was those who lost loved ones and who could not have friends and family to help them grieve in their time of need. I also think of those sick and vulnerable groups who spent much time in isolation and had little human or physical contact to console them.
Families and friends have found it difficult to meet and that can be hard.
Please God 2021 will be better for you all and may nobody have to go through another year like this.

Earlier this year we thanked all the Frontline workers who kept the show on the road. You all still deserve our support, thanks and praise.  Hopefully people will keep your sacrifice in mind in the next few weeks and do nothing to undermine all our efforts.

Thanks to everyone who ever gave a like, commented or sent a message to my page. I do love it and it is the one thing that keeps me going.  Like you all, I found it difficult at times and only for your support it would be hard to keep going. I am not selling anything, only writing the thoughts that are in my head and they help me to make some sense of it. Putting it on paper and attempting to be positive helped me to cope with the situation. If I dragged a few of you along with me, then that is super, as most runners share the same worries, issues and anxieties so it is normal that we were on the same page many times.

2021 offers hope of return to some sense of new normality and in a few months we should be free to start planning our running again. In the meantime, please be careful and kind, support those around you, remain positive if engaging on social media and have a lovely Christmas. There is light and hope ahead so focus on that.

It won’t be easy for everyone. It will be difficult and different for most, so please remember to reach out. Send messages and keep in touch. Due to restrictions many will have empty seats at a table (myself included) so a kind message could make a huge difference to someone.

I will post some light-hearted and funny when I can over the Holiday and drive on again in the New Year. Don’t be afraid to send some holiday running photos, I love them.
Try to get out and keep yourself active for the next 2 weeks, it will help your overall well-being. I am here if anyone needs to chat anytime.
Thanks for support, love and friendship to my own crew in #pwr. You are special people to me. We all had our moments this year...!! 

 πŸŒ²    Nollaig Shona daoibh go lΓ©ir 🌲

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool ya
And even though all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah..
#PWR #BeKind #HappyChristmas πŸŽ… 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

€22,000 grant secured for investigation of new Greenways in the Kinsale area

The  Kinsale and District Greenway / Blueway Project has the backing of several community groups in the Kinsale area with the aim of opening up new walking and cycling routes in the area. They have now successfully secured a €22,000 grant to undertake a feasibility study.

5.5 Flagship Project... 

Objective:To create a physical connection between the different communities in the area. The geography of the area offers the possibility of a combined Greenway and Blueway and its design would exemplify our core concept of Care for our wellbeing and our environment and highlight our local heritage and biodiversity. 

 7.4 Blueway-Greenway for Area: Initial Scoping for Walkways and Cycleways

We  propose that  Cork  be  the  first  county  to  open  a  complete  coastal  trail  along  its  1100  km  of  coastline:  starting here!•Development  of  a  Coastal  Walk  Route  from  James  Fort  /  Dock  to  Sandycove  and  on  to  Garretstown / Old Head in cooperation with landowners as was used for the Seven Heads and Sheep’s Head ways. This would join up with Garrylucas to Garretstown Walk already in place.•Charles Fort to James Fort is currently a well walked route.•Charles Fort to Preghane Point, Hangman’s Point and onto Ballymacus Strand and Ferry Point at Rathmore with landowner’s co-operation. 

There is a heritage site (Wedge Tomb) at Ballymacus, known as The Prince’s Bed.•Extend Charles Fort / Preghane eastward toward Oysterhaven, Novohal Cove and Robert’s Covevia an extension of the Belgooly estuary walkway to the town of Kinsale. Originally funded by West Cork Leader and the local community, the extension would enhance the 1.836 km corridor on the R600, which is home to a diverse ecological system and natural bird reserve.Walks adjacent to Bandon river e.g. at Shippool Castle,  Shippool Wood and Dunderrow Forest. There is also the potential of a looped walk south of Dunderrow in the Ballywilliam area if it could be linked upstream at the Old Bridge, subject to co-operation of landowners. These would complement the walkways, which havealready been earmarked along former railway lines in the area.Connection points at•Tracton Community & Arts Centre•Belgooly Parish Hall•Lusitania Tower•Kinsale -  Charles Fort / KAFC - town centre - possibilities at Commoge Marsh

* * *

This is a very welcome development as any route suitable for walking is also a nice route for runners. It obviously is only the start of a very long process but at least it has started.

Greenway projects are now seen as giving huge benefits to local communities not only in their tourism potential but also in terms of a local social amenity.

This is a map of the old railway network in West Cork...

It would really be fantastic if large parts of this old network could be reestablished as Greenways. From my understanding, most if not all of the land is now is in private ownership so it certainly wouldn't be an easy or cheap project.

You'll notice as well that there was a small branch line to Kinsale which closed back in 1931. It's not hard to imagine the tourism potential if this connected to a new Greenway from Cork City to Bandon.

We'll have to wait and see what the study proposes.


1) PDF document on the Transition Town Kinsale website

Friday, December 18, 2020

Friday Fun: Bweeng Trail Blazers at the 2016 East Cork Harbour Marathon


This week, Bweeng Trail Blazers get the jigsaw treatment! This photo from 2016 was taken before the 10k and Half-Marathon at the East Cork Harbour Marathon.

Grab a cuppa and complete this 117-piece online jigsaw HERE

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Cork runner Brian Buckley celebrates his 40th birthday by runnning 40 miles around the Lough


In the last week, Cork runner Brian Buckley decided to celebrate his 40th birthday by running 40 miles around the Lough in Cork City!

Brian completed a total of 64 laps to reach the magic 40 miles.

Brian Buckley is no stranger to Ultra running having won the 200km Ultra back in September 2019.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Guest Post: Midleton AC do their bit for charity with unusual running initiative... by John Walshe


Amanda Cooney, representing Marymount University Hospital & Hospice, accepting a cheque for £2000 from Declan Dorgan (vice-captain) and Marc Dalton (captain) of Midleton AC. Picture: John Walshe

WITH no athletics competitions taking place at present, an unusual initiative for the month of November by the senior members of Midleton Athletic Club has seen Marymount University Hospital & Hospice benefit to the tune of £2,000.

Held over the month of November and called the ‘MOVE-MBER Challenge’, the background of how it came about is explained by club captain, Marc Dalton.

“The club committee held a meeting in late October to come up with a unique plan to get our members out running while stuck in lockdown as because of the restrictions they could not train together or attend training sessions.

"The club always likes to support charities through race takings and always encourages its members to get involved in such campaigns.

“We thought with very little outgoings this year that we would be in a position to help out at least one charity.

"We asked all participants to vote on their chosen charity, and the one chosen by the members was Marymount Hospice.

"It’s very well known and most people in Cork would have some connection to the hospice and the great work they do in providing respite care.”

One thing that every runner talks about is how many miles a week they run, so the challenge was simple – just go out and run as many miles as possible and log it at the end of each week.

As well, weekly tallies were shared on social media platforms to keep all participants motivated throughout.

“The plan was to motivate our runners with a challenge to run a target of 5000 miles for the 30 days of November and we called it MOVE-MBER,” added Marc.

“For the initial goal of every 1000 miles achieved, the club would donate €250 to the chosen charity with the overall target of 5000 miles, if this 5000 target was reached we agreed to allocate a set amount of €2,000.”

A list of previous guest posts from John Walshe can be seen HERE

12-Week Training Programme - 2021

For anyone interested, I will be running individually coached 12-week training programmes in the new year..

The programme is suitable for beginners, people that just want to improve their fitness and endurance or those who want to train for a specific event like say a 10-miler.

Please note that the programme is tailored for each individual person, it's not some sort of generic one-size fits all plan. The plan is dynamic in that it adapts according to the progress being made.

For it to be of value...

a) You'll have to answer questions initially so that a suitable programme can drawn up. This will be based on your current training and experience and how much time you have available. It's a plan designed to suit your life and work schedule as opposed to the other way around.

b) You'll also have to provide feedback every week and the plan will be based on this.

c) You really do have to follow the plan. There is no point dipping in and out of it or be off doing other things every weekend when you're supposed to be doing a long run. The plan can be adapted if training days are missed but they should be occasional.

The cost for the 12-weeks is €69.

If interested, email: johndesmondrunning AT gmail DOT com

Monday, December 14, 2020

Notice: Cloyne Commons 4k Virtual Series - Dec 2020 to Apr 2021

In the absence of any real road races due to the COVID restrictions, here is another virtual race series that might be of interest...

Details from the organisers...

Cloyne Commons Challenge Virtual 4K Series 2021
Join the fun and take part in Cloyne Commons Challenge Virtual 4k Series 2021.

Run from anywhere and when you want, just make sure to submit your results before the deadline.

Races (or results submission) will take place on the 3rd Sunday of each month between December and April – with a possibility to run the actual final race depending on Covid-19 restrictions: 20 Dec | 17 Jan | 21 Feb | 21 Mar | 18 Apr. Results must be submitted by 6pm on race day and we will accept results from the previous Sunday to each race from 12noon.

 The cost for the 5 races is €30 (plus €2.31 online fee) and includes a high tech tee shirt (postage at your own charge).

Prizes for first 3 women, first 3 men and first female/male juniors overall.


All proceeds from the event will go towards the development of projects in Cloyne

5 races on the 3rd Sunday of each month.

    Race 1 on December 20th.
    Race 2 on January 17th.
    Race 3 on February 21st.
    Race 4 on March 21st &
    Race 4 on April 18th.

Results will be posted not later than 18:00 on race day.

Depending on Covid restrictions, there may be an option to have final race as an actual race!!

When can I run the race?
Between the 1st day of the month and the 3rd Sunday 6pm, eg 1st Dec to 20th Dec for the December race.
When can I submit my result?
Between the 2nd Sunday of the month noon and the 3rd Sunday 6pm, eg 13th Dec to 20th Dec for the December race.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Guest Post: The Sun Always Rises... by Pat Walsh

 In this guest post, Pat Walsh looks forward to the new year and setting goals...


 ** The Sun always rises ** ☀πŸŽ…
Captured a beautiful sunrise in Cork Harbour earlier this week and it put me in a contemplative mood. Not much running happening at the moment and there is no point in me trying to whip you all into shape. Staying healthy and sane is the main priority.

Christmas Season 2020 is upon us with a few twists that we didn’t expect but we need to keep hope in our heart.

The first vaccination was rolled out this week and while it is a mammoth task to administer in sufficient quantities to restore normality, it is a least the first step and we must draw hope from it.

As someone who loves poetry I did have a smile and took great inspiration that the first man to get the vaccine was a gentleman named Will Shakespeare. (I am not joking).. Is this a needle I see before me? He was quoted as saying when asked how he felt "Much ado about nothing?"… "all's well that ends well". πŸ˜‚πŸ“œπŸ“œ

Next few weeks just get out and move. Walk, run, cycle but get out every day at some stage. Pure maintenance work to keep you in some shape to be ready to resume action in January.
You will feel better for it. Your mental health needs some fresh air as well.
Help out where you can and there are many charities needing assistance. The good work that these people do will stop soon for some groups, when the lack of much needed fundraising hinders their ability to function. Pick your favourite charity and do something for them this season.

We couldn’t see this time last year what was ahead of us so by the same token let us be hopeful of things turning around again quickly next Year. What race would you like to see back on the Calendar?
Start thinking about goals for next Year and let the thoughts develop for a while.
Write them down and maybe share them with a friend.
Become faster at shorter distances.
Pencil in a first Marathon or maybe an improvement on a previous time.
It will take time for things to return so you have a chance of taking a longer term view to these with a better chance of success.

So what can I offer and what can we do.
Maybe a 10mile race in mid to late February.
This gives 6 to 8 weeks into the New Year to get ready and prepare.
We have done 10 mile challenges before and why not again. I do know of some clubs planning an in-house 10 mile round that time.

In the meantime just keep moving, keep fit and be ready to up the ante and bit more training in the New Year. Hard to go to 10 miles from nothing in 6 weeks so just get 2 or 3 runs per week at the moment.
Keep moving and getting the miles done and I can post some detailed weekly plans starting in the New Year. By the time this 10mile is over we might all be in a better place or have some idea what is ahead of us. πŸ˜πŸ™ŒπŸ‘Œ
🎼🎀 Freeze frame, pause, rewind, stop
And get back to the older familiar thoughts
Can we just freeze, frame, pause, rewind, stop
And get back to the feelings we think we lost.   #ILovePink
#pwr #bekind #UpTheDeise
.... A special treat ... #hope This is fantastic

Friday, December 11, 2020

Friday Fun: Jigsaw - Start of the 2016 Ballycotton 10

Another Friday, another puzzle. This time the online jigsaw is of the start of the 2016 Ballycotton 10-Mile road race.

This one has 216 pieces and with all of the colours, it should be a good teaser.

The link is HERE

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Notice: Newmarket Virtual 5k - 18th to 21st Dec 2020

With all races cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, the annual Newmarket 5k is going virtual this Christmas.

The entry fee is €15 and you run the 5k on your own from the 18th to the 21st of December. Entry includes a finishers medal which will be posted out to you.

Entries HERE

* * *

More details from the organisers...

Newmarket Virtual 5k 2020

18 December 2020 - 21 December 2020

In the year that is 2020 and all through the country no real old fashioned racing could take place. But in Newmarket Co.Cork “ the home of the fast races” the virtual 5k was born.

Come join us and virtually run the home of fast races 5k from Friday 18th of December to Monday 21st of December 2020.

€15 euro entry fee (which includes medal and postage)

Option to purchase extra event merchandise during registration.

Add your result to MyRunResults between 18th & 21st December.

Prizes to be announced later. Follow Duhallow AC on Facebook for more details

End 2020 on high note by saying yes to the Newmarket 5k virtual run 2020.

Special thanks to our main sponsor Fitness Solutions , sportswear specialists, Mallow, Co.Cork . Thanks to my run results and RW sports for the organization of this fantastic event.

“ We can’t race but we can still run”


1st man -€150 cash
1st Woman -€150 cash
Team/group /organization prize €300 for the  most participants to run in the event. You must submit your time and have al details completed correctly. Raffle will take place if it’s a tie breaker. You can also opt to donate the money to a charity of your choice if your club/ group / organization doesn’t wish to take it.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT TIMES WILL BE VETTED FOR  INDIVIDUAL & TEAM PRIZE PURPOSES. If an athletes runs most of their 5k downhill, time penalties will be added. For athletes featuring high in table of results, can you also also add Garmin or Strava proof link and not just an image or screen shot of your result.

Strength in numbers so get your teams entered now...

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Jerry Forde back in action - December 2020


Now that the COVID Level 5 5k restrictions have been lifted, I've restarted the training sessions with the main man Jerry Forde again. We met up on a cold and chilly Tuesday morning at Shandon Boat Club on the Marina in Cork City and took in a scenic route by the river to Passage West and back.

As you might imagine, it hasn't been easy for Jerry to train on the roads around Blarney with all of the hills, especially as it can be dangerous going down steep hills in wet weather.

The Greenway to Passage by contrast was a nice change with a flat route for most of it... although he did try to convince me he was going uphill at one stage even though it was dead flat! πŸ˜„

At the end of a long session, Jerry clocked up 14.2 miles which was a nice outing and one of his longest training sessions for a while.

We finished off the session with a cuppa at the Marina Market on Centre Park Road where just happened to meet Stan Byczek.

Stan reports that he is looking forward to getting back to running and races in 2021 and that by the time of the first COVID lock down last March, he had an impressive 90 marathons completed!

As for our next training session, I'm not sure where we're off to next but Carrigaline to Crosshaven and up the hill to Camden might be on the cards.

I also updated Jerry's website recently as he managed to get in a few small marathons during the Summer months when the restrictions were eased. He is now at 473 marathons!

The full list is here...

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Guest Post: December 2020 Pat Walsh

In this guest post, Pat Walsh looks ahead to the month of December.

 **December 2020 ** Pat Walsh
Many thanks for all the kind comments and messages. I must say you are all lovely people. I ramble and rant and you still support me. 😍
What can I say this week only that we drive on. πŸ™Œ #bepositive
Level 5 is gone and whatever else, things have got a little bit better.
Ireland is now one of the best places in Europe with lowest rates of the virus.
The first vaccine is about to be administered soon.
There are still a few weeks of GAA action left in the Year.
Christmas decorations and lights are everywhere to brighten our evenings.πŸŽ…πŸŒ²

Christmas in Midleton

2021 can’t be any worse than the year we have just lived through.
This is not over but we must make an effort to rise above it and be ready for next year. 2020 the Year that didn’t happen. 😱😭
The Plan πŸ“œ
The Plan πŸ“œ
The plan is vital every week. Make it and stick to it. You will be so glad you did and week after week it helps fitness and bring a sense of normality to your life.
It can be simple. Make it suit yourself and your lifestyle, not anybody else.
1 easy run, 1 run with a bit of effort and maybe a slightly longer run at the weekend with a few buddies. ☕️🍩
I ask you to just keep exercising. It really doesn’t matter what the quality is, but just to stay active and alive. Stay Sane😱

What challenge will you set yourself for the next few weeks?
Anything will do from a 5k to a half-Marathon.
Pick something, find a charity event to coincide, pencil in a date and finish the Year on a high.
Make December a good month and a springboard to next year.
Have a little dream about a GOAL for next year. Don't plan anything too early in the year until things settle and keep it flexible to suit conditions. Maybe a good Spring 10ml...!!
If this year taught us anything then it is to not be making too many plans. Enjoy the few weeks in front of us πŸŽ…πŸŽ…


Friday, December 04, 2020

Mallow AC announce date for 2021 Mallow 10 mile road race


Mallow Athletic Club have just announced a provisional date of Sunday the 4th of July 2021 for the Mallow 10-Mile Road Race.

"Mallow AC are delighted to announce that, all going well, the Mallow 10 mile road race will take place on Sunday 4th July 2021!

More information will be announced closer the time. 

Plenty of time to train. Stay safe and here's hoping that 2021 will see a return to regular racing.
Have a great Christmas from all at Mallow AC.

Clive Aherne 

Club Chairperson"

Friday Fun: Jigsaw - Aghada Running Club on Tour in 2020


Another Friday, another jigsaw. Try out this 126-piece online jigsaw of Aghada Running Club at the 2020 Dungarvan 10-mile road race.

Click HERE

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Rock 'n' Roll Dublin Half-Marathon Discontinued

It was announced this week that the Rock 'n' Roll Dublin Half-Marathon has been discontinued.

See statement... "Today, we must notify you that the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin scheduled for August 7 and 8, 2021 has been discontinued and will not take place in 2021 and beyond. This includes the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon, 10k, 5k and Family Fun Run races.

Athletes that are registered for the event are receiving an email with further details of their refunds. If you have further questions, please contact us at

In what has been a continually evolving and challenging time globally, we recognize that this decision will come as a disappointment and we share in those feelings. We appreciate your patience and support and are looking forward to returning to Dublin at a future point in time."
This was a popular event in Dublin attracting thousands of runners and it also doubled up as the Athletics Ireland National Half-Marathon for a number of years. 
Prior to this, the national half-marathon used to be moved around the country and was usually a low key affair with a few hundred runners. The old format was primarily non-commercial where as the Rock 'n' Roll event allowed Athletics Ireland to benefit financially from the event.

With the discontinuation of the Rock 'n' Roll event, it will now leave a shortfall in the Athletic Ireland finances going forward. 

Athletics Ireland have said that they will make an announcement about the 2021 National Half-Marathon Championships in due course but it remains to be seen if they can make up for this financial reversal.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Guest Post: Exiting Level 5... by Pat Walsh

 In this guest post by Pat Walsh, he looks ahead to exiting Level 5 COVID restrictions and the new year ahead...

 ** Exit Level 5** ... by Pat Walsh

Before last week’s big announcement and the grand plan to guide us through the rest of the year and into the next year, let me introduce and word or two of realism. πŸ˜›πŸ€“
It could be Summer or into Autumn before we could see a return to racing with large crowds that resemble what we were used to prior to 2020.
I am not a Killjoy but just calling it like I see it. The Vaccine when it will arrive will help and change the situation but to get enough doses administered is a huge task. Allowing most runners are fit and healthy, we will be well down the queue and that is if we even want it.
Airlines are moving towards a situation of negative test plus a proof of vaccine before flying and what is to stop large City Marathons going the same way. πŸƒ‍♀️πŸƒ‍♂️

There is still a tough few months ahead for all of us. December has traditionally been a down time for many runners and then a New lift, New start in January.
That may not be as easy this time around, with lack of a clear focus and goal to train for, in the early months of next year. πŸ₯ˆπŸ…
Maybe best not to take our normal break but do a little more maintenance work. Don't overdose on bad food as we have had our yearly quota already during lockdown. πŸ˜‚
Make a weekly plan and get a few runs into each week. Don’t worry about quality just time on the road. Run in daylight if you can as it does help the mood. A mile is better than sitting on the couch. πŸ›‹πŸ›‹
Pick a few virtual runs for charity during the month and have the double whammy of getting a run and helping a good cause.
Things will ease from next week and allow us to meet more running friends and travel a bit more from base. Take these opportunities and go somewhere nice with people who make you feel good.
Stick to your weekly plan. Recruit a running friend for each run and you are more likely to succeed. πŸ™ŒπŸ‘
I do know this is all hard to read, and same old sh*te week-in / week-out from me,  but what choice do we have?  I want to offer hope but if I can offer focus and support then maybe that will have to do.
We are in this together and hopefully we can get out the other side together as well. 😍
We are runners and we need to keep going.
We are runners and we are tougher that most.
We are runners and we can overcome all obstacles.
We are runners, a few miles + cuppa we are happy .(+ a Bun and we go ballistic.)
We are runners and want to stay that way.
Don't overthink it with elaborate plans for 2021, just keep going and be ready for when the opportunities arise. πŸ†πŸ†
Have a nice weekend and stay safe.
Please keep in touch. We all need the company.
#BeKind #StayStrong #pwr

Friday, November 27, 2020

Friday Fun: Jigsaw - North Cork Pacers at the 2019 Charleville Half


Another online jigsaw for the weekend. Try this 174 piece jigsaw of the North Cork pacers at the 2019 Charleville Half-Marathon. Click HERE

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Opinion Poll shows 90% public support for keeping Marina closed to traffic



Cork City Council carried out a recent public consultation as to whether the Marina should remain pedestrianised and closed to cars and the answer was a resounding yes!

There were a total of 250 replies to the consultation. 224 wanted to keep the Marina free from traffic, 21 wanted to keep it open to traffic and 5 didn't express a choice one way or the other.

This is excellent news for runners, walkers and cyclists alike and the results of the consultation will now be discussed by public representatives at a council meeting in mid-December. With the public giving a resounding 'Yes' to the proposal, it's hard to see how any councilor could realistically vote against keeping it closed to traffic.

It is expected that the Council will proceed to fit removable bollards on the Marina at the northern entrance to Pairc Ui Chaoimh and at the junction near Church Avenue. This will be an important step as simple barriers can be pushed aside as has happened when there were GAA matches going ahead in Pairc Ui Chaoimh a few months back.

The Council are also looking at a long-term option of fitting automatic rising bollards on the Marina.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Elite entry for the Virtual Manchester Road Race

This time last year, I had a guest article from John Walshe up on the blog about Michael Coakley from West Waterford who was running the famous Manchester Road Race in Connecticut.

First held in 1927, this year's race scheduled for Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) of course won't take place. As with most races at the moment, there is a 'virtual race' with over 1,880 entered.

John Walshe sent on a note about 22 elite entries this year which includes six Irish (including two from Cork, Mark Carroll and Richard O'Flynn). 

The website is:

An excerpt about the 22 elite entries is shown below...

Virtual Manchester Road Race Will Have a World-Class Elite Field

Runners who sign up for the 2020 Virtual Manchester Road Race will find themselves in excellent company this November. They will be joined by some of the best performers in the history of Manchester’s storied Turkey Day run.

Twelve former winners who have accounted for 35 MRR championships, and ten other elite athletes who have strong connections to the race, have volunteered to participate in the virtual event by running the road race’s 4.748-mile distance at locations throughout the country and the world.

“These great athletes won’t be receiving prizes or appearances fees this year, but they will all earn our eternal gratitude for supporting the Manchester Road Race during the Covid-19 crisis,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee.  “Jim Harvey, our elite runner coordinator, did a terrific job soliciting their participation, which adds excitement and enthusiasm for the virtual race.”

Past champions who are participating in the virtual road race are Edna Kiplagat, John Treacy, Amy Rudolph, Amby Burfoot, Diane Nukuri, Eamon Coghlan, Kim Smith, Paul Chelimo, John Gregorek, Aaron Bruan, Mark Carroll and Charlie Duggan.

Other notable entrants include Molly Huddle, Donn Cabral, Chris Thompson, Eilish McColgan, Johnny Gregorek, Christine Gregorek, Ray Treacy, Frank Conway, Brendan Reilly and Richard O’Flynn.

Carta said that the elite runners will download apps with GPS capabilities to their smart phones that will permit them to run the virtual race at any location of their choice between November 19-25.  An event map depicting the MRR route will appear on their phones, enabling them to monitor their progress on the actual Manchester course as they run. Their names and times will be uploaded to MRR officials when they complete the virtual race.

EDNA KIPLAGAT:  Kiplagat is one of the world’s most distinguished female marathon runners and a two-time World Champion. She has won the New York City, London and Boston Marathons. Her time of 2:19.50 at the 2012 London Marathon is a personal record for the event. Kiplagat became the MRR’s oldest champion last Thanksgiving when she won the Thanksgiving Day run in 24:30.
JOHN TREACY:  Part of the MRR’s famous “Irish Connection,” Treacy won the silver medal in the marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and was the world cross country champion in 1978 and 1979.  Treacy, an All-American runner at Providence College, won the MRR four times (1978, 1979, 1984 and 1985).  His winning time of 21:26 at the 1979 MRR set a course record that stood until 1995

Monday, November 23, 2020

Notice: Togher Virtual 5k for charity - 27th Dec 2020 to 3rd Jan 2021

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Togher 5k is not going ahead this Christmas. However, there is the option of doing a virtual 5k on your own and donating €5 to Cork Mental Health Foundation.

You can donate €5 here...

You can run the 5k on your own anytime from Sunday 27th December 2020 to Sunday 3rd January 2021.

From Cork Mental Health Foundation..."While both Togher AC and Cork Mental Health are very disappointed that we have had to cancel our annual Togher 5k sponsored by Ryan's Super Valu due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic we still feel it is very important to keep the event going in some way. Therefore we will be having a virtual 5k event on the week of Sunday the 27th of December to Sunday the 3rd of January.

Like many other charities this year Cork Mental Health's fundraising efforts have been severely impacted by the pandemic and  therefore all the money raised through this event will go to support the work that Cork Mental Health do within our community.

We are therefore asking you to take part in the Ryan's Super Valu Virtual Togher 5k by registering online for a fee of just €5 and to do a 5k Run/Walk in your local area.  

This way you will not only be keeping fit and healthy over the Christmas period but also helping a very good cause as well."

Friday, November 20, 2020

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Guest Post: KEEPING THE FIVE ALIVE... by John Walshe


The Eyeries 5-mile road race would have taken place during the month of November 2020 if it wasn't for the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Last year, the organisers produced a special race booklet for the 2019 race and it included a guest article by John Walshe of Ballycotton. It is republished here with his kind permission.

* * * * *

There is no doubting the popularity of the 5km on today’s fixture list. Part of the attraction is obviously due to the profusion of parkruns now held throughout the country every Saturday morning, along with the various Couch to 5K programmes.

Therefore, it’s heartening to see the five-mile distance alive and well in West Cork with the introduction this year of the Beara Autumn 5-Mile Series. Even though as a nation we may be all going the metric way, there is still something special about the imperial distances, especially the five and 10-milers.
When Mark Gallagher asked me to pen a little article for this programme, he suggested that maybe I’d recall the attraction of the Ballycotton Series which I was involved with. The years move on and today many new runners, especially in this region, probably have never have heard of such a venture. So a little bit of history mightn’t go astray.

John Walshe at the 2019 Allihies 5-mile

The first race to take place in the East Cork village of Ballycotton happened in August 1977 (yes, it was the last century!). A total of 34 runners turned up that night to run five miles and seven months later the inaugural Ballycotton ‘10’ arrived. The five-miler moved to June that summer with another race of the same distance taking place in the nearby village of Shanagarry in August. Over the following years, two more summer races were added in Chuchtown South and Ballyandreen and so a four-race series was born.

The fourth Thursdays of May, June, July and August therefore became sacrosanct because to gain the coveted plaque, runners had to complete all four events. Family holidays were arranged around the dates and for those on shift work, many a swap had to be accommodated.

Numbers taking part in each race gradually grew to around 200-250 and the standard was exceptionally high. At the Ballycotton ‘5’ in 1993 – a race won in 23:50 by Mark Carroll, European junior 5000m champion two years before and still the Irish 3000m record holder at 7:30.36 – a total of 51 runners (out of 262 finishers) were all under 28 minutes.

Into the new millennium, numbers continued to increase up to the 500 mark. These brought with them the headaches associated with parking, stewarding and the general workload undertaken by a small organising committee. Therefore, a combination of factors heralded the end of not only the Summer Series but also the Ballycotton ‘10’. After 40 years, it was decided, not without regret, that maybe it was time to go out while still on top.

And so, what constitutes a good race series? Well, there’s the obvious such as accurate courses (even though they don’t all have to ‘fast and fast!’), reasonable entry fees, individual and category prizes and of course that welcome cup of warm beverages and goodies afterwards. But there must also be an element of challenge so that those completing the set number of races can feel a sense of achievement.

There is no doubt that all those ingredients are evident in this Beara Autumn Series. You can be sure when those lovely commemorative medals shown on the website (by the way, one of the most impressive sites around) are presented today in Eyeries, they will certainly have been hard earned and richly deserved.

An extensive list of guest posts from John Walshe can be found HERE