Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: August 2020

Monday, August 31, 2020

New improved car park at the Marina in Cork City


Some welcome news! Cork City Council have put in a new car park for the Marina. This will be great for anyone wanting to walk, run or cycle out along the Marina and up the Greenway towards Mahon.

There is a real lack on nice routes in the centre of Cork City and the Mahon/Blackrock loop is probably one of the few nice ones. This new car park will be of benefit to those not living near this excellent public facility.

The map above shows the location of the new car park. Anyone familiar with this area will know that this used to a narrow road with a rough surface and the grass area was liable to turn to mud in wet weather.

With the COVID-19 restrictions, the plan is for the Marina to stay pedestranised until at least the end of December 2020. Hopefully it will stay like that and won't revert back to a rat run for cars.

At the moment, the path to the west ends at the Shandon Boat Club. It's my understanding that the eventual plan is to have a walkway all of the way along the river into the centre of Cork City.

Video about the new car park from Cllr. Des Cahill...


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Main man Jerry Forde on tour in Crosshaven - August 2020


Following on from the July outing from Blackrock Castle to Passage West, our outing for August was from Carrigaline to Crosshaven.

After turning up in the meeting point in Carrigaline bright and early at 9am, there was of course no sign of the main man Jerry Forde. As you can see from the photo above, he can't go outside the door unless he has matching clothing and he was frantically searching his house this morning for a bright Yellow-Green hat to go with his top.

He eventually arrived and we got underway at 9:15am on the cycle path/footpath to the Kilnagleary car park and from there on the Greenway to Crosshaven.

Once you take the time to notice, it really is a lovely stretch to walk, run or cycle on especially near Drakes Pool and the approach into Crosshaven. There are some great views out over the Owenabue Estuary and the path is right next to the water all of the time. I know for Jerry that it was a welcome contrast to the busy roads around Blarney.

After Crosshaven, we continued out past the boat yard and up Point Road to the end of the Cul-de-Sac. From there, there were lovely views across to Spike Island in the outer harbour and the town of Cobh beyond. The view at the top of this post shows the view from Point Road across to Currabinny Woods and the estuary by Crosshaven which was full of boats.

For the return trip, the main decision was where to get some coffees so we stopped off at Lulu's at the Kilnagleary car park. After getting the 'I left my wallet at home / Me dog ate me wallet' routine from the main man, it was left to me to get the coffees.

As you can see from the photo, the tour guide had to buy two coffees for Mr. Forde after he gave himself an impromptu 'Americano' shower with the first one after a 'wheelchair malfunction'. The only saving grace was that Lulu's weren't selling creamie cakes or I'd be completely broke. 😂

After our 50 minute '10-minute' break, we headed back to Carrigaline where we were welcomed by no less than Jimmy Murray, another well know face on the Cork running scene.

I think we clocked up just over 11 miles in total although with all the stops, it turned into a 4 hour training session! 😂

All in all, it was a lovely route for training and I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried it before. This morning, we had blue skies and sunshine for most of it and it really does make a huge difference in terms of the scenery. After all the recent rain and gloomy clouds, it was good to feel the heat of the sun again.

Like many of the regulars out there, Jerry is missing the road race scene and is tipping away with training on his own but it's not the same. With the running scene, there is a whole social scene to the road races and that is almost more important than the run itself.

As for our next outing, I'm not sure where we're going yet. All I know for sure is that I'm leaving my wallet at home! 😂😂

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Marina to remain closed to traffic until the end of 2020

Car free Marina on a nice Summers day...Photo: Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

The Marina is one of the most popular spots in Cork City for runners, walkers and cyclists alike and it was pedestrianised at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to accommodate people that wanted to exercise.

Cork City Council have now announced that the Marina will remain pedestrianised as a temporary measure linked to Covid public health response until the 31st Dec 2020. It was due to reopen to traffic at the end on August 31st, but to facilitate social distancing measures and to create enhanced pedestrian facilities, these measures will remain in place for a further four months.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Results of the East Cork Road Championships in Ballynoe - Thurs 20th Aug 2020

The East Cork road championships were held on Thursday the 20th of August 2020 in Ballynoe in East Cork. Below is a report from John Walshe with the full results further down the page.



Normally held in April, the unbroken sequence which has seen the East Cork road championships taking place every year since 1980 was maintained at the traditional venue of Ballynoe.

After the initial postponement four months ago, hopes for the new date seemed dashed earlier this week when the updated Covid-19 strategy was announced but, after getting the go-ahead from Athletics Ireland, both races went ahead while adhering to the recommended guidelines.

The aftermath of Storm Ellen made the testing course even tougher with gusting winds and hail showers adding to the discomfort of the long hill which the women had to climb twice and the men four times.

A minutes silence was observed before both events in memory of local man Dan McCarthy who passed away earlier this year. Dan was instrumental in getting these championships established on the athletics calendar with the first event taking place on St Patrick’s Day 1980 when Pat Whyte led home just 18 finishers.

Kevin O’Leary (East Cork) became the 15th different winner over the years of the men’s five-mile race, improving one place and 59 seconds from last year when coming home an impressive first in a time of 26:11. Two Midleton junior athletes, Paul Hartnett and Frank O’Brien, took the silver and bronze medals in respective times of 26:39 and 27:13.

With the individual medal-winners not scoring in the teams, East Cork came out best on a total of 30 points ahead of Watergrasshill (45 points) and Midleton (74 points).

Fiona Santry made it an East Cork club double when winning the women’s 3000m in 11:22. Second was Jennifer Goggin-Walsh (Carraig na bhFear) in 11:56 with Linda O’Sullivan (Watergrasshill) third in 12:04.

Midleton, with 34 points, were the winners of the team contest from Ballymore-Cobh who finished on 42 with St Catherine’s third on 45 points.

She may have won medals at Olympic, World and European level but one award which had eluded Sonia O’Sullivan over her long glittering career was an East Cork senior medal.

However, an eight-place finish was enough for Ireland’s greatest-ever athlete to finally set the record straight as she led her Ballymore-Cobh club to silver. 

(L) Kevin O'Leary, second last year but number one on this occasion / (R) Fiona Santry, winner of the women's 3000m race

East Cork Road Championships  Thursday August 20th 2020            
Men's Result 
Place    Race #    Name    Club    Category    Time
1    72    Kevin O'Leary    East Cork AC    M    26.11
2    99    Paul Hartnett    Midleton AC    MJ    26.39
3    50    Frank O'Brien    Midleton AC    MJ    27.13
4    71    Kevin O'Brien    East Cork AC    M    27.37
5    74    Kieran McKeown    Watergrasshill AC    M    27.56
6    65    James McCarthy    East Cork AC    M    28.05
7    140    Sean McGrath    East Cork AC    M35    28.10
8    31    Daire O’Sullivan    Carraig na bhFear AC    MJ    28.14
9    159    Tony Forristal    Midleton AC    M    28.16
10    66    John Hennessy    Midleton AC    M50    28.37
11    157    Stephen Crowley    Watergrasshill AC    M    28.44
12    77    Kristaps Liepins    Watergrasshill AC    M    28.45
13    57    Graham Swords    East Cork AC    M35    28.46
14    160    Trevor Cummins    Ballymore/Cobh AC    M    28.59
15    100    Paul Kearney    Aghada RC    M    29.14
17    6    Aidan Noone    Watergrasshill AC    M    29.19
18    35    Dave McCarthy    St Nicholas AC    M    29.23
19    139    Sean Ahern    Youghal AC    M    29.27
20    25    Chris Kelly    East Cork AC    M    29.41
21    161    Willie Walsh    Carraig na bhFear AC    M45    30.04
22    70    Keith Kelly    Youghal AC    M    30.37
23    149    Shane Meyler    Ballymore Cobh AC    M45    30.44
24    40    David Maher    Carraig na bhFear AC    MJ    31.08
25    69    Joseph Daly    Carraig na bhFear AC    MJ    31.15
26    162    Ger O'Regan    Midleton AC    M50    31.23
27    91    Mick Mulcahy    Carraig na bhFear AC    M40    32.27
28    68    Jonathon Kenneally    St Catherines AC    M    32.37
29    34    Daniel Bloom    Midleton AC    M    32.46
30    129    Séamus McSweeny    St Nicholas AC    M45    32.46
31    29    Chris O Connell    St Catherines AC    M    33.13
32    42    Declan Dorgan    Midleton AC    M40    33.53
33    45    Don Sheehan    Carraig na bhFear AC    M45    34.02
34    67    John Mulcahy    St Catherines AC    M    34.03
35    86    Matthew Browne    Watergrasshill AC    M    34.17
36    8    Andre Brodkorb    Midleton AC    M50    34.27
37    155    Stephen Collins    St Catherines AC    M    34.49
38    150    St John O'Connor    St Nicholas AC    M45    35.02
39    24    Brendan Hickey    St Catherines AC    M    35.14
40    158    Tom O Riordan    Watergrasshill AC    M    35.27
41    44    Denis O’Leary    Aghada RC    M    35.31
42    123    Richard Hawkins    Carraig na bhFear AC    M50    35.41
43    126    DonMurray    Aghada RC    M    36.32
44    47    Ed Kinane    St Nicholas AC    M50    36.45
45    73    Kieran Harte    St Catherines AC    M    37.36
46    144    Sean Norris    Aghada RC    M    38.04
47    43    Denis McCarthy    East Cork AC    M55    38.28
48    119    Paul O Flynn    St Catherines AC    M    38.38
49    124    Richard Morrison    St Nicholas AC    M45    39.28
50    46    Donal O'Donoghue    Watergrasshill AC    M50    40.16
        Team Results (outside the first three finishers)            
    1    East Cork AC    30 pts        
    2    Watergrasshill AC    45 pts        
    3    Midleton AC    74 pts        
    4    Carraig na bhFear AC    78 pts        
    5    St Catherines AC    130 pts        
    6    St Nicholas AC    130 pts        
    7    Aghada RC    145 pts        
Women's Result
Place    Race Number    Name    Club    Category    Time
1    250    Fiona Santry    East Cork AC    F    11.22
2    295    Jennifer Goggin Walsh    Carraig na bhFear AC    F35    11.56
3    305    Linda O’Sullivan    Watergrasshill AC    F    12.04
4    300    Laura Rooney    Watergrasshill AC    F    12.22
5    318    Natalie Nicholson    St Catherines AC    F    12.30
6    330    Sarah Morrisson    St Nicholas AC    FJ    12.50
7    249    Eileen Leahy    Midleton AC    F    13.01
8    348    Sonia O’Sullivan    Ballymore/Cobh AC    F    13.05
9    322    Rhona Lynch    Carraig na bhFear AC    F45    13.16
10    293    Gwen Conroy    Watergrasshill AC    F    13.24
11    318    Niamh O'Connor    East Cork AC    F40    13.33
12    242    Caroline Geary    Midleton AC    F40    13.35
13    320    Norah O'Brien    East Cork AC    F    13.45
14    342    Sarah Mulcahy    St Catherines AC    F    13.47
15    325    Sally Drennan    Midleton AC    F55    13.51
16    294    Jennifer Andersson    Ballymore/Cobh AC    F    14.06
17    345    Sinead Kearney    Carraig na bhFear AC    FJ    14.07
18    315    Margaret O’Regan    Ballymore/Cobh AC    F    14.08
19    200    Alanna Drennan    Midleton AC    FJ    14.10
20    296    Jennifer Kearney    Carraig na bhFear AC    FJ    14.25
21    306    Louise Barry    Midleton AC    F40    14.40
22    241    Breeda Sheedy    Midleton AC    F50    14.49
23    316    Mary De Barra    Ballymore/Cobh AC    F    14.57
24    246    Claire Fitzgerald    Midleton AC    F45    14.59
25    297    Joan Hough    Midleton AC    F60    15.00
26    299    Laura O Flynn    St Catherines AC    F    15.05
27    277    Gillian Bransfield    Midleton AC    F40    15.22
28    245    Christine Murphy    Midleton AC    F50    15.33
29    347    Siobhan Murphy    Midleton AC    F45    15.39
30    304    Linda Curtin    Midleton AC    F45    16.05
31    314    Mags Twohig    Midleton AC    F50    16.39
32    240    Astrid Micheel    Midleton AC    F50    16.53
33    298    Joan McCarthy    Midleton AC    F60    20.42

Midleton, with 34 points, were the winners of the team contest from Ballymore-Cobh who finished on 42 with St Catherine’s third on 45 points
Team Results (outside the first three finishers)            
1 Midleton AC    34 pts        
2 Ballymore/Cobh AC    42 pts   

3 St Catherines AC    45 pts        
4 Carraig na bhFear AC    46 pts        

Sonia O'Sullivan (who finished eight) leading Niamh O'Connor up the hill
Sonia O'Sullivan (who finished eight) leading Niamh O'Connor up the hill

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Run Killarney Half-Marathon & 10k postponed until 2021


The organisers of the Run Killarney Half-Marathon & 10k have announced that their 2020 event will be postponed until 2021.

From the organisers... Event Update* It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel Run Killarney 2020. 

All registered participants will be automatically transferred to Run Killarney 2021 and have been emailed today with further details. 

We are very sorry for the disruption and disappointment this may cause you; we will continue to work hard to give you an even better experience in 2021

In the meantime, we want to thank our entire Run Killarney community for their patience and ongoing support, you are what makes the event special and memorable. Keep safe and keep running we look forward to sharing the world’s most beautiful road race with you again in 2021.

The Run Killarney event is held in July every year and was postponed until November of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It now joins the long list of events postponed this year.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Ciara Mageean sets new Irish 1000m national record


Top Irish athlete Ciara Mageaan set a new national record with a time of 2m 31s 06s in a 1000-metre race at the Diamond League meet on Friday evening the 14th of August 2020. This was over three and a half seconds faster than the previous record set by Sonia O'Sullivan back in 1993.

On Twitter, Sonia O'Sullivan said...“It lasted 27 years, a lifetime for some. Well done Ciara Mageean on smashing Irish Athletics 1000m record.”

Faith Kipyegon of Kenya won the 1000m race in 2:29.15 with Scotland’s Laura Muir second in 2:30.82. Ciara Mageean from Portaferry finished in third.

Ciara Mageean’s time was also the ninth-fastest ever run over 1,000m by any woman.

In July of 2020, Ciara Mageean also ran a new 800m national record.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Connemara 100 mile - Aug 2020


While most running events are cancelled at the moment, the Connemara 100 mile went ahead last weekend with 37 runners completing the spectacular looped course.

The runners set off from Clifden at 6am with the winner finishing later that evening.

Top 3 men & women...

Alastair Higgins 14:56:28
Rolando Espina 16.07.10
Fozzy Forristal 16.14.30
Anne Jennings 17.48.56
Liz Morrin 23.34.34
Miriam O'Connor 25.18.24

As can be seen from the results, many of the finishers were going throughout the night and finished the course up to noon on Sunday.

Full results

Saturday, August 08, 2020

A closer look at the new proposed Greenway from Dungarvan to Ballyduff...

 Back at the end of July 2020, I had a post up about how the Government had granted €80,000 to Cork County Council to investigate the route for a new proposed Greenway from Mallow to Dungarvan.

While Cork County Council will be looking at the route from Mallow to the county border near Ballyduff, Waterford County Council also got a matching €80,000 to investigate the route from Dungarvan to Ballyduff.

In this post, we'll look at the Waterford section...

While the old railway line from Mallow to the county border by Ballyduff is 39.6 kms in length, the section from Dungarvan to Ballyduff is slightly shorter at 35.4 kms.

When I looked at the Cork section of the line, I could see from Google Maps that roughly 44% of the route was still intact. The Waterford section however is in a much worse state and I could only see roughly 18% of the old route remaining. 

On the section between Dungarvan and Cappoquin, the old route has largely disappeared into farmers fields and looking at a satellite view, it's hard in places to see where the old line might have been.

In terms of attractiveness, the western section of the old line is probably the nicest as it passes Cappoquin, Lismore and follows the River Blackwater west.

The remains of the old railway bridge over the Blackwater is still there near Cappoquin and would make for a nice feature on the Greenway.

This is a satellite view near Cappoquin showing the location of the railway bridge and the route of the old line to the west.

It's worth pointing out that the new Greenway that is being developed from Midleton to Youghal is on the old railway line that is still in state ownership. I'm not sure what the status is of the old line from Mallow to Dungarvan but it looks a lot more complicated.

If the overall project gets the go ahead, I suspect the Cork section may well start from the Mallow end as it's a large town and it can be put to immediate use while the remaining sections are completed.

From a Waterford perspective, it probably makes sense to start with the section nearest to Dungarvan first. There are already bike rental companies there and a new section from Dungarvan to Cappoquin would be immediate extension to the existing 46km Greenway to Waterford City.

Friday, August 07, 2020

2020 London Marathon now cancelled...

The London Marathon which was originally due to have been held in April of 2020 was postponed until October of this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The organisers have now announced that there will be no marathon in 2020.

They also announced that the next event will be held in October of 2021 instead of April.

From the London Marathon... "It’s with a heavy heart that we can confirm, for the first time since 1981, the Virgin Money London Marathon will not be taking place in its usual format.⁣

Despite the disappointment, the Virgin Money London Marathon team are working hard on creating the first-ever virtual London Marathon, which will take place on Sunday 4 October.⁣

We’ve also ensured everyone who had a place for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon has the chance to rollover their place to a future race in 2021, 2022 or 2023.⁣

In 2021, the London Marathon will move from its usual April date to Sunday 3 October to give the best chance for the mass race to return in 2021.

“We have been working for months on a number of different scenarios with the health and safety of our runners, our charities, our sponsors, our volunteers, our medics, our communities and our city always our priority,” said Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon. “We had detailed plans to deliver a socially distanced mass participation event – either a run or a walk – and we were planning to utilise new technology to do this. We were looking to use a revolutionary technology using Bluetooth and ultra wideband ranging, which is about to be launched worldwide.

“This would have enabled us to accurately monitor every participant’s distance from each other, work out if the participant spent more than 15 minutes within 1.5 metres (or any distance we set) of anyone else and then contact them post-event if anyone had informed us that they had contracted Covid-19 in the two weeks after the event.

“Despite all our efforts, the fantastic support from all of our partners and the progress that has been made on planning for the return of smaller mass participation events that are not on the roads, it has not been possible to go ahead with a mass socially distanced walk or run.

“In parallel with the work on the plans for the socially distanced mass event, we had a team working on planning the elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes in a biosphere environment in St James’s Park and another team creating a truly inspiring Virgin Money London Marathon which means participants across the UK and abroad can still be part of The 40th Race from their home or wherever they might be on 4 October.”

Participants in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will have 24 hours to complete the 26.2 miles, from 00:00 to 23:59 on Sunday 4 October. They can run, walk, take breaks and log their race on a new London Marathon app being developed by event partner TCS. Runners can also use their time, with appropriate supporting evidence, to apply for a Good for Age or Championship place in 2021.

“We know how disappointing it is that the Covid-19 pandemic means that it’s not possible this year to run the famous course on the streets of London,” said Brasher. “But we’re offering everyone who has a place this year, or who had already deferred to April 2021, the chance to participate in The 40th Race and every eligible runner also has the chance to run on the streets of London in 2021, 2022 or 2023. If existing runners do not want to take part in The 40th Race, we will be offering their places to other runners who would like to raise vital funds for charity.”

In 2019, the Virgin Money London Marathon raised a world record £66.4 million for good causes. Current estimates are that the charity sector is facing a funding shortfall of £10 billion at a time when services are needed more than ever (source:

“The London Marathon is far more than just a marathon,” said Brasher. “It brings society together in a moment of celebration of all that is good about humanity. We believe that Sunday 4 October will be a London Marathon like no other, and The 40th Race will take the spirit of the world’s greatest marathon to every corner of the globe, with runners raising vital funds for the charities that have been so severely affected by the economic effects of the pandemic.”

London Marathon Events would like to acknowledge the fantastic support for the London Marathon from the Mayor of London’s office, Transport for London, the emergency services, BBC Sport, The Royal Parks, City of Westminster, the City of London, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Canary Wharf and many other partners and stakeholders.

Runners with a place in The 40th Race, or who had already deferred to April 2021, will be able to confirm they still wish to run the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon from Wednesday 12 August.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Notice: IMRA Munster Galtee Half-Marathon - Sat 22nd Aug 2020

While road races are currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mountain and trail races are beginning to make a welcome return. The numbers involved are smaller and participants are spread across a wide open space as opposed to next to each other on a crowded road.

On Saturday the 22nd of August 2020, the Munster branch of the Irish Mountain Running Association are organising a Half-Marathon on the Galtee Mountains in SE Limerick.

Galtee Half Marathon OPEN
RACE: Sat 22nd Aug 11am
Kings Yard, Galty Castle Woods.

Cost €30 - Max 100 runners

Refreshments & Race Hat for all entrants. No transfers or refunds.

Please note that annual IMRA membership costing €10 is required and you must PRE-ENTER for this event.

Monday, August 03, 2020

Training with the main man Jerry Forde...

Dring Dring.... Dring Dring.... Dring Dring.... Dring Dring.... When my mobile phone starts buzzing after 10pm at night, it usually means only one thing... a phone call from the main man Jerry Forde!

Without the regular road races, I'm sure a lot of you may not have seen Jerry for some time.

Well, he's as busy as ever and training away all the time. He's out most days on the same loop around Blarney and ends up doing roughly a half-marathon in terms of distance.

I suggested to Jerry that he try some other routes as a change, something like the walkway near Blackrock Castle where there are no cars to worry about. No sooner had I said it that I remembered that the chance of the main man getting from A to B without getting lost is pretty much zero 😂. So I had inadvertently volunteered myself for the job as a guide!

Last Thursday, I cycled to Blackrock Castle to meet Jerry and showed him the way to the pontoon in Passage West and back, a total of about 11 miles. If any of you want to try it then it's a lovely route. It's dead flat, there are no cars to worry about and you are looking out over the water for most of it.

No good training session with Jerry is complete without a cuppa so we ended up going to Blackrock Village for a coffee. Going there and back brought the days total for Jerry up to about 12 miles.

Our next outing will be from Carrigaline to Crosshaven during the month of August. So be warned if you're out training on the line early some morning and you hear a 'Beep, Beep, Beep', it'll be the main man on tour.