Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: October 2020

Friday, October 30, 2020

Friday Fun: Mystery 70 Piece Jigsaw


As an alternative to the COVID blues, solve this online 70-piece jigsaw to reveal who is in the photo. 


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Irishman Tommy Hughes runs 2:30 Marathon to set a new M60 world record

On Sunday the 25th of October 2020, Tommy Hughes won the Lisburn Festival of Running marathon to finish in a time of 2 hours 30 minutes and 02 seconds. This works out as an average pace of 5m 44s per mile for the 26.2 mile distance. Just seven athletes were able to compete in the race due to current COVID-19 restrictions.

This time was a new world record for the M60 category (Male 60 years and over) and was over six minutes faster than the previous record of 2h 36m 30s set by Yoshihisa Hosaka of Japan in 2009.

Tommy who is from Bangor in Co.Down represented Ireland in the marathon at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and has a marathon best time of 2h 13m 59s.

He also set a new M60 for the Half-Marathon last September with a time of 71 min 09 sec. In 2019, he set a new M55 marathon world record when he ran 2h 27m 52s in Franfurt.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Public consulation on keeping the Marina in Cork City pedestrianised

Reminder: Public consultation on keeping the Marina pedestrianised closes Mon 2nd Nov 2020

* * * * *


Cork City Council recently announced plans to close a number of roads in the city to traffic and one of those is the Marina. This was closed to traffic due to to the COVID pandemic to allow the public more space for exercising and social distancing.

The short term plan is for it to remain closed to traffic until the end of the 2020 but the Council now plan to keep it pedestrianised. That however is subject to public approval.

The Cork City Council notice is HERE

You can give the council feedback on the proposal HERE (registration required but it's free).

The Marina is one of the most popular spots in Cork City for walkers, runners and cyclists alike. It's vital that this public amenity doesn't revert back to being a rat run for cars and vans again.

I'd ask you to consider making a submission in support of the closure to traffic and keep it as a public amenity. Submissions close on the 2nd of November 2020.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

New riverside path for Mallow...


Cork County Council recently announced that they had completed a new riverside path for the town of Mallow in North Cork.

I'm not sure if this will be of any use to the local 5k parkrun when it comes back but at least it's good to see some more public paths suitable for running and walking.

This is all part of an ongoing series of works to improve Mallow Town Park.

More info from Cork County Council HERE

Monday, October 26, 2020

Video: UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons • 50 States • 50 Days

In April of 2020, Journey Films put a video titled UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons • 50 States • 50 Days up on YouTube.

Description... "2006 - The inspirational film, UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons • 50 States • 50 Days, features renowned endurance athlete and best selling author Dean Karnazes in his attempt to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days to raise awareness for youth obesity and to get America active. A beautiful and epic journey across the United States, during which Dean pushes the limits of human endurance, inspiring thousands across the country to join him along the path while uniting people of all ages and abilities to take “the next step.”


Thursday, October 22, 2020

New car park on the Marina in Cork City now open...


Back at the start of October, I was on the Marina in Cork City and I noticed that the new car park was nearly finished. I passed it again this week and all of the barriers have now been removed.

In fairness to Cork City Council, they made a fine job of it and it will make an ideal spot to park and go for a run or walk, especially now that the Marina has been pedestrianised.

If you drive down Centre Park Road at the moment, you'll see the signs saying no access as the Marina is closed to cars...

If you continue on for another 300m, you'll see the sign on the left for the Greenway car park...

The photo above shows the road heading into the car park. 

On the area under the trees, the Council have fitted what is called 'Grasscrete'. This is a concrete matrix with holes in it where grass can grow. This allows rainwater to reach the roots of the trees as well as providing an overflow area for parking on say a busy match day at the local GAA stadium.

Further down, there are plenty of car places available for parking. I didn't do a count of how many spaces are there but it looks as if it is more than enough for say a busy Sunday without a local match.

Hopefully at some future date, the Greenway will be extended beyond Shandon Boat Club and along the river into Cork City Centre and from the plaza in Blackrock to Blackrock Castle. But for now, at least this new car park is a welcome improvement.

If you are doing a run from say outside Shandon Boat Club then it's about 2.2 kms down to the Blackrock Village and the end of the Marina. If you do the Mahon walkway / old Blackrock railway loop then it's about 10.3 kms.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The 2021 Dungarvan 10 mile road race is postponed


The next John Treacy Dungarvan 10 mile road race was due to be held on Sunday the 7th of February 2021. Unfortunately due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has had to be postponed.

This is one of the biggest events on the road race calendar and it was a focus for many training over the Winter period.

Here is a statement from the organisers...

It's that time of year when traditionaly we would be opening entries for the 2021 John Treacy Dungarvan 10 mile road race but alas the club race commitee have decided that due to the current covid pandemic situation, the race will not go ahead on the February date.

However it is hoped that a date later in the year might be possible if guidelines permit.
It is as disapointing for all of us as well as it is for you our many friends who come in your thousands to this race each year.

For now keep safe and keep running.!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Government introduce 5km limit for personal exercise under Level 5 restrictions


Due to the spread of the COVID-19 disease, the Government will introduce Level 5 restrictions as of midnight Wednesday 21st October.

Under the new restrictions, all personal exercise should be limited to within 5kms of your home. 

The restrictions also stipulate that "people will be able to meet up outdoors with one other household away from their home for situations such as exercise".

I'm sure you all know the score at this stage but here is reminder of the website where you can work out your 5km limit...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The 2021 Dingle Marathon sells out but will it go ahead???


The organisers of the Dingle Marathon announced recently that their 2021 event scheduled for the 4th of September had already sold out. The 2020 event which was supposed to have been held back at the start of September but it was postponed until the 8th of May 2021.

To put the Dingle Marathon in perspective, it is one of the most popular running events in Ireland. In 2019, there were 2045 finishers in the half-marathon and 606 finishers in the full marathon.

While the average entry fee of about €70 is expensive, many people will look at it as part of a weekend break so the entry fee may end up being a minor part of the overall spend.

In terms of generating economic activity, the Dingle Marathon is not insignificant. If we consider that there were 2651 finishers in 2019, we allow for say a 10% no show/no finish rate then we might guess that maybe roughly 2,900 people entered.

At roughly €70 per head then this would give a figure of about €200,000 in entry fees alone. While the organiser obviously takes a profit from that, part of it is used to pay the various suppliers. While the dry fit tops and medals probably come from China, there will be a considerable Irish spend as well. Buses are needed to transport the 2000 or so half marathon runners back to Dingle from the finish line, chip timing is need for each runner, bottles of water need to be bought and there is probably a host of other things as well.

For each event, there is also a considerable spend by the individual entrants in the Dingle area in terms of food, accommodation and entertainment and is probably in the region of tens of thousands of Euros.

The big question however is if the two events in 2021 will actually go ahead?

While we are heading into a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic at the moment, it will probably be at a lower level next Summer again If and when a vaccine is produced, it will probably take some time to distribute it to enough people. 

I suspect that any event that attracts 2500 or so runners in one spot will not go ahead in 2021 and it will be 2022 before we might get back to normal. We'll see.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

New World 5,000m and 10,000m records set on the track

 At a special event in Valencia on Wednesday the 7th of October, two world record on the track were broken.

In the women's 5000m, 22-year-old Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey shattered the world record with a time of 14 min 06.62 seconds, improving on the previous world record by almost five seconds.

In the men's 10,000m, Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda ran 26 mins 11.00 seconds to break the previous world record of 26:17.53 set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2005.

In the video below, the women's 5000m race starts at 5:17 and the men's 10,000m race starts at 28:15. You'll notice as well the unique use of special lights at the side of the track to indicate the required world record pace.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Bere Island 5 mile in Oct 2020 postponed

 As expected with the introduction of Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions, the Bere Island 5 mile on the 17th of October 2020 has been cancelled.

"BERE ISLAND 5 MILE ROAD RACE - POSTPONED. We regret to say that the Bere Island 5 Mile Road Race scheduled for Saturday 17th October 2020 is POSTPONED in line with new Level 3 restrictions. The re-scheduled event will take place on Saturday 27th March 2021. Participants will receive instructions by e-mail on how to claim a refund OR to defer their race entry. Thank you for your support. Stay safe and we hope to see you all soon.... Beara A.C."

It's very likely that the Eyeries race scheduled for November will suffer the same fate.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

End of the road for Ballynonty AC...


After 26 years in existence, Ballynonty AC in Co.Tipperary have finally pulled the plug. While the club was never a big one, it does show the problems that some of the smaller rural clubs are having.

Most of the older runners in Cork will have come across Ballynonty AC members at races over the years and the club will be remembered for holding a low key 10-mile road race every July which had its own following.

In a statement, Neilie Hall said..." It's with great sadness that I have to announce the end of Ballynonty AC as of the 1st of October 2020. We had some great times over the last 26 years but the runners and leaders have gone. I would like to thank everyone who helped out over years."

Level 3 clamp downdown on outdoor activities


As most of you will have already heard, the Government have introduced Level 3 restrictions across the country from midnight on Tuesday. This will most likely mean that the very limited number of races and events that were planned will now be cancelled.

Look out for updates from each respective organiser.

I suspect it may well be the Spring of 2021 before we're back down to Level 2 again.

Monday, October 05, 2020

No Cork to Cobh race in 2020...


This years BHAA Cork to Cobh 15-mile road race should have taken place on Sunday the 4th of October 2020 but needless to say, it was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This is one of the most popular long distance races on the calendar and it attracts runners from all over Cork and Munster. If it had been held, it would no doubt have attracted hundreds of runners.

The question is when are we likely to see it again? For that matter, when are we likely to get back to any type of normality in terms of road races and parkruns?

When the COVID lock down started in March, many of the races scheduled for the Spring were deferred until the Autumn. Now we are in the Autumn, many of the races are of course cancelled until 2021. A bit like kicking the can down the road.

Is it likely we will see races in 2021? I was watching an interview recently on Deutsche Welle with a German Virologist and he said that it will be 2022 at the earliest before we might see any sense of normality. 

First of all, a vaccine will hopefully be found and tested to make sure it is safe. Then it will take time to ramp up the capacity to manufacture all the vaccine doses. After that, there is the even bigger task of distributing the vaccine so that enough people are immunised so that the virus can't spread through the population. Until all this happens, it looks as if we will have to live with the virus and there will always be restrictions on gatherings and movements. 

I think it we have to be realistic, it's very unlikely there will be any large races in 2021. At best, any races will be restricted to small numbers that preregister or virtual runs.

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Training session with Jerry Forde on the Marina...

During the week, I met up with the main man Jerry Forde for a training session in Blackrock in Cork City. Jerry normally trains most days on the same loop around Blarney so this was an opportunity to try somewhere else as well as checking out the newly pedestrianised Marina.

We met up bright and early at Blackrock Castle at 9am and the plan was to do the Mahon walkway / old railway loop and get in about 12 miles. Just after we started, we met the one and only Tony Huff who was a regular on the road race scene for years.

From there, it was Beep, Beep, Beep and up the old railway line to Pairc Ui Chaoimh where we took a detour to have a look at the new car park near Shandon Boat Club.

From here, things went a bit off script when the heavens opened up and we had to take shelter under a tree on the Marina. After 20 minutes of heavy rain, it was looking pretty grim and it looked as if the session would have to be cancelled. But sure enough, the skies brightened, the rain stopped and we were off again.

One impact of the rain is that it effectively cleared the Marina and walkways of all the walkers and cyclists so we pretty much had it to ourselves.

The only bottleneck as such was the road between Blackrock village and the Castle but as the photo above shows, there was a nice view of the river and the city once the sun appeared again.

No training session would be complete without the cuppa however and we took another detour on the second loop to Lee Rowing Club and the small portable café there. His Lordship confined himself to just one Cappuccino on this occasion.

Between the two loops and detours, we ended up with 12.3 miles or 19.8 kms so not a bad days training. It was great to be able to use the Marina without fear of being run down by a car or van using it as a rat run to get into town. The surface of the Marina leaves a lot to be desired but one step at a time.

I'm not sure where the 2020 Main Man Tour is off to next but we might head back to Crosshaven and Camden for the views. Stay tuned! 😉

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Notice: IMRA Nagles Half-Marathon in N Cork - Sat 17th Oct 2020

The IMRA (Irish Mountain Running Association) are holding a half-marathon on the Nagle Mountains near Mallow on Saturday the 17th of October 2020.

The 21.1km course has 650 metres of ascent and it will be mainly on trails like the one shown above. There is a limit of 200 places and the entry fee is €30. IMRA membership for 2020 (€10) is also required.   

Under IMRA rules for competitor's safety, it is mandatory to bring and carry a jacket that is shower and wind proof for the entire race and also a working charged mobile phone. Any competitor seen not carrying or wearing their jacket at any stage in the race will be disqualified. There are no exceptions to this rule!

More info on the event here...