Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: November 2020

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. 😛🤓
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. 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

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. 🥈🏅
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. 😂
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. 🛋🛋
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. 🙌👏
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. 🏆🏆
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

Monday, November 16, 2020

New walkway at Dunkettle Interchange opens - Nov 2020

In 2019, I had a post up about the new proposed walkway for the Dunkettle Interchange. See photo above and link HERE

As of the 16th of November, this new walkway is now open to walkers, runners and cyclists.

 The aerial photo above shows the new walkway which is highlighted with purple arrows.

The map below shows the new section in Blue and how it will fit into other developments...

This next photo shows the bridge over the Glashaboy River which has been widened to incorporate a new footpath. Prior to this, there was no hard shoulder which made this a no go area for walkers and runners.

This is another view of the new path on the path but looking back towards the Dunkettle Roundabout...

From the Dunkettle Roundabout, there is a footpath all of the way into Glanmire.

This short video shows part of the new walkway when it was under construction...

This is a welcome development for walkers and runners in the area as it opens up new areas and routes. In time, this new path will connect onto the new path to Carrigtwohill which will make the whole area a lot safer for walking, running and cycling.

As for the main Dunkettle Interchange, it is expected that the €215 million project will be finished in Q1 of 2024.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Work continues on the new Youghal boardwalk - Nov 2020

Despite the COVID restrictions, work still continues on the new boardwalk in Youghal in East Cork.

The existing Youghal Boardwalk is a 400 metre hardwood paneled beach walk-way, stretching from Front Strand Beach to Claycastle Blue Flag Beach. This was completed in 2012 at a cost of €220,000.

That boardwalk was largely destroyed during the winter of 2014 and had to be upgraded and refurbished before re-opening again in 2015.

In June of 2020, Cork County Council issued tender documents to start phase 2 of the €1.7 million project which will see a new 1.5km boardwalk built between Claycastle car park to the Youghal Quality Hotel at Redbarn.

The map above shows the original boardwalk in Purple. The proposed new stretch is in Red.

A section of the new proposed East Cork Greenway is shown in Green. The new projects will open up a lot of new routes for walkers and runners in the East area.

For example, it will be possible in time to say start a run in Youghal, run down to Redbarn on the boardwalk, across on quiet roads to Gortroe and then back on the Greenway to Youghal.

As the photos from Cork County Council show, work is currently progressing nicely.

At the signing of the tender last June, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley, said... “I am especially proud to sign this contact as County Mayor  for what is a fantastic amenity in Youghal. The extension will see the original 400 metre boardwalk at Claycastle beach, which was completed in 2012 extended by 1.5km as far as Redbarn beach. The boardwalk is hugely popular and this further development is great news for Youghal and the community. It also offers an opportunity to raise awareness of the ecological significance of Ballyvergan Marsh and coastal zone, providing low impact on the environment, restricting erosion, and provision of an awareness platform of the area’s value to both locals and visitors alike.”

This video clip shows some of the construction...

In the long term, there will always probably be a fear that any boardwalk that faces the sea will be destroyed by a large storm. Only time will tell if this new improved boardwalk will be survive the elements.

The new boardwalk is expected to be open by the end of 2020.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Friday Fun: Jigsaw of Steve Murphy at the 2019 Charleville Half


Another Friday, another jigsaw! This 117-piece online jigsaw is of Steve Murphy of Mallow AC at the 2019 Charleville Half-Marathon.

Click on the image below or click on this LINK

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Irish Guide Dogs Virtual Run around the World - Nov 2020 to Jan 2021

Cork fireman Alex O'Shea is organising a special 80-day virtual running event with the aim of raising much needed funds for the Irish Guide Dogs for the blind.

If you would like to help out then just walk, run or cycle a distance of your choice and make a donation. After that, submit your distance to Alex.

The eventual aim is that the accumulated distance total will be the equivalent of going around the world.

Using the theme from the novel and film Around the World in Eighty Days, the virtual event will last for 80-days. It starts on the 13th of November 2020 and will finish on the 31st of January 2021.

If you like to help out then the link for donations is here...

For updates, see Alex O'Shea's Facebook page...

* * * * *

 This is a huge challenge open to all. Simply make a donation  then walk jog run or cycle & let us know your distance so we can move Rover our virtual Guide Dog Puppy on his epic challenge.

For more details and to follow Rovers amazing journey goto

If we can raise €5,000 for eg we can sponsor a puppy for their first year of training. If we can raise more we can help more.

Becoming a guide dog is in its own a lenghty challenge for a puppy with over 85,000 hrs of love care training and attention invested. This of course cost money so please if you can make a donation and join in this fun challenge

Thanks Alex

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Government fund 100% of Midleton to Youghal Greenway

On Monday the 9th of November, a number of media outlets reported that a number of Greenway projects around the country were being funded by the Irish Government including the new Midleton to Youghal Greenway.

At first, this might seem like old news as most of these projects had already been announced. What was significant about this announcement was the funding aspect.

Previously, the Irish Government said that it would fund 60% of the cost of the Greenway with the relevant local authority putting up 40%. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the local authorities now have financial difficulties and there was probably a real danger that that Greenways wouldn't get built. As a result, the Government have announced that it will finance the Greenway projects by 100%.

 A total of €63 million was announced in the press release for Greenway projects nationwide.

The projects in Munster are...

Cork - Midleton to Youghal €10 million
Wexford - Waterford City to New Ross €9m
Kerry - Tralee to Fenit €3.4m
Kerry - Listowel to Tralee €4.5m
Kerry - South Kerry Greenway €1.4m
Limerick - Great Southern Greenway Limerick €2.5m.

Work is currently progressing on the Midleton to Youghal Greenway and the planned completion date is late 2022.


1) Government Press Release - Funding of €63.5m for Greenways in 2021 confirmed by Ministers Ryan and Naughton

Friday, November 06, 2020

Friday Fun: Jigsaw from the 2019 Charleville Half - Maggie & Friend


Try out this 187 piece jigsaw of two members of Grange-Fermoy AC at the 2019 Charleville Half-Marahton. 


Monday, November 02, 2020

13-year old from Norway runs 10k race in 32 min 36 secs!


At a recent 10km road race in Norway, 13-year old Sondre Strande Omland finished in an incredible time of 32 minutes and 37 seconds!

His average pace for the 10km distance was 3:16 per km or 5:15 per mile. He went through the first 1km mark in 2:57 and passed the 5k halfway point in 15:55.

The 10k of the Hytteplanmila is one of the most prestigious 10k races in Norway and the previous record for a 12/13 year old was 34:24 which was set back in 2014.