Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: February 2021

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Guest Post: Minister for Inspiration Pat Walsh


 ** Minister for Inspiration **

Just being frivolous to lighten the mood. Forgive me

“I wandered lonely as a long distance runner,
That floats on high o'er vales and hills within his own 5k zone”

Had a nice cycle today to help the legs and took a few pics. I got 5 miles done in 90minutes on the bike. Won’t qualify me for Tour de France but but but there was chatting to be done with people along the way. Few nice pics taken and I suppose I should be quoting Wordsworth or some of the great poets on the beauty of Daffodils.. No way.


I had a Kings of Leon Morning and their lyrics were rattling in my head. 

"I can't get there on my own
You can't leave me here alone
I’m just trying to do what’s right
Oh a man ain't a man 'less he's fought the fight" 🎼🎼

Take care, spring has arrived, there isn’t a whole lot of hope ahead but if we give up on ourselves and our friends then we are definitely f***ed.
#pwr #Survive21

Friday, February 26, 2021

Online Jigsaw of the 2019 Greenway Half-Marathon


For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back to 2019 and the 2h 10m pacers at the Greenway Half-Marathon in Co. Waterford. This photo was taken on one of the many fine viaducts on this popular Greenway.

You can find the 150-piece jigsaw HERE

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Notice: Cork City Virtual Marathon - June Bank Holiday Weekend 2021

As there are unlikely to be any physical road races in the near term, the 2021 Cork City Marathon is going virtual this year.

Some info from the organisers....

Cork City Marathon 2021 is going virtual!
Despite the best efforts of the organisers, it won’t be possible to host a traditional Cork City Marathon on the June Bank Holiday this year. Every possible option for a road race was explored, but the safety concerns for all involved – the runners, spectators, volunteers, medics, suppliers – were overwhelming. Plans to postpone the full event until 2022 and to go virtual for 2021 were finalised today.

The Virtual Cork City Marathon is an individual and team race that is open to runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities. Cork’s younger citizens, aged 16 to 18, are also welcome to take part in the Youth Challenge, as part of the main team event.

The Cork Marathon has a proud community ethos whereby elite athletes and casual runners share the same course. While participants can’t share the course this year, they can still celebrate their own achievements, be it completing a leg of the team event, a half marathon or the classic marathon distance. Participants are urged to run for charity, run for fitness, or to run for no reason other than because they can! If a carrot is needed, there will be lots of goodies to be won throughout the next few months too!

Event website...


 * * *

In summary... This 2021 Cork City Marathon, Half-Marathon & Relay costs €11 to enter and there is a medal on offer which may or not be of interest to participants.

The real value of this virtual event is that it's something to focus on as the evenings get gradually longer and the days get gradually milder.. €11 isn't a whole lot and is probably more of a sign of you committing to doing an event rather than anything else. 

Coaching... If anyone is interested in individually tailored training programmes, you'll find details HERE

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Good weather on the way - Thurs 24th Feb to Sun 7th Mar 2021


After all the rain on Tuesday and early Wednesday, it looks as if high pressure is on the way which should mean dry settled weather. The temperatures during the day will be around 10 degrees C with light winds. When the sun does come out, it may feel warm in sheltered spots as there is now a bit more energy in the sun as we approach March.

There may well be the odd weak front of rain as shown above but it should stay mostly due. The fine weather is expected to last into the second half of next week.

So if you're running, walking or cycling, make the most of it. Once this high pressure system moves away, we'll be back to business as usual with the conveyor belt of low pressure systems coming in from the Atlantic.

Here is the rainfall forecast from Met Eireann for the next 10 days...

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tramore Valley Park open until 7pm from the 22nd of February

Please note that the Tramore Valley Park in Cork City will remain open until 7pm as of the 22nd of February 2021.

Slowly but surely, the evenings are getting longer.

Guest Post: Health is Wealth Pat Walsh

 ** Health is Wealth **

Another week has just passed us by and it hasn’t differed radically from the last 6 or 7 weeks, or for much of the last Year. There are a few more of those ahead of us before we see some relief in our restrictions and movement.

I have spoken to you of picking a goal to help motivate yourself and glad to see so many have done so.

Sadly, there are many who we have lost to running, who found the whole situation so difficult and lacked the motivation to keep going. I can see it in some of my own gang and I am reading it in other pages I visit. πŸƒ‍♀️

I have spoken about the Mental benefits from exercise but may I also dwell on the physical benefits in the hope it will get you going again.
This pandemic mainly attacks the immune and the respiratory system.
Running helps the lungs and running plus some speed work has been shown to increase lung capacity.

Running in daylight hours helps load the body with Vitamin D which in turn helps the immune system.
Running takes you out in the open air and you are more likely to see and speak to other people.
Folks, no-one can do it for you. You must get up, get out and look after yourself as best you can.πŸ€“

The majority of us runners are not in an age bracket to receive this vaccine for a while yet and it could be anything up to 6 months before you will get an invite. (Of course there are exceptions through some underlying conditions or because of your work situation)πŸ’‰

What I am suggesting is regardless of your running goal, think of the actual physical benefits to running a few times a week to help yourself.


The stronger, fitter, nearer to ideal weight, that you can present yourself gives you a better sporting chance of getting through this whole mess. Saying that my lungs are good and my immune system is strong is no guarantee of anything but it does increase your odds of avoiding or coping with it. Just being healthier is a better way to live your life anyway.

I stress I am no expert, have no medical qualifications and all above is just general advice and common sense.😎

I am still running towards my Paddy’s Day 10 mile, ☘️ but I have taken all forms of pressure from myself in regards to time. If it doesn’t appear on posted finishing times of a race and if there is no photographer to snap me dying on the last half mile then why would I care about my watch.⌚️

The mixed messages we are receiving from ‘On High’ about resumption of anything would lend you to think 2021 is a wipe-out in terms of Big races or anything else that involves a crowd of people, so it is better to be planning yourself and staying in control.

Stay safe, Stay healthy, Stay well, Stay strong, Stay in control.

2nd Annual PWR Marathon is looking more likely as every week passes.
#pwr #survive21


Friday, February 19, 2021

Part of the Carrigaline to Crosshaven walkway to close for 2-3 weeks for repairs

Cork County Council have announced that they will be starting work to resurface part of the Carrigaline to Crosshaven walkway on Monday the 15th of February 2021 and as a result, part of it will be closed for 2-3 weeks.
Update 19th Feb 2021: The good news is that the works only took one week to complete!


As you can see, they made a fine job of it.

150-piece online Jigsaw of the 2016 Ballycotton 10



For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back again to the 2016 Ballycotton 10 mile road race.

You can find the 150-piece jigsaw HERE

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

May 2021 Dingle Marathon postponed...

The organisers of the Dingle Marathon announced recently that that their Full and Half Marathon which was scheduled for Saturday 8th May 2021 has been postponed. 

All HALF MARATHON participants for the May event have now automatically been transferred to SATURDAY 7TH MAY 2022 and all FULL MARATHON participants for the May event have now automatically been transferred to SATURDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER 2021.

The Dingle event is normally held on the first Saturday in September every year. When the pandemic impacted the 2020 event, they initially sought to move it to May 2021 and then hold their September 2021 event as per normal. As such, the two events in 2021 would have compensated for the loss of the 2020 event.

Now that the May 2021 event has been postponed, it means a real loss in revenue for both the organisers and the whole hospitality sector in Dingle. As for whether the September event will go ahead, we'll have to wait and see. I think a lot of people suspect it will be 2022 before things get back to some sort of normality.

Once this pandemic passes and it will, it's possible that some races may have disappeared from the calendar forever but the Dingle event is one of the most popular in the country. It is probably one of the most scenic locations in the country for a race, it makes for a great weekend away and it will bounce back stronger than ever.

Statement from the organisers....

We very much regret to inform you that due to COVID 19 restrictions it obviously is not possible to proceed with the Dingle Full and Half Marathon which was scheduled for Saturday 8th May 2021 (which had been postponed from September 2020). Accordingly, all HALF MARATHON participants for the May event have now automatically been transferred to SATURDAY 7TH MAY 2022 and all FULL MARATHON participants for the May event have now automatically been transferred to SATURDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER 2021.

We fully appreciate the disappointment that this will bring but we must put the health and wellbeing of all our runners, walkers, crew, medical providers and all our community, team, and families first. We feel that it is only fair to make the decision now in order that people can plan accordingly.

We have emailed all registered participants and we fully appreciate the inconvenience that the date changes may have to peoples individual circumstances so please feel free to contact us by email at if you have any queries or if we can assist in any way.

We look forward to brighter days in the beauty of Dingle Peninsula and we can’t wait to welcome you to Dingle when the time is right.

Killeagh 4-mile road race cancelled...

The Killeagh 4-mile road race is held on the first Sunday in March every year. As you might expect, the upcoming race had to be cancelled.

Hi all just to confirm our four mile road race, which is usually held on the first Sunday in March each year, has been postponed due to the current restrictions due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Our committee will meet in July to assess if we can proceed with the race in autumn of this year.

We look forward to seeing  you all back in Killeagh, hopefully in the not too distant future,

Stay safe.

Killeagh 4mile road  race committee.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Bere Island wins 'World Cup of parkrun Beauty 2021' with over 1,500 votes


In a recent online poll, the Bere Island 5k parkrun took the top spot in the 'World Cup of parkrun Beauty 2021' with over 1,500 votes. As you can see from the view above, it's well deserved.

Hopefully once this pandemic has passed, it will bounce back stronger than ever.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Guest Post: The Love of Running Pat Walsh

 πŸ’–πŸ’ž The Love of running πŸ’–πŸ’ž
Valentine's Day this weekend and I have no notion of talking all sweet gooey stuff or wild romantic drivel. This is a safe zone. I wouldn’t know how to do it anyway. πŸ˜ƒ 

What I ask of you is to look at yourself and love what you do.
Run when you can,  but relax and allow yourself days off when it just is not possible to run for a variety of reasons. Love yourself enough not to be killing yourself. πŸ§πŸ€”

It isn’t easy at the moment and this was the hardest week of weather in a while. Throw in all the restrictions and doom talk and it is easy to have missed a day or 2.

My plan last week for 10ml Patrick’s Day was flexible and 1 bad week won’t affect it.
Maybe start next week again and if you like delay the proposed 10 mile for another 2 weeks until Easter. It was only meant as an interim goal to get us through the next 2 months. Based on current predictions there will be no mass gatherings anywhere this year so go easy on yourself.

Fall back in love with running and that can only happen when you take the pressure off yourself. Having a tough plan that is hard to follow only sets you up for failure and disillusionment. Just go out relax and enjoy your miles.

Leave the watch at home sometimes and instead count the number of birds species you see.

I want to remain positive and I can only do that if I set myself up for success with realistic goals.  If I run I want to enjoy it and love the act of running and what it brings.

It will get better, the local restrictions will go in time and our running groups will increase so if there is 1 goal you should aim for, it is to be ready to resume with your buddies once we get the green light. There is little point in getting the permission to run and mix again and you finding yourself unfit and out of shape.

Again and it is an act of love. Make contact with your running buddies and see that they are doing Ok. They would love to hear from you. 

Hoping to do a Valentine virtual run for Irish Heart Foundation this weekend so maybe we get a break in the weather to let us run.

Take care, have a lovely weekend and honest, I do love you all.

"Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone
I'll be waiting, all there's left to do is run
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess
It's a love story, baby, just say, "Yes"..." 🎼
#pwr #Survive21

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Guest Post: Saturday Thoughts Pat Walsh

 ** Saturday thoughts **

πŸ›ŒπŸ› Got a few miles this morning with a friend and it was lovely.
Getting out of bed knowing you have company is so much easier.
Amazing how happy we are now with small pleasures.
Maybe it will teach us to be more appreciative. πŸ™

We are at this for a year and there are another few months at least ahead.
When will the ‘new normal’ become the ‘ actual normal’ and we will not be able to find another normal?
No despair here just a thought provoking analysis.
Can we or will we ever go back to what we had in 2019.

I will try to keep it going. I am ok after a rocky spell. Feel free to have your rocky spell. That is being NORMAL.
Will races, big events ever be the same?
When will we safely come together in a big group at a start line?
Are virtual races the future and organisers will find it difficult to fill real races.
There is no doubt many clubs have lost members and what will the future hold for them.

I don’t have answers…

Honest all is good and just thought provoking to stimulate the brain and feel free to comment.
Maybe, we can
Find a place to feel good
And we can treat people with kindness
Find a place to feel good... Harry Styles
#pwr #Survive21

(pic is an old one as well outside my 5K zone)

Friday, February 12, 2021

Friday Fun: Online Jigsaw of Lizzie Lee & Catherina McKiernan


For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back to 2015 and a race in which Lizzie Lee and Catherina McKiernan took part. Photo courtesy of Lizzie's dad GearΓ³id Γ“ Laoi.

The 156 piece jigsaw can be found here...

Thursday, February 11, 2021

NTA allocate €1.5 million for new path from Grange to the Tramore Valley Park

Update 11th Feb 2021: Good news! The National Transport Authority (NTA) have just allocated €1.5 million in funding to construct a new pedestrian and cycle path from the Grange Road / Frankfield to the Tramore Valley Park. This will include a new bridge over the South Ring Road.


Back in early 2018, full planning permission was granted for a new pedestrian/cycleway from the Grange Road through the Vernon Mount Valley with an overbridge to the Tramore Valley Park.

At a recent meeting of Cork City Council, the Director of Infrastructure Development said that the plans were now finalised... ‘The detailed design of the project has been completed, aided by grant funding by the National Transport Authority. Under the current programme it is envisaged that subject to funding, the Council will be tendering for works and appointing a contractor in 2021, with an estimated construction time of 18 months.’

Slowly but surely this project is gradually getting there. The key word however in the statement above is funding

Ground work on the entrance from Grange in 2016

Previous posts...

Cork City Council plans to build a bridge to access Tramore Valley Park (May 2018)

Update on the bridge and walkway for the Tramore Valley Park (Oct 2015)

Planning Notice (2017)

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Weather 10-Day Trend - 11th Feb to 21st Feb 2021

 The weather for the next 10-days can be broken down into different parts.

First off, the weather event on Thursday 11th February 2021.

At dawn on Thursday, a weather system will come in off the Atlantic. There is nothing unusual in that except that it will be meeting some very cold air that is over the country.

As the rain front arrives, any precipitation will have to fall through this layer of cold air near the ground resulting in some snow and possibly even freezing rain. This is when rain that is super cooled doesn't have time to freeze properly and then turns to ice when it hits the ground. Think of a road that looks wet but is actually like a sheet of glass and you get the idea.

There is a good possibility that any paths and roads could be treacherous on Thursday and you should be careful if you're out running or driving.

This low pressure system is bumping up against the high pressure system further east over N Europe which means that the snow and ice may well last for most of Thursday instead of the weather front rapidly rapidly over.

On Friday, the low pressure gradually pushes eastwards and by the weekend, the milder air and rain will arrive. That pretty much sets the scene for next week, a conveyor belt of weather fronts coming in from the Atlantic with plenty of rain and keeping things mild.

Despite the showers, there should be plenty of dry spells as well between the fronts to get out for a run. 

Over central Europe, a high pressure system dominate the weather and isn't that far away. At the end of next week, there is a hint in the computer models that this could influence our weather again and bring some dry weather.

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

1984 Interview with Jerry Kiernan

Back in 1984, Jerry Kiernan was one of the best distance runners in the country and finished 9th in the Olympics in Los Angeles that year.

The Marathon magazine was a popular running magazine back in the 1980's and was edited by Fr Liam Kelleher.

 The interview can be seen below...

Monday, February 08, 2021

Guest Post: 2021 - Part 2 Pat Walsh

 ** 2021 Part 2 **

We have survived January and hopefully there is some light starting to show. Whether that is the lengthening days or the overall situation starting to improve, it is important to feel some lift to our spirit. 🌀⛅️
It isn’t easy and it is far from over but if we can start to get some hope into our lives then it will help.
My January was made up of many small runs, just to get out and keep some fitness. I hope most of you have got to a 5 mile at this stage. I am now focusing on getting to a 10 mile for St Patrick’s Day. I don’t intend killing myself, it is still early in the Year and there are many goals still to achieve later this year. ☘️☘️☘

If you feel this is beyond you at the moment feel free to follow the plan but just aim for a 10Km instead. Make every mile a KM.
My plan is based on 3 runs per week but there is the option of a 4th run any week you feel up to it and have the time and energy for it. It is optional. Reaching the weekly target of 3 runs is the aim and don’t put pressure on yourself. 😍
On the harder plan I suggest for 1 of the 5 mile runs break it up into 1 slow mile, 3 quick miles and 1 slow mile. This is just to give your legs a lift and get the speed up.
Proper speed work can wait until the weather is better and evenings are longer.
Any questions about the plan feel free to ask me. πŸ€“πŸ€“

Some athletes are well ahead of all this and have a good weekly routine and fair play to you all. Just don’t burn out in February / March for absolutely no reason. There will not be a race other than Virtual or Elite this side of October. “Keep the Powder Dry” for the moment. I personally think they will be no major race of note until next Year.

πŸ™πŸ™The Running Community
I throw out my usual weekly platitudes about being kind to one another, following guidelines and supporting one all around us. When it is all over I hope we can all go back running together.
But 🧐

Through prolonged loneliness and social isolation some may feel trapped and alone at the moment. What if they are unable to resume normal function, fail to lift themselves again, stay stuck in the rut that has been created.

Get in contact with your friends. Check in and see how they are. Ring, Message, text, we never had as many ways of keeping in touch. We were brilliant last April when it was a novelty. Now it is real, the damage is done and ongoing. We need to rediscover that communal sense of purpose and spirit again.
Make someone laugh, make someone happy, make someone smile, make someone feel someone cares. It doesn’t just happen without action from you. πŸ‘πŸ™ŒMake a plan and stick to it.
"It might be easier for us, yeah for us to know
I know we never been quite here before
I wish I knew it when we lost it" 🎀🎼
#pwr  #survive21

Friday, February 05, 2021

Friday Fun: Online Jigsaw of Togher AC at the 2018 Charleville Half-Marathon


For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back to September 2018 and the start of the Charleville Half-Marathon.

You can find the 150-piece online jigsaw HERE

Notice: Mark Dalton Virtual 5k - 1st to 5th April 2021

With the lack of physical races at the moment, here is a good virtual 5k to target in April. All you have to do is buy a T-shirt to support this worthy cause. Details below...


On Thursday, December 3rd 2020, Mark Dalton, his twin brother Tom, and three friends were
involved in a serious car accident. Mark received exceptional care from the first responders,
paramedics, staff at Cork University Hospital and the Spinal Unit of the Mater Hospital. Despite
their efforts, he has been left with major trauma to his spine.

Mark is currently at the beginning of his rehabilitation journey which will continue in the National
Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire for the next considerable period of time. Mark is a 5th year student in Pobalscoil na TrΓ­onΓ³ide in Youghal, Co Cork, where he has made a lasting impression.

The main goal of this Virtual 5K Run/ Walk is to bring Mark back to a suitably modified home.

We want to contribute to the overall fundraising goal as considerable alterations are necessary
in the Dalton home. We, his School Pals have set up this Virtual 5K Run/ Walk to assist Mark on
his journey.

Thank you for your support


Thursday, February 04, 2021

12-Week Running Programme for Beginners - Feb 2021

Now that the January Couch to 5k programme is underway, another one is starting in February. 

Details below...


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

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Operation Transformation Virtual 5k - 18th to 20th Feb 2021


Due to the ongoing pandemic, the RTE Operation Transformation 5k is going virtual this year. You can do it on your own during the weekend of the 18th to the 20th of February 2021.

The event is free and it might be of interest if you want something to target.


 RTE Operation Transformation 5k page...

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Reminder to give the Blue vests some space...

In September of 2020, Cork City Council launched the social distancing Blue Vest initiative. The blue vests allow people with an underlying condition or who had been cocooning to get out and about, while reminding others to respect the social distancing guidelines. 

Sandra O’Meara of Cork City Council’s Community Section said, "The Blue Vests initiative for Cork City came about as a creative response to people’s fears and anxieties about Covid-19 when out and about. The distinctive Blue Vests simply act as a reminder to passers-by to respect social distance. This makes all the difference for people with underlying illnesses or after a period of cocooning, who need their exercise but want to remain safe".

These blue vests were handed out in the following areas... Gurranabraher, Mayfield, Mahon,    Ballyphehane, Togher and Ballincollig.

Just a reminder that if you see someone wearing a blue vest while out running then be sure to give them the required 2-metres of space.


Tramore Valley Park open until 6pm from the 1st of February

Please note that the Tramore Valley Park in Cork City will remain open until 6pm as of the 1st of February 2021.

Slowly but surely, the evenings are getting longer.