Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: March 2021

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions ease on the 12th of April 2021



The good news is that the current 5k travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are to be eased.

From the 12th of April, you will be able to travel anywhere in your own county.

If you are crossing a county boundary then your limit is 20kms from your own home.

The example shown on the left is for Youghal.

If you need to work out your own 20km limit then visit this website.

In terms of training, this means you can run and walk anywhere from your home and no more wondering if you're near your 5k limit.

With the vaccine being rolled out, this is hopefully the last of the serious restrictions as we begin the long path back to normality.

Saturday, March 27, 2021



(By John Walshe, East Cork News & Advertiser, 25/03/2021)

Billy Griffin commenced running back in 1956, a year still remembered for Ron Delany’s Olympic 1500m winning performance at Melbourne. But while the famous gold-medallist retired from competition just six years later, 65 years on Midleton-man Billy is still going strong. He recently completed all the virtual 5km runs organised by his local club where he is pictured here receiving his T-shirt on the occasion of his 83rd birthday.

Although Delany’s achievement was no doubt an inspiration to any young athlete of the time, it was another iconic performance that first whetted Billy’s appetite for the sport, as he explains: “Two years before that, in 1954, Roger Bannister broke the four-minute-mile. Although we had no television or anything at the time, when we went to the cinema the Pathé News would come out at halfway and they would show highlights of it.

“Myself and Connie Shanahan, who passed away a couple of years ago, decided to go out the Youghal Road where there were mile markers in stone to see how fast we could run a mile. We had no watches to time us, so I took my mother’s alarm clock!” As there was no club in Midleton at the time Billy joined Carrigtwohill where well-known retired photographer Eddie O’Riordan was the main man, along with the Harte brothers. “I remember cycling down to a sports in Carrigaline as well as up to Glenville, and cycling home again,” Billy recalls.

 “There was an attempt made to start a club here in Midleton, we actually had shirts and all made, but it didn’t last very long but when the present club was formed, we moved back. My brother, Maurice, who was a few years older than me, was on the committee of the new club. He didn’t run, although he did a bit of high jumping.” Cross-country was the main activity, with hardly any road races back then. “One of the few races on the road was from Waterfall to Warren’s Cross and I won it on one occasion. They’d never give you a distance; you just ran from A to B, it could be anything from three to four miles.

“Training at the time was all in the fields. We lived on the Rocky Road near Castleredmond and I used to have a fierce problem in the night-time but then I got the brainwave of putting on a beret and tying a flash-lamp or torch to it. One night I was running in the dark in the field which was parallel to the road and I heard a few girls talking out on the road and when they heard the noise inside the ditch they took off. A couple of nights later my mother was returning from the October devotions when she met a woman who said “you come home along here on your own? Well, there were two girls chased down the road the other night by some fellow!”

Billy started working as a lorry driver with Rohan’s in the 1960s, where he remained for over 20 years. “At that time I used to train at six in the morning, although I often went out at half-five. It was an eight o’clock start there but when I went to work for John A Wood we started at seven, so I had to get out at half-five then to train. I couldn’t go out in the evening because we were working late, and anyway you would be tired when you’d get home.”

In 1973, along with future Olympian Liam O’Brien, Billy was a member of the Midleton team that won the Cork County Novice and Intermediate Cross-Country titles. He was also one of the pioneering 34 runners who ran the first-ever Ballycotton five-mile race in 1977 and later completed three Dublin City Marathons.

The Nike 4% shoes - which are supposed to improve running economy by 4 percent - are all the rage at the moment but Billy Griffin had his own remedy for swifter running back in the day. “I used to love running barefoot and never used to wear shoes for cross-country, I always ran in my bare feet from the start. I tried it on the road one morning and it was grand where the tarmac was good, but not where the surface was poor. Recently I thought of doing it on the Cricket Field but I suppose if I was seen doing it now I’d be taken away!”

Described as a “club legend” by Midleton AC registrar Danny McCarthy, like all runners at the moment Billy is greatly missing the local races. Although admitting the virtual ones aren’t the same, he still managed to run all five of the Midleton 5km events. “The first one was under 34 minutes, but I slowed a bit after that. I’m used to running on my own, but a race is different as you always have someone to push you and keep you going,” says Billy, who still heads out for his morning runs at half-seven four days a week.

The rest of the day is no doubt taken up with the bright and beautifully-kept garden that he and his wife Ann tend to at their Brookdale East home. “With the garden centres closed at the last lockdown I couldn’t get plants so what I did was to get packet seeds and grow my own, so I’m ready for action now. I’m inside the window following the sun around and will plant them when they get a bit stronger.

“The gardening keeps the mind going,” concludes this remarkable man who is certainly living proof at the age of 83 that a live-long passion for running keeps the body in excellent shape as well.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Online Jigsaw: Fionnuala Britton in the Phoenix Park - 2011


For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back to 2011 when Fionnuala Britton was one of Ireland's top international athletes. This photo courtesy of Gearóid Ó Laoi is a photo of Fionnuala in a race in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

You can find the 187 piece jigsaw HERE

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Running club in Dublin vows to continue after Gardaí attend race

The Trotters Running Club in Ballyfermot, Dubin held a running event back on the 13th of March for their members. Things things didn't quite go to plan as several units of the Gardaí turned up as well.

Shane Sheil, from Trotters Running Club said... “I didn’t think it would be an issue. A couple of lads were in a debate with them, I didn’t get involved myself. There was a lot of decent policemen there, they were completely oblivious as to what we were doing. The club was set up for everyone and specifically for mental health reasons, including me myself. If it wasn’t for this club, I don’t know where I’d be. So many people have said the same thing to me, they’re in the same boat. Mental health is a big thing at the moment. A woman’s body was found in the canal, another local woman died from suicide in lower Ballyfermot last week, a lot of people are out of work. It is hurting people. We are not well equipped to deal with it.”

The current COVID-19 restrictions prevent groups of people meeting up outdoors.

According to a local newspaper, members of the club and Gardai exchanged dialogue at the scene, but no offences were recorded.

Full story...

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Webinar: A Day in the Life of a Para Athlete - 24th March 2021

Cork Sports Partnership in conjunction with Sport Ireland, CARA & Munster Technological University are delighted to host our first ever "A Day in the life of a Para Athlete" webinar.

Speakers on the night will be Patrick Monahan and Mary Fitzgerald.

Patrick has represented Ireland as a para athlete numerous times at the highest level. He is the current Irish Record Holder over multiple distances both on the track & road. His specialized event is the marathon which he hopes to compete in this summer at the Paralympics in Tokyo. Patricks personal best (the current Irish record) for the marathon is 1:22:23. To put this in perspective on the day Patrick achieved this feat he went through the first 10km in just 17 minutes!

Mary Fitzgerald is a current UCC Quercus Sports Scholarship student studying Occupational Therapy. Mary has been competing Internationally since 2014. She has competed at all levels of the very prestigious IWAS (International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports) World Games and has won numerous medals at each of these events. Mary is well accomplished at all the throwing discplines but in recent times her focus has turned soley to the shot. Mary placed 7th in her first ever Para Senior World Championships in 2019. Just like Patrick, Mary is hoping 2021 will be another milestone year for her.

The topics to be discussed will include;
Life as an Irish para athlete
My approach to training
The road to the Toyko Paralympics Games 2021
Webinar Details
Title: A Day in the Life of a Para Athlete with Mary Fitzgerald & Patrick Monahan
Date: Wednesday March 24th
Time: 7pm
Duration: 1 hour

More info here...

Friday, March 19, 2021

Online Jigsaw: Cork City Marathon 2018


For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back to the 2018 Cork City Marathon.

You can find the 150-piece jigsaw HERE

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Guest Post: St Patrick... by Pat Walsh

 ☘ St Patrick ☘

What is normally a time of emerging from Winter, and kicking off the Year with some fun, we find ourselves still trapped in the 5K zone and could be there for a few weeks yet. Any lifting will be minimal until May. 😱

I have found the past week very difficult myself and the lack of leadership, guidance and a sense of purpose and a plan has been very disheartening.

The Vaccine roll-out plan has changed 17 times since January and we are told nobody here is at fault. I honestly think they have no idea the level of hurt, suffering and despair that is out there.
I know if St Patrick was still alive, the snakes I would like him to drive out of Ireland. 🐍🐍

Yes there is light ahead so make sure we get there in 1 piece and ready to take our place in Society.
I am not being controversial here, just stating that we need something to look forward to. Something to aim for. Kicking the can down the road every few weeks is soul destroying to us all.
It isn't the integrity of the people in charge I question, it is their competence to do the role they now have.

I quote from the Irish Times last Monday week.
‘We know this much for certain, however. We are definitely at the stage where vast swathes of the population are of the view that they have done their bit, and that while they are willing to go on doing their bit, they need to start taking their lives back while doing so. This is an entirely reasonable attitude to adopt. It has neither the fecklessness of the open-everything-now brigade nor the unrealistic faux-simplicity of the Zero Covid crowd.

So when it comes to something like kids playing sport out in the open air, reasonable people are at the point where they need something better than to be told that this is just not possible. It is accepted by all sides that it is pretty much unheard-of to transmit Covid by playing outdoor sport. Only yesterday, it was reported in The Sunday Times that in 12 months of detailed tracing of positive Covid tests in professional soccer, American football, rugby league and rugby union, there hasn’t been a single case of on-field transmission. Not a single one.’
I do feel that I am repeating myself every week here and have very little new to offer anyone. What I would honestly like to say most weeks, I find myself stopping as it is too critical of establishment and this page would become just another of those mud-slinging places that are everywhere at the moment.
I had a plan in place to do a 10 mile next week (or 10K if that is your goal) and I will do that. The Pub and Parade are on hold.

Don’t be putting pressure on yourself for a time, just do it. If there is a little stop or a walk somewhere then no bother at all. Be kind to yourself and those around you.

If you can manage a takeaway cuppa afterwards then do so. 

Keep going, there is light but maybe we have to make it ourselves..!! ☀️🕯
Keep getting out that door. It might be my last post if this gets too controversial.
#pwr #survive21

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Guest Post: Running OR Life Pat Walsh

** Running or Life **

Bit heavy this week, forgive me.

Early Noughties the go-to motivational speech for all teams was Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday. It is possibly the most inspirational sports movie speech of all time in my opinion. . He mixes life with the game in a Half-Time speech and looks at the similarities between both.
It resonates today / now / the situation we are in whether it is life or our running goals.  The Speech of Inches, I will use parts of it.

😎 Al “We are in hell right now, gentlemen
believe me
we can stay here
and get the s**t kicked out of us
we can fight our way
back into the light.
We can climb out of hell.
One inch, at a time.”

🤔 Pat: There is nothing to inspire us from on high only the same stale advice that has failed us for a year now. I am not advocating anarchy but I am trying to inspire a new-found sense of running as a team.
Runners all over Ireland need to feel part of a group who will not give up and who will help and support one another.
It will not be easy the next few months, that is certain but there is hope.  If we help one another, it will make it easier together. 

😎 Al  “Cause we know
when we add up all those inches
that's going to make the fu**ing difference
between WINNING and LOSING
between LIVING and DYING.”

🤔 Pat: Say hello to every runner you meet and smile at them.
Every runner who posts a pic on facebook on their own page or any other page make sure to give a like or a smile or a kind comment.
Try to meet a buddy more often to run with.
Make time for coffee with fellow runners.
Plan your weekly runs and plan a goal.
Don’t be afraid to share your experiences and ideas as you will find it resonates with others. I write nothing special, only the foolish thoughts that are circulating in this strange skull and still loads of people say it means something to them. 😱


Don't give up, we are made of better stuff than that.
Run to save yourself and show you won’t be beaten by this crisis or the gang in charge.
Run to save others and show we are in this together.
Run to show you control your life and not totally waiting for the crumbs from the Masters Table
Run because it saved Forrest Gump.
Run for your life
Run to climb out of this mess Inch by Inch
RUN, The alternative isn't worth thinking about it.

😎 Al  “You know when you get old in life
things get taken from you.
That's, that's part of life.
you only learn that when you start losing stuff.
You find out that life is just a game of inches.”
Sorry for lack of specific running advice. For the moment, I am just trying to get through this.
If anyone thinks I am losing the plot with this post let me assure you it happened months ago.
#pwr #Survive21

Friday, March 12, 2021

The Human Bean: Training for a 50k by eating nothing but beans for 40-days

Here's something different! An Aussie named Beau Miles ate nothing but beans for 40-days to train for a 50k Ultra Marathon and to see what the impact would be.

The video which is 26 minutes long is worth a watch.

"Eating only the contents of 191 tins of beans over 40 days transforms Beau into The Human Bean, and in doing so gives him a front row seat into how one food, totally and utterly, dictates how he feels. Beau uses his intimate knowledge of running to compare his former self to his bean-self, logging lacklustre training for an ultramarathon that he plans on running during the final day of the experiment."

Beans eaten:
80 tins of organic baked beans in tomato sauce (13.8% carbs)
30 tins of organic kidney beans (5% carbs)
20 tins of organic blackbeans (12.5% carbs)
40 tins of four bean mix (10.5%)
10 tins Mexican bean mix (9% carbs)
10 tins butter beans (13% carbs)
1 tin of giant greek(?) beans (17% carbs)

Online Jigsaw: Ballycotton 10 mile 2014


For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back to the 2014 Ballycotton 10-mile road race and the photo is courtesy of Gearóid Ó Laoi.

It's a small bit more complicated this week with 216 pieces. 

The link is here...

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Work continues on the new Glounthaune to Carrigtwohill walkway - March 2021

Back in February 2020, I had a post up about the new proposed walkway between Bury's Bridge near the Dunkettle interchange to Glounthaune and Carrigtwohill

Work on this project has commenced and Tim McCarthy has very kindly sent on a few photos.

As you can see, there is a nice wide path for walkers and cyclists.... and runners!

This set of photos was taken between Fitpatrick's Food Store in Glounthaune and the Elm Tree bar.

As the photo below shows, they still have a lot of work to do.

As the photos show, the main road is now reduced to two lanes with a much reduced hard shoulder.

Whenever the BHAA Cork to Cobh race returns, I would presume that the Gardaí would insist that all runners will run on the new path? It's hard to imagine that they would allow runners on the road and block a lane completely.

Looking at the width of the path, there would seem to be plenty of room for runners to pass other users like walkers and cyclists.

At the moment, I'm not aware of the completion date for this project but I would assume that a lot of the work will be done by the end of 2021.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Notice: Carrigrohane Rd to Model Farm Rd Walkway closed 15th March to late April 2021


The short walkway between the Lee Fields car park and the Model Farm Road is closing for a few weeks from Monday the 15th of March 2021. This is a popular route with many walkers, runners and cyclists.

 The walkway is shown above in Red and comes out on the Model Farm Road near the Tennis Village.

 Just take it into account if you are planning a run.

Monday, March 08, 2021

Guest Post: A Year Later... by Pat Walsh

 ** A Year later **

This week last year this whole crisis started to hit and nobody had any idea of the Year ahead and what it had in store for us. It has been an unreal Year in so many ways.

Saturday 8th March 2020, I ran my last race in the Dunhill / Fenor 10 mile and I thought the biggest danger ahead of me was getting out of Waterford alive…!! 😱😱

Is there any point in looking back and maybe just as well to keep the focus forward and what is in the future.  I don’t know, I haven’t the answers, I can’t understand how everyone is feeling. Personally I am up and down, I am trying to be positive and succeeding for most of the time but I can understand why people are suffering.

I am talking as a runner. We like certainty, we like a plan, we like a focus that we can work to. A race in 6 weeks, a marathon in 4 months etc, etc. We plan our lives, our runs around this and aim for that date.
I think what is killing us all now is the lack of a specific, we are chasing a moving target and it is very hard to train and motivate yourself for that scenario.

We followed a plan for the last year that promised us some light, but we find ourselves back in that same situation. Madness can be defined as 'doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome'.

I am not making this post critical of anyone or anything but just trying to help fellow runners understand why they are feeling a little lost and frustrated at the moment.
There is an air of resigned acceptance in most of us and that is stopping our enjoyment of life and building to the future. We are losing touch with one another as we haven't gathered as a group for so long. WE need to shake it up.


What to do
We must keep going regardless, quitting isn't an option.
There will be NO races so don't be building your hopes on that. An extended area to live our lives and meeting a few others is the best we can hope for.
Make your own goals that you know you can do and will be able to complete. Many great online challenges and Virtual races to take part in. Many have a charitable element which can help the feel-good factor as well.
Plan something for Patrick's Day go out to run and wear the Green. I am hoping to do my 10 mile that day before the Parade and a few pints in the Pub. ☘️🍻

I can put a plan together to bring us to Half Marathon or 10 mile depending where you are.
There are different dates coming up after that including Easter plus May and June Bank Holidays. Aim for something around those times and we might have got some freedom after that.
I know I am saying the same old thing week-in / week-out, sorry, but life is the same every week now.
I can meet a buddy locally and run. Not much I know, but some people are having it a lot worse. I am surviving.

You can let yourself sink or you can try to swim. 🏊🏊‍♀️
#pwr #survive21 #hope

Friday, March 05, 2021

Friday Jigsaw: Charleville Half-Marathon finish 2018


For this weeks online jigsaw, we go for a splash of colour at the end of the 2018 Charleville Half-Marathon.

You can find the 187 piece jigsaw HERE

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Weather for the week ahead : Fri 5th to Fri 12th March 2021

It looks as if the current dry spell is about to come to an end.

The weather chart above shows the situation at the weekend. There is a high pressure system over the UK which is giving us this our current spell of dry and cool weather. It is also blocking the high pressure systems coming in from the Atlantic.

Starting on Friday, the Jet Stream out over the Atlantic is getting stronger and this has the effect of pushing more and more against the high pressure system. It's possible there may be some rain over the weekend as these front make more progress and the further west you are then the higher the chance of rain.

By the start of next week, the high pressure system moves away which allows the usual conveyor belt of low pressure systems to return. The result is a lot more wet weather next week but at least the temperatures should come back up a bit closer to 10 deg C.

It's not all doom and gloom as there will be plenty of bright spells between the fronts. Make the most of it if you're out for a run.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Training plans for March 2021 starting now...


Now that we're into March, I'll be starting more training programmes this month. Whether you're a beginner, someone who just wants to get fitter or someone who wants to improve their race time from the 5k to the marathon, a plan can be tailored for you.

More info here...

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Warning: Cars are being clamped near Harty's Quay in Rochestown


Harty's Quay on the Rochestown Road is a popular starting spot for people running and walking on the local Greenway. When the small car park there is full, many people park somewhere locally including straight across the road in Woodville Estate.

The problem however was that this estate became in effect a second car park and some inconsiderate parking meant that local residents had trouble getting access.

This came to a head on the 1st of March 2021 when cars started to be clamped.

Apparently a lot of people got caught out on Monday. As you can see from the photo above and below, there are plenty of Blue notices up on poles.

If you know someone that uses Harty's Quay on a regular basis, just let them know of the situation.