Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: May 2021

Monday, May 31, 2021

Guest Post: Thinking out Loud Pat Walsh

 ** Thinking out loud **

Bit thought provoking this week. Not sure has it anything to do with running. πŸƒ

The last year was a life changing event that completely stopped us in our tracks and brought us all down to earth with a bang. We were confined close to home and all the social activities ceased. It was a time of worry and stress that we didn’t expect and most of us were not ready for.

Now as things improve and before we start off on the Hamster Wheel again of 24 / 7 busy, have a think about the way you want the future to look for you.

Did you just follow people and do what they were doing? Now is a time to break free from that.

You have been given an marvelous opportunity to reset.

You have discovered nature, fresh-air, exercise and the simple things in life. 

You have found more local routes to run, walk and cycle in.

You survived on your own and you are mentally stronger for that.

You missed your friends and now is the time to appreciate them more.

You have enjoyed a cup of coffee sitting on a wall with a buddy.

Will you get back on the – 'I must go here, I must go there bandwagon' – and not have the time to train and do what you want to do yourself?

What good thing has the past year made you do, and will you keep doing it?

Are you going to continue to keep it simple and give yourself time to do what YOU want to do?


I would love to have a race to go to. Not to be killing myself but just for the social aspect of travelling and meeting. 

There are many who don’t miss racing and the anxiety it gave them worrying about times and performance. You have been spared that and don’t go back if it causes you too much stress.

Maybe find low key events and leave the watch at home.


Folks I hope you are all safe and well. We need to exercise for so many health and mental benefits that I cannot start to name them. You future depends on a healthy YOU. 

Proactively manage your health and well-being to enjoy your life and be ready for the next curve-ball. The people who managed this one best, were in good physical and mental shape before it ever struck.

Life is short and can take sudden unexpected turns as we now know. Over-planning the future is futile. As we emerge into the light again, make it a life that you want to live and make yourself happy. We will only get one go at it. 

Before you start again, know what you want. πŸ€”


"Spirit of my silence I can hear you, but I'm afraid to be near you

And I don't know where to begin

And I don't know where to begin" 🎼

Have a lovely week. Sorry if a bit too deep for Monday reading.


Friday, May 28, 2021

Friday Jigsaw: Joe Murphy at the 2016 Cork to Cobh race

For this weeks online jigsaw, we head back to the finish line of the 2016 Cork BHAA Cork to Cobh 15-mile road race and the ever present Joe Murphy taking some photos.

You can find the 117 piece jigsaw HERE

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Notice: Mallow Virtual 10 Mile: 30th June - 6th July 2021

It looks as if the Mallow 10-mile road race is going to virtual this year.

From the organisers: 

Co-op Superstores Mallow 10 is going virtual. 

Along with our traditional 10 mile distance we are delighted to offer 5k and 10k options or if you want run all three! There is something for everyone and you can walk, jog or run the distances on offer. 

For anyone who was not registered in our 2020 event and would like to register in this event please use the link below. Participants from 2020 who did not avail of a refund please check your email for updated options. 

A donation will be made to Pieta House with every entry. 

Mallow AC would like to thank you for your continued support and wish you all the best with your training. 

You can enter HERE

You can do the virtual run between the 30th of June and the 6th of July 2021 inclusive.

You can then upload your results to the MyRunResults website.

Monday, May 24, 2021


RON  HILL – A PERSONAL TRIBUTE ...By John Walshe (23/05/2021)

It has been said that you should never try to meet your heroes “lest they be found to have feet of clay.” One thing that can be safely said of Ron Hill, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 82, is that he certainly hadn’t, either metaphorically or literally, feet of clay. 

For any runner getting started in this great sport back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Ron Hill was the man. His many achievements on road, track and cross-country were the stuff of legends. For those of us lucky enough to have both copies of his acclaimed autobiography The Long Hard Road (even though now dog-eared and falling apart), no extra motivation was required to head out on the roads on a dark winter’s night.

There can’t be many runners anywhere who haven’t at some stage worn a piece of clothing without the RonHill or Hilly logo. A couple of years after commencing running, I purchased a pair of his famous Freedom Shorts which he posted along with a signed brochure.

Having obtained his autograph, I hopefully looked forward to the day when I would meet the man in person. In the late 1980s, through a friendship with Brian McKenna who supplied the Ballycotton ‘10’ T-shirts, I competed in a number of North of England races. As Brian belonged to the same Clayton-le-Moors club as Ron, surely he would be at some event we attended, but it was not to be.

On a September day in 1996, I took the bus from Manchester Airport to Stockport and on to the town of Hyde where the Ron Hill Sports store was based. Calling in to the shop around mid-day hoping to see the famous face behind the counter, the helpful staff informed me that unusually he hadn’t been in that morning. Purchasing some small souvenir of my visit, I caught the next bus back.

While on the top deck, admiring the lush Cheshire countryside, I suddenly spotted the unmistakably figure of Ron Hill gently trotting along the pavement. Getting off at the next stop I waited (and wondered what would I say) but he didn’t appear, no doubt his schedule that day taking him on a different route.

Two years later, we finally met. Andy O’Sullivan, a Waterford-born policeman who would receive an MBE for his fund-raising running events, had organised the first of what would become an annual Ron Hill Birthday race. Held from the Falcon Inn in the town of Littleborough near Rochdale, it was only a one-mile race in honour of Ron’s 60th, but it was enough just to be there.

One ambition had been realised; another remained unfilled. Ten years later, with the Birthday Race having now been increased to 5km, a return trip was made to Littleborough and an invitation extended to Ron Hill to come and run the Ballycotton ‘10’ the following March. 

And so on the Friday night before the 2009 10-miler, I waited anxiously before the arrival gates at Cork Airport opened to reveal Ron and his wife May pushing their laden trolley. The following day, bringing both from one hotel to another, a brief detour had to be made to the nearest town with an off-licence to insure that Ron was stocked up with his usual pre-race nightcap of a few cans of beer.

During the visit he also related that for around 50 years both he and May had maintained a weekly tradition of a Thursday night meal of fish and chips. This was no doubt a throwback to Ron’s original hero, Alf Tupper, The Tough of the Track fictional comic character from the same working-class Northern background who took on and beat the world’s best runners.

He may have run 46:44 for 10 miles on the track during his prime, but that day in Ballycotton Ron Hill had to be happy with his second place in the M70 category, his time of 85:41 well behind Tadhg Twomey of Metro-St Brigids who recorded 74:24.

Hill’s accomplishments and contribution to running in so many ways have been well documented but it’s no harm just recalling one of his greatest triumphs, the Boston Marathon of 1970. On a wet, cold and windy day and attired in just a string vest, minimalist shorts (which he designed himself) and a pair of thin Reebok shoes, he knocked over three minutes from the course record with his 2:10:30.

He didn’t even wear a watch - not that it would have been of any benefit as Boston at the time didn’t even have actual markers at each mile – but he was shocked when he learned the finish time, the first Briton to win Boston.

The winner at Boston in recent years could expect to receive $150,000 in prize money, plus bonuses and expenses. In his day, Hill received a medal, a laurel wreath and a bowl of stew. His airfare wasn’t even paid, the money came from a fund set up by the Road Runners Club (an organisation I’m proud to say I’ve been a member of for 45 years.)

The morning after Ballycotton, I accompanied Ron on a three-mile run along part of what is now the increasingly popular Ballycotton Cliff Walk, taking in the fresh sea air before making our way up through the fields and back down the hill to the village where both of us had been part of the record 2,400 crowd the day before.

Although living no more than a five-minute jog from that Cliff Walk, surprisingly I haven’t run along there since. So some evening this week I’ll don a Ron Hill shirt and retrace those steps I trod with a true and unique running legend and hero all of those 12 years ago.

And maybe afterwards I’ll partake of a feed of fish ‘n’ chips in honour of both The Tough of the Track and the real King of the Road, Dr Ron Hill, MBE, R.I.P.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Friday Jigsaw: Before the 2016 Great Railway Run

For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back to the start of the 2016 Great Railway Run 25km race from Cork City to Carrigaline.

Pictured are the main man Jerry Forde and Donal O'Donoghue.

The link for the 126-piece jigsaw is HERE

Thursday, May 20, 2021

ONLINE Sport Psychology Course - June & July 2021

ONLINE Sport Psychology Course

“The Role of Sport Psychology in Sports Coaching” is a 5 week course for sports coaches.  The course is on Monday nights on Zoom for 1.5 hours.  The course content is:-

The course will start on Monday 14th June and the cost is €50.  Please contact sport AT canicekennedy DOT com for further information.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Guest Post: Sunday Smiles Pat Walsh

 Sunday SmilesπŸ˜† Pat Walsh

Weekend Wondering 🧐

Vaccine Voyage πŸ’‰

Last Monday saw the lifting of a few more restrictions and you will be able to get that wild head of hair tidied up a bit, plus a few more services and a few shops. We are going the right direction.

The Vaccine is rolling out and pleased to say I got my first Jab during the week. Simple, quick, seamless operation and fair play to all involved. Professional

Only glitch was when I was stopped as they said “Under 40’s are not for a few weeks yet”. I had to assure them that behind this youthful handsome good looks was indeed a very old Birth-Cert. Only messing. Thanks to Angel Niamh in C.I.T. for doing the honours πŸ‘©‍πŸ”¬

Inter County Hurling back on the TV and the Rebels are playing again.

As of last Monday, you are free to escape from your County and travel around the Country. Great News

Groups of 15 can meet for outdoor training so more people to have the crack with. πŸƒπŸƒπŸƒ

It is like the Year is finally starting.πŸ€“

Question that is bothering me most and maybe you can help? 

From Youghal in the East to Sheep's Head in the West and stopping off at a few locations in between, Cork is a stunning County.

Whether walking, running, cycling or sitting drinking coffee...

Why would we ever want to leave it? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

-- amor vincit omnia --

Have a great week ahead and hope every week gets better for ALL of us 😍😍


Friday, May 14, 2021

Online Jigsaw: Start of the Lee Fields 4 mile road race - Oct 2015

For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back to October 2015 and the start line of the Lee Fields 4 mile road race.

You can find the 150-piece jigsaw HERE

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

School donates land to allow public access to Tramore Valley Park via Half Moon Lane

Some good news! The Board of Management of Christ King Girl's Secondary School are donating some land to Cork City Council to allow for the construction of a public footpath via Half Moon Lane.

From Twitter.... "The Board of Management of Christ King Secondary School are delighted to announce the gifting of land to Cork City Council to allow for the construction of a public footpath for access to Tramore Valley Park via Half Moon Lane."

This will hopefully speed things up as the current situation is that local residents in Turners Cross cannot walk or run to their local park as Cork City Council keep the access gate locked.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Guest Post: Are You Ready... by Pat Walsh

 ** Are you ready? ** Pat Walsh

πŸƒπŸƒ‍♀️  Again a week to be positive, a week of hope, a week nearer whatever the new normality will look like.

We can be positive as the vaccination rolls out. Every jab makes us all a bit safer and opens us possibilities of freedom and fun.

Hearing the DCM21 is still being considered and not ruled out yet shows how quickly the situation is turning. I am not getting into the finer points but the fact a super organization like this think it may still be possible in some form is a glimmer of hope for all us. It won’t be 25,000 people galloping all over Dublin but limited numbers, vaccine passport, rapid testing, small circuit to control water and spectators is a possibility. Who knows what the situation will be then.


This will also allow smaller low-key races locally to take place. A nice 10 miler now with a limited entry of 500, staggered starts and adapted finishes must surely be possible by Autumn. There will be Charity 5k’s with small numbers and Marathons using a rural looped circuit should be possible to organize this Year.
Maybe I am a dreamer
Maybe I am losing it
Maybe I am just trying to keep myself going
But are you ready? 
Do you need to kick into gear and start training specifically for something.
If you were inactive most of the last Year, then be careful of ramping up the mileage too quickly.
If you are hoping for an Autumn Marathon whether virtual or real, then you need to be in a decent weekly plan at the moment.
From last Monday we can meet in Groups of 15, which will bring back some life, fun, social element to the training.
It will also help, as the group dynamic is a huge one, when trying to improve speed or churning out the long miles on a weekend run.
Find you running shoes, find your running buddies, find your plan, find your Mojo.

************  IMPORTANT BIT *************

The past year is gone and cannot be changed. What matters most now is your reaction next week. πŸƒπŸƒ‍♀️😍

So let next week be the start of something new. You can refocus with a realistic hope that every week from now will be better than anything we have experienced the last 14 months. If I am wrong in all I have said above, then sorry for the false hope, but for the moment I am dreaming. 

“If this be error and upon me proved,
 I never writ, nor no man ever loved.” Sonnet 116.


Loving my new bike as well so a mix of running and cycling at the moment is the order of the day. 

Enough said, I have miles to do and it is a beautiful morning. Have a good week. Stay safe 😍

#pwr #survive21

Friday, May 07, 2021

Friday Jigsaw: Cork BHAA race in Cork City - Feb 2016

For this weeks online jigsaw, we go back to the end of February 2016 and one of the Cork BHAA races on the Monahan Road / Centre Park Road circuit in Cork City.

You can find the 150-piece jigsaw HERE

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Guest Post: May Bank Holiday... by Pat Walsh

 ** May Bank Holiday ** 

Few weeks ago I posted a plan to do a Half Marathon or a 10mile last  weekend. I do know from messages that many of you are training for this and hopefully it will go well for you.

You can train for the month of May to improve this, once you have cracked the distance.

Relax and enjoy it, no pressure on yourself and just complete it. Have a cuppa and a Bun. Feel free to let me know how you get on with a message, comment or a picture. πŸ€“

My own training fell apart with an injury, so I am on greatly reduced mileage at the moment. A few spins on the bike to make up for it but it isn’t the same at all. Still, I am ok and thanks for the kind messages received asking about my health. Thank You . . 

I can reveal that it has a strange Latin name for the precise description of my ailment.

“Birthcertitis” 🀯🩺

It is the inability to look at your birth cert and act your age and not to be running around like a Young fella. If it was an NCT test I would be scrapped. 

Still the vaccine could be down to my age group soon. (one advantage of age.. thanks GM) πŸ’‰πŸ’‰

So one-third of the Year gone and we are at the first of the Summer Bank Holidays. To say it was strange year so far is an understatement. What is ahead of us is hard to plan.

I am trying to stay positive. Thankfully we got some good news last night. I have had enough ‘Hold Firm’ for my lifetime.

We surely have been through the toughest bit and it can only get better. 

The days are longer and brighter and our travel limits are improving. 

Increase in numbers in groups for adult training is super and we can enjoy the gang again.

The Summer Gear, running shorts and tops can appear again soon. Fake Tan may be required in some cases. Penneys will be open soon for the Hawaiian Tropic. 🀣 ☀️

Inter County Hurling will be back on TV. πŸ“Ί

Countrywide travel, with Hotels and more Hospitality opening soon might present a different set of problems... We might not have time to train (a different problem)…!!. But great to think we can go somewhere. 🍺🍷πŸ₯˜πŸ₯—

Once they open a few shops and dining places and we will be ‘ar muin na muice’ again. 

Final word on this. It is not how far we can travel, but what we do and how we conduct ourselves is key to maintaining these freedoms. Travel, explore, have fun, enjoy your friends but BEHAVE. 

πŸƒπŸƒ‍♀️ 🀸🀸‍♀️

Hopefully we could see some form of limited races in Autumn. It should be possible to safely do low-key, limited numbers events. I think we would all welcome that. Maybe we might not like the flat-out lung bursting issues that happen with racing but the social interaction of just going somewhere and meeting a few fellow runners would be lovely.

Clubs and Charities have suffered badly for funds the last year so if there is any way it is possible to organise these runs, I have faith in their ingenuity to accomplish it safely. 

Few posters attached to this post for virtual runs attached that may be of interest to you. Now that you can run with a few people they might be an attractive challenge.


Folks, you may be sick of me pushing the mental side of things but I do feel it is so important to remind ourselves of the long term impact of this on us all. 

Mind yourself and if you can, mind others. Some may need a helping hand, a friendly voice to clear the hurdles. The long term implications of all of this are not understood yet and who knows what people have suffered and what damage has been done to the mental health of people.

Any Covid weight gain will fall off with a few weeks (hard) training, there is no issue there. The head isn’t as easy or as straight forward.

Make sure as restrictions ease that your friends come back into the light again. They might need a push or a pull.

Get out there and move your arse, Get others with you where and when you can. Don’t out run the love of running as one day you may be as crocked as me.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜œπŸ₯°

As always, comments questions or messages are greatly appreciated. I love them. Stay safe and well.

#pwr #survive21

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Carrigaline Community School do 48 hour run to raise awareness for those in direct provision

Ten staff from Carrigaline Community School are running 4 miles every hour for 48 hours to raise awareness for the Sanctuary Runners movement and for those living in direct provision.