Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Blog Update: Sept 2021 - Coming out of hibernation...

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Blog Update: Sept 2021 - Coming out of hibernation...

For the last 18-months or so, the blog has been tipping away as I have been only posting a few times a week. 

When we went into the big lockdown in the Spring of 2020, it was all about what events were being cancelled. Pretty soon, it was just nothing but doom and gloom with no events going ahead.

It got pretty boring for me to be just writing about cancellations as I'm sure it was equally as boring to read about them.

We had a number of virtual events but people can only do so many of them before they lose their appeal. 

I kept the blog going with the occasional post every few days but as you might expect, the traffic to the website fell away.

In August of 2021, the blog finally started to come out of hibernation as I increased the number of posts due to the increasing number of events making a comeback.

The chart below shoes the number of pageviews per month that the blog got in the last six months...

Despite the fact there were hardly any events and I was only posting a few times a week, the blog was still getting between 26,000 and 35,000 pageviews a month in mid 2021.

When I restarted actively posting in August of 2021, there was an immediate jump up to 46,175 pageviews, a jump of 66% on the previous month.

In conjunction with the increase in posts on the blog, I also got the associated Patreon page up and running again. Thanks to those of you who now subscribe to this and help support the site.

In updating the Patreon page, I have been updating a list of Half-Marathon in Ireland and I have searched through numerous websites and Facebook pages. I have seen numerous people saying that the 'road races are back!' but the reality is very different. What we have seen is just a trickle and it's not distributed evenly across the country.

I had a look at many of the chip timing websites and some of them haven't changed since the big lockdown in the Spring of 2020. Some have tipped away with a few virtual runs but many sites look abandoned. There was quite a few people running a small business offering timing services and I'd have to wonder if they will all return once all the races return?

It's not all bad news however as there are plenty of green shoots reappearing. When I did the most recent update of the list on Tuesday, I counted a total of 25 actual real half-marathons planned in Ireland for the last four months of 2021. Already I have seen 6 on the list for 2022 with entries opening in the next few months.

I also put together a list of 10-mile races for Ireland and it surprising just how few there are. For example, I was only able to find 3 10-mile races in contrast to 31 half-marathons.

I also been updating the race calendar on the blog and one of the biggest surprises was just how expensive the club races in Cork have got. It seems as if €15 and €20 is now the norm in Cork and I couldn't help but think of the Ballycotton Summer Series of races which came to an end in 2017.

There were four races in the Ballycotton area on the 3rd Thursday of May, June, July and August and  these were organised by Ballycotton Running Promotions. Each 5-mile race cost just €5 with the last race costing €6 with the extra euro going to charity. The purpose of the series was to put on races that had no other purpose than to be a race. No medals, no flashy top, no chip timing, no big expensive prizes or prize list... just a road race for runners at a modest price.

The club races now seem to be there for other purposes and there is nothing wrong with that either. Some races might be fundraising for organizations or for the club itself but they are no longer races for the sake of being races. This is in marked contrast to the way it used to be years ago where clubs would try to hold a race and break even at the end of it.

I was wondering if the Cork races were expensive due to the limit on the numbers but An Ríocht AC in Kerry and West Waterford AC have 5k races on the calendar for €10 with the same restrictions.

I'm not the only person to note the expense of the club races in Cork as others have said it to me as well. There's room for all types of races but the Cork BHAA races where someone can turn up and run for €5 are badly needed as well.

At least the free 5k parkruns will be restarting on the 11th of September and this will offer runners some choice.

Patreon... If anyone would like to join the small community of supporters on Patreon then you can find the info here...

There is no onus to join as I'll still be posting away here on the blog. 

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