Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Collapse in numbers for the Grant Thornton 5k in Cork - Tues 6th Sept 2022

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Collapse in numbers for the Grant Thornton 5k in Cork - Tues 6th Sept 2022

The Grant Thornton 5k in Cork City was held on Tuesday the 6th of September 2022 with 384 runners taking part. While that number in itself seems reasonable for a 5k race in Cork City, it's actually down a whopping 58% on the figure for the lasting outing in 2019.

Top 3 men & women...
1 Andrew HOBBS Johnson Controls M Indv 12 16:39 
2 Tom MCKENZIE Cliste MXD Team M Indv 337 16:47 
3 William MORGAN Grant Thornton MXD Team M Indv 514 17:27 
10 Siobhán HOARE Grant Thornton MXD Team F Indv 439 18:50 
36 April QUINN Grant Thornton MXD Team F Indv 509 21:11 
40 Elaine WALSH PwC MXD Team F Indv 241 21:27 

Full results HERE


1) Mick Dooley has some start line photos HERE and finish line photos HERE

Analysis... While we have seen some drop in race number this year compared to before the pandemic (10-20%), the drop for this one has been exceptional. Obviously the rain and wet weather didn't help. The usual date before I think was in June so perhaps a September date made a difference?

One curious stat is that just 17 runners were under 20-minutes, it's as if most of the faster runners just stayed away.

Commercial race... The Grant Thornton race is essentially a commercial race with Athletics Ireland looking to make as much money as possible out of it. Over the years, they've issued permits for other races which have made a lot of money so this is their way to cash in on the running boom.

One thing about this race however was the very high entry fee. The general idea is that companies would be prepared to pay for their employees to take part so the entry fee was set at €100 for a team of four.

They also had an individual entry fee of €35 for the 5k which was excessive and making it the most expensive 5k race in Cork to date.

There are two obvious problems with this race...

1) Price... The Cork BHAA races are also inter-company and they charge just €5 for registered runners and €10 for non-reg. Contrast that to €35 for the Grant Thornton.

2) Course... There was nothing special about the race. It was on the Centre Park Road circuit which the Cork BHAA also use for their races.

The thing about the Grant Thornton 5k race is that it is solely held for commercial reasons. Once the numbers drop below a certain level then it's gone. I've no idea what the break even point is but there must be a question mark about the future of this event.


Donal O'Donoghue said...

This is indeed an expensive race.
Not many companies would fork-out this money for either an individual or a team.
Was a steward for this one.
I'd give a third reason -- it's just two days before a well-established end-of-season St Luke's Home 5k race on Thursday, in Mahon. Most people would not do both.
I expect St Luke's will have better weather, and get a bigger crowd.
Also, there were very few of the regular runners in this race, and there was a rather high proportion of people who were just walking. And exceptionally few elite female runners.
The median runner in JBS 5k in May was about 23:40 -- but today for GTK 5k it was about 27:00. A much slower crowd.

Another issue - 19:45 is a very late start time, at this time of year. Combined with the dismal overcast weather, many of the runners were finishing well into the dark.

Were there any prizes ? That usually draws out the Elite runners ?
There's a dedicated race web-site - which is pretty short on details -- there wasn't even a route map published in advance for 2022 (route has changed since last time).

I see it started on Kennedy Quay -- handy to avoid traffic disruption -- but that's not a great running surface.

Anonymous said...

It's a poor event a cash exercise. Best to see the back of it