Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: March 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

Results of the number of Marathons poll...
This was another poll that finished a few weeks ago. The poll question was "How many full Marathons (26.2 miles) have you done?". The poll got 82 votes and thanks to everyone who took the time to select an option.
The results were...
None, no interest in doing one = 13% , None but planning to do one = 17% , 1 = 28% , 2 to 3 = 19% , 4 to 5 = 9% , 6 to 9 = 4% , 10+ = 7%

So, lets have a closer look. First of all, 7% have done 10+ Marathons!! I think that's pretty amazing. Most runners aspire to complete one Marathon but 10!! Well done to whoever you are.
As for the rest of the results, as you would expect, the higher the number of Marathons, the lower the number of people who have completed them. Here are some points...

a) 39% of all runners completed more than one Marathon. So, after all of the effort in completing their first Marathon, they came back and did a 2nd one. I'm a bit suprised that it is as high as 39%. I would have thought that once most people had done one, it might be a case of 'been there, done that ' i.e. The Marathon was their challenge and goal and they had achieved it. I guess that for a lot of people, once they have one under their belt, they might want to do the 2nd one faster? Or perhaps, once they know they can do one, they elect to do one overseas like London / Berlin / New York, etc?

b) An encouraging 17% are planning to do their 1st Marathon. This to me would suggest that a lot of people still think of the Marathon as the ultimate distance. I wonder how many of that 17% are runners who completed the Relay last year and are thinking about doing a full Marathon this year? Whatever the reason, the fact that one in six runners are thinking of doing their first Marathon means that these type of races have a bright future.
c) And 13% have no interest in doing one....we'll have to work on them ;o)
Agree or Disagree? Comments...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Results of the Dungarvan 10 Poll...
This poll finished 3 weeks ago and I never got around to commenting on it. For the Dungarvan 10 road race at the start of February, the pre-entry fee was €15 and the entry fee on the day of the race was €20. At the race, they gave out a goody bag, a t-shirt and a glass momento. The poll question was selected by West Waterford AC as they wanted some feedback from runners who had done the race. The question they asked was "Do you think the entry fee was worth it?". The poll got 84 votes and 82% said that they thought it was worth it while 18% said it was'nt.
So, the result is pretty clear in that the majority of people thought that the entry fee was ok. My own opinion is that I think it shows that most people see the 10 mile races as something special and not like the other shorter races. I think they are prepared to pay that bit extra for what they feel is a special occasion.
"Hi John. I don't think people mind the entry fee so much when they only enter races once in a blue moon, but I would be curious as to how the lads and women who enter races regularly feel about it? Any comments from the regular runners would be interesting. I hope to do all the races in April and have entered the Half Marathon in Glengariff in May. That comes to a fair few quid considering entry fee's, petrol cost's, etc etc. But for me, it's all about the enjoyment of the events rather than the fee's....kind regard's....John Dunphy, Rising Sun AC "

Friday, March 28, 2008

Even more Ballycotton 10 photos....
I came accross these on a website yesterday. There are plenty there and you can order prints from it if you so wish.

I have the links to all of the Ballycotton photos on the post for the results of the Ballycotton 10 race.
Last reminder for cheapest Cork Marathon & Relay entries...
Next Monday, the 31st of March is the closing date for the cheapest entries for the Cork City Marathon and relay. If you want to avail of this, you would really need to get those entries in the post today (...I posted mine yesterday just to be sure!! ;o)

Just go to the Cork City Marathon Website and follow the links there for an entry form. You can also enter online although this costs 10% extra.

For a bit more info, look down this page at the post dated the 13th of March.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Update on the Cork Cancer Research Centre Sponsorship...
As many of you know, this was the chosen charity this year for the Ballycotton 10 race. I have just received an e-mail from Fiona in the Centre giving an update on the amount collected so far.

She wrote..."Just wanted to keep you updated on funds raised for Cork Cancer Research Centre through the Ballycotton ‘10’ and the runners that have supported us through this event. As of today, EU16,800 has been raised through the event and its runners, with more sponsorship funds expected in the coming weeks. Many thanks again to you all for your support – it truly is appreciated."

So, if you still have to return your sponsorship card (like me!!), you should return it as soon as possible to : Cork Cancer Research Centre, Development Office, Drury's Avenue, Midleton, Co.Cork.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Update on the John Buckley Sports / Munster 10 Mile Spring Classic Series....
The guys in Mallow Athletic Club have been busy compiling all of the results of the 1st 3 races in the John Buckley Sports / Munster 10 Mile Spring Classic Series (Mallow, Dungarvan & Ballycotton) and they are now ready. I have generated a webpage from this info and it is now up on another website.

It looks as if a total of 177 runners have completed the first 3 races. Last year, 94 runners completed all 4 races so hopefully, most of the 177 will make the trip to Kilnaboy and the 100 mark will be broken this year.

The positions and times of the 177 runners can be seen on this webpage...

Don't forget....
Kilnaboy 10 Mile...Sunday April 13th

(...with thanks to Jerry McCarthy of Mallow AC for compiling the results and to John Holland of Mallow AC for sending them on to me)
More Ballycotton photos.........
A new set of photos have been added to the Ballycotton Running Promotions website. Here is the LINK.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Results of the Boherbue to Kiskeam 4 Mile Race - Mon 24th March 2008
Just over 70 runners turned out for this race in North-West Cork on what was a windy Easter Monday.

Jack O'Keeffe BOHERBUE-KISKEAM '4' Monday 24 March 2008. 2:00pm
1 0:21:21 O'CALLAGHAN, Donal Riocht AC M 05:20.2

2 0:21:36 BARRETT, John Gneeveguilla AC M40 05:23.9
3 0:21:54 FITZGERALD, Arthur Farranfore-Maine Valley AC M 05:28.4
4 0:22:01 MURPHY, Ed Gneeveguilla AC M 05:30.2
5 0:22:46 LENISTON, Jonathan Gneeveguilla AC M 05:41.4
6 0:23:02 LINEHAN, Adrian Duhallow AC M 05:45.4
7 0:23:05 O'SHEA, Michael Iveragh AC M45 05:46.2
8 0:23:31 O'SHEA, Patrick Iveragh AC M55 05:52.7

9 0:23:52 BYCZEK, Stanislaw Midleton AC M45 05:57.9
10 0:24:07 SHANAHAN, Tom Riocht AC M45 06:01.6
11 0:24:15 LYNCH, Brendan Gneeveguilla AC M 06:03.6
12 0:24:28 MURPHY, Humphrey Riocht AC M40 06:06.9
13 0:24:47 CARROLL, Denis Eagle AC M45 06:11.6
14 0:24:58 BARRY, Fergal Gneeveguilla AC M35 06:14.4
15 0:25:00 MANGAN, Mike Star Of The Laune AC M50 06:14.9
16 0:25:08 CODY, Tom Midleton AC M50 06:16.9
17 0:25:20 O'SULLIVAN, Sean Midleton AC M35 06:19.9
18 0:25:31 O'MAHONY, Stephen Skibbereen AC M45 06:22.6
19 0:25:40 BRADLEY, Tomas Riocht AC MJ 06:24.9
20 0:25:46 FINN, Michelle Duhallow AC FJ 06:26.4
21 0:25:49 COSTELLOE, Anna-Marie Gneeveguilla AC F 06:27.1
22 0:25:49 CURTIS, Donnacha Cork M 06:27.1
23 0:26:04 WALSH, Michael Midleton AC M40 06:30.9
24 0:26:19 KIELY, Katherine Gneeveguilla AC F 06:34.6
25 0:26:31 TATE, Robert Gneeveguilla AC M45 06:37.6
26 0:26:52 CAHILL, Seamus Eagle AC M45 06:42.9
27 0:27:00 SHEEHAN, Mary Grange-Fermoy AC F50 06:44.9
28 0:27:12 MURPHY, Stephen Rising Sun AC M45 06:47.9
29 0:27:29 BUTLER, Seamus Duhallow AC M35 06:52.1
30 0:27:38 DUNPHY, John Rising Sun AC M35 06:54.4
31 0:27:44 SHINE, Donie Duhallow AC M55 06:55.9
32 0:27:48 WALSHE, John East Cork AC M55 06:56.9
33 0:27:53 DALY, Michael Liscarroll AC M35 06:58.1
34 0:27:54 KEATING, Peter Liscarroll AC M35 06:58.4
35 0:27:57 COLEMAN, Darren Liscarroll AC M17 06:59.1
36 0:28:03 O'CONNELL, Mary Gneeveguilla AC F35 07:00.6
37 0:28:08 CURTIN, Sean Gneeveguilla AC M17 07:01.9
38 0:28:20 KEARNEY, Batt Leevale AC M50 07:04.9
39 0:28:24 ANGLAND, Mattie Gneeveguilla AC M50 07:05.9
40 0:28:33 BARRETT, Breeda Gneeveguilla AC F40 07:08.1
41 0:28:38 MURPHY, Christy Carraig na bhFear AC M50 07:09.4
42 0:28:50 FINN, Gayle Duhallow AC F17 07:12.4
43 0:28:58 CURTIS, Peadar Mallow AC M50 07:14.4
44 0:29:10 O'SHEA, Mick Duhallow AC M45 07:17.4
45 0:29:11 TWOMEY, Jerry Duhallow AC M50 07:17.6
46 0:29:15 KELLY, Tom Ballymore-Cobh AC M50 07:18.6

47 0:29:30 FINN, Mary Millstreet AC F45 07:22.4
48 0:29:32 CLEARY, Pat Tralee M55 07:22.9
49 0:29:43 MULCAHY, Barry Midleton AC M 07:25.6
50 0:30:17 O'FARRELL, Gerard Millstreet AC M35 07:34.1
51 0:30:18 DINEEN, Micheal Gneeveguilla AC M45 07:34.4
52 0:30:19 MCCARTHY, Danny Midleton AC M55 07:34.6
53 0:30:29 MURRAY, Jimmy Rising Sun AC M60 07:37.1

54 0:30:35 CREMIN, Denis Gneeveguilla AC M45 07:38.6
55 0:30:49 LANGAN, Jim Tullamore Harriers M65 07:42.1
56 0:30:59 REEN, Donal Gneeveguilla AC M40 07:44.6
57 0:31:17 MULCAHY, Mary St. Finbarrs AC F45 07:49.1
58 0:31:37 MCCARTHY, Michael West Waterford AC M50 07:54.1
59 0:31:41 CARROLL, Aoife Charleville F 07:55.1

60 0:32:01 WEBB, George Rising Sun AC M65 08:00.1
61 0:32:12 BARRY, Margaret Midleton AC F50 08:02.9
62 0:32:18 NAGLE, Dan Mallow AC M60 08:04.4
63 0:32:19 FLYNN, Nora Gneeveguilla AC F40 08:04.6
64 0:32:29 SHEEHAN, Jane Gneeveguilla AC F40 08:07.1
65 0:32:47 O'LEARY, Margaret Gneeveguilla AC F35 08:11.6
66 0:35:09 DINEEN, Grainne Gneeveguilla AC FJ 08:47.1
67 0:35:20 NI CHARTHAIGH, Fionnuala Ballingeary F 08:49.9
68 0:37:36 O'DONOVAN, Eileen Inchigeela F 09:23.9
69 0:37:49 MCCARTHY, Joan Midleton AC F50 09:27.1
70 0:40:30 MCCARTHY, Joseph Gneeveguilla AC M17 10:07.4
71 0:42:05 MURPHY, Anne Rising Sun AC F40 10:31.1
72 0:46:31 O'SULLIVAN, Joan Gneeveguilla AC F50 11:37.6

Organised by Gneeveguilla Athletics Club

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Boherbue to Kiskeam 4 mile road race - Easter Monday 24th of March (2pm)
Just found out about this one today. This 4 mile race is in North West Cork, just North of the N72 Mallow to Killarney road. You basically need to get to Boherbue and then carry on until Kiskeam. You register in Kiskeam and a bus will take you to the start point back in Boherbue. You then run the 4 miles back to Kiskeam. If you are going, make sure you get there early to catch the bus.
Here is some additional info...
On Easter Monday the action moves to Kiskeam where Gneeveguilla AC holds the traditional Jack O’Keeffe Road Races. The main event here will be the Boherbue to Kiskeam four-mile race which gets underway at 2pm.
This also includes a walking section and there is a T-shirt for all finishers. Entry fee is €12 for senior runners and €8 for U19.
There is a large prize list with awards going to the first ten men and first six women, along with the first two masters’ in all the usual categories along with U15, U17 and U19 prizes.
The first three men’s teams (four to score) and first two women’s team (four to score) will also receive awards.
Juvenile races for boys and girls (born 1994 to 2004) get the proceedings underway in Kiskeam village at 1pm with the Jack O’Keeffe Cup going to the best national school on the day.
(...with thanks to John Walshe for providing this info)
Results of the Rising Sun 4 mile road race (Ballinhassig) - Easter Sunday, 23rd of March 2008.
Just 1 shy of 100 turned out for this 4 mile road race in Ballinhassig just South of Cork. It was a lovely morning..bright and sunny and the big hill to the North protected us from the worst of the breeze.

The race...
What a start! Uphill from the off. Even the guys out at the front seemed to be in agreement to jog to the top of the hill first, then start racing! Once it's out of the way though, it's not a bad course. Some drags but nothing too serious.

So on to the results...
4th Annual Paddy Desmond Memorial BALLINHASSIG '4' Sunday 23 March 2008.
Place Time Name Team Race Age Category min/mile
1 0:21:50 ZAKIS, Raivis West Waterford AC M 05:27.4
2 0:21:51 O'DONOVAL, Colm Tower M 05:27.7
3 0:22:00 LAFFAN, Tom Bandon AC M40 05:29.9
4 0:22:38 O'HALLORAN, Tony Dundrum South Dublin AC M45 05:39.4
5 0:22:39 MEADE, John Cork M 05:39.7
6 0:22:39 WILMOT, Kevin Bandon AC M 05:39.7
7 0:22:41 MCEVOY, Eamonn St. Finbarrs AC M50 05:40.2
8 0:22:46 COLLINS, John Leevale AC M50 05:41.4
9 0:22:50 O'SHEA, Declan Eagle AC M 05:42.4
10 0:23:45 BYCZEK, Stanislaw Midleton AC M45 05:56.1
11 0:23:59 MCMAHON, Mark West Muskerry AC M 05:59.6
12 0:24:19 COLLINS, John Skibbereen AC M 06:04.6
13 0:24:21 TWOMEY, Donal West Muskerry AC M 06:05.1
14 0:24:25 CARROLL, Denis Eagle AC M45 06:06.1
15 0:24:33 BRICE, Brendan East Cork AC M 06:08.1
16 0:24:41 LYNCH, Rhona Eagle AC F 06:10.1
17 0:24:44 SHEEHAN, Thomas Bandon AC M40 06:10.9
18 0:24:53 FITZGERALD, Tom West Limerick AC M45 06:13.1
19 0:25:07 DESMOND, John Eagle AC M40 06:16.6
20 0:25:23 SWEENEY, Mary St. Finbarrs AC F45 06:20.6
21 0:25:27 O'MAHONY, David Balincollig M 06:21.6
22 0:25:34 GEARY, Linda Midleton AC F 06:23.4 335 22
23 0:25:45 LOVELL, Derek Kinsale M 06:26.1 361 23
24 0:26:02 KENNEDY, Dan St. Finbarrs AC M55 06:30.4
25 0:26:13 O'SULLIVAN, Billy Midleton AC M 06:33.1
26 0:26:16 TIERNEY, Conor Cloyne M 06:33.9
27 0:26:21 WALSH, Mick Midleton AC M40 06:35.1
28 0:26:24 O'BRIEN, Con Banteer M55 06:35.9
29 0:26:26 HIGGINS, Terence Eagle AC M 06:36.4
30 0:26:33 RIORDAN, Ann West Muskerry AC F35 06:38.1
31 0:26:35 CHOJAN, Maciej Cork M 06:38.6
32 0:26:47 COURTNEY, Laurence Eagle AC M45 06:41.6
33 0:26:54 COTTER, Paul Eagle AC M45 06:43.4
34 0:27:13 MURPHY, Paddy Bandon AC M 06:48.1
35 0:27:22 LISTON, Brighid Eagle AC F 06:50.4
36 0:27:24 QUIGLEY, John Eagle AC M50 06:50.9
37 0:27:28 O'REILLY, Alan Midleton M 06:51.9
38 0:27:30 TWOMEY, Sean Dublin M 06:52.4
39 0:27:32 MCEVOY, Angela St. Finbarrs AC F40 06:52.9
40 0:27:37 COOKE, Tony St. Finbarrs AC M40 06:54.1
41 0:27:39 HAYDON, Michael Ballyagarvan M55 06:54.6
42 0:27:44 KIRWAN, Fidelma Eagle AC F40 06:55.9
43 0:27:48 WALSHE, John East Cork AC M55 06:56.9
44 0:28:00 DUKELOW, Fiona Midleton AC F35 06:59.9
45 0:28:06 COTTER, Dave Belgooly AC M55 07:01.4
46 0:28:15 MURPHY, Mary St. Finbarrs AC F45 07:03.6
47 0:28:31 LINEHAN, Ted Eagle AC M50 07:07.6
48 0:28:32 CONROY, Robert Cork M 07:07.9
49 0:28:37 GEARY, Kevin Ladysbridge M 07:09.1
50 0:28:39 HELLEN, Denis Glanmire M 07:09.6
51 0:29:12 RAMSELL, Ned Midleton AC M 07:17.9
52 0:29:28 MURPHY, Aine Kerry Pike F45 07:21.9
53 0:29:30 KENNY, Tim Oysterhaven M45 07:22.4
54 0:29:33 BUCKLEY, Tim-Joe Donoughmore AC M55 07:23.1
55 0:29:46 KEARNEY, Batt Leevale AC M50 07:26.4
56 0:29:48 DORGAN, Patricia Blarney F 07:26.9
57 0:29:48 DUNPHY, John Rising Sun AC M 07:26.9
58 0:29:55 CROWLEY, Patrick Doheny AC M 07:28.6
59 0:30:00 O'CONNELL, Donie Midleton AC M55 07:29.9
60 0:30:02 NOONAN, John Cork M55 07:30.4
61 0:30:05 SEXTON, Michael Cork M 07:31.1
62 0:30:08 O'LEARY, John Leevale AC M65 07:31.9
63 0:30:16 COONEY, Tony Ballincollig AC M50 07:33.9
64 0:30:18 LYONS, Finbarr Ladysbridge M 07:34.4
65 0:30:20 MCCARTHY, Danny Midleton AC M55 07:34.9
66 0:30:34 O'SULLIVAN, Martin Ballincollig AC M50 07:38.4
67 0:30:49 O'REGAN, Padraig Ladysbridge M 07:42.1
68 0:31:01 CAHILL, Breda Midleton AC F35 07:45.1
69 0:31:01 O'CONNOR, Jerry Eagle AC M50 07:45.1
70 0:31:05 CARROLL, Eva Charleville F 07:46.1
71 0:31:05 GEARY, Tim Ballincurrig M60 07:46.1
72 0:31:21 MULCAHY, Mary St. Finbarrs AC F45 07:50.1
73 0:31:22 HEALY, Brian Midleton AC M45 07:50.4
74 0:31:26 KELLEHER, Edward Cork M45 07:51.4
75 0:31:29 MCCARTHY, Michael West Waterford AC M50 07:52.1
76 0:31:45 WEBB, George Rising Sun AC M65 07:56.1
77 0:31:50 DUNNE, Tony Grange-Fermoy AC M65 07:57.4
78 0:32:04 TIERNEY, Ken Cork M 08:00.9
79 0:32:07 O'SHEA, Helen Clonakilty F 08:01.6
80 0:32:10 O'DOHERTY, Maura Midleton AC F35 08:02.4
81 0:32:10 O'DONOGHUE, Donal Little Island M40 08:02.4
82 0:32:12 BARRY, Margaret Midleton AC F55 08:02.9
83 0:32:47 O'LEARY, Neilus Belgooly AC M60 08:11.6
84 0:32:53 LYONS, Marion St. Finbarrs AC F50 08:13.1
85 0:32:54 GEANEY, Gerry Tralee M 08:13.4
86 0:33:00 DALY, Paddy Cork M60 08:14.9
87 0:33:08 O'DONOGHUE, Tim Kilmichael M45 08:16.9
88 0:33:50 DUNNE, Maggie Grange-Fermoy AC F60 08:27.4
89 0:34:09 MURPHY, Marie Youghal F 08:32.1 30
90 0:34:27 MORRISSEY, Breeda Eagle AC F50 08:36.6
91 0:35:45 KENNY, Alice Oysterhaven F40 08:56.1
92 0:36:16 GHELFI, Nicola Carrigaline F35 09:03.9
93 0:36:21 MOLONEY, Valerie Carrigaline F40 09:05.1
94 0:36:25 FLYNN, Jm Innishannon M50 09:06.1
95 0:36:33 O'CONNOR, Shane Cork M 09:08.1
96 0:36:46 O'NEILL, Trevor Cork M 09:11.4
97 0:37:26 HAYES, Ann Carigaline F45 09:21.4
98 0:38:25 MCCARTHY, Joan Midleton AC F50 09:36.1
WHEELCHAIR: FORDE, Jerry Blarney-Inniscarra AC M55 38:57
Organised by Rising Sun Athletics Club
.......and go easy with those Easter eggs!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rising Sun AC 4 mile Road Race (Ballinhassig) - Sun 23rd Mar (11am)
Rising Sun Athletic Club are holding their annual 4 mile road race next Sunday, the 23rd of March at 11am. The registration point is the Marian Hall in the middle of Ballinhassig which is just off the main N71 Cork to Bandon road. There is plenty of parking alongside the hall itself.

Race Flyer...
Here is some of the info off their race flyer...
Rising Sun A.C. ...4th ANNUAL Paddy Desmond Memorial ...4 Mile Road Race ...Sunday March 23rd at 11.00am ...In Ballinhassig....Race H.Q. Marian Hall (lower Ballinhassig)
Awards 1st 2nd and 3rd Senior Men and Senior Ladies , 1st 3 Men O 40,45,50,55,60 and 65. , 1st 3 Women O 35,40,45,50,55 and 60. , 1st Wheelchair Athlete. , Entry Fee 8 Euro , Enquiries to Jim Murray 086 3320461

The course...
The race starts about 300 metres away from the Marian Hall. The first section of the race is a tough and uphill drag as you gain height and pass underneath the N71 Cork to Bandon road. Once the hill flattens out, you are on to the old Bandon road and this road is fairly quiet at this time of the morning. There are a few small drags along this section but nothing compared to the inital one at the start.
You run into the village of Halfway and then left and out onto the main N71 road. From about the 2 mile mark to about 3.5 miles, the course is flat and going slightly uphill at the end as you run inside a very wide hard shoulder on the road.

After about 3.5 miles, the road begins to climb and the hard shoulder begins to narrow. Soon, you reach a bridge and you can see the road you passed under at the start of the race. Just after this, you turn left and you now have a downhill run all the way to the finish.

Due to the hill at the start, it's probably not the fastest of 4 mile road races. But seeing as how it is 2 weeks after Ballycotton and 2 weeks before the UCC 10 km race, it's a good excuse to get out and stretch those legs! In fairness to the members of Rising Sun AC, they are very good at supporting all of the local races so now is your chance to return the compliment....Ballinhassig...11am.

If you want to have a look at the course, I have put it up on the MapMyRun website. Here is the LINK.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New webpage for the Kilnaboy 10 Mile Road Race...
Over the last weekend, I put together a new webpage for the Kilnaboy 10 mile road race thanks to the information supplied by Vincent McCarthy of Kilnaboy AC. This race will be the 4th and final race in the Munster 10 mile 'Classic' series.

The Kilnaboy 10 webpage can be seen at this LINK.

The Kilnaboy 10 Mile Road Race takes place on Sunday, the 13th of April at 2pm. Kilnaboy is located just North of Ennis in Co.Clare.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Closing Dates for entries for Plassey 10k and Bay Run...
Just in case anyone is interested in doing these, the following races are coming up in the next month or two. They are pre-entry only.

Plassey 10 km Race....
This 10 km race takes place in Limerick on Saturday, the 29th of March at 11:30am. The closing date for entries is Saturday, the 22nd of March. Entry is €12. For more information, go to their website...

Bay Run Half-Marathon....
This 13.1 mile race takes place on Sunday, the 4th of May at 9am. The closing date for entries is the 15th of April. The entry fee is €55. With this race, you go to Bantry, they bus you to Glengarriff and you run back on the main N71 road to Bantry. For more information, go to their website...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Notice about the Cork BHAA UCC 10 km race on the 6th of April...
I received an e-mail from Cathal O'Connell of UCC during the week with regards to their upcoming 10km race on the 6th of April. This year due to some building work, they are unable to use the Lee Maltings for changing and showers and they want to get the word out early so that people will know about it.
The race registration, changing and showers are in the old red brick pavillion in the Mardkye sports grounds.
The after race refreshments and prizegiving will be in the Lee Maltings restaurant.
The 2 locations are just over 1km apart. Click on the image above for a closer look.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Races St.Patricks weekend....
The Munster Road Championships takes place this weekend up in County Clare. This event is for club athletes only and as such, is a closed event. As a result, there is nothing happening elsewhere in Munster on the Sunday but there is however a race up in Limerick on the following day if you are prepared to travel. It is the 'Joey Hannon Memorial' 6 km road race and it takes place in Croom at 2pm on Monday, the 17th of March, St. Patrick's day.

Croom is just off the N20 Cork to Limerick road so it should be easy to get to. I'd suggest that you just arrive early and look around for runners to find the sign-on point.

The results of this race can be found at
Update on money raised for Cork Cancer Research Centre in the Ballycotton 10 race...
I recieved the following e-mail from the Cork Cancer Research Centre today about the response that they got from the runners who did the Ballycotton 10.....
"...........I was speaking with John Walshe on Monday regarding the estimated figure for the funds raised on Sunday at the Ballycotton 10. I am delighted to confirm that we raised over EU10,000 on the day, and have a total of EU11,300 as of today. We still have some people coming into the Development Office with their donations so the event has been an incredible success for us already. On behalf of the patients and staff at Cork Cancer Research Centre thank you for all your support to date, and please pass on our sincere gratitude to the event organising committee for designating the CCRC as the race charity for this year’s event, as well as to all the runners who have raised sponsorship funds for cancer research. We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support.....Kind regards... Fiona, c/o Cork Cancer Research Centre"

If you still have to return your sponsorship card, you should send it to : Cork Cancer Research Centre, Development Office, Drury's Avenue, Midleton, Co.Cork.
Entries for the 2008 Cork City Marathon & Relay....
Now that Ballycotton is out of the way, it might be time to start think about entering this years Cork City Marathon. You can enter up until the 9th of May. However, the entry fee gets more expensive, the later you leave it.

Monday, the 31st of March is the cut-off point for the cheapest entries. Hence this post here with 2 weeks notice.

The Entry Fees...
Before the 31st of March.....Marathon (Individual) = €50, Relay Event = €80 per team
Between the 1st of April and the 28th of April....Marathon = €60, Relay = €90
Between the 29th of April and the 9th of May....Marathon = €70, Relay = €100.
(Note that these fees are valid only if you post in your application. If you enter online, it will cost 10%, sod that ;o)

Full individual Marathon...
If you going to be doing the full 26.2 miles on your own, you should be well into your training programme at this stage. If you have your mind made up to do it, it makes sense to enter now rather than later.

Relay Event...
With this event, a team of 2,3,4 OR 5 can run different sections of the Marathon passing over to their team mate at designated changeover points. Each stage will be about 4 to 6 miles in lenght and there will be 5 sections. For example with a team of 3, Runner 1 can do sections 1&2, Runner 2 can do sections 3&4 and the 3rd runner completes the final section.
So, you have 2 weeks to get a team together and send in your entry at the cheap rate.

The application form for the Cork City Marathon & Relay can be found at this LINK.

You can find more information about the event on the Cork City Marathon Website.

Monday, March 10, 2008

2008 Ballycotton 10 - Some results, some stats...

Womens Only Results...
This one is pretty cool. Michael Carey sent me an EXCEL file with the results sorted into different categories. From that , I generated a webpage and put it up on the net. All of the men have been removed and the results show only the 698 women that took part. A bit like the Ladies mini-Marathon except over 10 miles!!

Ballycotton charity....
I hear that this years charity for the race, the Cork Cancer Research Centre, took in over €10,000 in sponsorship last Sunday with probably a lot more to come in the next few weeks (......thanks to John Quigley for the info on this one)

Lets have a quick look at how many club finishers there were....

(Number) Club
(66) West Waterford AC, (52) Eagle AC, (47) Midleton AC
(36) Waterford AC, (35) St.Finbarr's AC, (26) Mallow AC, (19) Kilkenny City Harriers
(17) Clonmel AC Slaney Olympic AC , Sportsowrld RC , Youghal AC
(16) Mullingar Harriers
(15) East Cork AC, Grange-Fermoy AC, Raheny Shamrock AC
(14) Bandon AC, (13) Stragglers??
(12) Crusaders AC, Donore Harriers, Rathfarnham WSAF, Thurles Crokes AC
(11) Clonliffe Harriers, Leevale AC, (10) Sli Cualann AC
(9) Donoughmore AC, West Limerick AC
(8) Athenry AC , Ballincollig AC, Limerick AC, North Derbyshire RC , Rising Sun AC
(7) Dundrum AC, Gneeveguilla AC, Stainland Lions AC, West Muskerry AC, (6) Carraig na bhFear AC
(5) Bantry AC, Carrick-on-Suir AC, Dunboyne AC, Ennis Track Club, Gowran AC, Kilnaboy AC, Millstreet AC, Naas AC, Sliabh Buidhe Rovers AC, Stockport Harriers, Tulla AC
(4) Iveragh AC, Kilmurry-Ibrickane NC AC, Lucan Harriers, Salford Harriers, St.Abbans AC
(3) Ballymore-Cobh AC, Ballynonty AC, Belgooly AC, Dooneen AC, Duhallow AC, Moynalvey AC, Riverstick-Kinsale AC, UCC AC
(2) Clare River Harriers, Doheny AC, Dundrum South Dublin AC, Halifax Harriers, Keith AAC, Liffey Valley AC, Liverpool Harriers AC, Marian AC, Moycarkey Coolcoo AC, Nenagh Olympic AC, Riocht AC, St.Senans AC, Tallaght AC, Togher AC,
(1) Blarney-Inniscarra AC, CACE AC (Brussels), Cape Cod AC, Carberry Harriers, Civil Service Harriers, Clonakilty AC, Drogheda & Dist AC, East Antrim Harriers, Emerald AC, Epsom & Ewell Harriers, Fanahan McSweeney AC, Galway City Harriers, Hercules Wimbledon AC, Holmfirth Harriers, Laragh AC, Letterkenny AC, Mayo AC, Metro-St.Brigids AC, Newbridge AC, Olympic Harriers, Paderbonn AC, Phoenix AC, Ranalagh Harriers, Roscommon AC, Seapark AC, Serpentine RC, Skibbereen AC, South London Harriers, South O'Hanlon AC, St.Brendans AC, St.Catherines AC, St.Cronans AC, St.Johns AC, St.Johns AC Tralee, St.Marys AC, Stadium Runners, Star of Laune, Tinryland AC, Tralee Harriers AC, Tullamore Harriers, Westchester TC

(...with thanks to Michael Carey for sending me this information with the data sorted)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Results of the Ballycotton 10 mile road race - Sun 9th March 2008 (Updated Fri 28th)
It's only after you finish the race and leave Ballycotton that you realise what a well run operation it was. Parking was great and everything seemed to run like clockwork. It's pretty amazing when you consider how many people were down there for the race. Even when I was driving away, the one way road system with the stewards at the road junctions meant that I flew out of the place. I guess with all the years of practice, they have it down to a fine art at this stage. They even had bright sunny weather and held off the storm for 24 hours for us!! Not a drop of rain despite the fact that there were heavy showers elsewhere in the country. Those rosary beads down there must be well worn at this stage ;o)

It was good also to see that it started on time this year. 1:30 was the stated start time and 1:30 it was.

Regarding the headphone ban, I only saw one person wearing them. I presume most people observed the ban?

2008 RESULTS... (Updated Fri 14th Mar)

Here is the LINK to them in PDF format.

(They're fairly big! They may take a while to download)

Teams....The top 10 mens and womens teams can be found HERE.

The top 20 in each age category. MEN and WOMEN


There is a good selection of about 240 photos up on the Eagle AC website. Most of them seem to be around the start of the last mile. Click HERE.

There are another set of 36 photos HERE thanks to John Hennessy.

There is another set of up on the Ballycotton website. (Updated Tues 25th Mar)

There is another large set up on the following website .You can order prints from there if you wish to. (Updated Fri 28th Mar)

Comments...(Updated Fri 28th Mar)

Any comments on the race? Organisation of it? Do you have any suggestions on how you think they improve it? Just click on the comment link below, then select 'Anonymous' and it's up to yourself if you want to leave your name or not.

"I thought it was brilliantly organized and full of atmosphere. That final climb was tough - felt like quicksand. I'll be back......Anonymous "

"Well organized is right John.One of the best races going without doubt.What amazes me is the amount of organization and the price was still only €12. This is nothing short of amazing.
I got to Ballycotton good and early. 10.30am. I was wondering what I could do to waste of a few hours. Once I walk into the village there were plenty of athletes to chat to. The atmosphere was brilliant and time just seemed to pass so fast. Well done to all the Ballycotton running promotions crew. The bar has been risen. Thanks for a brilliant day....Paudie....Charleville "

"John, I have to say it would be hard to find even the smallest of faults with the whole day (maybe a few more portaloos). I would say it was a huge success. Getting in, getting out, the start (even the race itself from my point of view) everything was perfect. I think you must bear some of the responsibility for this successful event as anyone who had been following the build up on this blog would have been well tipped up on how to help make the day work. A great race and a great day. Thanks to yourself and all the crew at Ballycotton running. "

"I didnt know there were going to be hoola girls there.,com_gallery2/Itemid,86/?g2_itemId=12267 If I'd have only known.....Anonymous"

"This is the rainfall radar for Ireland just 8 hours after the race!! How lucky we were..........John Desmond"

"The last Ballycotton for me was 1999 as I have been living abroad in the interim. As always, a fantastic experience. John Walshe and his team really have it down to a fine art - even the weather - how do they do it?! There were times during the race running in a sheltered spot (not many of them) with the sun shining down and a hula girl passes you by and you just said to yourself "it's great to be alive !" Great job on the blog too by the way.....Declan Cox"

"It was my first year to run the Ballycotton 10 course and I was a little disappointed with the event. The water stops were a disaster. At both stops, I ran by there was no water ready - people nearly had to stop and wait. I didn't bother. I was about 5 minutes outside my usual 10 mile time. Most of it is my own fault though I guess, started near the back and it took almost one and a half minutes to pass the start line! Not to mention the time trying to pass people. But as I said, I can understand that and its my own responsibility but what really irked me was the finishing line. I had to stop short of the line as there was a tailback of finishers who had not or would not make their way down the tunnels! We were told to "keep our line" Despite this one person ran past everybody!................Anonymous"

"I have to agree with anonymous with regard to the water stops and the finish. I was stopped at least five yards from the finishing clock and only one tunnel open? Therefore my finishing time is out at least 4o seconds or more. I know I'll never be a "Sonia O'Sullivan" but accurate time is important to us who are trying hard to beat our last time!!!!! Other than than it was a fantastic event and well done to John Walshe and his loyal crew. Roll on next year!!"....Anonymous"

"I want to reply to the comment that was put up on 12/03/08. The anonymous runner said of his/her disappointment with some aspects of Ballycotton '10' 2008. I think that we can safely say that with 2203 finishers in this race, we are going to experience little problems in certain areas. Many areas are very confined, such as water stations, start/finish & changing area. This in some aspects is what makes Ballycotton '10' so special. These narrow, confined areas give it a certain atmosphere and ambience. The athlete then goes on to say that some of the issues are of his/her own making, such as starting at the back of the field. Must have been late arriving in Ballycotton! However, we at Ballycotton Running Promotions(incidently, we are all part-timers & rely on much voluntary support) always welcome any criticism that will enable us to improve our promotion the following year, but in order to do this, we require comments that are headed by a name, that will allow us to follow up on these issues. In the mean time, we will continue with our promotions, while trying to improve in all worthy aspects.....Tom Hartnett, Ballycotton Running Promotions"

"Thanks to everyone for their comments. I have to admit that from my own point of view, I did not see any of the problems mentioned above. I saw nothing wrong with the water stations or the finish but then again, I was in a different part of the race. The only problems I saw in Ballycotton were caused by the runners slow runners starting at the very front and everyone trying to get past them!! I'm not sure the organisers can do anything about that. One of the big problems that I would think the organisers have, is that they just don't know exactly how many people will turn up on the day. This year, 2203 turned out compared to 1941 last year so obviously, that many extra runners puts extra pressure on the resourses it the water stations or the finishing chutes. I reckon that if it was wet and windy like last year, none of these issues would have occured. The fact that they can hold a race like that with so many people and so few hiccups is for me, a pretty amazing feat.........John Desmond"

Friday, March 07, 2008

Final post of the Ballycotton 10 week...
In this, the final post of the week, I'll look over a quick checklist and have a look at some other snippets of info. (Updated Sat 11am)

1) Don't forget your number on Sunday! When you are rushing about on Sunday morning, it's easy to forget. Tip.....put it into your gear bag now!

2) Try and car pool and get there early to get the closest parking spots. If you have a bike, consider bringing it.

3) No swapping of numbers!! If you are not going, don't give your number to anyone else. Do you want to be banned from future races?

4) No iPods, MP3 players, radios are allowed for insurance reasons.

5) Decide what are you going to do. Get changed in the Marquee and run the 800 metres to the start line or leave your gear in the baggage area by the start. Don't forget a change of warm clothes for after the race.

6) For those of you who are faster than average, stay well out of the way of the slower runners as they finish when you are walking back towards the race HQ. It's their big day as well, don't spoil it for them.

7) Consider bringing a hot flask and leave it in your car for after the race. When you're cold and tired, it really hits the spot.

8) T-shirts (Updated with prices Sat 11am)...if you are interested in buying one, don't forget to bring some money with you. This year, they will have the following...
T-Shirts - Steel Blue (large logo)...€7
Long-Sleeve T-Shirts - Navy (small logo)...€10
Hooded Tops - Navy Blue (small logo)....€15
There will also be a variety of polo shirts (€10), T-shirts (White €5), etc from old stock (going cheap!). They also request that you bring the correct amount of money if you can.

9) Now for some trivia ;o) Out of the 3,200 people who have entered, 1330 of them were from Cork and were not members of any athletic club (..thanks to John Quigley for this one!).
The 5 clubs with the highest numbers are...West Waterford AC (87), Eagle AC (73), Midleton AC (63), St.Finbarr's AC (46) and Waterford AC (46).

That's it folks, the last post! If you have any queries, look back through the previous posts here or have a look at the FAQ list on the Ballycotton website. If you have any other questions, just click on that comment link below.

A final thanks to Tom Hartnett and John Walshe of Ballycotton Running Promotions for providing a lot of the info that I had in my posts over the last week.

And on a final, final....enjoy the day!! Have a good one................John Desmond

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Race strategies for the Ballycotton 10...mainly for 1st timers

The target strategy...
If you expect to be doing a sub 70 minute race on Sunday, then you'll already probably know what pace you are likely to be doing. For anyone expecting to run 70 minutes or more, here is the target pace for 10 miles based on your 5 mile race speed.
Your 5 mile race pace // Your target pace in Ballycotton
7 mins per mile //7 min 20 sec per mile
8 mins per mile //8 min 25 sec per mile
9 mins per mile // 9 mins 30 sec per mile
10 mins per mile // 10 mins 40 sec per mile

If your pace is in between, then adjust accordingly. The 10 mile pace should give you some idea as to how fast you should be running. Your first mile should be slower due to the crowd but after that, you should stay close to this pace. Don't try to compensate for your slow 1st mile by running a lot faster in the 2nd mile, you'll only get into trouble. Keep at the correct pace and you'll run your fastest time.

The Get Around strategy...
This is for the runner who just wants to get around and doesn't care about their time. Every year, there are hundreds of runners like this and most run like this.....
They start in the middle of the crowd, they run along with everyone else for the first 2 miles, not really aware that they are actually running faster than they do normally. They get to about 4 or 5 miles and they can't keep up this pace and they begin to slow down. From here until the finish line, other runners are constantly passing them. They feel like they are unable to keep up, feel weak and feel awful as a result.
The other strategy which is the one that I would suggest is to start at the very back of the field. The first 2 miles are slow but that is fine as it gives you a chance to warm up. Once you get to the 4 or 5 mile mark, you'll start passing out all those runners who started too fast. From here until the finish, you'll be constantly passing people and because you'll feel like you are running strongly, your overall experience will be positive.

Terms & Conditions apply...
...all of this is based on the condition that you have done enough training to be able to run 10 miles!!

Tomorrow, I'll cover a few loose ends and some last minute snippets of info....Till then
Help required for the Ballycotton 10 race on Sunday...
They are still looking for people to help out at the race next Sunday. It is a massive voluntary effort and the more bodies that they can get, the better and safer it is for everyone.
Maybe you are injured or you missd out on this years entries? Could you spare a few hours on Sunday? All you will be required to do are easy tasks like crowd control and maybe to direct people.
Up on the Eagle AC website, there is a good account from Joe Roche (the man with the now infamous kettle ;o) He gives an overview of the Ballycotton 10 race from a stewards perspective. The link to Joe's article is HERE.
So, if you can, why not send Tom Harnett an e-mail and see if you can help out. He can be contacted at (...just replace the AT with @ )
Ballycotton 10 road race video clips on YouTube...

You'll probably need Broadband to look at these properly. Just click on the PLAY button.

No.1) This clip is 7 seconds long. The quality isn't great but it shows the runners getting ready for the start of the Ballycotton 10 mile road race.

No.2) This clip is 76 seconds long and was taken about 500 metres from the start. It shows front half of the field as they pass. Note they are running slightly downhill.

No.3) This clip is 18 seconds long and shows some runners running slightly uphill with about 500 metres to go.

No.4) This clip is 2 minutes and 34 seconds long and shows some scenes from the Ballycotton 10

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Ballycotton 10 Start and Finish area...
This time, I'll look at the area around the community hall and the start / finish area. First of all, if you want to have a closer look at the map above, just click on it.

So, working from left to right or West to East...

1) The closest car parks are shown. As I said in a previous post, you need to be there early to get into these.

2) The road junction where the old church is. There is a road block here and no traffic is allowed beyond this point. At this spot, you are about 1,000 metres from the start line.

3) About 200 metres after the road block, you will see the school on the right. This is the headquarters for the race and is the hub of all activity. In here, you have the school, community hall and squash courts.

In this area, you have....
Parking area for bicycles.....Marquee for mens changing area....Toilets.....Squash courts for womens changing area. In the main building, you have the community hall. This will be the area where the prizegiving and some refreshments (tea & biscuits) will be after the race.
Also in the hall, you will have...a desk where you can get a new number if you lost/forgot the one that was posted to you.....some traders selling Sports gear....and Ballycotton Running Promotion's own shop! In this shop, they will be selling the special Ballycotton 10 t-shirts along with some polo shirts as well.

By the way, you don't have to go into the hall. You got your race number in the post and that is all you need for the race. There is no requirement to go in and register or anything like that.

4) So, back out, turn right and continue for about 700 metres until you can see the start / finish area. Here, the road is blocked and they are only letting elite runners past so that can start at the front of the race. The rest of us mere mortals ;o) must go up the road to the right (see the arrows on the map) and go around to the rear.

5) Up here, just before you drop back down, is the baggage area. They will supply you with a plastic bag and a name tag and you can leave all of your gear here in a supervised area.

6) Down the steps here and you are back out onto the road, now behind the start line.

7) When you finish the race, you will go back the same route. Back up the steps to collect your gear and just as you leave the baggage area, they will be giving out bananas and Mars bars here. You now return towards the Community Hall staying well in on the left so that you don't impede the slower runners coming in.

So, lets have a closer look at the start...

This is the start of the Ballycotton 10...narrow and packed! Once you get to the start area, you will see that they have it split up into the various estimated finishing times. You should go to your zone early and stay there. If everyone did this, it would be ideal as the faster runners would get away first leaving plenty of space for the runners behind. In reality however, some slow runners go up near the front and it creates havoc as faster runners are trying to get past. The big worry here is that some slow runners will get tripped as people try and pass them out. Imagine tripping and having that lot in the photo above behind you!

All you have to decide next is what time do you get to your start time zone? Get there too late and you could be way back and unable to move forward. Get there too early and you'll be cold and stiff by the time the race starts.

By the way, if your objective is just to finish the race and you don't care about your time, my advice is to start at the very back and let them all run off. This is an excellent place to start for first timers. I'll explain that tomorrow with some race strategies..........Until then


"Hi John. Yet again another great post. Who would have thought that there was that much to write about a single race! It's good stuff though. Very thorough and gives a good build up to Sundays run. The only thing you need to sort out is the weather. As usual the weather forecast for Ballycotton is "fresh and gusty westerly winds" with possibility of showers. I would suggest that people double bag their clothes while the race is on, as getting into cold wet clothes after the race is not a pleasant experience. Good luck on Sunday.....Rich"

"Excellent work. I am still hoping to run on Sunday despite an injury - first time too, so hope to be there !.........Anonymous"

"I had a bad flu just last week and as a result I did no trainng. When I got back on the road this Monday, I felt tired and lacked any serious go. It has continued all week. Small distances such as 3/4 miles have become difficult. I usually do 25 miles/week so fitness was not a problem. I finished Dungarvan in 79min recently. Was the lack of a weeks training to blame? What training should I do this week to get back to where I was? I'm doing Cork city in June. Worried........Anonymous"

"There is nothng you can do training wise at this stage for Ballycotton. Whatever your fitness level is at now then that's it. It won't improve by Sunday. Possibly you tried to do too much when you were still sick and you may have only delayed the recovery. I would suggest that you do not run between now and Sunday. Eat plenty of fruit (or smoothies) for Vitamin C and drink plenty of fluids. Give your body a chance to recover from the flu/cold. See how you feel on Sunday morning and if you're ok, then run at an slower pace than normal. It's pointless trying for a fast time just after a bad cold. Wrap up well and take your time. If you still feel weak on Sunday morning, then don't be afraid to give the race a skip. As for the Cork Marathon, once you have the flu/cold out of your system (2-3 weeks?), you'll be back on track again. I know that every time I get a bad cold, I stop completely for about 10 days regardless of what is on so that I can recover in the shortest possible time...John Desmond"

"John, just to say thanks for posting all of this information. It's interesting and informative. I've ran Ballycotton seven times now and I'm still learning stuff from your postings. Take a bow....Peter Delmer, Athenry AC "

"Well, I won't make it Sunday - torn muscle last weekend. But I hope to make the entry next year already ! Good luck to all running on Sunday......Anonymous"

Weather forecast for the Ballycotton 10 race - Sun 9th of March 2008 (Updated Sat 10am)
It looks like that on Sunday, we will be in between the passing weather fronts. The current forecast is that it will be bright, cool and breezy with maybe the odd shower. Any shower should be short lived. It looks as if the chances of a shower increase later in the afternoon. The wind may be strong at times and it will be from the West. So basically, we run into it for the first 5 miles and run with it for the last 5. The temperature is expected to be around 8 deg C. Overall, things are still looking ok. In fact, it looks like we will be very lucky because there is some awful weather coming in on Sunday night, just 8 jours or so later.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Preview of the Ballycotton 10 route...
This time, we are going to look at the Ballycotton 10 route. The race starts about 800 metres from the Race HQ, right inside in the heart of the village itself. The first mile and a half are slightly downhill with a slight pull back up to the 2 mile mark. The next mile is pretty flat with a water station at the 3 mile mark. The next 4 miles have a few slight drags but these are really short and when you get back to the 7 mile mark, you can avail of the water station again. The next mile is flat and there is another water station at the 8 mile mark (water station not shown on map above). Now, this is where it starts getting interesting! There is no getting away from the fact that the Ballycotton 10 has a tough finish. It is tough and hilly and you are going to lose time on it. If you don't care about what time you will do, then that's fine but if you have a specific target, you will need to have a cushion built up before the 8.5 mile mark. For example, say your target is 80 minutes, you are doing 8 minute miles and your splits are 1m=8m, 2m=16, 3m=24, etc up to hitting the 8 mile mark at 64 minutes. Once you hit the hill at 8.5 miles and start to slow down, you likely to lose about 1 minute by the time you get to the 9 mile mark. The last mile has some drags as well and you could lose another 30 seconds here. So, in the space of 1.5 miles, you will go from a target of 80 minutes to an actual time of 81 minutes 30 seconds.
Hence, the reason why you need a cushion.

The last 1.5 miles in some detail...
The red numbers above shown the height above sea level. Around the 8.5 mile mark, the road drops down to almost sea level and then there is a sharp left and a sharp short climb until you have gained about 10 metres in height. The next few hundred metres are a slight drag, gaining height all of the time. After that, the incline eases off until you reach the 20 metre contour just before the 9 mile mark. At that stage, the worst section of the race is over as you will have climbed about 20 metres or 60-70 feet in the space of half a mile.

The next few hundred metres are reasonably flat as you pass the old church on the corner and the race HQ and school. There is however still one last drag as you reach the Garda station in the middle of the village, near the 18 m contour above. The next hill is about 300 metres long and you gain about 7 metres in altitude. It peaks just after the main church. Then it's around the last corner and run of about 150 metres into the finish.

In conclusion...
I can imagine some beginners looking at this post in horror, with mouths open in shock as they think of what lies ahead of them on Sunday!! ;o) Really, the hill is not that bad but it's just that it comes at a stage in the race when you are likely to be most tired and if you are on schedule, it will eat up those valuable seconds.
So, if you have a target, think about building up that cushion before you get to the 8.5 mile mark.

If anyone would like to look at the route, I have also put it up on the MapMyRun website.

Tomorrow, I'll look at the start in more detail and begin the weather forecasts as well.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ballycotton 10 - Car Parks...
As you can see from the map above, they will be using 6 car parks for this year's event. Click on the map to enlarge it. Just one small note...the numbers used for the car parks above are ones that I just picked. They may well have different numbers on the day! The distances shown are from the car park to the start line. Subtract half a mile for the distance to the race HQ.

Most of the car parks are in fields. Last year, the ground was so wet that some (..if not all?) of the fields could not be used. For the last few weeks, the rainfall has actually been very light so there is a good chance that they will be ok for next weekend.

Some basic facts and info....
1) They will have shuttle buses taking runners from the car parks to a road block near the old church, about 300 metres from the school and Race HQ. After the race, the shuttle buses will take the runners back to the car parks.

2) Note for Ballycotton 10 first timers!! You really need to turn up early for the race. I'd recommend about 11am to 11:30am and earlier if you want to get one of the closer car parks. If you expect to arrive there at 12:30, you're really asking for trouble! You are not going to get near the place without being stopped by a steward and be directed to the nearest car park. If you miss the last shuttle bus, you're out of the race :o(
I remember 2 years ago, I went down early and I still got stuck in a half mile tailback going into Cloyne and that was 8 miles from Ballycotton!! I think if I had been later, I'd have missed the race. You have been warned...Get there early

3) Just in case you arrive really early and you did not read the FAQ section..." There will be no parking within one mile of the village and a tow-away truck will be in operation from 10am onwards. " So, use the designated car parks.

4) There will be a one way system in operation in the general area again this year. Last year, we could not use the fields and we ended up parking on the side of the road. Some people tried to drive back out the same way that they had come in only to be stopped and turned around by the Gardai.
So don't try anything fancy and just follow the stewards instructions.

5) If you are one of those people availing of the new bike parking areas, then you probably have the best options. You don't have to arrive so early and as you'll be one of the first back to the outer car parks, you can beat all the traffic out of the area.

So, if there is one thing that I tried to impress on you here is that getting there early really pays off. You'll be able to park within walking distance of the Race HQ /Start and you don't have to worry about, or queue for, the buses. Believe me, when you see the long queue of cold shivering runners waiting for the next bus, you'll be glad you did.

Tomorrow, I'll look at the course and do a preview of it.
Until then...
Ballycotton 10 - Questions and Answers.... (Updated Tues 5th 9pm)
If you have any questions or queries, just click on the comment link below and ask. I'll post all questions and answers here rather than having them spread accross several posts. If you would like to add anything to a question or an answer, please feel free to leave a comment.
Question 1...."Hi John
Love the blog, it's my first stop to get details of anything running related in the area, best of luck in the blog awards. Just wondering what the issue is with headphones at Ballycotton? Fair enough for BHAA races on open roads but Ballycotton will be on a closed circuit....Anonymous "
Answer..."I think they are taking this step for safety and insurance reasons. As you say, the course is closed but I suppose the insurance people feel that anyone running with headphones is not giving their full attention to what is going on around them. This is especially important in the first mile or so when there are so many people packed into a small area and there is a real danger of someone getting tripped and falling.
From my own point of view, I think they are a bad idea in Ballycotton because there is a great atmosphere there on the day and by wearing headphones, you are not really taking everything in.
As it say's in the entry booklet FAQ..."For safety and insurance reasons, this year we are BANNING all iPods, Personal Stereos, etc from people taking part"....John Desmond"
Question 2..."Hi John, Any chance you could give some tips regarding nutrition leading up to the race. Best things to eat and when, for the day before and the day of. I find morning runs ok in terms of when to time breakfast etc but not so sure for races later in the day....Anonymous"
Answer..."The main thing to remember is that running 10 miles is not like running a Marathon (26.2 miles). There should be no question of using up all of your energy reserves and hitting the wall. It might be no harm to have a meal high in carbohydrates on the Friday and Saturday (Pasta, Rice, etc) and drink plenty of liquids (non-alcoholic!) to stay hydrated. On Sunday, have a light breakfast (cereal, toast, orange juice, etc) and avoid the big greasy fry-up ;o) The race is at 1:30pm so it's not that late. Bring a banana to have a quick bite around 12 noon if you need to keep your energy up......all common sense stuff really. Just avoid the rubbish like chocolate, biscuits, cakes, etc on the morning of the race......John Desmond"

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Counting down to Ballycotton...
Welcome to the Ballycotton Week Special on the blog. This week, I'll concentrate on the the big race in Ballycotton and nothing else.

First of all, a disclaimer...!!
Don't forget that this is NOT the official Balycotton website. I may have plenty of info about the race but you should always check the official website for the most up to date information. It's....

I hear that they are doing a bit of a revamp on their site at the moment and that it should be ready soon.

Event Programme...
Anyone who is doing the Ballycotton 10 should have recieved their race number in the post by now. Along with the race number, the Event Programme booklet was also enclosed. If you have any questions about the race, you should read the Frequently Asked Questions section on page 4 first.

So what's new...??
Well, this year, they have banned all iPods and MP3 players due to insurance reasons. In addition, thanks to a suggestion from Rich who left a comment on this blog, they are going to have a special area for parking bicycles. This is an good option for anyone who wants to get away quickly after the race or avoid the queue's for the buses. Someone else asked here about the bus meeting the train from Dublin...that info is in the FAQ as well.

Some statistics...
Denis Sheehan of Mallow AC sent me the following stats regarding this years entry...
The following is the breakdown by category of the Ballycotton entrants
Cat / Male / Female / Total
Junior 22 5 27
Senior 1251 570 1821
O35- n/a 175 175
O40- 324 136 460
O45- 201 87 288
O50- 130 38 168
O55- 69 10 79
O60- 33 8 41
O65- 18 3 21
O70- 4 0 4
O75- 3 0 3
Total- 2055 1032 3087

Thanks for the info Denis. Now you can see how many people you are competing against in your age category ;o)
The one interesting fact that these stats show up for me is that Women now make up one third of all entrants!! Surely that was not the case 10 or 20 years ago? I am hoping to do some checking on the numbers regarding this after Ballycotton and we'll see what the results are like.

Another snippet of news is that 7 out of the original 31 runners who took part in the first race back in 1978 will be running this year!

In a word, STOP! Whatever your fitness was like last Sunday, that's it. You're not going to get any better in the last week. You CAN however make yourself too tired for Sunday. Go for a few short easy runs this week and conserve your energy.

Car Parking and Pooling...
The thing about Ballycotton is that it is a bit of a cul-de-sac and it can a real headache getting all the runners and spectators into this small area and back out again. This year, they have 6 cars parks to cope with the numbers. The fewer cars that turn up, the easier it will be. Perhaps you might consider car pooling? Do you know someone you could share a car with? Consider it...

By the way, is there anyone stuck for a lift down to Ballycotton on Sunday? Maybe you would like to carpool with someone? Send me an e-mail with your details or leave a comment and I'll put the request up here.

On Tuesday, I'll cover the car parks and access in more detail. Until then...