Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking back on 2012...

Now that another year has come to a close, it's time to look back at 2012 and perhaps guess at what 2013 has in store...

Number of races in Cork....Before I started looking at the various stats, I had the impression that there were a lot more races in 2012 than 2011. In fact, the numbers were roughly the same.

The graph on the left is based on the number of posts that I have put up on the blog for race results in Cork. While I may well have missed a few, I have been reasonably consistent in putting up nearly all of the results that I can find so it's accurate enough to show trends. Note that track races are not included, just road and cross country events.

Back in 2008/2009, there were roughly 60 events per year. In 2010 and 2011, there was a rapid  expansion in the number of events so that now, there are about 90 per year. When you consider that there may be roughly one per week during the Winter months...i.e. Sundays then that leaves a lot of races in the busy months between April and August.

So where did all of these new races come from? If you were to look back say ten years ago then the bulk of events were organised by the various athletic clubs, the Cork BHAA and Ballycotton Running Promotions. What has changed in more recent years are the number of events which are organised by others. These include commercial races, charity events and non-athletic clubs.

Numbers at races.....While the number of events in Cork stayed roughly the same compared to 2011, the number of people at many events seemed to be well up. Looking back through the results, I can see examples like.....Carrigaline 5m in Feb (Up 53%), Great Island 10 mile in April (Up 53%), Ballintotis 4 mile in Apil (Up 73%), Courtmacsherry 10k in June (Up 108%) and so on. In general, it would be fair to say that the numbers were up at most events.

Athletic Clubs.....While membership at some have remained static, others have made the most of the current running boom. As outlined in a previous post, some of the larger clubs in Cork have shown strong growth and this looks likely to continue into 2013. Some of the others however have hardly grown at all despite the running boom. This may well be because they are more interested in juvenile athletes or they are not interested in getting bigger. I do however get the impression that some of the club numbers may be static because they don't make any effort to attract new members?

Cork BHAA......Looking at the many results, the BHAA had another busy year with plenty of runners taking part in their series of races. In the first half of 2012, they seemed to get a lot of criticism in the comments left on the results posts about overcrowding at the finish lines and delays in posting the results. This seems to have improved in the latter half of the year. Many people have suggested that they use chip timing or the same computer software as used for the other races organised by athletic clubs. It's worth pointing out that the BHAA have their own unique system for calculating prizes. Each registered runner has their own unique handicap grade just like in golf and the accumulated score determines what firm wins a team prize. In essence, it's a lot more complicated than most people think and it's not just a simple case of doing what the athletic clubs do. It's also worth pointing out that the BHAA races only cost €5 for registered runners, one of the cheapest entry fees anywhere. It's hard to imagine them being able to implement chip timing and keeping the entry fee so low. Haven spoken to a lot of people, I know that they are quite content to wait a few days for the results as long as the wait isn't too long.

Irish Athletics.......The performances that spring to mind for me were.....
David McCarthy winning some quality mile and 3,000m indoor races at the start of the year.
Ciarán Ó Lionáird winning the mens mile in Boston in March
Rob Heffernan finishing 4th in the 50k walk in the London Olympics in August
....and of course, Fionnuala Britton and the Irish team taking Gold at the European Cross Country Championships in Hungary in December!

Predictions for 2013........And what of the new year? What does it hold in store? Needless to say, I'll make some predictions and they'll all turn out to be wrong! ;o)

Prediction 1......If the graph up top suggests anything then I think we'll have the same number of events in 2013.....around 90 in total. I'm sure we might have a few new races coming through but perhaps a few of the races of 2012 won't be repeated either. Overall....not much change from 2012.

Prediction 2......I think 2013 will be the year that the numbers at races will peak. I have no stats to back up the prediction but the numbers have to peak at some stage, they can't keep growing forever. I find it hard to see some of the shorter distance races going from roughly 500 to up around the 800 mark. It amazing enough that new 'norm' seems to be around 300-400 whereas before, it was about 100-150. There will no doubt be a few races in 2013 that will buck the trend but I think we'll see the growth in numbers leveling off for many other events in the new year.

Prediction 3......The growth in non-athletic club races will continue. One of the other websites that maintain is the Running in Munster site where I keep results for all of the races in the province. Looking across all six counties, I can see that they are all slightly different from each other in terms of the number of races and who is organising them. What I have noticed in the last year or two is that more events are being organised for the sole purpose of raising funds rather than for the purpose of having a road race. Examples of this would be GAA clubs, soccer clubs, rugby clubs, schools, charities, etc. It also seems to be more pronounced where the athletic club structure is weak....e.g. Co.Clare. While it's more prevalent in other parts of Munster, I can see more events like this beginning to appear in Cork as well.

Blog Traffic.....Looking at the blog, it's been another busy year.

In 2011, the blog got 359,350 hits. The 2012 total will be just above 473,000, an increase of 32% (818,000 pageviews). In monthly terms, that's an increase from just under 30,000 hits per month to roughly 39,400 per month. It still remains by far, the largest running related website in Munster.

Credits for the year.....A long list! Thanks to all those of you who have contributed to the upkeep of the blog in it by means of using the donate button on the right hand side of the blog or those of you who bought items on Amazon after clicking on links for the books and watches. Every item sold generates a small commission which keeps the site going.

.........and the most common question I get asked?.......It must take ages to keep the site updated?..........and yes, it does! One of the main reasons for the blog is to have all the results and information for races in one spot. I know from experience what it's like when information is scattered across various sites with each just promoting their own events. That's why I keep a race calendar for Munster on this website and an identical version on the Running in Munster site. There are other calendars out there but none are as accurate or cover the whole province......and believe me, it's a job in itself keeping it updated!

I'd also like to thank all those photographers who took the time to takes pictures and share them with all of the John Joe of Driscoll with his photos of the races in West Cork, Ruari O'Mahony with his YouTube videos, Stephen Murphy with his photos of races in N Cork, Gearoid O'Laoi and his numerous albums and of course Doug Minihane with all of his photos at the BHAA races. I know from speaking to runners that photos are one thing they really like to see after a race. Apologies to any of the other photographers that I left out!

By the way, if anyone wants advice on how to put photos online but isn't sure how to do it then send me an e-mail.

And a final word of thanks to you the reader of this blog. For the comments that you have left during the year and the feedback that you have given on the various races.

New Years Resolutions........If there is one thing you might consider then it's to help out at a race. I have yet to hear any race organiser complain about the fact that they had too many race stewards on the day. Offer to help at one of the many local races, I'm sure they won't have any trouble finding a job for you. It's also a good way to see a race from the other side of the fence so to speak. You might be suprised to see just how much work is involved in putting on a high quality event.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nominations for the best 5m and 10k race in Cork in 2012???

Like the previous post except that this time it's for the best 5 mile and 10k race in Cork in 2012. In your opinion, what were the best races in Cork and why?

There is a wide number of races to choose from, be it BHAA, club and charity events. Click on the Comment link below to leave your nomination.

The current nominations for the best race in Cork in 2012 are...
5 mile = Midleton 5m, Bandon 5m, Kinsale 5m, Mitchelstown GR8KM, Route to Crook 5m, Ballycotton 5m

10 km = Shannonvale 10k, Liscarroll 10k, UCC 10k, Courtmacsherry 10k, Bandon 10k, Dunmanway 10k

Nominations for the best 5k and 4m race in Cork in 2012???

As we approach the end of the 2012, it's time to look back and consider what were the best races of the year? In this post, we'll look at the best 5 km and 4 mile races. In your opinion, what were the best 5k and 4m races in Cork in 2012 and why?

There is a wide number of races to choose from, be it BHAA, club and charity events. Click on the Comment link below to leave your nomination.

The current nominations for the best race in Cork in 2012 are...

5k = John Buckley Sports 5k, Carrigtwohill 5k, Doneraile 5k (June)

4m = Ballintotis 4m, Cheetah Run (FOTA), BHAA FMC 4 mile (Jan...Little Is)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Results of the Belgooly 4 mile road race...Wed 26th Dec 2012

A huge crowd turned out for the traditional 4 mile road race in Belgooly on St.Stephen's Day, the 26th of December. On a wet day with lots of showers, the race started in bright sunshine as can be seen from the photo above.

The large numbers did however cause a few problems as roughly 50 people left the finishing chute before being recorded. This in turn caused a lot of problems with the recorded times. The organisers asked me to mention that if you don't appear in the results, you should contact  Rose at

As is customary with this race, half of the €10 entry fee goes to charity. Over €3,200 was raised for the bowel cancer unit in CUH.

1    BRYAN KEANE    LEEVALE    M SNR        19.59
2    JAMES MCCARTHY    EAST CORK    M SNR        20.07
44    SIOBHAN HORGAN    IND    F SNR    2ND LADY    24.41

The full results can be seen HERE   

1) Gearoid O'Laoi has a gallery HERE

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

GOAL Mile...25th Dec 2013

A sunny and dry Christmas Morning saw one of the biggest turnouts for many years at the annual GOAL Mile which took place at the CIT in Bishopstown, one of many such events throughout the country.

In the region of €5,680 was raised at the Cork promotion and with the proceeds from Saturday’s Shanagarry Christmas ‘5K’ added it brings the total amount to over €6,100, slightly up on last year.

People of all ages (along with a few dogs!) ran, walked or jogged a mile (or a number of miles) while contributing to GOAL’s work in the Third World.

The fastest time of the day was recorded by no less a person than SANTA himself – in full regalia and despite his hectic schedule (along with the additional burden as captain of Leevale!), Santa covered the mile in a time of 4:35, two seconds faster than Sean McGrath of East Cork.

Thanks to all who participated or who helped out in any way – here’s to Christmas 2013!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fionnuala Britton finishes 2nd in Belgium in top quality race...

European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton finished an impressive second place at the Iris Lotto CrossCup in Brussels, Belgium on Sunday 23rd of December. Facing a number of top class athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia, Fionnuala held off most of the field to finish in second place, just three seconds behind the Ethiopian athlete Ruit Aga in first place.

Senior Women...6,000m
1. Ruti Aga (ETH) 20.48
2. Fionuala Britton (IRL) 20.51
3. Elini Gebriwoth (ETH) 21.20
4. Caroline Chepkwoni (KEN) 21.24
5. Veerle Dejaeghere (BEL) 21.31
6. Cynthia Kosgei (KEN) 21.35
7. Emily Stewart (GBR) 21.37
8. Barbara Maveau (BEL) 21.45
9. Almensh Belete (BEL) 21.58
10 .Fabienne Schlump (SUI) 22.00

The race also included European U23 champion Jess Coulson of Great Britain, who had beaten Fionnuala at the IAAF Cross Country race in Spain in early November.

In a post race interview, Fionnuala Britton said that she was thrilled about her second place finish.........."I love to run on this course in Brussels and the rain and the wind did not disturb me too much. I had a bad start and I needed to do some effort to get to the front of the race. I was in contention all the time although I didn’t feel very prepared for this race. After winning a second consecutive European title, training doesn’t get the focus that it usually gets."

Fionnuala Britton’s next race will be the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country on the 5th of January, followed by the Antrim IAAF Cross Country on January 12th.

Results of the Newmarket 5k...Sun 23rd Dec 2012

    Place    Time    Name    Team    Race Age Category    min/mile       
    1    0:14:15    MCCARTHY, David    West Waterford AC    M    04:35.1
    2    0:14:49    FAHEY, Jason    Bridge Milers-Olympic Harriers    M    04:46.0
    3    0:14:51    CIOBANU, Sergiu    Clonliffe Harriers    M    04:46.7
    22    0:17:05    FINN, Michelle    Leevale AC    F    05:29.8
    35    0:17:41    MURPHY, Emma    St. Finbarrs AC    F    05:41.4
    42    0:17:54    MCCARTY, Maria    Farranfore-Maine Valley AC    F35    05:45.6 

Full results HERE

Update 24th Dec 2012....Please note that some runners were not recorded at the finish line. If you are not in the results then you should contact the organisers.

Irish international race walker Brendan Boyce moves to Cork...

Brendan Boyce is an Irish International athlete from Donegal who recently competed in the 50k race walk at the Olympic Games in London. In humid conditions, he recorded a personal best time of 3:55:01 for the 50k which was almost three minutes faster than his previous best. In a race where 63 athletes started, Brendan finished in a very credible 29th place. At the recent Ulster Athletics Awards ceremony in Monaghan, he was named as Senior Athlete of the Year.

In an interview with the Donegal News, Brendan said about the last year......."2012 was a hard year. I had to work harder than most as I had to get my spot on the Olympic team with having to do the ‘A’ standard twice and then wait it out to see if more than 3 athletes got the standard. I also found out that I was anaemic about a month before racing in London, which put some doubts in my mind about the race. But I managed to pull on all the hard training and knowing that I prepared for this race for 3 years, which gave me the confidence to step onto the start line and get a result that I deserved.”

Having previously trained at the UKA national centre for race walking at Leeds Metropolitan University, Brendan has now moved to Cork to train under the guidance of top Irish race walker Rob Heffernan. When asked about the move, Brendan said........“The race in London has just acted as a catalyst for a new approach to competition. Up until now my training was all about going into races to get qualifying standards but now that I’ve achieved that goal I have to change my mind-set to winning. That’s why I’ve made the change from Leeds to Cork. Robert Heffernan has agreed to take charge of my training and I’m now based down there and train with him every day. My short-term goal will be to take in a few shorter races in the new year – 3k and 5k races – and then working on getting my 20k time down and hopefully get a qualifying standard over the shorter distance. I need to increase my base speed and anaerobic resistance over shorter distances, which should ultimately lead to improvements over the 50km distance.”

While his long term goal is qualifying for the Olympics in Rio in 2016, Brendan's more immediate targets are the National Indoors in Athlone in February 2013, the European Cup of Race-walking in Slovakia in May 2013 and the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in August 2013.

As a full time athlete, Brendan is currently looking for sponsorship as he prepares for Rio. He has his own website at

The full interview with the Donegal News can be seen HERE

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Notice...GOAL Charity Mile in Cork...25th Dec 2012

Please note that all you have to do is turn up on the day, make a donation and run a mile! The event at the CIT track in Bishopstown is always very popular but check out the other ones as well if they are closer to you.

Other GOAL miles in Munster can be seen HERE

If you are in Dublin, you can see local events HERE

The Dirtiest Race in History...

The mens 100 metre final at the 1988 Seoul Olympics is certainly one of the most controversial races in the history of the Olympic Games. For many years, the story was cut and dry. Ben Johnson of Canada won the race, then failed a drugs test for the banned substance Stanozolol, and he was disqualified and stripped of his title. Carl Lewis of the USA was then given the Gold medal.

A book published last Summer called the Dirtiest Race in History shone a completely different light on events. It is now felt that most of the athletes in that race were in fact on drugs and most failed a drugs test at some stage in their career.

A film called 9.79* by Daniel Gordon interviews all of the contestants in that race. It's an incredible insight into a time when one of the leading coaches reckons that 80% of the athletes were taking something. How the US authorities covered up their own positive tests and how Carl Lewis still has a lot of questions to answer.

The documentary is 1 hour 20 minutes long. It might be one to watch over the Christmas holidays.

Results of the Shanagarry Christmas 5k road race - Sat 22nd Dec 2012

Photo by Tim McCarthy of Eagle AC
Despite the wet conditions, a record crowd of 89 runners turned out for this year's Shanagarry Christmas 5k. While it has always been a very low key race costing €3 to enter, a total of €415 was still raised for GOAL. The GOAL charity mile will be held in numerous venues throughout the country on or very close to Christmas Day. More details in a later post.

    Place    Time    Name    Team    Race Age Category    min/mile       
    1    0:15:32    MCCARTHY, James    East Cork AC    M    04:59.9
    2    0:15:55    MCGRATH, Sean    East Cork AC    M    05:07.
    3    0:16:45    MEADE, John    St. Finbarrs AC    M    05:23.4
    20    0:20:13    KENNY, Michelle    Midleton AC    F    06:30.3
    24    0:20:37    DRENNAN, Sally    Midleton AC    F45    06:38.0
    26    0:20:42    BUCKLEY, Sheila    Midleton AC    F    06:39.6

The full results of the race can be seen HERE

1) Tim McCarthy of Eagle AC has a slideshow of photos HERE

Will Downing interviews Irish Gold Medal Cross Country team...

Irish sports commentator Will Downing has just uploaded his interview with the Irish team that won Gold at the recent European Cross Country Championships in Hungary.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Training session with Rob Heffernan...Sun 23rd Dec

Irish Olympian Rob Heffernan has issued an open invitation for anyone that wants to join him for a training session this Sunday, the 23rd of December.

Rob will be doing a 30km training session this Sunday starting at 10.30am, starting at the tunnel end of Little island & completing laps. Pace will be 7.35-7.50 mile. He’d enjoy some company, whether it's for the full 30 kms or jumping in for 10 kms or more...the more people the better.

It’s a good opportunity for a bit of fun and to have a bit of an atmosphere at a long training session coming into Christmas, and a nice way for him to meet and train alongside the many people who have supported and congratulated him.

Rob will be training, but will be happy to chat and get the company of runners. It's an open invite, so anyone coming along should ensure they wear suitable clothing, bring necessary fluids & nutrition and work at their own pace.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

BBC Radio interviews with some of the worlds top coaches...

On a BBC Radio 5 programme recently, they had a two hour programme which focused on athletics and coaching and interviewed some of the world's greatest coaches. Included are Alberto Salazar who coached Mo Farah and Galen Rupp to Gold and Silver in the 5,000m at the Olympics in London, Dan Pfaff who worked with long jump Gold medalist Greg Rutherford and Tony Minichiello who coached Jessica Ennis to Heptathlon Gold.

Anyone who has an interest in athletics or who coaches anyone from children to adults should find it of interest.

Guide.....Listen from.....5:00 to 30:20, 35:20 to 43:15, 44:05 to 48:28, 49:00 to 1:05:04, 1:11:55 to 1:30:57 and 1:34:08 to 2:00:00

The link is HERE .......Try to listen to it before the podcast expires.

New study shows fish oil may help the immune system post Marathon...

As many of you who have run a Marathon or taken part in other endurance sports will know, the most common time to pick up an infection is after the event when your immune system is suppressed. This  is caused by damage to lymphocytes which are a type of white blood cell instrumental to the body's immune system response.

A recent study at the Institute of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences in São Paulo, Brazil carried out a test on 21 athletes. Eight marathon runners were supplemented with 3 g of Fish Oil rich in docosahexaenoic, or DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid daily for 60 days and thirteen athletes were not supplemented. Measurements of the bodies lymphocytes were taken before and after the Marathon.

The researchers found that both groups' lymphocytes showed one common post-marathon effect, namely, what's known as "cell death." But the marathoners who took fish oil, the researchers found, produced more lymphocytes before and after the race, and their production of cytokines, a protein thought to help the immune system operate, didn't decline as much as in the runners who hadn't supplemented with fish oil. In theory, the proliferation of these cells should help one's post-marathon immune system function at a higher level and make you less susceptible to colds.

Athletics Ireland sign new sponsorship deal...

As a result of a new sponsorship deal, all future Irish athletic teams will be kitted out in New Balance gear. The current contract lasts for three years and replaces a previous deal with Asics.

Athletics Ireland have yet to announce how much the deal with the US company is actually worth.

US Marathon runner Larry Macon...

This five minute video clip is about US runner Larry Macon who has completed 549 Marathons and counting...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Preview of the Shanagarry Christmas 5k...Sat 22nd Dec 2012

The annual Shanagarry Christmas 5 km road race is coming up next Saturday, the 21st of December at 12 noon. Located just 20 or so miles from Cork City, it might of interest to anyone wanting to try a short local race just before Christmas.

This race is usually a pretty low key event with only about 60-80 runners taking part. There are no big prizes or anything like that, it's just a very simple 5k race which is usually held every year on the weekend just before Christmas day. The entry fee is usually just €3 and any proceeds go towards charity.

Location...The race starts and finishes in the village of Shanagarry in East Cork on the road between Midleton and Ballycotton. See the map above. Cloyne and Ballycotton are shown for reference.

Course...See map below. You start in Shanagarry, just outside the Church (or near the finish line in the 5 mile race if you know where that is).

You run back towards Cork, passing the garage and the road junction and after a pretty flat 1 km, you take a left.

You are now onto real quiet country roads until you re-join the road to Ballycotton at about the 2.5 mile mark. Then it's left, back into Shanagarry...

...right past the garage and the 3 mile mark and the finish is in the little dip just outside the GAA club.

Overall, the course is reasonably flat and there are no real hills to speak of.

If you want to have a closer look at the course, I have put the course up on the MapMyRun website. See HERE.
Weather....The current weather forecast is for a breezy mild day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ballycotton 10 now only open to overseas entrants and elites...

Entries for the 2013 Ballycotton 10 mile road race are now closed for all club athletes in Ireland and for those that completed the summer series.

The only people that can enter the Ballycotton 10 now are those living outside the island of Ireland.....which in reality most likely means entries from mainland Britain. Entries from overseas entrants must arrive before Tuesday, the 8th of January 2013.

 As for elite entries as in other years, a limited number will be available nearer the date.

The 2013 Ballycotton 10 entry form can be seem HERE

The organisers hope to have the online entries added to the entry list sometime before Christmas and the remainder after the overseas entries have closed. It's likely that a full list of all entrants should be available around mid-January.

Appeal for used running shoes for Charity gets a great response...

Back in late October, I put up a post about a charity initiative whereby people could donate their used runners to the homeless charity Cork Simon by putting them into a box in John Buckley Sports.

To date, some 200 plus pairs of shoes have been donated...some in excellent condition and the scheme is now finished. Thanks to everyone who donated their shoes, to Ruairi O'Mahony who helped organise it and to John Buckley Sports for supporting the initiative. If there is a requirement for more shoes in the future then a similar scheme may be run again.

Considering how successful this initiative was, it raises the question as to why couldn't it be repeated elsewhere? Surely there are other homeless charities in Munster that could avail of a similar scheme? Maybe someone in an athletics club could get it started? Approach the charity with the idea.......Explain it to the participating shop who would get increased footfall and free publicity.....and I can put a notice up on the Running in Munster website which gets around 9-10,000 hits per month. If someone wants to do it then you'll find my e-mail address on the right hand side of this page.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gerry Forde gets a new assistant...

The news story that crept under the radar this week was of course the fact that wheelchair athlete Gerry Forde had a new assistant at the Clonakilty Marathon last Saturday! Due to the severe gradient of the first hill around 400m after the start, Gerry needed someone on hand to stop him rolling backwards in between pushes of the wheels.
Gerry with his new helper
Mind you, even though he took off ages ahead of the rest of the Marathon field, I think it still took him around 30 minutes to get up this first hill......and it's only 100m long! When I passed him, there were beads of sweat dripping off his helmet.....and that's when he was stopped ;o)

Rumour has it that he has already block booked entry to the Clonakilty Marathon for the next 10 years. Next time you see Gerry, be sure and ask him where is his next hilly Marathon ;o)

Best Cork BHAA race of 2012???

The Cork BHAA Turkey Trot last Sunday was the last race in their 2012 calendar. In total, they had 19 races throughout the year.

22nd Jan FMC 4 Mile Little Island
12th Feb ESB Cross Country 5 K Beaumont Park, Blackrock
11th Mar Bord Gais 5K...Mahon
18th Mar Janssen 4 Mile...Little Island
1st April UCC 10 K
22nd April Stride by the Tide    4 Mile...Redbarn
9th May Pfizer's 6 Mile...Ringaskiddy
29th May John Buckley Sports 5 K...Marina
12th Jun Glanmire    4 Mile
21st Jun Macroom Daniel Kingston Memorial Run 5 K
4th Jul EMC 5 K Ovens
11th Jul IPS-Garda / Maher's Sports 5K...Marina
1st Aug Novartis 5 K...Ringaskiddy
15th Aug Army / Navy 5 Mile...Haulbowline
29th Aug Leisureworld 5 Mile...Ballincollig
7th Oct Cork-Cobh 15 Miles
4th Nov HSE 4 Mile...Marina
18th Nov Mount Oval Bar 6 Mile...Rochestown
16th Dec Turkey Trot 4 Mile    Marina Cork Simon Community.

So which one was the best in your opinion? It might obvious to pick the more recent races that are fresh in your memory but what about some of the races earlier in the year? There is a poll on the right hand side of this page and it stays open until the start of January.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Red FM interview with Irish coach Liam O'Reilly...

In the year leading up to the 2012 London Olympics, Liam O’Reilly was Rob Heffernan’s full time coach and played no small part in Rob's eventual fourth place finish in the 50k race walk. Liam was also a member of the full Ireland coaching set up in London and has previously worked with Mark Carroll and a number of GAA teams around the country.

In an interview on local Cork radio station Red FM, Liam O'Reilly talks about the Olympics, the current start of Irish Athletics and what needs to happen in the future.

You can hear the 36 minute interview at this LINK

Results of the Cork BHAA Turkey Trot...Sun 16th Dec 2012

Photo by Doug Minihane
This charity 4 mile race was held near Pairc Ui Chaoimh in Cork City on Sunday, the 16th of December. A total of 359 people took part and over €4,000 was raised for Cork Simon.

The format of this race was for people to predict their time and then to run without watches. Those that ran closest to their predicted times won. Incredibly, two runners were spot on while another three were just one second out!

Athlete Predicted Time Actual Time Difference
Seamus Cahill  26:55  26:55 00:00
Rory McGrath  30:31  30:31 00:00
Fintan McGivern  30:20  30:19 00:01
Fintan Walsh  34:00  33:59 00:01
Denis Lyons  24:00  24:01 00:01

The top 10 men and women finishers were...
Top Men                       
Position    Athlete    Prediction    Actual
1    Sean McGrath    20:30    20:58
2    Brian Murphy    20:58    21:00
3    Elton Heffernan    21:50    21:02
4    Tony Kelleher    21:45    21:16
5    Michael Morgan    23:00    21:45
6    Trevor Woods    21:51    22:27
7    John Malone    22:50    22:36
8    Dave Lyons    23:30    23:00
9    Conor Tierney    22:40    23:11
10    Patrick Rahilly    23:50    23:14
Top Women                       
Position    Athlete    Prediction    Actual
27    Rhona Lynch    24:30    25:10
30    Stephanie McGrail    25:42    25:28
39    Geralidine O'Shea    26:15    25:51
50    Michelle Kenny    27:10    26:30
58    Gillian Cotter    27:10    26:52
71    Mary Sweeney    28:00    27:16
74    Ann Wolfe    26:40    27:18
87    Sheila Buckley    28:00    28:06
106    Sandra Manning    28:30    29:02
108    Elaine Guinane    29:42    29:09

The full results can be seen HERE

1) A slideshow of photos can be seen HERE
2) As always, Doug Minihane has loads of photos HERE

New Marathon in Kerry...July 2013

For the last few years, the Maxi-Marathon has been held in Killarney, Co.Kerry. It started off as a 15 mile race and in later years, options for a Half-Marathon and a 10k were added.

As of 2013, the 15 mile Maxi-Marathon is gone and a full 26.2 mile Marathon takes it's place. Full details have yet to be announced but it should prove to be a popular option for a lot of people. The Half-Marathon starts up near Moll's Gap and runs downhill to finish in the National Park in Killarney. I would presume that the full Marathon will be nowhere near as easy. Will it have lots of hills? Will it be really hard? We'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Red FM interview with Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC

Just one week ago, Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC was the fourth scoring member of the winning Irish team at the European Cross Country Championships in Hungary. After a hectic week, local Cork radio station Red FM caught up with her and interviewed Lizzie about the race, how it unfolded and what it's been like since.

Well worth a listen. You can hear the 14 minute interview at this LINK

Results of the poll on how to enter the Ballycotton 10 in future...

For the last week, a poll has been up on the blog asking 'What way should you be able to enter the Ballycotton 10 in future?'

The three answers were...By Post only.....By Post and Online.....and Online only

Note! It should be remembered that this poll is on a website. It could be argued that those who are most likely to prefer the postal only entry option may well be those who don't use the Internet much. As such, if it were possible to get a real picture then the number selecting By Post only would be higher. I would however suspect that in reality, it may not be that much higher.

The results....A total of 169 people took part. 16 chose Post only, 59 Post and Online and 94 Online only. That breaks down into the following percentages...

9.4% of people selected the Post Only option. As noted already, this could be higher in reality.

55.6% selected the Online Only option. I actually thought this might have been higher.

35% selected the Post and Online option. It would seem as if a lot of people are happy with the entry system this year with a mixture of entry by post and online.

I know from my own point of view looking at the comments being left on the blog, there were a lot more people annoyed at the postal only entry system last year. Demand for places has now become so high that it has been like a lottery system for non-club runners for the last few years. It didn't matter how much someone wanted to get in, if their entry didn't arrive in time then they didn't get in. At least this year with the second option of having online entries, anyone who really wanted to get in could arrange to have someone else enter them even if they could not get online themselves.

This year for non-club runners, there were 1,405 postal entries compared to 1,095 entries online. If the poll above suggests anything then perhaps more places should be reserved for online entries? Should it be 50:50? How practical this would be is another issue. One thing's for sure, people certainly don't want to go back to the old postal only system.

Results of the Doneraile Park Santa Dash 5k - Sat 15th Dec 2012

This 5k race was held in Doneraile Park on Saturday, the 15th of December and attracted 107 runners.

5k Santa Hat Dash
PositionNumberTime Name Club M/F CategoryPace
1 16:06 MAC DOMNHAILL, Aogan WEST LIMERICK M ms 5:12
2 16:08 SHEEHAN, Colm LEEVALE M ms 5:12
3 17:13 MURPHY, Ed GNEEVEGUILLA M ms 5:33
15 20:36 BOLSTER, Lorraine MALLOW F fs 6:39
25 22:14 LAVERY, Siobhan MALLOW F f40 7:10
27 22:20 MAC DOMNHAILL, Carmel WEST LIMERICK F fs 7:12

The full results can be seen HERE

Reminder...Closing date for Ballycotton 10 entries in next Tuesday!

Just a final reminder! The closing date for entries to the 2013 Ballycotton 10 is next Tuesday, the 18th of December. This applies to Athletic Club members and Summer Series runners only. Entries for non-club runners closed last week.

By right, you really should have posted your entry on Friday at the latest but it may not be too late. Fill out the entry form and post it straight away. Your entry must arrive by Tuesday.

Friday, December 14, 2012

W.Waterford...Old Parish Turkey Trot - Sun 16th Dec 2012

For those of you living in East Cork / West Waterford, this one might be of interest. Entries at the Marine Bar which is near the top of the hill on the main road between Youghal and Dungarvan.

The 4th Annual Paddy Joe Curran memorial Old Parish Turkey Trot will take place this year on Sunday December 16th at 12 noon. It’s a 5 mile road race around the local area, plus there’s a 4 mile walk/jog which gets under way at 11.30 am.Entries will be taken at the Marine Bar from 10.15 onwards. All monies raised is in aid of cancer and will be donated to S.E.R.T. Entry to the run/walk is 7 euro/donation.

Work continues at Ireland's newest indoor running track in Athlone...

Work is continuing at present on a new €13 million indoor sports arena in Athlone. It is hoped that the completion of the first element of the indoor sports arena will be in the next few months with the new six-lane indoor athletics track becoming the only IAAF approved facility in the Republic. According to Athletics Ireland, the "indoor athletics track and field auditorium comprises a 200m-banked running track, spectator seating for 1,500 persons, as well as an elevated athlete warm-up area with an 80m sprint track. The separate multipurpose indoor sports auditorium will cater for basketball, futsal; as well as volleyball, badminton and multiple other sports. It too will have spectator seating for 1,500 persons, which can be increased to 3,500 spectators in concert setting. The building incorporates all accepted passive and sustainable technology, including rainwater harvesting and high degrees of insulation. The main athletics arena is naturally lit to reduce running costs, with lights used rarely. The auditoria are naturally ventilated, and the preferred ambient temperature of a sports centre – 16 degrees – facilitates the lowest possible energy use for a building of this type."

For the best part of the last decade, the Irish Indoor Athletic Championships have been held at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. Once this new facility in Athlone is completed, it will be much more accessible to athletes from all corners of the country. These are some of the travel times to get to Athlone......Dublin 1:30, Galway 1:00, Limerick 1:50, Cork 2:50, Waterford 2:30, Derry 3:40, Belfast 3:20, Sligo 1:50.

The current plan is that extensive testing will take place in late January / early February and the Athletics Ireland Senior Indoor Championships will be held at this new facility in Athlone on the 16th and 17th of February 2013.

Just before the new Mondo track is put down. Photo shows the spectating area.

Plenty of glass on the side of the building allowing lots of daylight in

Plenty of glass on the opposite side as well making for a really bright indoor track.

 Photos courtesy of Athlone IT Athletic Club...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cork BHAA Turkey Trot next Sunday, the 16th of Dec 2012

The Cork BHAA are holding their last race of the year next Sunday. After a busy calendar of races, they close off the year with their annual Turkey Trot. Proceeds from the race go to the Cork Simon Community.

Please note that it is 4 miles, not 5k.

Nominations for best Half-Marathon in Munster in 2012...

Now that the end of the year is approaching, it's time to look back and decide what were the best races of 2012. In this post, I'm asking people to nominate their best Half-Marathon of the year.

In 2012, I took part in four Half-Marathons in Munster.

In May, I did the Bay Run Half-Marathon in scenic West Cork. It suffered a bit from heavy traffic after the later start but it certainly gave out the best quality tech top of the lot. The branded Under-Armor top was certainly of a much higher quality than a lot of the other tops given out at races.

In September, I did the Valentia Half-Marathon on what was a very scenic course. A great spot when the weather is nice. I also did the Dingle Marathon and did practically all of the Half-Marathon in the process. Another scenic one but again, dependent on the weather.

I also did the Cork Half-Marathon in Blarney. This year, the new out and back course seemed to work very well and it got a great crowd. Later in the month, I did the Charleville Half-Marathon, probably one of the fastest Half-Marathon courses in the country. My own personal favourite was the Bandon Half-Marathon. It's certainly not fast but I liked the hilly quiet country roads.

So it's your choice! What Half-Marathon races in Munster should be nominated for the vote? Forget about the bad ones or those you didn't like. Just leave a comment below and tell us what ones you did like and why? I'll put up a poll in about a week and we'll see who wins.

If you want to send me an e-mail with your nomination then that's fine as well.

So far, the nominations for best Half-Marathon in 2012 are....
Charleville Half-Marathon
Cork Half-Marathon (Blarney)
Bandon Half-Marathon
Bay Run Half-Marathon
Run the Gauntlet Half-Marathon, Killarney 
Waterford Half-Marathon 
Limerick Half-Marathon
Clonmel Half-Marathon
Dingle Half-Marathon
Run Killarney Half-Marathon
Cork City Half-Marathon
Wild West Half-Marathon

Interview with the Gold medal Irish team on Dublin City FM

After winning the European Cross Country Championships last Sunday, the Irish team were interviewed by Dublin City FM.

In this podcast, Dave Hooper talks to Fionnuala Britton (0:00-5:00), Linda Byrne (5:00-8:22), Ava Hutchinson and Lizzie Lee (9:00-13:00) and the Irish team manager Teresa McDaid.

Giving your old Garmin watch a new lease of life...

I'm sure there are many of you out there that have bought GPS watches only to find that they developed problems or wouldn't charge properly. A colleague of mine bought a Garmin GPS watch from a local sports shop last March and ended up with charging problems a few months later.

In the following mail, you'll see his solution.....
I bought a good Garmin GPS watch from a local store last March (2012). It began not charging over the summer (once it was safely out of warranty). When I brought it back to the shop in September, all they could offer from Garmin was a 100€ option on sending it back to Garmin and getting a refurbished one back again, with a  fabulous 90 day warranty! This did not fill me with joy, and I didn't progress with it, but the watch eventually wouldn't charge at all.

On ebay I found a site with a 25$ option on fixing my watch with a better battery than factory fitted. I sent it off, not sure what I'd get back, and 9 days after dispatching it I've gotten it back and the battery is definitely much better than even when initially purchased. Thought it would be a good hint as I was nearly going with the 100euro option or replacing completely.

Needless to say, I can't vouch for that company. All I can say is that one person tried it and was very pleased with the results.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cork men win Novice All-Ireland X-Country title...

With most people concentrating their attention on the European Cross Country Championships in Hungary last Sunday, the National Novice Cross Country Championships was being held in Adamstown, Co.Wexford.

Athletic Ireland...Novice Juvenile Cross Country Championships...9th December 2012...Adamstown Co. Wexford
Novice Men
Place Name Club/City/Country Cat. Result
1 Dermot McDermott Sligo A.C. 19:49
2 Ray Hynes Crusaders A.C. Dublin 19:53
3 Paul Stephenson Rathfarnham W.S.A.F. A.C. Dublin 19:55

The winning county novice team was Cork with 119 points.
1 Cork 119 / 2 Dublin 157 / 3 Offaly 205 / 4 Tipperary 230 / 5 Donegal 282 / 6 Kerry 311 / 7 Laois 333 / 8 Meath 474 / 9 Kilkenny 518 / 10 Wexford 770

The scoring Cork team members were...
8 Tim O'Donoghue East Cork A.C. Cork 20:14
13 John Shine Leevale A.C. Cork 20:24
22 Shane Coffey Togher A.C. Cork 20:43
23 Elton Heffernan Togher A.C. Cork 20:45
26 Colm Sheahan Leevale A.C. Cork 20:48
27 Peter Fennell Togher A.C. Cork 20:50

In the inter-club competition, Leevale AC took the Silver...
1 Finn Valley A.C. 63 / 2 Leevale A.C. 73 / 3 Togher A.C. 115 / 4 Tullamore Harriers A.C. 115 / 5 Rathfarnham W.S.A.F. A.C. 117 / 6 Crusaders A.C. 117 / 7 St. Abbans A.C. 204 / 8 St. Finbarrs A.C. 267 / 9 Clonliffe Harriers A.C. 282 / 10 St Malachy's AC 297

In the Novice womens competition, Laura Crowe took the individual title with Dublin taking the county title.
1 1774 Laura Crowe An Riocht A.C. Kerry 14:30
2 1762 Caroline Crowley Crusaders A.C. Dublin 15:05
3 1770 Eimear O'Leary Dublin 15:13

INTER COUNTY...1 Dublin 20 points  (2, 3, 5, 10) /  2 Tipperary 99 points  (6, 9, 40, 44) /  3 Kerry 101 points (1, 4, 41, 55) /  4 Sligo 110 points (17, 19, 25, 49) /  5 Cork 136 points (28, 30, 33, 45) /  6 Meath 147 points (21, 27, 38, 61) /  7 Donegal 155 points (8, 18, 53, 76) /  8 Kildare 164 points (23, 29, 39, 73) /  9 Wexford 166 points (12, 15, 56, 83)

INTER CLUB...1 Crusaders A.C. 68 points   (2, 10, 24, 32) /  2 Donore Harriers 82 points   (5, 13, 22, 42) /  3 Sportsworld A.C. 110 points  (16, 26, 31, 37)4 North Sligo A.C. 110 points  (17, 19, 25, 49) /  5 Leevale A.C. 156 points  (28, 33, 45, 50) /  6 Rathfarnham W.S.A.F A.C. 168 points  (20, 43, 48, 57) /  7 Portlaoise A.C. 169 points  (14, 34, 35, 86) /  8 Liffey Valley A.C. 247 points  (36, 64, 69, 78) /  9 Finn Valley A.C. 254 points  (53, 62, 63, 76) /  10 Mallow A.C. 273 points  (65, 66, 68, 74) /  11 Kilmore A.C. 282 points  (15, 83, 88, 96)

The full results can be seen at these links...Men ... Women

5k Charity Run in Doneraile...Sat 15th Dec 2012

This 5k charity run is coming up in Doneraile, N.Cork next Saturday, the 15th of December. Entry only €5.

800m Olympic champion David Rudisha says his best is yet to come...

In a recent interview, the 800m World record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha says the world has yet to see him at his best. After winning the Kenyan Sports Personality of the Year, he said..."One would say I have it all…a World title, Olympic title and the world record but I always have something to motivate me". His future plans are to win the World Championships in Moscow in 2013 followed by Beijing in 2015. After that, he said........"From there, I will focus on defending my Olympic title at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro.  I also want to be referred to as double World champion, triple World champion and double Olympic champion”.

In the London Olympics last August, he set a new world record time of 1:40.91 in the 800m without the aid of pacemakers. As to whether he could break it again, he said......"I can start talking about improving that record now before I see how my training goes. Maybe until mid next year or in March is when I will know how my body is responding.”

Rudisha also paid tribute to his coach Colm O’Connel from Cork for nurturing his talent and transforming him to a world beater. “I want to thank the people who have contributed to my success especially my coach brother Colm, who has been with me since I was a youngster in 2004,” said Rudisha.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Newstalk interview with Euro X-Country Champion Fionnuala Britton...

On Monday evening, the Off the Ball sports programme interviewed Fionnuala Britton who retained her European Cross Country title on Sunday in Hungary. She talks about how her year went, the disappointment of the London Olympics, how she approached the race and the race itself.

The interview starts at 47 minutes and lasts until 58 minutes.

European Champions arrive home...

On Monday night, four of the six Gold medal Irish team arrived home in Dublin airport.

L to R...Linda Byrne, Fionnuala Britton, Lizzie Lee and Ava Hutchinson...Photo by Gearoid O'Laoi
After being welcomed be a large crowd, they were interviewed by RTE radio. You can hear it HERE

There is also a 3 minute interview on RTE television. This can be seen on the RTE Player Service HERE......After the adverts, look for the piece from 7:30 to 10:30

For anyone that wants to watch the race again, you can see it HERE

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Fionnuala Britton and Irish team take Gold in Euro X-Country Champs...Sun 9th Dec 2012

On a great day for Irish Athletics, Fionnuala Britton won the womens senior race in the European Cross Country Championships in Hungary. Having won the 2011 race in Slovenia, this is the first time that anyone has retained the title. After leading for most of the race, Fionnuala finishing kick was enough to keep her ahead of Dulce Félix of Portugal who put in a strong late challenge.

Rank    Athlete    Nation    Time         
1     BRITTON, Fionnuala     IRL        27:45         
2     FÉLIX, Dulce     POR        27:47         
3     HERZOG, Adriënne     NED        27:48

Not only did Fionnuala Britton take the individual title but she also helped the Irish team win the team prize!

Winning Irish Team...L to R...Lizzie Lee, Fionnuala Britton, Ava Hutchinson, Linda Byrne, Sara Treacy, Sarah McCormack
With the first four finishers to score, the Irish and French teams tied on 52 points!

However as the fourth member of the scoring team, Lizzie Lee from Cork finished in 23rd place and ahead of the fourth French woman Magali Bernard in 28th place. The Irish team won in count back as a result!
Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC proudly displaying her new European Cross Country Gold medal
The other two scoring members of the Irish team were Ava Hutchinson and Linda Byrne who both represented Ireland in the Marathon in the recent London Olympics.

Photos courtesy of James McCarthy of East Cork AC