Saturday, May 18, 2013

Kerry...Lakes of Killarney Marathon - Sat 18th May 2013

This was the first year of this particular event with 110 taking part in the full Marathon, 17 Marathon relay teams and 199 in the Half-Marathon.

The full Marathon course consisted of three full loops within the northern end of the national park with the half being run on 1.5 loops. The course had a number of small hills and took in the picturesque Ross Castle as well as the woods itself on the lake shore.

As with the first running of any event, there were some teething problems but nothing that couldn't be worked out.

What went right.....
1) Nice quiet course. No traffic with only the odd jarvey on the park roads. The out and back sections near Ross castle were on narrow paths but the small numbers didn't really make it an issue.
2) Plenty of water stations......in cups which was the correct decision. Giving out small bottles here would only have resulted in litter within the park. It would be nice to think that runners dipose of used water bottles properly but many don't.
3) Very scenic.....old woodland, lakes of Killarney and the mountains in the distance.
4) Post race hot showers.
5) Post race tea and food.
6) Modest entry fees for the half and full...€25 and €35......and this included a dri-fit top.

What might need to be looked at......
1) The finish line is just too far away from the sports hall where people had parked. After running 26.2 miles, a 1.5 mile walk is the last thing they need. On a cool and wet day, this is a real issue. The finish line should be much closer.
2) Tea and food.....It would probably be much better to have this back at the Sports hall where people could avail of it after they had got changed. This is exactly what happens at most road races and makes for a more social occasion.
3) The start of the half-marathon was about 1.4 miles away. Some might argue that this is ok for a warm-up. Not great for beginners or novice runners who are running near their limit at 13 miles.
4) A lot of people said that the course was short. Considering the canopy of foliage overhead, I'd have serious doubt's about the accuracy of GPS watches at this time of year in the park. The courses were supposed to have been measured by Jones counter.
5) Some of the mile markers were definitely out.
6) The direction arrows had a cyclist on them. Were we following a cycling route or were they borrowed from some cycling event for the day? Not clear.

Overall........It was a good event at a reasonable price. If they can just get the race HQ closer to the finish line then it would help a lot. Going on today, I'd expect numbers to be up next year.

Results.....The results of the Half can be seen HERE and the full HERE

Photos...(Updated Mon 20th)
1) Joe Murphy of Eagle AC has a slideshow of photos HERE 
2) Kerry through a lens Facebook page... HERE 
3) Gneeveguilla AC have 500+ photos HERE

9 comments:

horvathmark84 said...

Hi all, I really enjoyed the race. After we have found the Start line all was fine :)It was a funny moment but it just made it even better. I Hope we will have this race next year as well.
Just an Idea But the finish could be at the Car park next year.

Thanks for a beautiful Race for the organizers, the stewards and of course the racers as well!

Mark Horvath

horvathmark84 said...

Hi all, I really enjoyed the race. After we have found the Start line all was fine :)It was a funny moment but it just made it even better. I Hope we will have this race next year as well.
Just an Idea But the finish could be at the Car park next year.

Thanks for a beautiful Race for the organizers, the stewards and of course the racers as well!

Mark Horvath

horvathmark84 said...

Hi all, I really enjoyed the race. After we have found the Start line all was fine :)It was a funny moment but it just made it even better. I Hope we will have this race next year as well.
Just an Idea But the finish could be at the Car park next year.

Thanks for a beautiful Race for the organizers, the stewards and of course the racers as well!

Mark Horvath

horvathmark84 said...

What was the real length? I have seen 27.9 mile on the Map but I can't belive it was that long, especially because I needed about 3 minuets to finish after the 26 miles mark (I wish I can do 1.9 miles in 3 mi. :) )

Anonymous said...

I'd share the overall positive impression of the race, particularly its good value when compared to similar races, while agreeing that a few tweaks could make it even better next year.

Regarding the course measurement, in environments with a tree canopy GPS watches tend to make the course appear short. See 'Test 4: The Deep Tree Adventure' at this link, for an experiment that illustrates this, using a variety of watches - http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2011/06/2011-sport-device-gps-accuracy-in-depth_09.html

I know that I found that my watch was showing the distance between mile markers around Ross Island (where the canopy was densest) to be short, will for the rest of the course it thought they were bang on. That leads me to believe that there was nothing wrong with the course measurement (at least for the half), and the perception that there was is just due to the limitations of GPS watches in forest environments.

Anonymous said...

I am glad the point about the gps was highlighted as i was happy about my time but i didn't clock the full 13.1 but i am delighted now. The run was brilliant. Stunning views but just a tiny crib .......they could have given bottles of water out at the finish line as having to Que for a cup of water was tough after the race. To go back to the positives it was great. Will most definitely do it again!!! Thanks to the organisers.

P.s love my running top and medal.

Anonymous said...

I did the full marathon and while I agree with the positive comments about the race being value for money, a unique event with amazing scenery etc, I think the organisation of the race fell down in a few areas.
1. It should have been possible to collect numbers for other entrants the night before. This is standard practice in most races.
2. The signage on the route was not very visible in parts, particularly a point where you could have gone right or straight on. There was no steward at this point either and it would have been easy to go the wrong way, especially since you could have been running alone for a long part of the race without people ahead to follow.
3. There should have been bottled water at the finish line.
4. When the prize-giving eventually happened at 4pm in the hotel bar, it was a non-event, which was strange,considering you would think the organisers would want at least a few photos to publicise the race for next year.
Overall, it was a unique race,low-key, fantastic weather and scenery but I'm not sure if I'll return next year.
I think my personal preference would be for a road-based marathon.

Anonymous said...

While the event was exceptional value for money, a litte bit more effort could have made this event very special. There was no music at the end line which would have created a great atmosphere especially when you had to pass this 3 times doing the marathon. There were no split times given for the relay event nor were all names added or team names. I would have like to have seen bottled water at the end line also. Using bike signage was also confusing and led to people going wrong. But as a first time event i still think they did well and if the comments could be taken on board for next year.

Anonymous said...

I would like to echo everything said in the previous comments, a well run event for a first time out, I would like to add though, would it be possible for the relays to either have a separate number range or background colour to the numbers so they could identify each other and build the excitement between teams as well as the full marathon runners be able to identify a relay member as they fly by and not have to feel as bad as if they were passed by another member doing the full