As a race, it may not be as high profile as say those located closer to say Limerick or Cork City but it is an event with a lot of character and a long history. The race was originally started back in the time of the original running boom in the late 70's and early 80's by Christy Brosnan and Joe Quaid of North Cork AC. The original idea was for it to be part of the Dromcollogher Carnival which has been going since the 1940's and for the race to take place on Monday evening, a tradition that survives to this day.
In it's heyday, the race used to attract some of the top runners from all over Munster even though the prizes were always modest in comparison to other races at the time. On one occasion, Liam O'Brien from Cork won the race the day after winning the National 3000m steeplechase title! The triangle shaped course started and finished in the main square of the town much to the delight of the crowds. This did however mean that the race was in fact 'slightly' longer than the advertised 4 miles ;o)
One of the other unusual features of the race at the time was that the winner received a small porcelain figurine. One of the biggest employers at that time in the town was Irish Dresden, a German company which made high quality collectable porcelain items in the town which employed over 60 people, a huge number in what was and still is a rural area.
West Limerick AC are helping out with the organisation of the race and they are putting up a cup in memory of Christy Brosnan who unfortunately has now passed away. This replaces the old cup which was named after Marky O'Shea who used to run in the local races of the late 70's and early 80's barefoot, a long time before minimalist running and Vibram Five Fingers became all the rage ;o)
Getting there.....Dromcollogher is located to the west of Charleville near the Limerick - Cork border. If you are coming from say Limerick city then the easiest way is probably to head south towards Cork and turn off at Charleville and follow the directions for Newtownshandrum, Milford and Dromcollogher. If you are travelling north from Cork then turn off at Buttevant and go via Liscarroll.
As you enter the town from the east then you should see that the road forks into two where the central square is. Take the right here, drive a few hundred metres on what is a very straight road and you will pass the start line just opposite a service station. The GAA hall where the entries will be taken is just beyond this on the left.
Course Preview.......A full preview of the course with maps, directions, photos, etc can be seen HERE