Thursday, February 26, 2009

Waterford...Preview of Dungarvan 10km road race - Sun 1st Mar

The 27th Annual Eason Dungarvan 10km road race takes place in Dungarvan, West Waterford on Sunday, the 1st of March at 11am.
A flat 10k course around Dungarvan. Entries at the Dungarvan GAA Club grounds, just off the N25.
Race starts at 11 a.m. (Please note new starting time)
Entry fee is €8. Changing rooms, shower facilities, refreshments and prize-giving will all be available at the venue.
Race number 4 in the Michael Roche Carpets Spring Series.

Limerick...Preview of Adare 10 km Road Race - Sun 1st of March 2009

Next Sunday is a busy day for road racing in Munster with no less than 3 races on offer...a BHAA 5km race in Cork City, a 10 km race in Dungarvan, West Waterford and the Adare 10 km road race in Limerick.
Adare 10k......The race starts at 2pm. Entry is €10 and there are T-shirts for the first 200 entries. You can find a flyer for the race HERE.

You can download a registration form and fill it out beforehand if you want to enter faster on the day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Video Clip from the Dungarvan 10

This video clip is from Alan Lyons and shows various sections of the 2009 Dungarvan 10 mile race. It's about 6 minutes long and the quality is pretty good. Just listen to that wind! It even sounds cold...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kerry...Duathlon 25th April

Just a short note to say that the date for this event in Killorglin has now been changed. Originally, it was supposed to be on the 7th of March. It has now been rescheduled to the 25th of April. Original post here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Waterford...Results of the Kilmacthomas 5 Mile Road Race - Sun 22nd Feb 2009

Looks like they got a fine turnout for this race in Waterford with 214 runners.

The results are HERE.

And they have 4 photo albums HERE.

Limerick...Results of the IMRA Ballyhoura 8km - Sat 21st Feb 2009

Results....the full results are now here.

Race Report......
This was my first time ever taking part in a mountain race so it's written from the point of view of someone who has done plenty of road races, plenty of orienteering events but never had the urge to run up and down a mountain! It might be of interest to anyone who might be interested in trying this type of event.

Getting to the start line was the first obstacle. On the IMRA website, it just mentioned that registration was at the Greenwood car Park. The prizegiving was supposed to be at the Greenwood Inn in Ardpatrick. Now Ardpatrick is a small one horse town/village at the base of the Ballyhouras in south county Limerick. When I arrived there, I could neither see the horse or any sign that there was a race on. Outside the Greenwood Inn was another car with two equally looking lost souls inside. Needless to say, the two parked cars was like a magnet for other wandering cars and within 5 minutes, we had 4 parked cars, full of people looking for the start of the race. But where was it? Then someone had the bright idea of ringing home, getting someone to go on the Internet, go to the IMRA website, get a contact number, ring that number and get directions. So a small convoy set off and we all arrived at a car park which happened to be the new centre for mountain bikes.

The race...Around 50 turned up for this race which I am told is supposed to be a big turnout. We started on a forest road and ran up a slight gradient. Eventually, the forest road narrowed to a single track, we crossed a metal bridge over a river and then a steep corkscrew ascent. This is where 'mountain running' differs from 'road running'. You never run up anything this steep in a road race.

Then we started a long descent along a narrow path. Not really wide enough to pass anyone yet you have to watch the ground like a hawk to make sure you dont slip. Then down a steep little section and back onto a forest road. Now we started a long uphill section. By comparison, in a road race, the hills are never really that steep and ususally the limiting factor is how much oxygen you can take in and how out of breath you are. That's what limits your pace and speed. With the steep slopes in mountain running, which is very like orienteering, your leg muscles are releasing a lot of lactic acid and you can feel that is limiting you as well.

After a long ascent, we turned off right onto a narrow path which was even steeper. You ran so far up the slope but eventually, you just had to walk. The lactic acid levels would drop a bit, you'd jog a bit futher, the lactic acid would build up again and you'd walk again.

Eventually, the slope eased and you could start running again. Back out onto a forest road again and on towards the summit. But first, there was a bog to cross. Here, it was all about picking the right spot to run on and not slipping. I saw one person disappear into the mud up to their knees but they quickly got going again. Then up to and past the trig point on the summit of Seefin at 528 metres which is the highest point in the Ballyhoura mountains. Next..the downhill section accross the bog. I was passed by two people here. Let's call them suicide jockeys! I don't know how they stayed upright but they ran straight through the mud.

At last, out of the bog and onto a dirt track. It was slightly downhill and it was one of the fastest sections of the course. Again, it was all about where you placed your feet and not slipping. Several turns later, we were back onto that slope that we had walked up earlier except this time, we descended at what seemed like a crazy speed. Then we were back onto the wide forest roads again.

Running downhill on the narrow dirt tracks, I couldn't make a dent in the lead of the person in front of me. It's as if staying upright and trying not to trip or slip was the main thing and everyone was running at the same speed around me. Back on the forest road, I was on home turf again and I think that within the first 300 metres, I had managed to pull in the person in front of me. Then the long descent.

In fairness to the organisers, they had plenty of green tape out so it was easy to follow the route. At the end of the long descent, I saw some stretching accross the road. My initial thought was that it was left over from marking the route when we were going up so I ran past it. Realising my mistake, I stopped and doubled back, losing about 10-15 seconds. Then we ran up a short but very steep uphill section, a shock to the system after running dowhill for the last few minutes. After that, it was downhill all the way to the finish.


  • They have stewards at the major path/road junctions as well as green tape along the way. For this course at least, navigating was not an issue although I'm not sure what it would be like on large mountains like Mangerton.
  • One or two runners got lost out along the course. Not something you usually see in a road race ;o)
  • Harder than the usual road races. The steep inclines generate a lot of lactic acid from the muscles and this is a major factor.
  • From an orienteering point of view, it is very similiar in that you are running on similiar surfaces and inclines. The major difference is that in orienteering, we slow down to navigate and punch the various controls. Your pace is also determined by how fast you are willing to push yourself. In a mountain race, you naturally enough want to keep your position and not be passed. As a result, the pace and effort is unrelenting and there is no chance to recover.
  • As it was my first race, I had to pay a registration fee of €10. This covered me for entry to this race and I got a race number that I need to keep if I am doing any other IMRA races in 2009. If I do another one, my entry fee should be €7 I think.
  • Shoes....all types were used...from proper fell running shoes to old runners. I wore a pair of Nike Air Pegasus runners which are really road shoes but are reasonably waterproof. Getting good grip is obviously important but I found the shoes that I wore fine. I'm not sure how they will hold up to the wear and tear though.
  • I was half thinking before the race that it would be full of super fit mountain men who would sprint up the hill leaving me in last place! But no, the range of runners is exactly like an ordinary road race...some fast and some not so fast with loads of average runners in the middle.
  • The information regarding the location of the race is pretty poor. You'd be as well to ring beforehand just to make sure and bring that contact number with you.
  • Plenty of tea and sandwiches afterwards!
I hope this short report might give you some idea as to what a mountain race is like. It's a sport that may not appeal to everyone but it might be of interest to anyone who wants to try something new and different. The next race in Munster is on Claragh mountain near Millstreet in April.

John Desmond, 23rd Feb 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Waterford...Kilmacthomas 5 Mile Road Race - Sun 22nd Feb (11am)

As well as the IMRA race on Saturday, there are 2 other races coming up in Munster on Sunday. Eagle AC are holding their annual 5 mile race in Carrigaline south of Cork City and that race will be previewed on the Running in Cork website.
In Waterford, there is the Kilmacthomas 5 Mile Road Race. Details as follows...

Entries taken at Kilmacthomas Community centrefrom 9.30 am Sunday 22nd Feb race @ 11am – Walk @ 10.30am Entry fee 8 Euro
Presentation of Prizes & Spot Prizes at Danny Kirwans

Mens / Women
1st €100.00 / €100.00
2nd €60.00 / €60.00
3rd €50.00 / €50.00
O/35 €0.00 / €40.00
O/40 €40.00 / €40.00
O/45 €40.00 / €40.00
O/50 €40.00 / €40.00
O/55 €40.00 / €0.00

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Limerick...IMRA 8km mountain race, Ballyhouras - Sat 21st Feb 09

I know it's not exactly road running but I thought I'd give it a mention seeing as how there are not that many mountain races in Munster. Here are some details...

Date: Saturday 21 February, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM
Climb (m): 427
Distance (km): 8.00
Marking: - Only major junctions marked
Course Record: Men - 41:02 (John Downs) Women - 58:58 (Loretta Duggan)
Route Description: It is an 8k course on road and forest road trail and about a mile across a bog towards Seefin.
Organisers Instructions: Registration @ the Greenwood car Park, enquiries to Tom Blackburn on (087)6994976. Refreshments afterwards in the Greenwood inn, Ardpatrick.
Info from the IMRA website
Check this link if you want to know where exactly Ardpatrick is. I presume it will be signposted from there.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Waterford...Results of the AnneValley 5 Mile Challenge - Sat 14th Feb 2009

There was a big turnout for this race with 240 runners taking part. It sounds like there might have been the odd hill or two along the course ;o)

Results....the results are now available on their website. (Just a note of's fine to click on the following link but do not click on the banner ad at the top saying you won something. By clicking on those type of ads, at best they will take you to some stupid website, at worst it will try and install some nasty software on your pc!). The results are here.

We also have the following race report thanks to Donal O'Donoghue who made the trip from Cork.
Race Donal O'Donoghue
AnneValley 5 Mile Challenge 2009
It was another trip to Dungarvan today, and on further along the Copper Coast, and then inland to Anne Valley and Dunhill village. Despite any impressions the name may give, this is a regular road race, run in a nice scenic rural setting, where things are so quiet, there's no O2 mobile signal! Online registration had been possible for this race, but by the time I had made up my mind on Friday, online entries had closed. Entry on the day was EUR 10.00 at Harney's Bar, Dunhill, followed by a half-mile trek from there to the start line.
Conditions were dry and mild at 7-9 degrees, with almost no wind. Much more comfortable than the Dungarvan 10 ;o) One could however see snow on the distant mountains.
Total entries were about 250, which included runners, a children’s section, and a walking category.
In most competitive short races, there usually seems to be a ratio of 2:1 in men vs. women. Today, it seemed that there were possibly equal proportions. People were asked to arrange themselves, in order, Elite, Runners, Children, and finally Walkers. However, many kids made a dash towards the front, as soon as the race began, possibly burning precious energy. At least one finished to a big cheer in close to 50 minutes.
Right from the beginning about 10 elite runners separated from the pack, and pulled ahead.
The course was initially down-hill, along the west side of the Anne Valley. At about 1.75 miles, you could see the leaders at the far side of the valley almost a mile ahead. When I myself had reached that spot, I could see that there were still people heading south at the far side. After passing the top of the next hill, we got one more glimpse of them before they disappeared again. We passed below the ruined Dunhill Castle, now shrouded in Ivy. The last mile and a bit overlapped with the first mile, so this meant an uphill struggle. However the final stretch to the finish was downhill again. The roads were rather narrow in places, and even some grass growing down the middle. Mile markers at every mile, and large overhead "Start" and "Finish" banners.
There was a water station at the half-way mark, at which they were also giving out cut Oranges. However I decided the orange slices could be a bit tricky on the move. There were plenty of Road Marshalls in yellow jackets at all the important road junctions. Only one car incursion onto the course, by a careful driver, on a decent wide section of road. There was also an ambulance on duty.
At the finish, everyone received a bottle of Kilkenny Spring Water, and a banana.
The winner was Raivis Zakis, West Waterford AC on 25:42, and the Ladies winner was Corinna Walsh, West Waterford AC on 31:16.
Many clubs were represented, including 45 from Waterford AC, 12 from West Waterford AC, 10 from Carrick-on-Suir AC, and 12 from the local Dunhill GAA. There was even one runner from as far away as Letterkenny AC. However the results are listed without Gender / Age categories. Being St. Valentine's Day, there was a prize for the "First Couple" too.
All proceeds from this year’s race will go to the South Eastern Cancer Foundation, to help fund the SOLAS Centre, which will become the new cancer support centre in the south east, for cancer patients and their families. There was also a list on display, showing the many sponsors.
The next race in the Waterford area is the 6th Annual Bausch & Lomb Kilmacthomas 5, Race number 3 in the Michael Roche Carpets Spring Series, at 11am Sunday, February 22, 2009.
There was just one race flyer circulating at the end, the pink "Every Woman 4 Mile, Kilkenny, 19th April". And surprise, surprise, they were only giving these out to...women!........Donal O'Donoghue

Friday, February 13, 2009

Waterford...AnneValley 5 Mile Challenge - Sat 14th Feb 2009

This 5 mile race takes place in Dunhill which is a few kms west of Tramore on the Waterford coast. Here is some info from the race website...
The third AnneValley 5 Mile Challenge, will take in Dunhill on Feb 14th, 2009. All proceeds from this years race will go to the South Eastern Cancer Foundation, to help fund the
SOLAS Centre, which will become the new cancer support centre in the south east, for cancer patients and their families.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Kerry - Duathlon 25th April 2009

Normally I put running only events on this blog but someone asked me to mention this. There is a Duathlon on in Killorglin on the 25th of April. Now that is the day before the Ballycotton 10 race so it may be of interest only to those who are not going there.
The duatlon consists of a 5 km run, then a 15 km cycle and then a 5 km run. You can do it as an individual or as a relay team. Hence the reason for mentioning it now so that you have a month to get a team ready for it. The event starts in Killorglin in West Kerry at 11am.

The event website is HERE. You will also find individual and relay team entry forms there as well.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Results of the Dungarvan 10 Mile Road Race - Sun 1st Feb 2009

The weather was more or less exactly what was predicted.......cold with a bitter Easterly breeze. Not so bad once the race got started but it was really felt once you turned that sharp corner out around the 5.5 mile mark and you were more or less running into it until near the finish.

First of all, before I say anything about photos and results, I really have to compliment West Waterford AC on putting on a great race today. Changing the race venue from the Crystal Sports Centre to the Dungarvan Sports Centre was a great success. There was loads of parking outside, plenty of space in the hall and you could see the result. As soon as you entered the hall, you could see where everything was. Loads of room for entries, the goodie bag/t-shirt distribution was vastly better than last year and those young girls at the desks there did a fantastic job.
Same story after the race with the refreshments.......plenty on offer and well organised.

As for the course changes, I thought they were for the better. The start was on a road that was very wide and even though there were 800+ people there, it somehow felt less. There seemed to be plenty of room for you to get going. As for the finish, again, I thought it was a huge improvement. Last year, people that had finished the race had to cross the path of others who were finishing and frankly, it was dangerous. With the new finish this year, everything was cordoned off..........a huge improvement.

Perhaps other runners experience might be different but I'd find it hard to suggest how they could improve this race (......except maybe put up a big hedge to block the wind ;o). If you want to comment on the race, use the Comment link below.

Here are the final results. Updated 2pm, Thurs 5th Feb. It now looks as if most of the gaps have been filled and these are the official results. They had 895 finishers, just 5 short of the 900 mark. Note that the results are a bit on a big side so if you don't have a broadband connection, they may take a while to download.

Here are the category results...

1 S Bralitis (West Waterford) 51:36; 2 M Herlihy (North Cork) 52:25; 3 C Merritt (Carraig na bhFear) 53:21; 4 J Eves (DSD) 54:03; 5 R Zakis (West Waterford) 55:07; 6 C Marshall (St Finbarrs) 55:24; 7 E Scully (DSD) 55:27; 8 C O’Connell (St Finbarrs, M45) 55:33; 9 J O’Connor (Riocht) 55:41; 10 S Simcox (Mallow) 56:16.
M40: 1 M O’Connell (Sligo) 56:50; 2 N O’Regan (Midleton) 59:18; 3 V Neumerzhitskiy (Clonmel) 59:42.
M45: 2 M McCarthy (West Waterford) 59:44; 3 N Curtin (Youghal) 60:20.
M50: 1 S Griffin (Tralee Hrs) 56:47; 2 L Lacey (St Josephs) 60:26; 3 P Murphy (Eagle) 63:333.
M55: 1 J Gough (West Waterford) 62:03; 2 P Twomey (Eagle) 64:51; 3 M Tobin (Grange-Fermoy) 65:12.
M60: 1 TJ Beatty (Loughrea) 74:16; 2 M Carroll (Limerick CC) 77:38; 3 C O’Driscoll (unatt) 79:15.
M65: 1 M Neville (Tullamore) 75:38; 2 J O’Regan (Slaney Oly) 81:27; 3 P Gaffney (Mallow) 83:35.
Junior Declan Power West Waterford AC 59.14
Wheelchair: 1 J Forde (Blarney-Inniscarra) 68 points
Teams.........1st Dundrum South Dublin (68 points)1. Evan Scully (7th) 55.272. Mark Conway (16th) 57.053. Eoin McCormack (45th) 59.48
2nd West Waterford A.C. (104 points)1. Sean Stilwell (24th) 58.562. Padraig Healy (29th) 58.513. Michael Dunford (51st) 60.28
3rd Sliabh Bhride Rovers (141 points)1. Paul Gibbons (46th) 59.502. Bernard Fortune (47th) 59.503. Willie Rossiter (48th) 60.13
Women: 1 R Ryan (Bilboa) 57:27; 2 P Curley (Tullamore, F35) 58:51; 3 M Dorney (Thurles Crokes) 61:21; 4 C McCarthy (St Finbarrs) 62:01; 5 A McCann (Clonmel, F35) 63:14; 6 P Lambe (Tullamore) 64:15.
F35: 3 B Cooke (Waterford) 66:04.
F40: 1 D Compton (Dundrum) 69:49; 2 D Ryan (Raheny) 69:52; 3 S Drennan (Midleton) 72:36.
F45: 1 M Sweeney (St Finbarrs) 67:37; 2 T Tuohy (Bilboa) 69:27; 3 M O’Keeffe (Youghal) 70:39.
F50: 1 L Brennan (Sligo) 64:34; 2 A Fitzgerald (Waterford) 70:21; 3 B Kelly (GCH) 75:44.
F55: 1 M Barry (Midleton) 85:48.
F60: 1 C O’Regan (Slaney Oly) 90:10; 2 M Dunne (Grange-Fermoy) 94:39; 3 T Gough (West Waterford) 1:41:04
Junior Tara Roche West Waterford AC 95.30
Team West Waterford AC 27 points Corinna Walsh 5th , SineƔd Crotty 7th and Norma Wall 15th .

Paudie Birmingham of Mallow AC has very kindly put up a set of 415 photos on his photo gallery. There are some excellent ones at the roundabout near the finish. You get to see who was just behind you in the race, a view that you normally never get to see. Paudie also has a blog with photos of several other races as well.