Saturday, June 29, 2013

Results of the Waterford Viking Marathon...Sat 29th June 2013

The 2nd Waterford Viking Marathon was held on Saturday, the 29th of June 2013 in what were pretty much ideal conditions. The weather at 9am for the start was overcast if a little humid with just a gentle breeze. By the time the sunshine had arrived, most of the Half-Marathon runners were finished while the full Marathon runners had to contend with the heat near Tramore on the coast and at the later stages back in the city.

As events go, it was well organised but a major issue this year was the fact that the course for both the Half and Full Marathon was too long. At the very start of the race, all of the runners did an out and back section along the quay in the centre of the city. Although the course was measured properly, the city council had an extra 150 metres or so of barriers put up which resulted in everyone running about 300 metres or 0.2 of a mile extra.

As soon as everyone ran through the 'real' one mile mark (where all the GPS watches started beeping) and then passed the actual sign 300m, it was a sign that something was amiss. When the following miles were out as well, a pattern began to form which showed that all of the mile markers were 0.2 miles out.

The problem at this stage was that most people didn't know about the mistake, just that the mile markers seemed wrong.  I don't think most people actually realised then that the course would be actually too long in the end.

Did it actually matter? For those who just wanted to 'get around' and complete their first half or full Marathon then probably not. For anyone going for a target time, it obviously did. Not only did they have to run an extra 0.2 miles but the fact that mile markers were out really didn't help.

Other than the distance error, the event was very well organised. Some of the good and bad points were...

1) Plenty of well stocked water stations with small bottles. Loads of gels on offer. Better than most other events.
2) Lots of the roads were closed and there was plenty of room for the runners, much better than say the Limerick Marathon in this respect.
3) The point where the Marathon and Half-Marathon fields divided was excellent. Well sign posted and runners notified well in advance...much better than the Cork Marathon.
4) Finish area on the track at the Regional Sports Centre was excellent. Plenty of space for people to sit down on the grass pitch afterwards with no shortage of water and bananas.
5) Tramore. Nice running along the waterfront with views of the ocean.

1) Should have been better segregation of runners near the industrial estate in Tramore to allow more space for faster runners returning. As it was, runners going in opposite directions had to find their own space.

Overall.......Other than the distance error...and it was a major error, it was a well organised event. Some things need to be fine tuned but it was very positive overall. The problem however is that people tend to remember the mistakes more than the good points. In 2012, it was the dumb idea of having mile markers that said how many miles to go rather rather than how many miles actually completed which is the norm. In 2013, the course was 0.2 miles too long. The problem is that there are no shortage of events out there and people have plenty to choose from. Waterford people will always support their own event but if they want to attract people from outside the area, then the event needs to be seen as being run properly. It would be a shame if the distance mistake completely overshadowed all of the positives of the event as it has the potential to be regarded as a really excellent event..

Comments........What was your own impression? Click on 'comment' link below.

Some stats...The numbers in the full Marathon were down by about one third this year, no doubt mainly due to the novelty of the first Marathon in Waterford in 2012. On the other hand, there has been a large increase in numbers in the Half-Marathon which were up 54%.

1 Gary O Hanlon     Clonliffe Harriers      MS    5     (2:28:05)     2:28:05
2 George Waugh     Bandon      MS    3     (2:36:37)     2:36:37
3 Frank Quinlan     Waterford AC     MS    2     (2:49:12)     2:49:12
4 Pauline Curley     Tullamore Harriers     FS    1     (2:49:39)     2:49:39
5 David Mansfield     Clonmel AC     MS    314     (2:57:00)     2:57:10
1 Pauline Curley     Tullamore Harriers     FS    1     (2:49:39)     2:49:39
2  Ann Marie Holland     St Finbarrs AC     F35    243     (2:59:36)     2:59:37
3 Ann Marie O Grady     Kch     FS    390     (3:19:46)     3:19:46
4 Esther Murphy     St Finbarrs AC     F40    369     (3:24:19)     3:24:21
5 Caroline Kelly     marathon club ireland      F45    267     (3:28:15)     3:28:17


The full results of the Marathon can be seen HERE

The full results of the Half-Marathon can be seen HERE

Photos...(Updated Sun 30th @8pm)
1) John Coleman has 4 galleries...No.1...No.2...No.3...No.4...
2) The organisers have a gallery of photos HERE 
3) St.Josephs AC have a small gallery HERE


Anonymous said...

A generally enjoyable day out, but some issues.

The weather was good at the beginning - an earlier start time resulted in much cooler and overcast conditions, than the recent Cork City Half Marathon.
However the sun came out and would have affected the Full Marathon people in their second half.

Traffic management was VERY good, and cars never bothered me.

However, there were some issues.

At the Start Line, there was a rather narrow overhead Timing gantry relative to the number of runners, who were spread across the full width of the Mall.
The pacers for both full and half seemed to be scattered amongst those queueing at the line.
The start line of the December Waterford AC half-marathon was MUCH better organised, with a long line of crowd control barriers, creating a starting queue only as wide as the timing mats, and specific time-zones with ropes segregating each 5-minute interval, leading to a much more free-flowing start.
The usual issues with slow runners queueing at the front.

The sudden sharp 180 degree U-turn, very early in the race, on the Quay was another impediment to free-flow for all runners.
Also many road signs, traffic cones on the Quay, due to ongoing road works, could have been hazardous to people at right-hand edge.

There was plenty of water stations along the half route - no complaints there.

Others were saying to me that the mile-markers were inaccurate -- even before the full and half split.

The split near 8.5 miles where Full and Half separated, on a wide stretch of road, was VERY well organised -- much better than in the Cork Marathon. You could not go wrong.
After the split, the Half runners were on an exceptionally quiet road, until we reached Tesco on the outskirts of Ballybeg.

However the big issue is that the Half Marathon was LONG - perhaps a 1/4 of a mile, or more ?
This added at least 2 minutes to anyone who was finishing in the region of 1 hour 45 minutes.
I and others who would otherwise have gotten a PB on this route were left disappointed by the extra bit.
Was this new Half course actually measured properly by a Jones Counter ? AAI Cert ???
Half Marathon distance is 21.0975 kilometres or 13.1094 miles.
My Garmin said 21.54 km / 13.39 miles. I did follow the running line wherever possible.

Personally, I think that if the Full and Half must start at the same location, it may be better to start them in separate waves, with 15-20 minute gap between the two ?
The Chip Timing can certainly handle it.

The finish on the new track was nice. It's a really good surface.

Nice to see various food stalls at the RSC car-park, but unless you were expecting them, and brought money in the race, you were out of luck.

The gradient in the Half was varied and steeper than I would have expected, but perhaps I should have checked this out beforehand.

I saw most mile-markers, but somebody had placed several porta-loos in front of the Half "10" marker.
I distinctly recall no "13" or "26" markers near the end ? Unless somebody had parked in front of them, or the crowds at RSC were standing in front of them ?

Anonymous said...

Very well organised, lots of water stops, no hassle with traffic...... but
I was looking to run low 90s so the combination of a hilly course and the extra distance made it tough. I ended up with a pb but it should have been about 1:40 better!
Maybe the organisers should just go for the half marathon market and try to find a course that's pb'able! There's obviously enthusiasm out there for the race.

Anonymous said...

A very well organised and enjoyable event but the "long" course was a major blunder.For the half marathon my Garmin also showed 13.39miles.

Anonymous said...

I did the half and found it hard going but this was probably due to poor preparation on my part as I didn't think the course was that tough.

I thought the event was very well organised and the enthusiasm of the volunteers when I picked up my bag on Friday was infectious. Water stations, road mgt, marathon/half marathon split, music at different sections were all very well done. Also support from the locals was great plenty of sweets on hand.

Pity about the extra 0.2 miles but but in fairness the organisers came out and held their hands up on this straight away.

Overall it's a race I would give serious consideration to doing again next year.

Christophe Meudec said...

Excellent post.

Another needed improvement, to attract people out of the area, would be to post the race number a week before the race: real pain in terms of time and money to have to drive the day before just to pick it up... I personally won't do that again.

Anonymous said...

I ran the half would agree well run plenty of water and well marshalled but being 400m longer is a major error. Mile markers were all out so any one without a garmin would have struggled with there pace. I mention to an official at the finish line it was longer and I was dismmised and told your wrong . The excuse that the road works were the cause I find hard to believe road works r on going for months on the quays when was the course measured surly the it was checked more than once