Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Results, photos and video of the 2011 Dublin City Marathon - Mon 31st Oct 2011

Some 14,000 runners took part in the 2011 Dublin City Marathon. The winner of the mens race was Kenyan athlete Geoffrey Ndungu in a time of 2:08:33, a new record for the Dublin Marathon. The previous record was set by Moses Kibet in 2010 (2:08.58).

The womens race was won by Helalia Johannes from Namibia in a time of 2:30:35 which was a new Namibian record and also qualified her for the London Olympics.

Sean Connolly was the first Irish man home in a time of 2:18:52 which was unfortunately outside the 2:15 qualifying time for the Olympics. In a subsequent TV interview, he said that he is likely to try for a sub 2:15 time again sometime in the Spring. The second Irish runner was Sergiu Ciobanu from Clonmel in a time of  2:20.56 while Alan O’Shea of Bantry AC was 3rd in 2:23.22. Well done Alan!!

The first Irish woman home was Linda Byrne of Dundrum South Dublin AC in a time of 2:36:21. Not only did Linda win the National Marathon title but she also qualifed for the 2012 London Olympics as she broke the 2:37 qualification time.

This was also Gerry Fordes 200th Marathon! Well done Gerry.

As a wheelchair athlete, Gerry has more Marathons completed than anyone in the UK and possibly even Europe? There is a previous post on Gerry HERE.

Results........depending on traffic levels...
1) You can try the official website HERE
2) Try this link to the timing service........HERE

Photos......(Updated 4th Nov 23:00)
1) David Bradshaw has 763 photos on HERE
2) PJCY has a small gallery of 12 photos HERE
3) Lindie Nauchton has a gallery of commercial photos HERE
4) Peter Mooney has a large gallery of 257 photos HERE
5) Derval Cunningham has a small gallery on Facebook HERE
6) mebets has a gallery of 651 photos HERE
7) Doug Minihane has a large gallery HERE
8) Stephen Kerr has 382 photos HERE
9) Infomatique has a gallery of 395 photos HERE
10) Fergus McNally has a huge gallery of 1411 photos HERE
11) Eleanor Shire has a small gallery of 35 photos HERE
12) Joe Murphy has a gallery of 128 photos HERE
13) John Dowling has a large gallery of 440 photos HERE
14) Pat Carey has 201 photos HERE
15) Tomás Breen has 95 photos HERE
16) Darren Spring has a large gallery on his own RacePix website
17) Anne Murphy has a nice gallery of 121 photos HERE

Video...(Updated 3rd Nov 5pm)
There are too many video clips to show on this page alone. This one however by Ronán Palliser is really good...

Dublin Marathon 2011 from Ronan Palliser on Vimeo.

I have 17 video clips up on the Running in Ireland website

This website also has personal video clips. Just put in your name or bib number.

RTE also have their coverage of the Marathon up on the RTE Player service........available until the 21st of Nov 2011.

Results of the Bandon 10k race...Sun 30th Oct 2011

Despite the wet conditions, 212 runners turned out for this 10k race in Bandon, west Cork. The mens race was won by local Kevin Wilmot of Bandon AC in a time of 34:14. John Meade of St.Finbarr's AC was 2nd with 34:48 with Danny Smith of Ballynonty AC finishing 3rd in 35:09.

The womens race was also won by another local runner. Carmel Crowley of Bandon AC ran 37:50 to be the first woman home and an impressive 5th overall. The 2nd woman was Valerie Vaughan of St.Finbarr's AC in 41:33, just 22 seconds ahead of local Louise Cavanagh of Bandon AC in 41:55

The full results can be seen HERE

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Winner of Frankfurt Marathon just 4 seconds outside world record...

Wilson Kipsang of Kenya has won the Frankfurt Marathon (Sun 30th Oct 2011) in a time of 2:03:42, a mere four seconds short of Patrick Makau’s World record of 2:03:38, set in Berlin just five weeks ago. His time was also over a minute faster than his 2:04:57 in Frankfurt last year.

From the IAAF..."The race went exactly as Kipsang had planned it, until just after 30 kilometres of the 42.195k. An early morning shower had given way to a still, slightly misty morning, with temperatures rising from 11C at the 10am start to around 14C at the finish (52-58F); just about perfect conditions for a Marathon.  A group of 15 men went through 10k in 29:25, diminishing to a sextet at halfway in 1:01:40, four seconds faster than Makau in Berlin. Deriba Merga of Ethiopia, who finished fourth in the Beijing Olympics, was still in the lee of the pacemaker, Peter Kirui of Kenya, who was reproducing his metronomic feats from Berlin last month; but so were relative unknown Kenyans, Levy Matebo and Albert Matebor.

But it was clear that the pace was dropping when Kipsang went up onto Kirui’s shoulder at around 33k, and when the defending champion saw at 35k that he was heading for a 2:04 finish, he took off by himself. It was Kipsang against the clock. And what a race he made of it. Kipsang’s 2:03:42 is clearly the second fastest in history, behind Makau, but 17 seconds ahead of the great Haile Gebselassie, whose 2:03:59 has taken a bit of a battering in recent weeks."

What's almost as amazing is that a record 14 men finished under 2:10, the most in any Marathon ever. Even Kirui the pacemaker managed to hang in there to finish 6th in 2:06:33!

Surely at this stage it's only a matter of when the Marathon record will be broken rather than if???

Irish Times Article on Ireland's Marathon Mission...

There was an excellent piece by Ian O'Riordan in the Irish Times on Saturday (29th Oct 2011) about Ireland's Marathon Mission and the objective to improve the number of competitive Irish Marathon runners.

The article outlines the following...."11 of the first 14 Dublin Marathons were won by Irish men; but the last 17 have all been won by foreigners. Sonia O’Sullivan did win the women’s race in 2000, and thus remains the last Irish success of any sort on the day."

Sadly, it’s now 12 years since an Irish man ran sub-2:20 in Dublin (that was Gerry Healy, who ran 2:15:37 in 1999, finishing second), and if you look at the top-20 fastest marathon times run in Dublin, both men and women, there’s not a single Irish name among them. Sadder still, of the top 12 fastest Irish marathon times ever, only two have been set in the last decade, and two in the 1990s. Six still stand from the 1980s, and two from the 1970s. The Irish women’s statistics are just as startling – of the top 12 fastest times, only four have been set in the last decade, three in the 1990s, and the other five all in the 1980s, when women’s marathon running was still considered an extreme event."

To help counteract this decline in Irish Marathon standards, the 'Marathon Mission' was created and anyone meeting the following standards could apply......
Men Women
Sub 2.25 Marathon Sub 2.45 Marathon
Sub 67.30 Half Marathon Sub 79.30 Half Marathon
Sub 50.00 10 Miles Sub 60.00 10 Miles 

“Two years ago, when we started this mission, Irish marathon standards were really on the floor,” says Dick Hooper. “There were two problems. Firstly, no one was running fast times. Secondly, not enough of our good runners were trying the distance, properly identifying with it, or even being properly ambitious about it. “So we brought together our thoughts and ideas, which we all thought were obvious. The reality is the marathon is an event Irish athletes can be good at, can make major championships, and that’s what the Marathon Mission is all about.”

The mission statement is simple: to nurture an environment for Irish marathoners that will lead to Irish runners qualifying for and competing with distinction in major championships (i.e. the London Olympics) and being competitive on an annual basis in the Dublin Marathon.

“The first thing for us to achieve was more depth,” says Hooper. “Once you have depth in any event then more top performers start to come out. If you go back to the 1980s we had a lot of runners chipping in around 2:15, 2:16. Then a few 2:12 men emerged. Then John Treacy ran 2:09. That’s what happens when you get the depth. Someone runs 2:15, and the others look over their shoulder and think, ‘I used to beat him’.

It’s not a complicated or indeed expensive mission: the Dublin Marathon funds some overseas travel and medical back-up, but mostly just offers moral and motivational support: “We’ve also bought some altitude tents,” says Hooper, “and some of them have been using them. Mark Kenneally was, for example. They’re about €5,000 each. But it’s the winning ethic and philosophy we’re trying to nurture. “Some people buy into that more than others. They all have different coaches and different routines but we try to get them training together, at least once a month.

“I also think maybe in the 1990s some of our runners lost that drive, the commitment, to do that work. You can be a good 10km runner or cross-country runner, but the marathon does require the extra discipline and work load that not everyone is prepared to do.”

Martin Fagan and Pauline Curley both made it to Beijing in 2008, although before that, there had been no Irish representation in the Olympic marathon since 1992. Incredibly, no Irish athlete has run the European Championship marathon since 1990. “There are three places there for London, men and women, and our goal is to have three qualifiers in each,” says Hooper. “I think we have five or six contenders now for the women’s Olympic qualifying time, when you look at the depth that is starting to develop in the women’s half marathon times. “We have Maria McCambridge, Linda Byrne, Ava Hutchison, Rosemary Ryan, and Gladys Ganiel all running on Monday and I think that’s a terrific line-up, and surely one of them will have to get the time.”

Seán Connolly is a realistic contender to qualify for London. There’s another group just behind him, Joe McAllister, Greg Roberts, Alan O’Shea, Brian Maher, and I would expect all those to go under 2:20.  If Connolly runs sub-2:15 on Monday he’ll be top six, or top eight, and with the London qualification as well it won’t look as embarrassing as perhaps it has in the last few years, when we’ve waited for 10 or 12 minutes after the winner for the first Irish man to come in.

“At least we’re going in the right direction again, and what is important too is that the runners who don’t get the time this year need to keep at it. We’re calling it a mission, but we’re also trying to develop a culture, so that more and more of our top runners are attracted to the event.

(Live coverage of Monday’s race will be shown on RTÉ 1, from 9.15am-1.35pm)

The full Irish Times article can be seen at

More info on the Marathon Mission at

Ballycotton '10' 2012 Entry Procedure...

Here we go......the Ballycotton '10' entry procedure for 2012. If you are new to the road running scene then read on. For the regulars, the conditions are the same as previous years.

Ballycotton '10'....What is it?........After the Cork City Marathon, this is the biggest running event in the Cork region. It is a 10 mile road race in Ballycotton, East Cork and the numbers are limited to about 3,000 entries. The race is usually on at the start of March and entries usually close in early December.

If you are a non-club runner or didn't complete the Ballycottom Summer Series then you need to get that entry off as soon as the entry forms come out. There are loads of people every year that go looking for info on the race in January and February so if you are reading this then you are already ahead.

UPDATED...29th Nov2011...The Entry Form is now HERE

The entry procedure for the 2012 race (to take place on Sunday March 4th) is as follows:
1) People can apply for entry forms anytime during November (up to Friday 25th) by sending a SAE to: Ballycotton Running Promotions, Ballycotton, Co Cork (see note below). Forms will then be posted out on Monday November 28th - ideally to arrive with applicants by the following day (Tuesday).

2) The form will also be put up on the website on Tuesday evening (Tuesday November 29th) in pdf format where it can be downloaded and posted. There will also be forms in John Buckley Sports (Cork), Ger Wyley Sports (Dungarvan) and local shops in Ballycotton and Shanagarry that same afternoon.

3) The first 2,500 postal entries opened will be automatically accepted. (Updated 2nd Dec...The 2,500 limit is now FULL. Only qualifying entrants from now on. See below)

4) Entries for the following will then be accepted by post up to and including Thursday December 15th:
(a) All bona fide AAI (Athletics Ireland) registered club members.
(b) All runners who completed the 2011 Ballycotton Summer Road Race Series (all four 5-mile events).

5) Bona fide overseas entrants will also be accepted by post up to and including Monday January 9th.

6) As usual, a limited number of elite athletes will be accepted up to near race day.
REMEMBER - When applying for forms, please enclose a large (A4) SAE with the correct postage, stating the number of forms required. If more than one form is going to the same address (two or three members of the same family, etc) one envelope is sufficient.
If the correct postage is not on the envelope we cannot be held responsible for postal delays. Also, we prefer people to enter on the official form, so ask for enough of forms – there is no need to photo-copy.

If you are a club member or have ran the 2011 Summer Series (see 4 above), there is no need to panic – you have over two weeks to get your entry in. In the interest of fairness and equality, we do not have online entry – and finally the entry fee is again €15 for the 2012 race.

Olympic torch to visit Dublin???

The 2012 London Olympics chairman Seb Coe has said that he is still waiting for the green light for the Olympic torch to visit Dublin in the build-up to the games.

The international Olympic Committee (IOC) have ruled that the torch must travel immediately to the host country after being kindled in Olympia, Greece but they  have been sympathetic to the Republic of Ireland's aspirations to host the flame when the torch visits Northern Ireland for four days next June.

Denis Oswald, who heads the IOC's London inspection team, last year acknowledged the 'special circumstances' of such a visit. The Olympic Council of Ireland also claim to be confident the relay will stop off in Dublin, with influential Irish IOC member Patrick Hickey lobbying hard for support. Hickey hopes the torch will be brought to Dublin after a symbolic border crossing at Newry to mark the peace process.

June 3rd 2012 - Portush
June 4th - Derry
June 5th - Newry
June 6th - Belfast

Several areas in Dublin are included in the projected torch route including the Garden of Remembrance and Croke Park.

"It's being discussed at the moment, and as you can imagine there are a lot of inter-Governmental conversations taking place," said Coe. "I am not going to pre-judge anything but I think most people that are involved in the process think it will be the right thing to do, including me."

London 2012 have already announced 74 stops on the relay on the 70-day 8,000 mile relay, which will culminate at the Olympic Stadium on Friday July 27th.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Preview of the Bandon 10k road race - Sun 30th Oct 2011

The next race locally is the Bandon 10k next Sunday (30th Oct 2011) at 1pm. Starting in the town of Bandon itself, the race is mostly run on quiet country roads to the south-east.

Directions........Please note that if you are coming from Cork City, there are road works on the south link road due to the removal of the pedestrian bridge. You should allow extra time for any delays. As you enter Bandon, take the relief road left at the first roundabout. Follow the direction for Clonakilty and this will take you to the local GAA grounds...see map below.

Registration....There is plenty of parking at the GAA grounds. Registration opens at 10.30am. The entry fee is €10.

Kids under 10 may cycle accompanied by an adult (helmet compulsory)
Spot prizes for those who take part in Halloween costume.
ENTRY FEE: Adult €10, Children €5

Walk.......The walk starts at 12:30pm from the GAA grounds. Walkers have the option of doing the short route or the full route if they feel up to it. Note that there is also a 1 mile walk from the finish line back to the GAA grounds so take that into account also.

Course......The race starts in the town itself, about 500 metres from the GAA grounds...

As you can see from the photo, the start is on a quiet road away from the traffic. From there, you run back towards the GAA grounds. The course is flat at this stage as you run parallel to the river. Once you pass the GAA grounds, it the start of a long climb which is about 1.2 kms in lenght.

Passing the GAA grounds

Leaving the town, the climb continues

A tough first mile. At 1.2 miles, you turn off left....

...and from here, the road begins to level off and it gets easier. Pretty soon, you are at the highest point of this particular part of the race......

........and you begin a long downhill run to the crossroads just after the 2 mile mark.

At this junction, the walkers go straight ahead. For the runners, they turn off right and start a long climb which lasts about 1.5 miles.

Turn off left at approx 2.8 miles

The climb finishes near this junction at approx 3.5 mile miles

From there, the road eases off and at approx 4 miles, the road begins to fall away slowly...

This is one of the main features of this race. The last 2 miles are a gradual downhill and are very fast.

At 5 miles, you pass the junction where the walkers will rejoin the course...

The finishing section from here is the same as the usual 5 mile race course. The last mile goes through a winding valley and finishes at the next junction...

From the organisers...(just a safety note: on this part of the course the road is in fairly bad condition for a couple of hundred metres so watch your footing). .....There is a goody bag available for you when you finish as well as the usual fruit and water. .....Then you can cool down on your way back to the GAA pavilion for a shower, cup of tea, sandwich etc and await the presentation of prizes ......Please show consideration for the walkers who are starting their walk on the same course at 12.30pm.

Overall.......A 10k race run on quiet country roads to the south-east of Bandon. The last 2 miles of the race are very fast but the trick is to keep something in reserve so that you can exploit it. Remember that there are 2 long climbs in the first half of the race. If you can do these at a steady pace rather than flat out then you should get a good time overall.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Looking ahead to the 2011 Dublin City Marathon...

A record 14,000 runners are expected for this years Dublin City Marathon.

Fort some basic info...maps of the route, start/finish area and info on the wave start. Click HERE

70 year old woman sets new records for the 3k and 5k

Just nine days after turning 70, Marie-Louise Michelsohn ran two new world record times for the 3,000 and 5,000 metres. Representing the Central Park Track Club-New Balance, Michelsohn wasn't deterred by Monday's windy conditions at Icahn Stadium in New York (17th Oct 2011). Running the 5,000 metres she first broke the world mark for the 3,000m en route. Her 3k split of 12:58 crushed the previous best, set by Elfriede Hodapp in 2006, by 26 seconds.
She finished the entire race in 21:59, shaving seven seconds off of Cecelia Morrisson's previous 70-74 age group record.

A mathematics professor at Stony Brook University on Long Island, Michelsohn came to running after the age of 50.

In an interview with the website Women Running Together a few years back, she explained her athletics background from her scholastic days. "I played tennis, but nothing else," she said. "I was busy studying. I put all my energies into mathematics.

2012 Olympic medals go into production...

The medals for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games have gone just into production at the Royal Mint headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales.

They will produce around 4,700 medals which will be awarded during the 805 Victory Ceremonies taking place at venues across the UK during the Games.
Taking around ten hours in total to complete, each medal will be struck fifteen times with 900 tonnes of weight on a special press. After each first five strikes the medals are slowly rolled through a 750 degree furnace to soften the metal allowing the designs to be replicated perfectly.

Hopefully, a few might be heading this way after the games! ;o)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

News Round Up...Wed 26th Oct 2011

Here  is a quick news round-up of a few news items I came across during the last week that might be of interest.......

1) Considering the Dublin Marathon is coming up on Monday, this one is appropriate. Why runners should consider giving a Marathon a miss if they have 'Fevers, severe pains, stress fractures and chest pains'.........Advice from the Running Doc HERE

2) From last Friday's Irish interview with former Irish Olympian Dick Hooper on who might qualify in the Dublin Marathon for the 'A' standard of the 2012 London Olympics (2:15 for men, 2:37 for women).......article HERE. (Athletics Ireland have another piece HERE)

3) How quickly is water absorbed after you drink it? Results in tests show that water started showing up in the bloodstream within five minutes; half of the water was absorbed in 11-13 minutes; and it was completely absorbed in 75-120 minutes...........article HERE

4) Marion Jones........remember her?.....the former American sprinter who was found to be taking is what she is up to now......HERE

5) Five runners killed by a car in South Africa.......HERE

6) Haile Gebrselassie was in the news last September when he dropped out of the Berlin Marathon. Well, he was back in action again winning a Half-Marathon in Birmingham, England in a time of 61:29. His mile splits were 4:46, 4:47, 4:52, 4:35, 4:48, 4:37, 4:25, 4:23, 4:37, 4:38, 5:07, 4.31. Article HERE

7) On the subject of Marathons and Marathon records, this guy might be the one to watch...Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai. He won the Boston Marathon back in April in 2:03:02 but it wasn't a record as the course didn't qualify for records. Surely it's only a matter of time before he gets close again. Article about him HERE

8) The Telegraph reports that Steve Ovett was snubbed for Olympic tickets....."Ovett, who beat Coe to the 800 metres gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was invited earlier this year to take part in the 2012 Olympic ticket launch in London. Since he now lives in Australia, he was offered free travel and accommodation but was told he would not be paid a fee. He replied that  he was happy to help out but wondered whether he might be sorted out with a couple of tickets to the 1500 metres final in the Olympic Stadium. He was shocked to receive a standard letter from the London organising committee acknowledging his ticket application and advising him to apply through the public ballot. Needless to say, he decided to give the ticket launch a miss."

9) The BBC had a follow up on the guy that cheated in a Marathon in Northumberland by hopping on a bus at the 20 mile mark and finishing 3rd. His club Sunderland Harriers have since kicked him out. The person that should have come 3rd said....."I think it was just a moment of madness for the guy who said he was third. I think he just wanted his T-shirt and medal but did not realise he was third and he just had to play along with it.". Article HERE

10) Irish Paralympic sprinter Jason Smyth, who suffers a visual impairment caused by Stargardt’s disease, is fighting to join Oscar Pistorius in becoming the first sprinters to compete at both the Paralympics and Olympics in the same year. With a personal best a mere four hundredths of a second short of the qualifying threshold, the Irish international is cautiously optimistic about his chances of making history next summer. Article HERE

11) ..........and finally, Usain Colt wins first race in the UK......HERE ;o)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pace Bands for the Dublin Marathon...

Marathon Pace Bands......One of the keys to a good Marathon time is to run at an even and steady pace for the distance. If you have a target in mind, then you'll need to know what your mile splits are.

Click on this LINK and you can create a pace band for your time. Ideally, you should cut out the strip and laminate it. Put it around you wrist and use a piece of tape to keep it in place. If you can't laminate it then cover it in clear sellotape. Otherwise the paper will just absorb the sweat from your wrist and break.

Results of the Doneraile 5 mile race - Sun 23rd Oct 2011

This 5 mile race in Doneraile Park went ahead last Sunday in what were really wet conditions. A total of 144 people turned out which is great for the first race and which will hopefully be an annual event.

The course was hillier than originally planned due to some repair work on a bridge within the park so next year's race should be much flatter and on a better surface.

The winner of the mens race was Danny Smith of Ballynonty AC who won in a time of 28:59. The womens race was won by Elaine Thompson in 33:56.

The full results can be found HERE

There is a short report on the Sporting Doneraile website.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Munster Cross Country...Clare - Sun 23rd Oct 2011

The Munster Novice Cross Country Championships were held near Newmarket-on-Fergus in Co.Clare on Sunday, the 23rd of October 2011.

The Cork mens team finished in 1st place by just 3 points while the womens team from Cork also finished first. The winner of the womens race was Martina Kiely from St.Finbarr's AC (5th from right above).

The full results can be seen HERE
Two video clips of the various races are now up on the Running in Munster website.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Route of the 2011 Dublin City Marathon...

On the 31st of October, a record 14,000 plus runners will descend on Dublin for what is the National Marathon. With that many people doing the one event, it really is a special event.

Here is a 7 minute video clip showing the updated route of the 2011 Dublin City Marathon....

You can find a map of the route HERE

Lost and Found...Car keys at UCC Farm

I got the following e-mail on Saturday 22nd Oct.......

When we were training in the Farm this morning one of the groundsmen approached us and asked us if we knew anything about a set of car keys had been left out there the previous Saturday morning. The groundsman thought it was a runner who had left them there. The keys are for an Opel.

So if you know of anyone who lost their keys recently at the UCC Farm, you might let them know.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Preview of the Doneraile 5 mile road race...Sun 23rd Oct 2011

This new 5 mile race is coming up in Doneraile Park on Sunday the 23rd of October at 2pm.

Organised in conjunction with Awbeg Athletic Club, it has an Athletics Ireland licence.
Please note that while you may see the race described as 'The Great Doneraile Steeplechase Challenge', it is actually a 5 mile road race with optional token steeplechase jumps. You don't have to jump anything if you don't want to!

Getting there....Doneraile is centrally located in north Cork and is within easy reach of runners in Limerick, South Tipperary as well as Cork City.

If you are coming from the direction of Cork City then turn off right at New Twopothouse. If you are coming south from Limerick then take the R522 in Buttevant. If you are coming from south Tipperary then take the N73 Mallow road in Michelstown and then look for the turn off for Doneraile.

The race.....This 5 mile race has a number of unique features that set it apart from other races.

1) The setting...Doneraile Park which is an old country estate. At this time of year with the autumnal colours, it's a stunning spot to hold a race. Most of the course is within the confines of the park and is closed to traffic. It really is the jewel of North Cork and it's amazing how people don't even know about it.

2) The Steeplechase......Many people will not know that the original steeplechase actually took place in Doneraile. While the word 'steeplechase' today is associated with an olympic track event or a horse race, the very first steeplechase took place here in the 18th century......(By most accounts, the first steeplechase race was held in 1752 in County Cork, Ireland, where a horseman named O’Callaghan engaged Edmund Blake in a match race, covering approximately 4 1/2 miles from Buttevant Church to St. Mary’s Doneraile, whose tower was known as St. Leger Steeple. Indeed, church steeples were the most prominent — and tallest — landmarks on the landscape, and the sport took its name from the chase to steeple).

Drawing on that tradition, the race will start at the Roman Catholic church in the town and finish outside the St.Marys church....i.e. steeple to steeple. There will also be token steeplechase jumps at each mile marker but these are completely optional. There is no advantage to be gained by jumping them but might be used by some of the slower runners doing it for fun ;o)

Doneraile 5 mile race...from steeple to steeple
3) Relay event.....might be one for beginners? Teams of 3 people can take part also. The first person runs 2 miles with the 2 others doing 1.5 miles eace. Please note that last registration is at 1:30pm. Allow time for members of the team to get to the start and changeover points.

4) Golf.........For anyone wanting to make a day of it, the local Golf Course are offering discounted green fees for the 9 hole golf course...(€10 but must be booked in advance)

5) Juvenile races...While the main race is on, there will other shorter 800m and 1 mile races for juvenile runners...U12, U14 and U16. Entry is free but must be pre-entered.

In short, there is plenty there to make it a day out for the whole family instead of just turning up at a race and rushing away again.

Entries........The entry fee is €12. Please note registrations close at 1:30pm.  It is about a 600m walk to the start and so early and timely registration is critical.

Entries will be taken at Nagle Rice Secondary School which is very close to the entrance to the park. See map below. Refreshments and prizes will be here as well after the race.

The map above shows the town of Doneraile. Note the access roads. The school is on the north side of the town and is approx 600 metres from the start line.

The race starts near the Catholic church on the south side of the town...

The first few hundred metres are very fast as you run downhill through the town towards the bridge over the Awbeg River. From this low point, you run up a slight hill past the finish line near St.Mary's church which was one of the original steeples used in the first steeplechase.

From there, you turn right and into the park...

Inside the park, the route takes lots of twists and turns but there will be plenty of stewards. The race is on roads and tracks, it is not a cross country race! The route has several hills along the route but none should be too long. The finish line is just outside the park near St.Mary's Church.

Overall......Doneraile Park is really a great spot for a race in north Cork. Perhaps not the fastest of courses but with no traffic to worry about, it's an ideal spot for a race. A 5k race is held held during the summer months but the park is probably at it's most spectacular at this time of year with it's gold and red autumnal colours. Definitely not just another 5 mile race.

Distance running increases risk of catching an infection...

This item appeared recently in Runners World and it's appropriate considering that the Dublin Marathon is coming up at the end of the month.

Many long-distance runners report developing colds and other upper-respiratory infections in the two weeks following a race, according to various surveys and studies. While 30 to 45 minutes of moderate daily exercise does stimulate the immune system, the rigors of running longer distances temporarily weakens it. During the strain of a hard run, the body churns out the stress hormone cortisol, which suppresses immune function in large amounts. " The more intense the run, the higher the cortisol level," says Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., an infectious disease-specialist. "We know it can be high enough to impair the immune system for up to three days following a race or a strenuous workout.". Marathons, in particular, can leave a runner vulnerable.

Their advice is to do the following....

1) Adjust your training so that you do more intense shorter sessions instead of some of those long runs. Instead of a slower run over 1.5 hours, for example, do a series of eight intervals where you're running at 80 to 85 percent of your max for four or five minutes, with two minutes of recovery in between. Also, avoid increasing both intensity and volume at the same time. After upping your mileage, give yourself a two-week buffer before adding a tempo workout. A good prerace taper also helps your immune system recover.

2) Reduce stress. The body recognizes vigorous exercise as a stress factor: Hard workout or bad day at the office, it all looks the same to your internal fight-or-flight response. " The easiest way to start is to focus on one breath: Inhale slowly through your nose, pause, exhale slowly. Aim for 10 breaths, gradually adding time over several days. On your rest days, try going for an evening stroll, taking a tai chi class, or doing yoga. "These kinds of restorative activities are a good complement to an aggressive training schedule,"

3) Lots of sleep. After strenuous workouts, sleep plays a critical role in restoring the body. Research shows that repeated lack of sleep (six hours or less per night) lowers your immunity protection by up to 50 percent

4) Eat a well balanced diet that includes plenty of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich food sources in your daily meals and snacks. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seafood, healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, olive and canola oil), whole soy foods, herbs and spices, and tea, as well as red wine and dark chocolate (both in moderation). During a hard run, drink a carbohydrate beverage. And in the first hour after a workout or race, drink a recovery beverage that has carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates slow the release of stress hormones; protein stimulates white blood cell counts, which shield against upper-respiratory problems..

The Critical 72 Hours.........You're most vulnerable to getting sick for up to 72 hours after a race due to elevated cortisol levels. Bascally, avoid anyone with a cold or infection and avoid crowded areas if possible.

And finally.......according to a study in the University of South Carolina, people who exercise have 20% fewer colds than their non-active peers.

I presume they were moderate runners as opposed to Marathon runners! As with all good advice......everything in moderation.

Original article HERE

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Clenbuterol...The drug to cause headlines at the London Olympics?

Over the last few days, there has been a few news items covering the use and detection of one particular drug...Clenbuterol.

Clenbuterol is an anabolic steroid that is banned in sports as a performance-enhancing drug. When used, it causes an increase in aerobic capacity, central nervous system stimulation, and an increase in blood pressure and oxygen transportation.

About a year ago, the drug hit the headlines when Alberto Contador, the 2010 winner of the Tour de France revealed that a urine sample he had given on 21 July during the Tour had contained traces of Clenbuterol. He has stated that due to the number of other tests he passed and that only a tiny amount of the substance was detected in the one he failed, that food contamination was to blame.

The issue here is that in some countries like China and Mexico, Clenbuterol is used by farmers on cattle to produce leaner, more valuable meat even though it is banned. Traces of the drug however pass into the meat of the animal which in turn can be eaten by people.

During this summer’s under-17 football World Cup in Mexico, Fifa revealed that 109 positive tests were recorded for the banned drug out of 208 urine samples taken during the tournament. The statistics are so extraordinary that both Fifa and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have confirmed they will not be prosecuting any cases, blaming the failed tests on contaminated meat.
WADA has shelved a similar case involving Danish cyclist Philip Nielsen, who tested positive for the steroid after the 2010 Tour of Mexico. In the Contador case above, he is claiming that he ate some meat from Spain, which was contaminated with Clenbuterol.

In principle, the edict  of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) remains that competitors are responsible for what they themselves consume.

WADA warned competitors in the Pan American Games which began in Mexico on October 14 about the dangers of consuming local meat, stating:”We have received compelling evidence..that indicates a serious health problem in Mexico to meat contaminated with clenbuterol.” It urged athletes only to eat in canteens regarded as safe by the organisers and to try to eat the same food in large numbers.

With the 2012 Olympic games in London supposed to have the highest number of drugs tests ever, expect to hear the name Clenbuterol again.

Green Tea may help weight loss...

This item may be of interest to anyone trying to keep their weight in check...

New research published in the online journal Obesity suggests that drinking green tea may help prevent weight gain. Researchers at Penn State looked specifically at a compound found in most green teas—epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)—to determine its effects on weight gain. Two groups of obese mice were fed a high-fat diet, but only one group also ate EGCG. Compared to the control group, the mice consuming EGCG in addition to the high-fat diet gained weight 45 percent more slowly. The mice fed the green tea supplement also appeared to be absorbing less fat (based on an increase in fecal lipids). Interestingly, both groups of mice ate about the same amount of high-fat food, suggesting that EGCG does not suppress appetite.

“There seems to be two prongs to this,” says lead researcher Dr. Joshua Lambert. “First, EGCG reduces the ability to absorb fat and, second, it enhances the ability use fat.”

It is significant that the mice in this study were obese to begin with, which, in Lambert’s opinion, makes this study more relevant to humans, who often don’t begin to consider their weight until they begin to have problems associated with obesity.

But here’s the caveat: It’s going to take more than one cup of tea to consume amounts of EGCG equivalent to that consumed by the mice—10 cups to be precise. But according to Lambert, recent studies examining the effects of green tea in humans suggest that drinking even a cup or two of green tea per day may be enough to have a positive effect on body weight.