Road Race Measurement News - May 2014
(updated May 25th)

Courses measured/remeasured recently include:
Street of Fermoy 5k (series): Measured by Darren Flynn, Grange-Fermoy AC, AAI National Grade Measurer
Old Abbey 5k: Measured by Pat Killeen, Leevale AC, AAI National Grade Measurer
Railway Run (5k, 10k & 25k): Measured by John Quigley, Eagle AC, AIMS/IAAF Grade 'B' Measurer
Crosshaven 10k: Measured by John Quigley, Eagle AC, AIMS/IAAF Grade 'B' Measurer
Cork Half-Marathon: Measured by John Quigley, Eagle AC, AIMS/IAAF Grade 'B' Measurer
John Buckley 5k: Measured by John Walshe, East Cork, AAI National Grade Measurer
Clonpriest 5k: Measured by John Walshe, East Cork, AAI National Grade Measurer
Emer Casey 10k: Measured by John Walshe, East Cork, AAI National Grade Measurer
East Ferry 10k: Measured by John Walshe, East Cork, AAI National Grade Measurer

Ireland's First Road Race Calibration Course Relaid!
The first ever calibration course in Ireland was laid down, in Kilmacahill, Ballycotton, on Jan 1st 1978, prior to the First Ballycotton 10.  The course is on the straight, just before the 6M mark in the Ballycotton 10. It was laid down by East Cork's John Walshe, assisted by Dan Donovan.  The course was a half mile long and the device used was a Veeder Rootes counter, supplied by John Jewell. In 1988, John acquired a Jones Counter from New Your Road Runners (NYRR), at a cost of $35 = 23.74, or €30.15 in today's terms - current cost of a Jones Counter is approx. €120 .....and the rest is history!  

The rough weather of recent months took it's toll on many of our roads.  Unfortunately one of the road sections affected was the long straight before the 6 Mile mark in the Ballycotton 10, a section of which john Walshe uses for calibrating his bike/Jones Counter prior to measurement. Weather and traffic took it's toll and the precise marks were obliterated, meaning that the course had to be relaid.

On Monday April 28th, John Walshe and John Quigley, assisted by Tom Hartnett, relaid the 500m course.  This involved measuring the section using a 30m steel rule, properly tensioned with a spring, to measure out a 500m section.  As the temperature was 15C, a further adjustment of 3cm was added to compensate for temperature - the measuring tape is certified at 20C.  Masonry  nails, with washers were hammered into the road at each end of the course, so that the precises start and finish can be used each time.  This calibration course is now available to all measurers, for calibration before and after course measurements
John Walshe & Tom Hartnett winding up the tape at the end of the jobJohn Walshe supervising the precise location of the finish point by Tom Hartnett
The Ballymacahill Calibration Course

Cork Half Marathon
The start position of the Cork City Half Marathon, run in conjunction with the Cork City Marathon, has been moved, following operational problems, mainly with buses, in the past few years.  The new start is on Victoria Road, close to the roundabout, and close to the 3rd relay changeover.  Heading towards the city, at the roundabout, it turns left into Hibernian Buildings, then right and right again, onto Albert Road, heading back towards the start.  Back at the roundabout the course goes around the roundabout, around the traffic island, and then heads down Monaghan Road, familiar to those used to Cork BHAA's 5k/4M circuit.  However, at the junction of Monaghan Road and the 'link' road, it continues straight on passing CAB and enters the Atlantic Pond park.  Keeping to the right around the lake, swing hard left along the pathway.  At the top of the slope, there is a sharp right onto the old railway track, before turning left at the Pumping Station, and joins up with the Marathon route.  This will be an 'interesting' point - Marathon/Relay runner & Half-Mar runners heading directly at each other, then turning right and left respectively, at the pump station., and then turning left onto the Marina.  All courses are tha same from there on to the finish.

Cork City Half-Marathon Start 2014
Start is on Victoria Road, opposite the garage, head towards roundabout, then turn left into 'Jewtown'

Cork City Half-Marathon - Roundabout Arrangement
It gets a bit complex here.  The leaders follow the yellow line, going around the roundabout.  They will arrive back at the roundabout after approx. 2 - 2.5 minutes, well before the back of the field has passed through the finish line, so the course has been measured around the roundabout.  Barriers (see red line) will be in place to prevent "errors". Once the back of the field thins out, the barriers will be removed, allowing later runners to run straight through, as per the blue line.

Cork City Half-Marathon 2014 - Map of Start Area
Map of Start Area

Overall Map of new HM Start
Overall Map of Adjusted HM Start

Merging point of Half Marathon & Marathon Routes
Merging point of Half Marathon & Marathon Routes

AIMS/IAAF Road Race Measurement Manual - The Measurement of Road Races