Preview of the Shanagarry 5 mile road race...
The Shanagarry 5 mile road race is the second race of four in the Ballycotton Summer Series and is held on the fourth Thursday of June every year.
Shanagarry is on the R629 road from Midleton to Ballycotton in East Cork.
Directions... If you are coming from Cork, take the N25 East and from the roundabout on the Midleton bypass, take the 3rd exit and follow the main R629 Midleton to Ballycotton road. Shanagarry is located on the main road between Cloyne and Ballycotton. If you are coming from Waterford, take a left at Castlemartyr for Ladysbridge and Garryvoe and follow the road on towards Shanagarry.
Parking...Follow the stewards instructions on the night.
Entries... Race HQ is usually at the GAA grounds in the centre of the village.
Course...The race starts just outside the petrol station/garage at the main road junction on the Ballycotton road. It then drops slightly into the hollow by the GAA entrance, up past the road junction where the finish will be, past the church, down again into another slight hollow and up a bit of a pull until the road flattens out as you head towards the 1 mile mark. A pretty fast mile with no major drags.
The second mile is pretty flat. You run down to Garryvoe next to the beach, around a sharp bend and head inland again. A flat fast mile.
The third mile is not so easy. It is basically a long gentle uphill section until you turn off left onto a quiet country road and the 3 mile mark. You can expect to lose some time on the long climb.
The fourth mile starts easy. The first half mile is along a flat road with a great view to the left over the East Cork countryside....
At the next road junction, you take a very sharp left and then the road drops rapidly. It's almost too steep to really run on comfortably. Then it flattens out for a short section and then, you hit the hill! Not as bad as the 'Beast of Ballyandreen' but a nasty one all the same. After the initial shock, the gradient reduces as you hit the 4 mile mark. A tough mile.
For the start of the fifth and final mile, there is still a gradual climb for about 300 metres after the 4 mile mark. Then it flattens out as you negotiate a series of bends with matures trees on either side of the road providing plenty of cover. The last half mile is very fast as it is slightly downhill all the way to the finish.
Overall.......A reasonably tough course but you should still expect a reasonable time. Nice quiet roads. Easy access from Cork Cork.