Cork033

Preview of the GR8KM road race in Mitchelstown, NE Cork...

This new course was introduced in 2014

Location...Mitchelstown is located just off the M8 Cork to Dublin motorway and is easily accessible...


Directions........If you are coming from the direction of Cork City, leave the motorway at exit 13 and head into the town on the old Dublin road.


 As you enter the town proper, you come to this crossroads with traffic lights where you turn right...

 Just 100m later, you turn left....look for the signs for the Tesco shopping centre...

 Race HQ is at the new Mitchelstown Leisure Centre which is located beyond Tesco down this road.


Course......This is the new course from 2014 onwards. The race starts and finishes near the Leisure Centre.


Profile......

Course Description...The race starts and finishes near the Mitchelstown Leisure Centre.

From the start, you run out past Tesco Shopping Centre....onto the public road where you turn right and down to the major junction where you run straight across...

Up a slight hill and then left into St.Fanahan's Place...


As you run through this residential area, you begin to climb. At the small crossroads, you turn right...

The climb ends at about the 600m mark in the race when you leave the estate and onto a flatter section of road...

Just up ahead, you pass St.George's Church (COI) which was dates from 1804. You turn right at the junction ahead and then left almost straight away...

This brings you onto George's Street and the start of a very fast section that is about 500m long.

Mitchelstown is today regarded as one of the best planned Georgian towns in Ireland. Roads were planned in an orderly fashion so that there were clear views of the Galtee Mountains in the distance. This is one of the nicest sections within the town itself with trees lining the road for most of the way...

At about 1.2 kms, you come to King's Square where you run into the centre and then left...

....and then right into Kingston College...

Kingston College is another example of the planned nature of the town where the 200 year old Georgian era houses are neatly laid out...

On exiting Kingston College, you're onto Baldwin Street and a short downhill section...

At about 1.7 kms, you come to a busy junction where you will run straight ahead. The field will be well spread out at this stage and the local Gardai will be on hand to stop traffic. As the field thins out, they are likely to leave some traffic cross and stopping them when a runner approaches. Just be aware of it.

On the other side, you're onto the Clonmel Road and past the Dairygold plant. This section is pretty flat as you leave the town. At about 3kms, there is a short hill before leveling out again....

At about 3.7kms, you come to the bridge over the M8 motorway and the small roundabouts on either side. There will be race stewards here to make sure you go around each roundabout so that the course distance is correct....

After the down ramp on the other side, the road has a very gentle rise as you get into the country proper...

At 5kms, you come to a fork where you take the right and start a more serious climb....

The hill itself isn't so bad however as you gain about 15m in elevation over the next 700m.

At 5.6kms, you join another road at a T-junction and you turn right. Just up ahead is the end of this particular climb...

Just around the corner, the road levels off and then you have about 1km of downhill running.

At about 6.4kms, you come to the end of the downhill when you reach another T-junction where you turn right. At 6.5kms, you cross over the M8 motorway again with a small downhill on the other side...

At about 6.8kms, you cross over a small stream and you reach the 50kph signs on the edge of the town.

It is also the start of the most serious hill on the course as you gain about 20m in elevation over the next 700m. It's starts gradually with the steeper section later on.

At 7.5kms, no sooner do you reach the top of the climb when you begin a rapid descent on the other side...

Then it's right and past Tesco to the finish line near Mitchelstown Leisure Centre....

Overall......Rather than just having a bland functional 8km route, the organisers have used the route to highlight some of the nicest areas of the town of Mitchelstown like Georges Street and Kingston College. There are a number of hills but nothing too serious. Located just off the M8 motorway, it's within easy access for a lot of people. Always a well organised race.

Tip...As the start and finish are very close to the Leisure Centre, make sure as part of your warm up that you note how far the finish line is from the public road outside. At the end of the race, you'll then know exactly how much you have left to go.