Cork048

Preview of the Great Railway Run...
25 kms...Cork to Carrigaline
10 kms...Monkstown to Carrigaline
5 kms...Ringaskiddy to Carrigaline

The full 25 km course from Cork City to Carrigaline is shown below. The 10 km race starts in Monkstown and the 5 km fun run/walk starts in Ringaskiddy....


The run follows much of the route of the old railway line that ran from Cork to Crosshaven and closed in 1932. About 18 kms of the route is alongside the waters edge making it a nice run. The full course is pretty flat with probably five small hills at most.

25k start...



25k.......Start to 9kms...The race starts on the Centre Park Road and heads towards Pairc Ui Chaoimh. After about 1.2kms, you turn right onto the Marina as you follow the River Lee on your left...

At the end of the Marina, you pass the 3km mark and start the first hill. It's a pretty small affair and is only about 200 metres long. Then you drop down again and approach Blackrock Castle....

On the far side, you turn off left onto a public walkway and stay by the waters edge...

For the next 3 kms, you stay on this pathway until you re-join another pathway which is actually the old railway line itself. You then cross over the Douglas Estuary and pass the apartment complex at Harty's Quay.

This is the end of the walkway for a few hundred metres as you come out onto the Rochestown Road....

The old railway platform and station building can be clearly seen in the photo above. The footpath here is very wide so there is probably no need to run on the road. Just before 9kms, you rejoin the walkway at Hop Island...

25kms...9kms to 25kms...



For the next 2kms, the course is dead straight. At 11kms, the path turns to the south-east and Great Island on the far side comes into view. At about 12.5kms, you approach the centre of the town of Passage West and some of the old railway infrastructure is still evident...
The limestone building on the left was a support for a large water tank which was used to supply the steam engine. The station was located just behind. The course now continues through the town and there is a small hill just around the 13km mark. In fact, the course has been more or less dead flat since just before Blackrock Castle back near the 3km mark.

The road drops down again on the other side to Glenbook....

Past the cross harbour ferry, then onto to Monkstown itself....roughly 15 kms.

The car park in Monkstown is where the 10k will start.
 

This used to be the old railway station and still includes some of the old infrastructure. The wall next to the footpath is part of the old platform while the small limestone building on the left was a support for a water tank.

Old station in Monkstown
The course here continues to be dead flat and soon you pass the new marina in Monkstown. This is a really nice stretch with extensive views of the outer harbour.


Here the route twists and turns a bit and eventually narrows around the 17km mark......around 2km in  for the 10k......as you run alongside Raffeen Creek...

This is the one section of the course where traffic may become an issue so follow the race stewards instructions. The narrow section lasts for about one mile and includes one or two very small inclines.

At about 18.4kms / 3.4kms, you join the main road from Cork to Ringaskiddy....

From here, you run alongside the main road as it rises up to Shanbally at about 19.9kms.

At Shanbally, there is an out and back section which adds about 1km to the course.

After an easy climb at first out of Shanbally, the road soon levels off. At 20.4kms, you come to a small grotto where you turn down right. You then descend an hill and it's right at the end...



From here, you just follow the road to Carrigaline. This section has a number of small pulls but nothing too serious. The finish line is near the Community Centre in Carrigaline.


5k Course......



Overall.......The 25 km race is mostly on a public walkway or footpaths until Monkstown. After this, there is more running on roads as you move away from the harbour. Generally, a flat enough course with only minor hills.

The most unique feature of the race is probably that you start in Cork City and end up in Carrigaline, something that most people wouldn't do as a run. In that respect, it's similar to the annual Cork to Cobh 15 mile race every year...another point to point event instead of the usual looped course.