Runner: Aaron R
Location: Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland
Results: 30’12”, 36/594, 1st American! (1/1, 🤣) 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1547883714
What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- Making lifelong memories and connecting with runners a half a world away
- Racing in the Irish countryside
- Course`s rolling terrain
- Friendly competition
- 8pm start
- 11 quid entry fee
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
The subtle hint of cow manure that could be detected around a few of the farms was a touch unpleasant.
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
600 runners regularly race this 8pm event on the first Thursday in May. This part of County Cork is not highly populated. I was amazed by the pre and post-race carnival-like atmosphere for an event that late in the day. The amount of food and refreshments made available to anyone at the party was astounding when compared to such a low cost of entry.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
I was emotionally prepared in my approach for this race. Sure I had a goal for my pace and for overall time, though I took some pressure off of myself by prioritizing racing tact over speed. Patience was also a characteristic that I displayed. When I was in a group running slightly slower than my preferred pace, I bided my time and waited for another lad to bridge the gap to the next group rather than to go at it alone.
Lessons Learned – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner or yourself on the next time around
I got a bit of course intel at the start line. The first and final mile are net downhill and miles three and four are the hilliest and net uphill. The last 800 or so meters are down an agonizingly straight and narrow corridor. This proved to be a bit of a mental challenge.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
Try and hold it together up to mile 5. The last 1.6k is truly a stretch you can run fast; though if you get psyched out by the final 800m and how it looks endless, it might cause you to slow down. Once you reach that corridor, just lock it in and ride that pain train all the way to the line!
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
This event was in its 35th year. The team of Midleton Athletics Club volunteers were well equipped to handle the crowd, registration, and the checking of any gear. The course was very clearly identified and accurately marked by the miles.
Logistics – Anything special regarding getting to/from the race, hotels around the course, registration…?
I was fortunate to have gotten a ride from a relative to the start from Cork City. If you’re staying in the city, the town of Midleton is easily accessible via a popular bus route through east county Cork. I’m certain there are plenty of B & B options in or around Midleton if you choose to spend your night in the country.
Weather and typical race conditions
Start: 8pm 12° C, light rain, 13km/h wind out of the west
Finish: 830pm 11° C, mostly cloudy, 13km/h wind out of the WNW
This race is in Ireland. My cousin is constantly down on the weather here. I’ve yet to experience anything but blue skies, unicorns, and rainbows that lead to pots of gold, of course. I suppose historically this race has been run under all conditions — rain, snow, wind, more rain, and more wind. The conditions on the 3rd of May 2018 were near ideal for a race at the five mile distance.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
This course is one hundred percent spectator friendly. It’s woven through the countryside on roads that are lined with stone walls and are closed to traffic during the event. Locals come out from behind their walled properties to cheer the racers passing by. I couldn’t get any of my cousins to stick around during the race, although the various Irish folks cheering us on was helpful enough.
How’s the swag?
Brilliant swag: pre-race gala and post-race party with food and drink. Tote bag with the race logo that contained a Mars bar, a banana, and postcards about the local sponsors and cubs. Chocolate milk was handed out by local dairy farmers at the finish. I passed on that last option. NAF of cow’s milk, but I appreciated the gesture! All for 11 quid! Insane!
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 out of 5! I will absolutely recommend it to anyone I know traveling to that part of Ireland in early May. More info and photos here on the workout weblog! rocheam.com/move.html#MidletonAC5