Friday, 22 January 2016

Mallow 10 Mile

Mallow 10 Mile - 20th March

Another 10 mile race that has been around for a long time and is very popular is the Mallow 10 Mile on Sunday 20th March. This will be the 16th year of the race, organised by Mallow Athletic Club, since it came back. But the event has been around since the 80's in some form.


Last year they capped the number of entries at 1,500 and sold out, this year they have increased the cap to 1,750, and with everyone training for 10 miles around this time of year, they'll likely sell out again. (Closing date for online entries is March 4th).

As of January 17th, the had exceeded 700 entries. The cost is €20 plus a booking fee of €1.90 and you can register here.


This is a pretty fast course, with a mix of town and rural country roads. No major hills to worry about.

What you Get

Last year entrants received the branded Buff below. Not sure if this is coming back again, but I would guess so. If anyone from the race wants to confirm in the comments below, please do:

Official Flyer

Thursday, 21 January 2016

AXA Raheny 5 Mile

31st January

One of the finalists in our Race Awards, under the "Short Distance Race of the Year" category, the AXA Raheny 5 Mile is on Sunday 31st January. An incredibly highly rated race, this attracted around 2,500 runners last year. This is the 32nd annual running of the event.


Due to road works on the coast road, there is a slight change to the route this year. Just after the 3 mile mark, participants will turn left into St. Anne's Park and continue for approximately 1 and half miles in the park. They will then emerge on to the old course on All Saints Road, approximately 900metres from the finish.

Actually, this new route will make the course a little flater than before, so perhaps a new course record will be on the cards (as well as the masses, a lot of the top runners show up here).


The cost of this race is €20 plus €1.40 booking fee and you can register on the Primo Events Page.

What you get

As well as a great race, and a huge reception at the finish line, this has an excellent goodie bag for all entrants.

Further Information

Full list of FAQ's is available on the Raheny Shamrocks page here.

Trim 10 Mile

7th February

Returning for the second year on Sunday 7th of February is the Bewleys Trim 10 Mile. A flat and fast 10 mile race, this had over 800 entrants last year. Organised by Trim Athletic Club it is likely that there will be an increase on numbers this year (based on the course and the positive reports from last the timing of the race).

The Course

The course is pretty flat and fast, no major hills to worry about. The winners posted some pretty fast times last year. It starts and finishes in Trim, but the route is very much on quite country roads all the way.
Link to the course map: MapMyRun


There will be Pacers for 60, 70, 80 and 90 minutes.

What you Get

The first 750 entrants will receive a pair of race branded INVERSE Technical socks (see artwork below). If you enter before 31st of January, you can get the socks posted out with your race number in advance of the race, but there's an additional cost to this postage (see registration page).


You can register on the Fit Magazine website here. Registration is €21.40 (including the booking fee).

Below is the official race flyer:

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Anne Valley 5 mile

Saturday 6th February, Waterford

It's getting close to race day for the winner of our "Short Distance Race of Year", the Anne Valley 5 mile in Waterford on 6th February. This year is the 10th anniversary of the race, which is another fine example of a small community that comes together to provide a really good quality event.

Discount Entry:

As it's their 10th anniversary, the organising committee are offering discounted entry price for all online entrants of €10. And procees from the race go towards the Jack & Jill foundation. (They raised €6k last year, see press release here)


Based on previous years, you can expect to join roughly 400 runners on the day. The course has a fast downhill start, but be prepared for a tough finish when you return uphill. Here's a link to the route on Strava. This is definitely good training for anyone doing Ballycotton in March.

Official details found in the flyer below:

Monday, 18 January 2016


The end of safety pins?

I've never considered safety pins as something that were a problem. I've never had a number fall off in a race (even in some crazy weather). So when I heard about the new invention on the market, Pinrace, I was a little sceptical. However, after trying them out, I discovered some nice benefits.....

What are they?

Pinrace are essentially some really powerful little magnets, sold as a pack of 4 for individuals (group deals available), that you use to hold your race number in place. 

What I found

Looking back at my pre-race routine previously, I think I might be a little bit 'Obsessive Compulsive'. I maybe spent a bit too long making sure my race number was centred, as if this was likely to affect race performance.

Anyway, being able to use magnets, rather than pins was far easier for someone with my 'condition'! But more importantly for me, a lot less damage to my favourite running tops.

That for me is the main benefit: a lot of my running tops were starting to get plucked and damaged by safety pins, this eliminates the problem.

In terms of performance / stability, I've put them to test in some very wet and windy weather. Those magnets, and the race number are going nowhere. The first two minutes of your run may take a bit of getting used to the feeling, but you'll forget about them before you know it.

Finally the unexpected benefit was the ability to pin your race number to the fridge. For too long the kids have had a monopoly on fridge space, which is prime kitchen real estate. Now, if you have a big race coming up and you receive your number in the post, use your magnets to stick it up, so that everyone in the house (and visitors) knows that there's some serious training going on!...... take that kids!

Just be careful

My last note on these is just a word of caution. The magnets are really strong, so you need to keep them away from digital devices, laptops, phones and most importantly GPS watches. Don't throw them into your gear bag together. This may lead to a bigger problem for races where the timing chip is built into the number, I probably won't use them for these races.

In summary....

These solved a problem I didn't know I had. I will use them, but not in situations where my timing chip is in my race number. If you buy them, you will use them, the question is whether you think that around €10.50 is worth it. For me, I think yes, just about.

Visit to check them out or order

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Ballyfin House 6K

24th January - Ballyfin, Co Laois

This 6K race in Laois is in a pretty unique location. Organised by the local GAA club in Ballyfin, the run goes through the grounds of Ballyfin house. Ballyfin House is the exclusive location of the Ballyfin Hotel, one of the most prestigious hotels in Ireland. So prestigious that you can't get through the front gates (unless you are Kim and Kanye).

The grounds are beautiful, so it should be a great location for a run. There will be some relatively small up and downs, but nothing too major. As well as the lovely hotel, a historic house, expect to see a round tower, rolling hills, a lake, forest and possibly a couple of Irish Deer running along side.

I'm sure there will be a few people taking the opportunity to get into the grounds to see them for the first time. But it will also be an opportunity for the thousands of ex-pupils of Ballyfin college to take a trip down memory lane......and maybe do a few laps of the lake!

Details in the flyer:

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Run 32 Challenge

A new challenge that has recently been launched for 2016 is the Go Active Ireland, Run 32 Counties Challenge.

As you can guess from the name, this challenge is to run a race in each of the 32 counties in Ireland during 2016. Any race will count provided it is longer than 5k and the results are verifiable to the organisers (by being posted online).

 I imagine those that are interested in taking on this challenge will see it as more of a personal goal, a bucket list type of activity (that's the way I'm looking on it anyway). But for those that are a bit more competitive, there is a points system in place. You essentially get 3 points per race, with a max of 1 race per county to score. However, certain races will be signing up to be official races as part of the challenge, and these will allow you earn bonus points.

Moving away from the competition aspect of the challenge, for me, it's extra motivation to get to run in places of the country that I've never been to before and to experience new races. So as I plan out my 2016 in terms of training and races, the objective will be to balance hitting some of the big races that I want to do, with the ability to maybe squeeze a couple of small races in neighbouring counties that are far away, over the one weekend.

For example the Run Mount Julliet is on in Kilkenny on 13th February (options of half marathon or 10k). Maybe stay overnight in Mount Julliet (pretty nice) and then head off to Enniscorthy in Wexford the next morning for the Enniscorthy 10k. That's Kilkenny and Wexford knocked off the list in one weekend.

Obviously you need recognition for completing the challenge! So here's the t-shirt and medal that comes with finishing:


Smaller Challenges

If 32 counties is too much, then they do have smaller options including;
  • 4 Province Challenge
  • Connaught Challenge
  • Leinster Challenge
  • Munster Challenge
  • Ulster Challenge

Find out more HERE

If you have any other good suggestions for combining races that are close by, please feel free to discuss in the chat below. Maybe we can compile a list of the easy ones to knock off.