The Marathon

The Marathon for Everyone!

The Marathon

We’re looking at an earlier start time of 8:30am for 2018. This will be confirmed as soon as possible.

The 2018 course is likely to be similar to last year’s, with a little tweaking to address a few issues. We’ll get details up here when they’re agreed. In the meantime, the following is a description of the 2017 course.

2017 route is available here.

Download a 2017 street/road listing here.

The course changes in 2017 were made to minimize the impact on some of the old route’s busiest churches – St Mary’s, Pope’s Quay; the Church of the Assumption, Ballyphehane; and the Holy Ghost Church, Dennehy’s Cross. The changes have introduced one significant uphill (on Connolly’s Road) but overall the profile remains very similar to previous years and it’s still a fairly flat course.

There are four changes:

  • The starting field crosses the river at c. mile 1 at Christy Ring Bridge rather than North Gate Bridge, avoiding Pope’s Quay.
  • In Ballyphehane, at c. 18 miles, instead of continuing up Lower Friars Walk onto Pearse Road (by the church), you’ll turn right, onto Connolly Road and stay on Connolly Road until you pass Tory Top Park. At the north end of the park, the race runs along the park’s perimeter onto Friars Walk, briefly, and into Reendowney and Clareville, turning left onto Pouladuff Road and back onto Pearse Road and onto Hartland’s Avenue.
  • At the western end of Hartland’s Avenue, instead of turning left for Glasheen you’ll run through onto Dorgan’s Ave, left onto Magazine Road, right onto St Frances’ Road, left onto College Road and right onto Orchard Road. At the end of Orchard Road the Gardaí will operate a stop-go for traffic allowing the race to cross over to Farranlea Road, through Farranlea Park and back onto the old route on the Model Farm Road.
  • At mile 25, the race emerges from Sli Cumann na mBan as before. At the North Gate Bridge, instead of turning left onto the quays, the race runs straight onto North Main Street. PLEASE NOTE THAT NORTH MAIN STREET HAS COBBLED RAMPS. We’re looking into ways to minimise their impact, but with tired legs, you’ll need to be aware of them.
  • You’ll be returning to Patrick’s Street via Washington Street and Daunt’s Square – the opposite direction to previous years. The finish line is at Opera Lane.

The Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon is an official 42.195km (26 miles and 385 yards) marathon course, and serves as a Boston qualifier.

It is still, overall, a fast and flat course.

As with all major city marathons, the challenge for the marathon course committee was to design a route that would maximise the runners’ experience while minimising the disruption to the public. We also wanted to make this truly a city marathon, by bringing the race to as much of the city as is possible.

There are a few immovable constraining factors: The options to the north of the River Lee are limited because of the steep hills. To the south, the potential course is restricted by the critical South Ring Road, which carries large amounts of traffic into or around the city centre. Despite these restrictions, the course committee designed a route that takes the runners north, east, south and west of the city centre.

The marathon and team relay begin and finish on the city centre’s main street, St Patrick’s Street.

Download the street listing for the route here.

The 2017 Course

2017 Course Description

We’re currently reviewing the course for 2018. We don’t anticipate any major redesign but there will be some tweaks. We’ll get details up when they’ve been agreed. In the meantime, the following is a description of the 2017 course.

The course makes a single circuit of the city centre before heading north for the historic suburb of Blackpool.‌

Returning along the northern quays of the River Lee, the runners pass the four-mile mark along the picturesque riverside scenery of the Lower Glanmire Road (N8).

The first relay changeover is at the junction of the Tivoli Dual Carriageway. The race runs along the inbound carriageway before entering the Jack Lynch Tunnel.

‌‌You must reach the Jack Lynch Tunnel within 2hrs of the start. This should be ample time, even for walkers.

The 360m-tunnel beneath the River Lee links Dunkettle to Ringmahon, and the 2007 marathon was the first time that pedestrians had been allowed through it since shortly after it was opened in May 1999. Then, about 100,000 people walked through the tunnel over two days raising huge amounts of money for charity. This run through the Jack Lynch Tunnel brings the race into Mahon, via the South Ring Road (N25) and the Skehard Road.

‌‌After the relay changeover point on the Ringmahon Road, the race takes a right-hand turn onto Castle Road. Just short of Blackrock Castle, the course turns right onto the Lough Mahon waterfront walkway. This popular local amenity walk runs for a mile-and-a-half along the river estuary.

It joins the Rochestown to Blackrock section of the Old Passage West Railway Line just after the 13.1-mile mark. Steep tree-lined embankments guide the runners along the line of the old railway and onto the Marina.

We’ve put in a new path to the right just short of the entrance to the pump house. This will bring you onto the Marina behind the half marathoners who will be emerging from Atlantic Pond.

The race runs along Centre Park Road to the third relay changeover on Victoria Road.

From here, it joins the city’s South Link Road (N27) for a short distance to run into Turner’s Cross.

The South Link Road will start reopening for traffic from 12.30pm so aim to be past this point by then.

Through Ballyphehane, the course changes this year. Instead of continuing up Lower Friars Walk, you’ll turn right onto Connolly Road. Continuing up to the north perimeter of Tory Top Park, you’ll turn left alongside the park and onto Reendowney and onto Pouladuff Road and the Lough to Hartland’s Avenue.

Via Dorgan’s Avenue, you’ll turn left onto Magazine Road, right onto St Francis’, left onto College Road and right onto Orchard Road. Crossing on Farranlea Road, you’ll reach the Model Farm Road (R608) and the final relay changeover at Kenley.

There’s a short steep downhill immediately after the changeover, but the final four miles of the route are almost perfectly flat. At Inchigaggin Bridge the route takes a righthand turn onto The Orchards (Inchigaggin Lane) and a right turn again onto The Carrigrohane Road (N22).

At the start of the Western Road, the race turns left and right again, bringing the runners onto Mardyke Walk, passing the University’s Mardyke Arena and FitzGerald’s Park.

At the Mardyke Bridge the course crosses onto Sli Cumann na mBan, onto the North Mall.

At the North Gate Bridge, the race runs straight onto North Main Street, left onto Washington Street, left onto Daunt’s Square and to the finish line at Opera Lane.

Prize Structure

Keane’s Jewellers Perpetual Cork City Marathon Trophies

‌Kindly donated by Keane’s Jewellers, the first across the line in the men’s and women’s marathon receive a beautifully crafted silver trophy. The trophies will be engraved with the winners’ names. Unfortunately, the trophies are perpetual, so the winners have to part with their silverware at the end of their reigning year!

Prizes will be awarded in the following marathon categories*:

1st: €1,000
2nd:   €900
3rd:    €800
4th:    €700
5th:    €600
6th:    €500
7th:    €400
8th:    €300
9th:    €200
10th:  €100

€100, €75, €50 for 1st, 2nd & 3rd respectively in each age category:

*There must be 3 or more entries to constitute a prize-winning category.

*Prizes are awarded equally to male and female categories.