End of the road for Ballycotton 10 race shocks running community

End of the road for Ballycotton 10 race shocks running community
Runners heading out the field at the start of the Ballycotton 10 road race in East Cork last year. Picture Dan Linehan

ONE of the most famous and popular road races in the country, the 40-year-old Ballycotton 10, will not be run again after organisers pulled the event in a shock announcement.

Ballycotton Running Promotions — who organise the 10-mile race traditionally staged in March and attracted over 3,000 runners annually — said they had taken the decision to end the race and the associated summer running series for a number of factors but stated that logistics and new traffic regulations would make it difficult to continue.

In a statement, they said: “It is with regret and no doubt a certain amount of sadness that we wish to announce that the Ballycotton 10, the Summer 5-Mile Series and other events organised by Ballycotton Running Promotions have come to an end.

“Whilst this will be received with shock and surprise by the running community at large, the decision to call a halt to our promotions is something that has occupied the thoughts of our committee for the past year or more.

“For anyone familiar with the geographical locations of our races, the problems logistically of organising the events are all too apparent. Parking has been one of our major worries. It may come as a surprise to many that, for the past two years due to weather conditions, the possibility of the Ballycotton 10 having to be cancelled was a live issue up to 24 hours before the race.

“With new proposed traffic regulations on the way, the staging of an event with up to 3,000 runners in a village with just one road in and out would prove insurmountable. These problems, to a lesser extent, are also evident in the summer races where we are again at the mercy of the weather regarding parking and facilities.”

Prominent Cork long-distance runner Alex O’Shea expressed sadness at the end of the “iconic” race.

“It was at all times a truly professional race and a benchmark for others to follow. It worked because it was runners running an event for runners and it was clear to see the whole community got behind the event 100% from B&Bs to shops. Amazingly, you never felt like you were intruding on this small fishing village. The community embraced this race year on year and applauded our efforts as we made our way up the hill to the finish. A truly iconic race that will be missed.”

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