Jogging Around Cork
With gyms clambering to get you to sign up for a room full of intimidating looking machines many Corkonians still prefer the freedom of our open spaces to keep themselves fit and healthy but training in the free open air gym that is the Rebel County does not come without its trials and tribulations as well as a host of characters that make it more interesting than the sterile atmosphere of indoor sweatshops.
Cork’s mut owners have yet to be fully briefed about the fact that most people don’t actually like tripping over piles of their beloved’s excrement. Hearing a squishy sound as you begin a jog can make for some uncomfortable deep breathing later on as the smell hits your lungs so keep your eyes on the path at all times.
Sudden death: if you haven't had a banger by the time you get to the top of Patrick's Hill please download the entry form for Olympics 2012
It’s hard to jog anywhere on De North Side (DNS) for more than ten minutes without encountering some unmerciful incline. Your annoying GPS iGadget thinks you’re taking it easy because of the sudden decrease in ground covered while back in the real world you’re losing half your bodyweight in sweat and gasp open-mouthed like a landed fish. Technology has no appreciation for Cork’s almost vertical hills that DNS joggers are faced with.
The hills are ultimately rewarding though especially if you haven’t blacked out and collapsed on the way up them so we strongly recommend embracing them. Once you can manage Strawberry Hill move on to Paddy’s Hill and don’t forget to check out that amazing view over your shoulder when you summit.
A fella proposes on Patrick Street after the Cork marathon:
clearly disorientated after all the hills
Along the way you’ll pass a wealth of different people all chugging along Cork’s streets and roadways for various reasons. Here’s a few of our favourites.
Just when you’re starting to thinking to yourself that you probably look someway credible now that you’ve stopped spluttering a young teenage rowing sensation zips by at a sprint with a bag of weights on his back. Fifteen minutes later he laps you again, utterly reversing any notions that your once youthful state of fitness was only a few light jogs away.
Our tip: convince yourself that anyone who passes you out is on the snorty-snorty.
"Here, i tawt u had to go down to Murt-il-vil to spot a whale...wahowww!"
Corkonians of both city and county are known for their wit and quick thinking. On Leeside the difference between Southsiders and Northsiders is that the latter are never afraid to take a risk mouthing some wise crack as you trot past.
Smokers outside pubs, gangs of young wans hanging around lampposts or the occupants of sooped-up scobe mobiles rarely pass on the chance to make a funny comment or joke as you pass.
Our tip: Give them the thumbs up they’re looking for and you’ll always get a cheer. Never ever double back with a ‘watchya-say-bout-me?’.
Margaret Murphy had enough of Dublin Hill and stopped for a quick plank
Auldies On The Edge
While younger fitter more athletic joggers are a turn off, at least there are plenty of older runners out there too chugging around Cork to make the mediocre mid-table trotter feel better about their bodies.
Many wrinkly joggers have such wonky joints from decades of road running that their strides can make them look more like a hospital patient waiting for a double hip replacement than of someone intent on pounding the pavement - and their default facial expressions often look like they’ve swallowed a bag of sherbet such is the excruciating pain they strangely force their bodies through.
Our tip: if the body says no then the brain should obey.
Fitzgerald's Park now has its own giant defibrillator housed in a buggy which a park attendant wheels next to elderly joggers
Real Runners and Rookies
It’s easy to pick out experienced runners even when they’re not jogging by their clothing which only consists of ‘Ballycotton 10’ and various Cork marathon t-shirts. Bulkier beginners who refuse to succumb to the marketing madness of the running industry are easy to spot too in their witty if-found-return-to-pub slogan t-shirts, bright Bermuda trunks and flat soled All-star fashion runners. And their puce and panting red faces of course.
Our tip: If you become a marathon runner don’t stop buying t-shirts in proper clothes shops.
Ballycotton 10: last year all runners arrived at the finish line running backwards....and all at the same time.
Often mistaken for a guilty party leaving a crime scene at high speed these skinny but teak-tough athletes are often spotted jogging around the city in the early hours of the morning. Usually in bogs of sweat, hooded and wearing what often appear to be lagging jackets these boxers have to maintain a monstrous level of fitness and stay as light as possible.
Our tip: if you spot an oncoming boxing ‘vehicle’ step out of their way quickly.
Michael 'The Combover' Martin enters the ring for a beating at the Glen Boxing Club and soon after at the polls. As they say in Churchfield: you have to be able to take a batin' to give wan
Equipped with the latest over-priced luminous sweat-proof breathable waterproof clothing, go-fast gel based super running shoes and with various expensive electronic chips stuck in uncomfortable parts of their bodies this lot are a sports salesman’s dream as they seem to use fitness as an excuse to spend money on anything that claims it will improve their performances.
Our tip: while their fitness and dedication is to be admired never get into a conversation with a Triathlete about their chosen sport as you risk death by boredom.
Death by misadventure: This woman died of boredom when her boyfriend starting talking about triathalons
Easily recognisable by the high swinging arms, pristine white runners and frantic jaw activity as they yarn incessantly to their walking partners, these power walkers flood places like ‘the line’ in Rochestown and seem to be more interested in flexing their voice box muscles than those in their legs.
Our tip: make a noise to warn them if approaching from behind as a long trailing arm could clobber you if you pass too close and they get a fright.
The folk festival and jazz festivals bookend this month with top international acts as well as a fine smattering of great gigs in between from the likes of Michael Kiwanuka, Cathy Davey, Simone Felice, Clare Sands, The Art Crimes Band and lots more.