The Togher P.T.A.A 5km Road, or should I say Street Race, takes place on Wednesday evening August 31st at 7:30pm. With the summer nights closing in, this is the last of the evening races. Summer is probably a bit of a misnomer; winter with extended daylight hours would be apt. Life may indeed be like a box of chocolates, but when it comes to an Irish Summer you know exactly what you’re going to get. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, the Togher P.T.A.A. Your race H.Q. for this event is the St. Finbarr’s GAA Club, which is at the Togher end of the Tramore Road. You’ll have changing facilities here and a place to leave your bag during the race. As per usual, the fee is €5 for BHAA members and €8 for non-members. The usual BHAA house rules apply and there’ll be prizes in all the usual categories as well as the odd spot prize. Those nice people at the P.T.A.A make a big effort to ensure that runners are well catered for by way of post race refreshments.
To get to St. Finbarr’s GAA Club, townies can head out the Togher Road and turn right at the Tramore Road intersection. People coming from East or West via the South Link Road (N28) will need to take the exit for Pouladuff Road and then get on to the Tramore Road heading West for Togher. This is a straight forward manoeuvre if you’re coming from West to East via the Sarsfield roundabout. Coming from the Kinsale roundabout however, you’ll have to take the same exit, then make a U-turn and drive back over the South Link to get to the Tramore Road roundabout. In this event, you’ll need to follow the road signs carefully to avoid getting lost. The race itself starts in the vicinity of Togher National School. This event is basically a street race through housing estates. There’s no pretty scenery, but this type of environment is bread and butter for us city slickers. Hereabouts is where you’ll find us clocking up the miles in preparation for all those summer evening forays into the Ballys.
Togher is a fast course and the 2010 event attracted a total field of 345 runners. There’s one minor hump near the start as the race heads over the bridge to get across the South Ring Road. After about 800m or so, you turn left onto Clashduv Road/Estate, a sort of mini version of the Carrigrohane straight. Now at 1.7km you take a sharp left onto Glasheen Road. This is the main hump on the 5km course as you head uphill past St. Finbarrs Cemetery. For the next 600m you are climbing. Marathon runners will recall this as the 20M mark back in June. It wasn’t very pleasant then either. Now the race heads off-road into the housing estates. From here on in it’s all downhill and flat. At 3.5km, you are back on Clashduv Road heading for home. The orange bicycle lane that runs along in front of Clashduv Park will make it feel like a track race as you push your pedal to the metal for the final 1.5km.