Frequently Asked Questions
Race-day traditionally falls on the second Saturday of August every year (i.e. the weekend after the August public holiday). This year's race will take place on Saturday August 12th, starting at 19:00h (7pm) sharp.
The Streets of Galway 8K road-race is an annual event which had it's inaugral running back in 1986. 2017 will see the 32nd staging of the race which has been hosted since 1991 by local athletics club, Galway City Harriers AC.
The race starts and finishes in the Claddagh area of Galway city. The course winds a path on the roads and streets through the city-centre and out into the Salthill suburbs, before returning on the roads along the coast-line to Southpark in the Claddagh where the finish-line is located.
A course-map is available here.
Registration & Entry
No - there are no medals awarded for completing the Streets of Galway road-race. Each participant receives a commemorative t-shirt as part of their race-pack however.
Yes. There will be a bonus awarded if an overall race-record is set by a male or female athlete. The current race-records stand as follows:
Male race-record: 22m49s
Held jointly by Séamus Power (Kilmurray Ibrickane) 1998 and Josphat Boit (Clonliffe Harriers) 2009, albeit over different courses.
Female race-record: 26m01s
Rosemary Ryan (Bilboa AC) 2001
The above times must be improved on (and not just equalled) in order for a new race-record to be officially ratified.
No. Team-prizes will be awarded to the top 4 male scorers and the top 3 female scorers associated with the same athletics club (which must be affiliated to Athletics Ireland or some other national athletics governing body) according to the final finishing order.
There will also be a special category prize this year for groupings of individuals (e.g. workplace colleagues, gym members, family members, etc.) that are entered into the race together.
In order to do this, it is simply a matter of ensuring all team/family members associate the same team name (e.g. "Team Kelly") to their individual race entries via the "Workplace/Gym/non-AI Team" field on the online race-entry form. Much like the athletics club team competition, teams do not have to be formally declared beforehand, they just need to be associated to the individual entry and team prizes will then be awarded based on the finishing order (e.g. first 4 members of the same team home = 1st team prize).
Note - it is permissible to associate your individual entry to both an athletics club and a team and enter both competitions. The main difference between the athletics club competition and the other team competition is that the non-athletic club teams can be mixed gender. Team members are also eligible for individual category prizes.
Yes, absolutely. We would be delighted to get assistance in any way possible, either before, during or after the event. Some typical tasks that our race-day volunteers carry out include:
- race-pack assembly
- race-pack collection
- catering (before and after)
- race-route marshaling
- start/finish logistics
- water distribution (5K mark and finish-line)
Note - you do not have to be a member of host club Galway City Harriers AC to help out.
Please contact email@example.com for more details.
You may officially transfer your race-entry to another person via a link provided on the confirmation email you will have received from ACTIVE.com on registration of your race-entry. There will however be a nominal fee charged for this service (€2) and it will only be possible to do this up to and including August 1st 2016. Note - we cannot hold onto (for later collection) or post out t-shirts that are not collected at race-pack collection time.
No. Unfortunately we cannot process refunds for logistical reasons.
Note - we cannot hold onto (for later collection) or post out t-shirts that are not collected at race-pack collection time.
No. Unfortunately we cannot process race entry deferrals not for logistical reasons.
Note - we cannot hold onto (for later collection) or post out t-shirts that are not collected at race-pack collection time.
No. We cannot process on-the-day entries for logistical reasons.
Your race-pack will contain a race-number (bib) with integrated timing chip and a souvenir t-shirt (gender/size-specific, as per your stated preference on the entry-form).
Yes - you must be a minimum of 16 years of age on the day of the race to run as a junior. If you are 20 years of age (or older) on the day of the race, you qualify to run as a senior athlete (or in one of the age/gender denominated age-categories).
An early-bird entry fee of €20 applies up until and including Wednesday 12th July 2017. Thereafter, a standard entry fee of €25 applies up until and including Saturday August 5th (or when race-numbers reach capacity, whichever occurs first).
Race packs will be available for collection on the following dates/times:
2pm - 8pm on Friday 11th August 2017
9am - 4pm on Saturday 12th August 2017 (race-day)
The collection point will be at race-headquarters which are located as follows this year:
Galway Rovers Club-house
Race Day Logistics
The race-start is located on Fr. Griffin Road, directly outside the front entrance of the Galway Technology Institute (GTI). However, race head-quarters are situated at the Galway Rovers Club-house, Nimmo's Pier, Southpark, Claddagh (approximately 0.5KM from the race start-line). You are advised to assemble at race head-quarters to warm-up (on the numerous playing fields at Southpark) or to avail of the toilet or changing facilities beforehand. You should then proceed to the race-start according to the directions provided approximately 20 minutes before the race is started at 7pm sharp. A full course-map is located here.
Yes. We cannot guarantee that you will get unobstructed passage on the race-route after 60 minutes as stewarding will be scaled back at that point and roads will be fully open again.
Yes. It will not be required beyond the finish-line but please dispose of carefully and do not litter.
You will be advised to keep moving at the finish-line and onwards through the finishing chute to facilitate runners coming in directly after you. You will be able to collect water beyond the finishing line. You must have your race-number(bib)/timing chip to get an official finishing time. Further, there will be a post-race reception in the Galway Rovers clubhouse on Nimmo's Pier (serving tea and brack along with other refreshments, for which the Streets of Galway has become famous for over the years!) at which the race-prizes will be presented. Note - you should not under any circumstances, return to the area immediately around the race finish after you have completed the course. The main reason for this instruction is that if you are still wearing your timing chip at this point, it may again be detected by the timing system sensors at the finish-line and may record additional erroneous timing data against your race-number. Further, you may cause a health and safety issue by moving against the flow of traffic in the one-way finishing chute.
No - buggies, younger children or pets are not permitted on the race-route.
No - for the safety of all, you are not permitted to run while listening to music. This is to ensure that you are aware of what is going on around you, and can clearly hear any instructions from the Gardaí or race-officials when out on the course.
No. We pride ourselves on having a common start-zone where all participants get to start the race at the same time. However, as a mark of courtesy to your fellow runners and for your own comfort and safety, we would ask that walkers/joggers/slower runners should place themselves towards the back of the field at the start. For all participants, please note that your timing chip will record your actual net-time and any delays in crossing over the starting mat after the gun will not take from your chip time. As a general rule, only athletes capable of finishing in less than 30 minutes should occupy the first 20 rows of the starting area. Gun-time (or gross-time) will be considered as the official finish-time and will be used to determine prize-winners. Chip-times will be recorded and published for all athletes as well however. Note - "wave-starts", such as may be seen in many large city marathons, are not feasible for this race (see question on road-closures for one reason why).
Changing/shower facilities will be available at the start/finish area in the Fr. Griffin's club-house. However, there is no on-site storage for personal possessions and so items are left at your own risk. Further, toilet facilities will also be provided in the area around race headquarters (Nimmo's Pier).
Your race number and timing chip have been specifically allocated to you and you alone. It is strictly forbidden to exchange them with anybody else. Please ensure that the number (bib) in your race-pack corresponds to the race-number assigned to you at registration time. If this is not the case, please return it to the race-organisers. The timing-chip is embedded in the race-number (bib) and it is important to attach it securely to your running top and keep it attached for the duration of the entire race. Your race number (bib) should only be attached to the front of your running top in order for it to be accurately read by the timing system at race-start/finish. Finally, do not bend, fold, trim or otherwise modify the race-number (bib) in any way. Modifying the race-number could damage the timing-chip antenna which will impair it's sensitivity and result in either an incorrect or no reading.
There will be no parking at the start/finish area so please avail of the many city-centre car-parks or on-street parking in the nearby vicinity. Please note that as the race starts and finishes in a residential area, we would ask that you respect the local environs by not obstructing access to private residences and to use litter bins to dispose of all rubbish.
The race starts at 7pm sharp. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the start-line (~15-20 minutes minimum) as due to the expected large numbers taking part you will miss the starting gun if you leave it to the last minute. Race headquarters is at the Galway Rovers clubhouse on Nimmo's Pier in the Claddagh and you should go there to warm-up (in Southpark) or to avail of the toilet or changing facilities beforehand.
No. Due to the logistics of the race and the distance covered, we do not apply for an official road closure. The Gardaí provide assistance with race-marshaling however, particularly at all signaled junctions. There are numerous other race marshals stationed along the route to ensure safety of passage of all the athletes. Participants are requested to proceed with caution and to obey the instructions of the Gardaí and race officials at all times during the evening.
Results & Prizegiving
- Reason for chip-time = race-time in results data: No detection of the chip at the start-line but positive detection at finish-line
- Participant listed as "No Time" in results data: No detection at the finish-line (or commentator's pickup antenna on the course) but positive detection at the start-line.
Non-detection of timing chips are typically due to some or all combinations of the following issues:
- wearing of clothing over the race number (bib)
- arm held across the race number to start/stop/check a stopwatch
- race number folded horizontally affecting the chip antennae (chips are mounted vertically on the bib to align with number digits so as to minimise the risk of damage from folding even if logos are folded down to make the bib more compact)
- officials/spectators/other athletes standing in front of the finish-line antennae (only a couple of cases of this scenario typically occur during any race and only either primary or backup antennae tend to be covered at any one time)
- timing chip failure (less likely as two chips are present on the race number/bib - unless both chips happen to be damaged by folding mentioned above)
As you can see, timing a field as large as presents in the "Streets of Galway", is quite a complex and technical matter and participants can often increase the risk of failing to record a chip time by how they use their number.
Provisional results will be posted on the web-site of host club Galway City Harriers within 24 hours of the race finishing. Further, if you register your entry with a valid mobile phone number, you can expect SMS confirmation of your finishing time some time afterwards.
First of all, it is important to provide some context behind the advent of chip-timing.
Chip-timing is a relatively new phenomenon and has only been introduced into road-running (and various other athletics events) in the last 10-15 years or so. The main purpose of chip-timing is to ensure that all competitors in mass participation events (e.g. large city marathons and at a much more local level, road-races such as the Streets of Galway) get a better approximation of the actual time they took to complete the event, given that not all competitors can physically be positioned exactly at the start line when the race begins.
Chip-timing has no official status however in determining "finishing positions in the field".
The reason it has no official status is that these events are first and foremost "races", where the principle of "first past the post" is used to decide the winner, the second-place finisher, and so on down through the field of entrants.
The winner is deemed to be the person who has the quickest race time (also referred to as gun, finish or gross time), which is the time elapsed from when the starter's gun (or other signal) is sounded to the time at which they cross the finish line. Furthermore, a race should not be confused with an individual time-trial (where the time recorded by each individual participant is most significant). In a race situation, how you compete and "race" against other competitors in the field is just as important as the actual time it takes you to complete the event.
Consider the (admittedly unlikely but still technically possible) scenario where a very fast runner starts from the back of the field and records the quickest chip (nett) time but does not have the quickest finish (gross) time and is also not the first person to cross the finish line. It would be unreasonable and unfair to consider him/her as the actual race winner in this situation, given that numerous other athletes may have actually finished the race before him/her.
On a much more technical level, in respect of our own road-race, the permit for the Streets of Galway is granted by Athletics Ireland (AI) as the governing body of the sport of athletics in Ireland. The AI in turn are affiliated to international athletics umbrella body, the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations). If a race is granted a permit by the AI, then it is the IAAF rules on race timing that apply by default.
The following extract from the IAAF rule book is relevant here (note - the formal name for a timing chip is "transponder"). The final paragraph makes the clear distinction between the merits of finish and chip times:
IAAF Rule 165.24 in Regard to Transponder Timing Systems
Page 114 and 115 of IAAF Rule Book
24. The use of Transponder Timing Systems approved by IAAF in events held under Rules 230 (races not held completely in the stadium), 240 and 250 is permitted provided that:
(a) None of the equipment used at the start, along the course or at the finish line constitutes a significant obstacle or barrier to the progress of an athlete.
(b) The weight of the transponder and its housing carried on the athletes' uniform, number bib or shoe is not significant.
(c) The System is started by the Starter's gun or approved starting apparatus.
(d) The System requires no action by an athlete during the competition,at the finish or at any stage in the result processing.
(e) The resolution is 1/10th of a second (i.e. it can separate athletes finishing 1/10th of a second apart). For all races, the time shall be read to 1/10th of a second and recorded to the whole second.
All read times not ending in zero shall be converted and recorded to the next longer whole second, e.g. for the Marathon, 2:09:44.3 shall be recorded as 2:09:45.
Note: The official time shall be the time elapsed between the firing of the starting gun and the athlete reaching the finish line. However, the time elapsed between an athlete crossing the start line and the finish line can be made known to him or her, but will not be considered an official time.
Based on an extract from IAAF Rule 165.24 in Regard to Transponder Timing Systems (page 114 and 115 of IAAF rule book):
The official race time shall be the time elapsed between the firing of the starting gun and an athlete reaching the finish line (=gun/gross time). However, the time elapsed between an athlete crossing the start line and the finish line (=chip/nett time) can be made known to him or her, but will not be considered as an official time.
Individual race prizes are presented at race headquarters within one hour of the race finishing (approximately 8:30pm on race-night). Team prizes may take longer to finalise and so may be presented after race day if the need arises.