The popular St. Patrick’s Festival 5K Road Race & Family Fun Run takes place again this year on Sunday, 16th March next – the eve of St. Patrick’s Day. One of the leading events in the busy St. Patrick’s Festival calendar, it is organised by Metropolitan Harriers & St. Brigid’s Athletic Club in co-operation with Dublin City Council and An Garda Síochána.
Once again, this year’s race director will be legendary athlete and Senator, Eamonn Coghlan whose late father Bill created the event and whose son, John, won it last year in a time of 00:14: 45. Women’s category winner last year was Dundrum athlete Linda Byrne in a time of 00:16:03, while team prizes in the men and women’s categories went to Rathfarnham WSAF and Crusaders 506 respectively.
With one eye on the goal of building on last year’s record entry, and the other on the current economic climate, organisers are going all the way to offer value to participants. This year, runners can enter online for €15 by February 14th increasing to €20 by March 14th. A late entry fee of just €25 applies to registrations made on the day of the event. A special rate of €40 applies to families of up to four who register on the day only (e.g. two adults and two children or one adult and three children up to 16 years). Those intending to take part can register online at <www.patricksrun.com>
Beginning at 12.00noon from a new start/finish line at the junction of Dawson Street/St. Stephen’s Green, the race will be officially started by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisin Quinn, himself a dedicated triathlete, who will be competing alongside 200 volunteers as part of the Lord Mayor’s 5 Alive Challenge – a team committed to running in five of Dublin’s leading road races this year.
The event will follow its traditional route through Georgian Dublin. Race headquarters will be at Fire Restaurant, adjacent to the Mansion House on Dawson Street.
At 11.40 am, prior to the main race, a team of doctors and nurses from Beaumont Hospital will take part in a Charity Relay Race in aid of The Beaumont Charity Foundation.
Open to families, fun runners and dedicated athletes alike, it has established itself as a major attraction in bringing tourists and visitors to Dublin. Underpinning its success is the support received from sponsors Kleinwort Benson Investors, providers of investment strategies for pension funds, charities and corporate bodies. Through their support a generous prize fund has been created, from which individual, team and master’s prizes are presented.
Adding to its festive appeal will be entertainment and street theatre that includes a live band, clowns, jugglers, face painters, balloon artists, stilt walkers, fire-eaters and a parade of motorbikes. As an added attraction this year and to coincide with their forthcoming Muppets Most Wanted movie, Disney will be running a competition for the ‘best inspired Muppet costume’ in the race where the prize will be a private screening for the winner and 100 of their friends! Technical long sleeve T-shirts and goodie bags will be given to all participants.
Appealing to elite athletes and fun runners alike to reserve March 16th in their diaries, Eamonn Coghlan thanked those whose involvement over the years has made the race the foremost public sporting event of the St. Patrick’s Festival.