THE ORGANISERS of the Great Limerick Run said they will be re-examining their goals for the future of the race, after this year’s number of entries surpassed their expectations.
John Cleary, race director, said they will now be aiming to see upwards of 15,000 people competing across all three races over the next three to four years.
“If we’re aggressive about it, and I think we should be, that’s the goal we should be looking towards.
“It might sound completely insane now, but if you examine the numbers taking part over the past three years it probably isn’t,” Mr Cleary told the Limerick Leader.
Amongst their aims is to have around 3,000 marathon runners taking part in the coming years, as this section generates the most revenue for the local economy, given the distances they travel to compete in events.
“I firmly believe that’s do-able and the economic benefits to Limerick could be enormous,” he said.
This year, some 8,500 people took part in the event, which included a six-mile event, half marathon, full marathon, and a walker’s marathon, which was a new addition this year.
“The Great Limerick Run succeeds because the people of Limerick have once again demonstrated their love for sport. Thousands of people throughout the city and county and beyond have got behind this event. This event is all about showcasing Limerick to a national and international audience. Rugby visitors to Limerick have acknowledged Limerick’s sporting welcome over many years, now this same welcome is spreading to welcome runners and walkers from far and wide.”
Participants from 23 countries and from all 32 counties were in attendance, demonstrating the mass appeal this event has generated in only its third year.
Mr Cleary said over 450 volunteers made this event possible, and also wished to thank the gardai, and medical support from the Civil Defence and Irish Red Cross.
“Our team will gather ourselves after this event, and see where we can improve, that is what it’s all about.
“We want to create a world class event that people will travel from far and wide to attend. This will take time, but 8,500 participants after year three is a good start.”