THE Great Limerick Run has been selected as the main event for Limerick’s Gathering celebrations in 2013.
The run, which hopes to swell to 10,000 participants for its fourth staging in May of this year, will benefit from increased exposure worldwide through Failte Ireland’s marketing campaign and has been included on a list of national premier events for The Gathering that have the capability of delivering in excess of 1,500 international athletes and visitors to Limerick.
The Great Limerick Run - billed the ‘fastest growing mass participation sporting event’ in the country - generated an estimated €2.45m for the local economy last year, with 8,500 runners taking part.
Speaking after the confirmation of support from Failte Ireland, race director John Cleary said that “the commitment by the state tourism agency to provide both financial and marketing support was testament to the potential that the event has in delivering increased visitors to Limerick”.
“The resources and support provided by Failte Ireland will enable the Great Limerick Run team to market and promote the event and the city of Limerick to a much wider market of overseas runners,” he added.
The organisers of the run, set for Sunday May 5 and to include a 10km race, half marathon and full marathon, with a relay marathon, have submitted a strategic overseas marketing plan to Failte Ireland for approval, with the UK, Europe, and North America listed as potential markets for increased promotional activity through a series of media channels.
Over 1000 people have already registered for the event, but with the official launch still to take place later this month, race organisers are still confident of hitting the stated target of 10,000 participants in 2013, continuing the 30% increase in runners the event has seen over the past three years.
A report commissioned by Limerick City Council and carried out by Focus Consulting estimated the potential economic impact of the race could hit €4.5 million by 2017.
The Gathering is a Government initiative encompassing a series of events and festivals intended to celebrate Irish culture.
A number of events for Limerick are to fall under the umbrella of the project throughout the year and it is hoped that the diaspora worldwide will travel home to attend some of the events.
See www.thegatheringireland.com and www.greatlimerickrun.com for more details.