WITH UNDER 13 weeks to go, athletes of all abilities are stepping up to the plate and encouraging others to take part in the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run this May.
A new section on the website allows for all competitors to blog about their progress during the build-up to the race, and encourage others to take part, or keep going.
Gerard Burke, who appeared in the TV show The Biggest Loser UK, said before he believed that he’d never be able to lose weight or to run. “But in 2011 I changed that because I changed my mindset. I told myself I can do it and I will do it,” he said. His first challenge was an 8km run in Dublin, and he hasn’t looked back since. “I might have finished second last and with a time of one hour 34 minutes, but I did it. Since that first run I got addicted and I signed up for as many runs as I could possibly do. It certainly beats sitting on the couch. Twelve months later I was still running and I was still losing weight.” After losing 10 stone, Gerard, from Garryowen, went back to his first event and ran again - except this time he was 40 minutes faster. “Never say never, it can be done,” he said.
Participants who register for the fourth annual race will receive a username and password and will also be able to blog about their training and comment on other people’s blogs.
Avid runner Laura Ryan, of the Limerick Communications Office, advises prospective entrants that training in a group can also be helpful. She trains with the Tri-Hards, who meet every weeknight outside the Strand Hotel on O’Callaghan Strand at 6pm, with a bootcamp on a Saturday morning in either Shelbourne Park or the University of Limerick. Regardless of what race you take part in, “the May Bank Holiday in Limerick is the best weekend of the year.
“The motto of the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run is ‘Come for the Run, Stay for the Fun’ and how true that is.” Up to 10,000 people are expected to take part this year, in the relay marathon, marathon, half marathon, six mile race and a number of shorter races for children the day before are planned.