IN ONLY its third running of the event the Tom Walsh Memorial 10k run and five mile walk has become a fixture in the athletics calendar.
The winner of the Dublin marathon, Sean Hehir holds the course record from last year and he will be back again in Caherconlish this Sunday, January 12, to defend his title.
Race director, John Robinson, said it is great boon to all involved to attract this quality of athlete. After all it is run in memory of the late great Mr Walsh, from Ballyvourneen. He won over 200 races in Ireland, England and Scotland during his racing career spanning three decades. Mr Walsh died in 2000 at the age of 82. Remarkably he never wore a pair of spiked shoes and he won every type of race from the 100 yards dash to a nine mile All-Ireland cross country race.
The Caherline/Caherconlish community games committee organised the first race in 2012 after Mr Walsh’s niece, Maisie, donated two of his cups. Since then it has grown in popularity with over 300 lining up in 2013. It is the only major 10k race in Limerick or Munster in the early weeks of January.
“It makes us unique,” said Mr Robinson, who describes it as a social and community event as well as a race and walk.It begins at Boskill at 2pm and will finish back in the village.
“The 10k route and the five mile walk is unchanged from last year on the roads of Caherconlish and Caherline. It passes by the ancestral home of Tom Walsh and a memorial plaque,” said Mr Robinson.
Entry fee for the 10k race is €15 up to midnight of this Thursday, January 9 and €20 after this. All registered by midnight January 9 will be entered into a draw for a complimentary place in the Great Limerick Run. Online entries at www.eventmaster.ie will close at midnight on Saturday, January 11.
Late entries will be accepted before 1.45pm on race day at the Millennium Centre, Caherconlish. Walkers entry fee is €5 for one and €10 for family.
“All abilities are welcome,” said Mr Robinson, who is joined in the organising team by Tom Kennedy, Phyllis Heelan, Margaret O’Reilly and Michael Martin.
They are backed up by local volunteers who take care of registration, parking, marshalling, refreshments and lots more.
“If it wasn’t for them it would be impossible,” said Mr Robinson, who is delighted to announce that money raised will go to the Daughters of Charity.
“What is most important to us is that proceeds go to St Vincent’s in Lisnagry. It is a charity close to many people’s hearts in this area,” he said.