A “PHENOMENAL” response has taken the organisers of the Great Limerick Run by storm this year, after they introduced a “walkers’ marathon” for the first time in the three-year history of the event.
Walkers can take part in the 26-mile marathon after the start time was brought back an hour earlier to 8am to facilitate their entry into the race.
“The response had been enormous and the take up on walking the marathon is phenomenal, especially as we’re 14 weeks away”, said John Cleary, organiser of the Great Limerick Run.
“We took a punt into the unknown in introducing the walkers’ marathon, but we seem to have tapped into something. A lot of people are really excited about it. It seems to have struck a chord with people.
“I guess for a lot of people it could be a bridge between running the half marathon and the full marathon. This could be something that could really grow in popularity,” said Mr Cleary.
After discussions with Limerick weight loss champion Gary Kirwan, who shed 11 stone last year and who completed the Dublin marathon in just under 11 hours, it was decided to have an earlier start time for the marathon to allow walkers compete in this section also.
Kayleigh Yeoman, one of the leaders on the RTE show Operation Transformation, is also gearing up to jog the six mile event.
Over 1,500 people have now signed up to the three events, while the run counts 5,000 fans on Facebook, and an ‘ezine’ or online magazine is regularly sent out to 14,000 people.
Munster rugby giant Paul O’Connell and an ambassador for the children’s charity Barnardos, the race’s designated charity, is now urging people to take part in the run in three months’ time.
Up to 8,000 people are expected to take part in the three events on Sunday, May 6 - the marathon, half marathon and six mile race.
Some 30,000 spectators are also expected to line the routes to support participants, with the event estimated to provide an economic boost of over €2m to local businesses.
The cost of entry for the marathon is €70, €55 for the half marathon and €25 for the six mile race.
The runners’ marathon will start at 9am, while the walkers will start at 8am. The half marathon will get underway at 11.45am and the six mile race will start at 1.30pm.
The race coincides with the Riverfest festival in the city.
To book call 061 609627 or log on to www.greatlimerickrun.com
- Share your Great Limerick Run story with us by emailing The Limerick Leader’s Anne Sheridan