HUNDREDS of athletes running and walking on tarmac at the weekend will help get more rowers on the Shannon river.
Castleconnell Boat Club’s fifth annual 10k road race featured a walk for the first time.
In previous year monies raised have had to go back in to repairing damage from flooding and freezing temperatures, but this year it will go in to buying new equipment.
President of Castleconnell Boat Club, Francis Moloney, says due to increasing numbers they need more boats.
“We are up to about 70 members in the club - from 12-year-olds up to a 74-year-old.
“It has grown steadily in the last couple of years,” said Mr Moloney.
For the first time they introduced a walk to complement the race this year.
“We wanted to include more locals so we brought in a walking event to encourage the lady or gentleman with their dog, mum and dad pushing a pram etc
“We had around 300 last year and 400 at the weekend. It was lovely to see all the walkers.
“For example there were mums with their kids cycling on mini-bikes so it was great to get the younger people out,” said Mr Moloney.
He estimates that the race will bring in a couple of thousand euros once all the expenses are paid.
Added to their €20,000 grant from the Lotto Mr Moloney says they are currently looking at ordering new boats.
“We need new equipment with the amount of kids we have. We are currently doing indoor training in the gym in UL and water work on weekends.
“After St Patrick’s Day you get the evening light so everybody is then together over a couple of hours so you do need all your boats on the water,” explained Mr Moloney.
Back to racing on the road instead of water, and Declan Moore, Bilboa AC; Mike Lynch, Limerick AC and Ian Kelly, West Limerick AC were the first three men home.
While Sinead Lynch, Rosemary Ryan, Dymphna Ryan were the first three ladies.
Mr Moloney wished to thank local businesses for their sponsorship, stewards, club organising committee, gardai, local residents for their support along the route and patience while traffic was disrupted, and all the participants.