Great Limerick Run charity money set to smash through €1m mark

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

The amount of money raised for good causes during the Great Limerick Run is expected to smash through the €1m mark this year, race director John Cleary has told councillors Picture: Press 22

The amount of money raised for good causes during the Great Limerick Run is expected to smash through the €1m mark this year, race director John Cleary has told councillors Picture: Press 22

THE amount raised for charity at the 2018 Great Limerick Run is set to smash through the €1m barrier for the first time, councillors have been told.

John Cleary, the race director of the Bon Secours-sponsored run which will draw over 12,000 people to the city on Sunday, May 6, gave a presentation of the huge event, now in its ninth year, to members of the council’s cultural committee.

Three runs will take place: a half-marathon, a fun-run, and the full marathon.

Meanwhile, a children’s fun run will take place the day before, at the University of Limerick campus.

“The Great Limerick Run is just a hook to showcase all that is great about Limerick: it’s people, the city, the university and the river. It shows off our love for sport,” Mr Cleary told councillors.

He said the run acts as “a social catalyst, a marketing platform and an economic platform”.

“For every one athlete staying here, an average of 2.3 others would stay with them,” Mr Cleary added. “It’s not just a run. If it was, people would not be travelling from far and wide. They are travelling here to experience Limerick.”

Former mayor Kieran O’Hanlon says the run “ticks every box”.

“It’s a huge opportunity for the people to witness how great Limerick is to visit. The fact charities are benefitting is absolutely wonderful. What I’d like to see this year is businesses decorating their premises a bit more,” he said.

Fine Gael councillor Marian Hurley called for links to be forged with the Diaspora, as happened with the 2013 Gathering, to bring Limerick natives home for the run weekend.

This would be examined, Mr Cleary said.​

As for those registering, Cllr Elenora Hogan, Fine Gael, called for this to take place in the city centre, as opposed to at the UL Arena.

Mr Cleary said he would examine this, but pointed out that with 15,000 people taking part, registering is a “huge logistical exercise”.

“Limerick should be very proud of this event – we are certainly very proud of it,” he added.