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World Cross Country Champ Benita Johnson Launches Great BUPA Ireland Run

23 January 2005

World Cross Country Champion Benita Johnson of Australia was in Croke Park on Wednesday January 19th to launch the Great BUPA Ireland Run 2005 which will take place on Saturday April 9th in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Johnson was joined at the launch by last year’s Run winner, Australian 5000 metre record holder and Olympic finalist, Craig Mottram, Irish international distance runners Mark Christie and Jolene Byrne, Eurovision star and You’re a Star winner Chris Doran and Fair City actor Gerard Byrne (who plays Malachy Costello).

This is the third running of the event which has grown dramatically in popularity since the first Run in 2003. 5,000 runners are expected to compete in this year’s event. The Run is the largest mixed 10km race in Ireland and includes a 3km race for wheelchair athletes as well as a junior race for participants between the ages of 8 and 15.

Already, over 1,000 runners have signed up for the Run from the UK and their participation will be a major boost to tourism in Dublin city as they travel to the city for the weekend with family and friends.

BUPA Ireland marketing director, Sean Murray commented: “We have a long involvement with athletics as a healthy pastime for everyone through our sponsorship of Sonia O’Sullivan, the Cork City Sports and the Great Run series. We intend to build on last year’s success, which proved to be a great day out for families, by offering all our members a discounted entry fee. We are confident that this year’s event will attract even more runners, joggers, and walkers from every county in Ireland and that all those who take part will enjoy the benefits of getting fit.”

Matthew Turnbull, Athletics Director of race organisers Nova International said: “As in 2004, the 2005 Run will mix some of the world’s top middle distance athletes over the same course with joggers and fun runners. It is appropriate that we are in Croke Park to introduce a new feature to the Run - an inter county challenge.

Runners will be asked to identify their county on the entry form and on Run day they can wear a special number with their county colours. Post race results will break down the performances of runners from each county.”

Every finisher will receive a generous goody bag as well as a special Nike T-shirt exclusive to the event.

Participants are being encouraged to raise funds for good causes and the event’s nominated charities are Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin and the Marie Keating Foundation.

Prospective runners can apply for an entry form by calling the Great BUPA Ireland Run hotline on (01) 8680088 or online at www.greatrun.org.

The event will be televised by RTE Two in a one hour highlights programme at 5pm on the race day. It will also be featured on Sky Sports television.

 

Disclaimer - The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the AAI


 

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