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
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
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
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.