Irish Life Health Launch Virtual Mile Challenge
Lockdown has made Ireland a nation of runners with an extra 250,000 lacing up and running on paths, parks, and trails. Irish Life Health and Athletics Ireland have teamed up to bring a new challenge to the 650,000 regular and new runners around the country. The Irish Life Health Mile Challenge will set out to see which county and club is the fittest and most active. The weeklong challenge and celebration of athletics will start on Monday 17th August, the 35th anniversary of when four of Ireland's top milers, ran a 4x1-mile relay world record. It will finish on Sunday 23rd August when Ireland’s top athletes will take to the track to compete for national titles at the Irish Life Health Track and Field Championships. This initiative is part of Irish Life Health’s on-going commitment to athletics, a sport that delivers on health, wellness, and lifelong activity.
Speaking at the launch,master of the mile, Eamonn Coghlan said: “In a time of uncertainty, running has offered escapism, calmed the mind, and provided a sense of normality for many. It was especially important for those like my own children who were juggling home schooling my grandkids and working from home”. Eamonn who was also a member of the 4x1-mile relay world record team added: “The Irish Life Health Mile Challenge is a great opportunity for some friendly county rivalry. I know there are runners all over Ireland who will be keen to clock their mile for their county and to put one over again on us Dubs!”
Runners of all abilities and families can sign up free of charge at AthleticsIreland.ie. Runners simply need to find a flat bit of ground, run their virtual mile, and submit their race online with proof of time and distance. A four-week online training programme for beginners, intermediate and advanced will be provided by the Athletics Ireland coaching team.
Andrew Coscoran who earlier this year recorded the fastest indoor time over the mile by an Irish man in six years, was speaking at the launch; "Training for the Irish Life Health Mile challenge will provide a fresh focus for all runners. There is the bonus that if you can learn to run faster over a shorter distance, it will benefit your 5k and 10k times”.
For athletics clubs nationwide as well as contributing to their county’s mileage there is €1,000 in total, on offer for the fastest 4x1 mile relay, male and female. Athletics Clubs could also be in with a chance to win part of a €2,000 bursary, with €500 on offer per province.
European U23 800m medallist Nadia Power said: "It would be brilliant for all those kids who take part in the Daily Mile in school, which is supported by Irish Life Health, to take part in the Mile Challenge with their family. They would have a sense of accomplishment in clocking miles together with their family for their county to see if they can be crowned the fittest in Ireland”.
Liz Rowen, Head of Marketing, Irish Life Health said: “We know that this has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone including the athletics community. With the many changes and cancellations to the 2020 competition calendar, we’re delighted to be able to launch the Irish Life Health Mile Challenge”. She added “We wanted to find another way to support the running community in Ireland and their families by providing a new goal in training for the Irish Life Health Mile Challenge. We’re are also delighted to support clubs by giving them the opportunity to win an equipment bursary by downloading MyLife, our health and wellbeing app which rewards people for embracing a healthier lifestyle".
Walkers, joggers and runners can sign up for the Mile Challenge at AthleticsIreland.ie.
Click HERE for more information on how your club can get involved.