There was something very special about last Saturday's Galway Kenya Run promotion that took place in Dangan. Olympic 800m champion and world-record holder David Rudisha joined runners of all ages in a series of fun 800m events on the track, before Paul Robinson created history in The Galway City Mile by becoming the first athlete to break four minutes for the distance at a Galway venue.
The feature event was part of the week-long Galway City Run which helped to promote the small Galway Kenya community while raising funds for charities Self Help Africa, Galway Simon Community and Education for Life.
Robinson had to pull out all the stops on the last lap, and the St Coca's AC runner delivered a stirring finish as he hit the tape in 3:57.98 to the delight of a 3,000-strong crowd. Ben St Lawrence of Australia also dipped under the four minutes, finishing second in 3:59.58.
Pacemakers Dermot McDermott of Sligo AC and young Keith Fallon of Galway City Harriers played pivotal roles in the race.
Later in the evening, Rudisha and his world-famous coach, Brother Colm O'Connell – a native of Mallow – were special guests at a Q&A session in the Bailey Allen Hall on the NUIG campus. This was an informative event attended by more than 800 people.
Former World Indoor 3,000m silver medallist and sub-four minute miler (3:55.82 in 1984) Paul Donovan conducted a wide-ranging interview with O'Connell and Rudisha.
During his week-long visit to Galway, sponsored by Richard Donovan through his North Pole Marathon company, Rudisha also visited a number of schools in the area.
Then, on Sunday morning, Rudisha attended a training session for young athletes from Galway City Harriers at the track in Dangan to bring down the curtain on a truly special weekend in the west.