PLANS for next month's Rás na hÉireann (International CrossCountry) Sport and Culture Week are well under way.
The event, hosted by Dunleer AC and the Rás na hÉireann committee, in partnership with Armagh Athletic Club, is part of The Gathering initiative, a publicled countrywide initiative designed to invite friends and family from all over the world, calling them home to gatherings in villages, towns and cities and celebrating all things Irish.
In 2013, the Rás focus will be on encouraging former members and their families to return to Ireland from abroad to participate in the Rás na hEireann Sport & Culture Week.
There will be an International Road Race in Armagh on Thursday February 14th and the annual International Cross-Country race at the Battle of the Boyne site in Oldbridge, Drogheda the following Sunday, with music and culture featuring strongly thanks to the involvement of Brian Vallely (world-renowned piper) and the Armagh Pipers, plus local musicians.
Dunleer AC has enjoyed cooperation with Armagh Athletic Club since 2004 in hosting an International Sport & Culture Week which encourages participation in sporting and cultural events, helps to develop links between communities on both sides of the border here in Ireland, while reaching out to athletes in Europe and the USA.
Charlie Breagy, the élite athlete co-ordinator based in the USA, has announced the participation of Samuel Alexander (Boston Athletic Association) who the title of Northeast Conference (individual) Cross-Country champion in 2011. He was also the 10,000m and 5,000 double champion in the 2012 Northeast Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships and will be participating in the Senior Men's International 6km on Sunday February 17th at 2pm.
Also on the start list is Mary Kate Champagne from Platssburg, N.Y., a graduate of Providence whose PBs include 16:12 for 5km Road, 33:50 for 10km Road and 56:20 for 15km Road. She will be lining up in Oldbridge in the Senior Ladies International 4km, scheduled for 1.30pm.
Race entry details are available on www.rasnaheireann.com.
Once again, Dunleer AC members, the Rás na hÉireann committee and athletics fans from all over Ireland will remember the former Rás director Larry Mc Guill, with the Larry Mc Guill 3km race scheduled for 2.30pm, after the Senior Men's 6k. Rás na hÉireann was first staged in 1970 and Larry Mc Guill directed the race until 2009, passing away on Saturday July 30th 2011.