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Go on, my son -- 5km fundraiser a runner

IT certainly runs in this family. Eamonn Coghlan, the former World 5,000m champion, teamed up with his son John, a member of the recent European cross-country gold medal team, to launch a 5km run in March.

The St Patrick's Festival Road Race was first established in 1983 by Eamonn's father, Bill.

"He passed away a month and a half before it took place in 1983 and never got to see it happening," Eamonn said yesterday.

"It was more of a tourism initiative to try to take advantage of St Patrick's Day because in America, when I lived there, there were races in Chicago, New York and LA but none in Dublin.

"That year we got thousands of runners out on the parade route before the parade started and for the next four or five years it continued but then it was removed from the route and then died a death because we couldn't get permission."

Five years ago, the race started again -- this time on the Sunday of St Patrick's 'week' -- and organisers are hoping for a record turnout this year, including the newest athletics star from the Coghlan family.

And father and son were perfectly in sync when asked about the pressure in following in Eamonn's footsteps.

"I don't necessarily buy that it's in the genes," Eamonn said. "We don't put pressure on one another -- it's others who bring the subject up. In the genes really means in the head."

His son agreed.

"I'm no biologist and I don't know DNA but if I want to do it, it's up to me," John said. "There's a line in the film 'Black Swan' that the only person getting in your way is yourself; I believe that."

The race will take place in Dublin on Sunday, March 20, starting at noon from the Mansion House on Dawson Street.

Part of the proceeds raised will go to the Marie Keating Foundation with therest going to fund facilities being provided for young athletes by Metropolitan Harriers and St Brigid's Athletic Club. For more information log on to www.patricksrun.com.

Irish Independent