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Do the business at BHAA opener

Weather permitting, the opening race in the 2010 Business Houses Athletic Association (BHAA) season will take place on Saturday at Tymon Park, hosted by South Dublin County Council.

First off at 12 noon are the women, who will run two miles; the men's five-mile race starts at 12.30. Race HQ is St Jude's GAA Club on Wellington Lane behind the Spawell, where registration of individuals and teams for the new season will also take place for a fee of €15. Once registered, members pay just €10 per race, compared to €15 for guests, so run three races and you've got your money back. Many companies are happy to pay the registration fee, which offers great value for money and promotes fitness and fun within the company.

In all, the BHAA's calendar for the Dublin area consists of 26 races over a variety of distances and surfaces with a further series of races in Munster. Cross-country, road, all-terrain and track races range in distance from two miles all the way up to the marathon.

With organising businesses taking particular pride in their events, all races offer online results, photos and videos, measured courses and refreshments.

Winners of the much-coveted Race of the Year award for 2009 were NSRT/SMART for their memorable muck-fest at the Ward, organised late in November by Austin Mooney and Dave Corcoran for only the second year.

A popular road race is the RTE 5-Mile which finishes in the fictional 'Fair City' of Carrigstown. Another unique race is the floodlit cross- country 5k organised by North Dublin Farmers each March in Malahide Rugby Club.

Attracting the largest numbers are the Lifestyle Sport adidas Dublin Half Marathon in September followed by the Lifestyle Sport adidas Dublin Marathon in October.

A unique feature of the BHAA is the grading system for men's teams, with the four divisions meaning everyone has a chance of winning a prize. Members from smaller businesses that can't muster a team can join an industry team, for instance Dublin Garages or Dublin Buildings.

Prizes go to the top three teams in each division plus the top three women's teams, as well as to individuals in the usual senior and masters categories ranging in age from over 40 to over 85 -- so what are you waiting for? Newcomers of all ages and fitness levels are more than welcome: full details of all races at www.bhaa.ie.