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Dunboyne rolls out red carpet

Ronan Scully and Sinead Heffernan (pictured right) -- two stars of RTé's Operation Transformation series -- lead the entry for Sunday's irishrail.ie Dunboyne 4 Mile Road Race & Fun Run (3.0).

Billed as 'A Short Race with a Big Reputation', the 42nd Dunboyne 4 Mile Road Race has produced many memorable days over the past four decades.

Open to walkers, joggers and runners all of ages and standards, the fast flat course -- from Dunboyne's town centre -- offers an excellent chance for personal best times.

At four miles, the race is an ideal distance for anyone new to running or walking for fitness, with the emphasis firmly on having a fun day out in a friendly and safe environment.

Among those lining out will be members of the Dunboyne club's Meet and Train Fit for Life group, many of them in training for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon. Included in the day's programme are boys and girls' races for the under-12 and under-15 age groups.

The Herald's sister newspaper, the Irish Independent, will publish full results of the race on Monday March 28.

This is the first year of the irishrail.ie sponsorship of the race -- an ideal opportunity to highlight the new rail service to Dunboyne. For their €15 entry fee, all finishers will receive a T-shirt, a goodie bag and post-race refreshments.

Cash prizes of €400 go to the first man and woman home, with a €250 bonus on offer for anyone who breaks the men's (18.09) and women's (20.00) course records. These are currently held by England's Glynn Thomas and Rosemary Ryan from Bilboa AC. There are also prizes for masters, juniors and teams. Among the local athletes to watch out for are Neville Reilly, Morgan McDonagh and the Emilia Dan, who only took up running a year ago.

Any profits made by the race will be shared between the organising club, Dunboyne AC, and the Athletics Ireland Grassroots Athletics Fund -- a new fund to encourage emerging young talent nationwide.

Online entry is available at www.dunboynerun.com.