Huge turnout for Banna Run on its tenth birthday

Stephen Fernane

The Banna Run is ten years old this year and close to 600 participants turned out on Sunday to show their appreciation for what is a super event, and to help raise funds for St Brendan's Athletic Club.

It's hard to believe when this event started in 2010 just 190 people turned up. Fast forward to today and it's now a major event in the calendar of St Brendan's AC, thanks to a combination of clever social media work by club member David Kissane, and the general public buying into a well-run event (no pun intended!).

Shaz Malik is Chairperson of St Brendan's AC and is the Banna Run race director. Shaz is one of the founding members of the Banna Run so he appreciates just how much it has grown.

"It's our major fundraiser for the club and Sunday was a brilliant success.

 "We put the advertising work in and it proved an incredible success. It was enjoyable as well," he said.

Participants managed to miss the worst of Sunday's weather and but for a passing shower at 11am, the runners and walkers set off to enjoy a memorable event. In the 10km, Derek Griffin was first home, while Brian Murphy finished first in the 5km.  Catherine O'Sullivan was the first woman home in the 5km, with Siobhan Healy first in the 10km.

A 2km run was also added for U16s which was very well supported.

"The club is in good health at the moment and we have about four or five senior athletes and a strong juvenile team who will hopefully come through and represent St Brendan's in the future. Trying to keep hold of these athletes is the thing. We try to show them that there are many aspects to athletics," said Shaz.