South Sligo AC all set for 45th race
Preparations are well underway for the Tubbercurry St Patrick's Day road race which is a huge event on the athletics calendar.
Last year saw 375 runners take to the streets of Tubbercurry. South Sligo Athletic club organises the major event and is proud to carry the baton and ensure that it remains a success for many years to come.
The St. Patrick's Day 10km race and a 5km fun run/walk will start at 12pm. People can pre-register on line at coretiming.ie. for €15 or register on the 16th March in Killorans from 7-8:30pm or on St Patrick's Day from 10:30am for €20.
There are prizes in the 10km race for 1st, 2nd and 3rd male, 1st, 2nd and 3rd female and over categories x3 male and female, 10km male team and 10km female team.
In the 5km race prizes will go to 1st, 2nd and 3rd male, 1st, 2nd and 3rd female, 1st junior male and 1st junior female.
Well earned refreshments and prize giving takes place in Killorans as is tradition.
Emma Davitt, PRO of South Sligo AC said: "As always our race is well supported by surrounding clubs and a special thank you to all who come to compete. A sincere thanks to our sponsors and our club members who volunteer their time to help us to make the day a success.
"We look forward to hosting our 45th race this year."
The first road race was originally meant to take place on St Stephens Day 1973 but due to snow it was put off until March 17th.. Annie Killoran and Lukie and Carmel Kilcoyne were the original founders of the race along with Tubbercurry athletic club.
The club then changed its name to South Sligo Athleitc club 15 years ago due to the increase in members from the surrounding parishes of Tubbercurry.
Four years ago with the assistance of Deirdre Lavin and Shane Hayes from the Sligo Sports Partnership a couch 2 5km programme was set up. In conjunction with this the 5km was added to the 10km. Emma said: "Numbers doubled from the first year to the second year creating a festival atmosphere on the day itself.
"Couch 2 5km participants enjoy the festival atmosphere and the adrenaline rush of running their first ever 5km with their families cheering them on. The race is staggered and this itself allows for a large crowd at the finish line when the 10km participants roll in.
"This year 90 people have signed up for the couch 2 5km which has become, as much a social outing as a training session. Each participant is carefully brought through a training programme of 16 sessions by 20 volunteers from the South Sligo Athletic Club. Without this the programme would not be the success it is."
Emma added: "The club is delighted to continue with this programme as they feel they are giving something back to the community.
"This is a strong ethos that the current committee members and club members wish to promote.
"The Club has a strong Junior contingent with 200 kids turning out for training under the guidance of club coaches and the great Dermot McDermott.
"South Sligo also run a 5km charity race on St. Stephens day in aid of SHOUT(Sligo Hospital Oncology Unit Trust). This year €4,000 was raised with approximately 350 people taking to the streets and running/walking off the turkey.
"This year South Sligo AC will be supporting the work carried out in Gallagher House Tubbercurry through donating a percentage of proceeds from this year's race.
"Gallagher House is a HSE service providing support, learning and education to 25 People with an Intellectual Disability from Tubbercurry and the surrounding areas.
"This year they proudly celebrate 30 years' service. The service was only developed through the hard work, sheer determination and fighting spirit of Anne Killoran whose dream and ambition was to have a local service that could provide care and support to her daughter Margaret and many others with an Intellectual Disability."