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Fun can run in the family at Farmleigh

The Athletics Ireland Family Fitness Festival at Farmleigh, Phoenix Park on Sunday, July 31 will have a Family Mile Challenge as a curtain-raiser for a day of free sports activities for all the family.

This free-to-enter Family Mile Challenge takes place over a traffic-free circuit within the Farmleigh Estate, starting outside Farmleigh House.

Last year, Sonia O'Sullivan and her children, Sophie and Ciara, delighted the hundreds of parents and children who took part by joining in. This year, fellow Irish running legend Catherina McKiernan will take part along with her children, Deirbhile and Patrick.

"I would like to encourage families to take part in this hugely popular Family Mile Challenge and then stay on at Farmleigh to enjoy a day of fun activities for everyone," Catherina said.

"The Family Mile Challenge gives parents a great opportunity to act as fitness role models for their children. It does not matter how long it takes to complete the mile -- you can walk, jog or run."

"The mile is an ideal distance and the fact that entry is free is a really nice gesture by Athletics Ireland who are promoting a great Fit 4 Life running programme through their clubs countrywide."

And McKiernan will also be available during the day to give advice on her new passion -- ChiRunning.

There will be lots of children-centred activities on the day including McDonald's Little Athletics -- agility tests, running, jumping, throwing -- fun orienteering challenge for all the family, little toddle for the very young, the Kellogg's Summer Roadshow in association with RTE 2FM and the Athletics Ireland Fit 4 Life Advice Centre to help adults start and maintain a fitness walking or running lifestyle.

Ireland's latest world champion race walker Kate Veale, from West Waterford AC, will be one of the special guests in Farmleigh and Ronan Scully, star of the RTE's 'Operation Transformation' earlier this year, will also be there to offer advice.

The Family Mile Challenge, which starts at 10.0, is already attracting big interest and intending participants must enter this event online.

While entry to the mile event is free, only those who submit their details online before Friday, July 29 can be sure of a place on the start line and a medal and goody bag at the finish. Go to www.familyfitnessfestival.ie or call (01) 8869933 for more information.

Irish Independent