Over 600 to run Coláiste Iosagáin's 5k through Portarlington town

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Over 600 to run Coláiste Iosagáin's 5k through Portarlington town

For the sixth year running, Portarlington Main Street will be filled with a sea of Coláiste Iosagáin students, for the 5k run on May 19.

Over six hundred students and staff will participate in the road race that the school believes is one of a kind in Ireland.

“If a student did Transition Year they have potentially completed every race so far, with the t-shirts to prove it,” said teacher John Heraty.

Each year the students get a new coloured race t-shirt, with this year's colour a guarded secret. The now traditional route is via the Bog Road to Marian Hill, Spa Street, around by the leisure centre, up Main Street and back to the school.

“Hopefully the community will continue to turn out in crowds to support us,” said Mr Heraty.

Guest of honour is former Laois hurling manager Seamus 'Cheddar' Plunkett.

School neighbours Oakdale Nursing Home will continue its kind sponsorship with technical assistance by St Michaels Athletic Club.

The run is aimed at getting all students active, more than just being a sporting event for top runners.

“While there will be prizes for the first three across the line in the Junior and Senior boys and girls categories the emphasis is squarely on participation and fun,” he said.

Firm favourite Christopher Whittle will be going for a hat trick of victories. Girls' favourite is Rebecca Fenlon but Helen Iptokin could do well in her first school 5k having won medals representing CI this year .

Running teachers Christopher Booth and Conor Mitchell will be under pressure from the likes of Tom King, David O'Mahony and Ronan Walsh. Fionnuala Cleary will be hard to beat in staff ladies category, but Offaly camogie star Michaela Morkan may give her a run for her money.