Organisers of Offaly Colin Dunne Memorial 5K Run press ahead despite Covid

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Organisers of Offaly Colin Dunne Memorial 5K Run press ahead despite Covid

Organisers of the Colin Dunne Memorial 5k weren’t willing to let a global pandemic stand in their way, and have put together a virtual event which is already attracting considerable interest and entries.

Last year’s event hosted in March in Mucklagh was actually the final race which Pop Up Races was able to facilitate before lockdown restrictions played havoc with sporting calendars across the country.

This is the third year of the 5k run, a family-friendly event to remember the popular local man.

Despite lockdown restrictions, sponsors have generously backed the event again this year with local business Critical Support Ltd returning as the main sponsor.

The event will mark the 12th anniversary of Colin Dunne’s untimely death.

The event is a very fitting and appropriate one for Colin’s parents Tom and Bernie, the Dunne family, life-long friends and  members of the local Shamrocks GAA club to remember Colin.

Colin Dunne died just 5 kilometres from the finish line while competing in the Barcelona Marathon in 2009, when he was aged 27.

He was a national school teacher in Killeigh and senior hurler and footballer with his home club, Shamrocks.

Organising committee member Siobhan Stewart said the interest and goodwill already shown toward the event is very encouraging.

She said virtual race events are particularly popular at the moment. “It seems to be the way forward and it’s a way for people to see the progress they are making and take part in a race,” she said.

The Mucklagh event is certainly in good company as both the Dublin and London marathons have been hosted virtually.

Siobhan said virtual events are a good way of compensating for the traditional race day format.

“It’s something to look forward to. I run myself and find it’s something to focus on,” she said.

The virtual format is also ideal for all the family to take part in, particularly during level 5 lockdown. “It gives you a bit of structure and is something to train for,” Siobhan said.

And with a 5km travel limit in place during lockdown, the length of the race couldn’t be better, so there is no excuse not to get your exercise in.

The organisers have also changed their sponsorship packages this year, and have been delighted with the response so far.

Siobhan explained that they have reduced it to one simple sponsorship package this year, and every sponsor will have their name on the t-shirts for the race participants.

So far there are 200 people signed up for the race. Sponsorship for the event has reached nearly €4,500.

The cost is €16.05 for an adult entry, €11 for a child entry and €42.80 for a family of 2 adults and two kids. Everyone who completes the race will get a commemorative t-shirt, which offers remarkable value.

The closing date for registration is March 14.

Sponsorship packages are still available – anyone interested can Siobhan on 0879272633.