The annual Shane Brennan Five Kilometre Run, which was held on December 26, has raised in the region of €6,000 for the Attic Youth Café in Longford town.
The organisers of the St Stephen’s Day event, which was first held in 2006, choose a different local charitable organisation to receive the money it raises each year, with the Attic Youth Café selected as the beneficiary of the 2014 run.
“We had 400 runners this year, covering all age groups from 10 to 70,” explained committee member Liam Madden. “In addition, we also had 130 walkers.”
The run started outside Casey’s pub in Newtownforbes, and followed a 5k loop, with the finish line located at St Mary’s Church in the village.
“We had hot drinks, sandwiches, and other refreshments in the Clonguish GAA sports hall afterwards, too,” Mr Madden continued.
Over the past nine years, the Shane Brennan 5k Run has garnered a national reputation, with athletes from all parts of the country making the trip to Newtownforbes to take part.
“The same runners return every year; they’re very local,” Mr Madden explained. “We had runners from places like Dublin, Cavan, and Tullamore, as well as runners from Longford Athletics Club and Longford Tri Club.”
High profile contenders have also been known to make an appearance at the event, and the latest run was no exception with Catherina McKiernan competing in the women’s category, which she went on to win.
“We also had Ireland’s Fittest Family - the O’Reilly’s from Cavan - who won the RTÉ TV series,” Mr Madden added. “One of their family members, Cian, finished first in the men’s race in just over 16 minutes.”
Mr Madden went on to say that one of the reasons the Shane Brennan Run is so popular with such athletes is its status as an official Run Ireland timed event, which will be added to their records.
On behalf of the rest of the committee, Mr Madden also wished to thank the run’s sponsors.
“Nolan Motors sponsored the first place prizes, and Paul & Vincent also contributed,” he revealed. “They both offered prize money for the winners.”
And now the Shane Brennan Run is over for another year, the committee members can look forward to building further on its success, and selecting another worthy cause to benefit from their efforts.