The annual Christmas Day Run from Newtowncashel to Lanesboro in aid of the Longford branch of Multiple Sclerosis Society is taking place for the 29th year this Christmas.
The run was set up in 1991 by Ger Flood, and since the first year, the event has exclusively raised funds for Longford MS.
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Over the course of those 28 years the event has ebbed and flowed with some tough years early on when the amount of participants and sponsorship was quite low to the highs of the Celtic Tiger years.
In recent years the event has consistently attracted numbers from 120 to 150 participants and we hope to have a similar turn out again this year.
Last year 128 people took part raising over €6,000 and Longford MS have confirmed that approximately €143,000 has been raised in the 28 years to date.
Due to the fact that this event takes place on Christmas day it has always had to be organised with a small team of committed volunteers who give up their time on Christmas morning to make sure it takes place.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship received over the years from local businesses and in particular the continued sponsorship by Peter Hanley Motors, every cent of sponsorship raised by participants goes directly to Longford MS.
The event caters for people of all ages and fitness levels and in addition a fairly competitive run there is also the option of walking and as a result there have been participants under 10 years of age and over 70 who have enjoyed the day over the years.
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The Christmas Run has a real community feel to it and it is a great way to work up an appetite for Christmas dinner.
Everyone who takes part receives a running t-shirt sponsored by Peter Hanley Motors and there are refreshments available in the Hall in Lanesboro afterwards.
The distance is approximately 11 km and the challenge for any of the serious runners out there is to beat the time of 36 minutes achieved by the winners in 2002 and 1998.
The winner last year was a regular in John Mulvihill with a time of 40 minutes and 38 seconds with Mark Kenny coming in second and Patrick Murtagh in third place.
The first lady home was Sinead Phelan in a time of 48 minutes and 13 seconds with Martina Gibbons in second place and Sinead Farrell in third.
Walkers start from the Hill in Newtowncashel at 11.45am and runners start at 12.15pm. Sponsorship cards available from the Local, Newtowncashel, Brigid Mullooly, Lanesboro or O’Brien’s Corner Shop, Lanesboro.
We thank everyone who has taken part or assisted in any way over the years to make this event so special every Christmas.
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