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Fionnuala Britton launches Great Ireland Run 2012

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Sunday 15th April 2012 Fionnuala Britton launches Great Ireland Run 2012
-European Cross Country Champion launches Ireland’s largest mixed 10k road run
– 12,000 runners, joggers and walkers in the Phoenix Park on Sunday April 15th
– New Mini Run added for 5 to 8 year olds
– Irish national 10km championships and special prize fund part of Run
The Great Ireland Run 2012 – on Sunday April 15th in the Phoenix Park, Dublin – was launched this week by Ireland’s European Cross Country champion and 2012 Olympic Games qualifier, FIonnuala Britton.

Fionnuala finished seventh woman in the Run last year, winning the national 10k title on the way. She hopes to compete again in this year’s race. She says: “The Great Ireland Run really is an amazing event which mixes fun, families and top-class athletics in a brilliant atmosphere. The Phoenix Park is a stunning place to run and brings out the best in everyone – from 5 year olds to 75 year olds.” 2012 is the tenth anniversary of the event in Dublin which has grown rapidly in popularity since the first Run in 2003. Last year there were almost 11,000 participants and at least 12,000 are expected to take to the roads in the beautiful Phoenix Park which this year celebrates its own 350th birthday. This year’s Run will more than ever be about enjoying a full family running day as a Mini Run for 5 to 8 year olds has been added to the programme alongside a Junior Run for 9 to 15 year olds. The Mini Run and Junior Run will precede the main event over a lap of approximately 2.5 km and an adult can run /walk alongside each child in the Mini Run if they wish. The Run is the largest mixed 10k race in Ireland and RTE Two television will show the Run live in a special programme. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body of athletics has conferred an IAAF Silver Road Race Label on the Great Ireland Run, in recognition of the event’s high standard of organisation, elite participation and media profile. This is the only Irish event recognised in this way by the IAAF. A star-studded field of international and national distance runners will compete on the day, including many of Ireland’s top male and female distance runners. Last year’s winners were Jesus Espana of Spain and Charlotte Purdue of Great Britain in 29:26 and 32:42 respectively. The 2012 Run will once again incorporate the Irish 10k road championships and will feature most of Ireland’s top distance runners. To further incentivise elite Irish athletes and raise the standard of 10k running in the country, a prize fund is being put in place for the first ten Irish men and women. Participants are being encouraged to raise funds for good causes and the event’s nominated charities are the Marie Keating Foundation and the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation. The Baby Max Wings of Love Fund is the nominated charity for the Junior Run and Mini Run. Almost 1,000 runners have already entered the event. The majority of these are from the UK and their participation will be a big boost to tourism in Dublin as they travel to the city for the weekend with family and friends. Entrants are asked to identify their preferred county on the entry form and before the event will receive a customised number in their county colours. Every finisher will receive a technical event T shirt, generous goody bag and chip timed results. The 2012 Run will again feature a County Challenge competition for the Ronnie Delany Perpetual Trophy. Using the power of chip technology the county with the most finishers in a particular time frame are recorded and declared the winner. County Down won the title in 2011. David Hart, Communications Director of race organisers Nova International said: “As in previous years, the 2012 Run will mix some of the world’s top middle distance athletes over the same course with joggers and fun runners. The event is a great day out for families and we expect that this year’s event, with the addition of the Mini Run, will attract even more runners, joggers and walkers from every county in Ireland and that all those who take part will enjoy the benefits of getting fit.” Entries can be made online at www.greatirelandrun.org or by calling the Great Ireland Run Hotline on 1890 930 139. More details and up to date news on the event is on Facebook and Twitter.