Sunday April 6th in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Fagan and Keating were accompanied at the launch in the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre by Irish international and 2006 cross country champion Vinnie Mulvey of Raheny Shamrocks AC.
This is the sixth running of the event which has continued to grow dramatically in popularity since the first Run in 2003. Last year there were over 8,000 entrants and at least 10,000 runners are expected to compete this year. The Run is the largest mixed 10km race in Ireland and is preceded by a junior race for participants between the ages of 8 and 15.
RTE Two television will broadcast the Run live in a special programme.
A star-studded field of international and national distance runners will compete on the day, including Fagan and Mulvey. Last year’s Run was won by Abraham Chebii of Kenya in 28:47 from defending champion Craig Mottram of Australia. The women’s Run was won by Victoria Mitchell of Australia in 33:06.
Over 1,000 runners have signed up already for the Run from the UK and their participation will be a major boost to tourism in Dublin city as they travel to the city for the weekend with family and friends.
All entrants are asked to identify their preferred county on the entry form and then before the event receive a customised Run T-shirt for that county embossed with its colours and nickname which they can wear in the Run.
The 2008 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. Ireland’s fastest county in 2008 was Cavan, followed by Wicklow and Wexford.
Every finisher will receive a generous goody bag and chip timed results.
David Hart, Marketing Director of race organisers Nova International said: “As in 2007, the 2008 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 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.”
Participants are being encouraged to raise funds for good causes and the event’s nominated charities are Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin and the Marie Keating Foundation, named in memory of Ronan Keating’s late mother.
Prospective runners can enter online at www.greatrun.org or by calling the Great Ireland Run Hotline on 1890 930139.