ONE of the main events on the Carlow running calendar returns in January, when up to 800 runners and walkers will hit the road. The fourth annual Charlie Curran Memorial Run will take place on Sunday 28 January next year.
The chip-timed 5km and 10km run is open to those who are serious about their running and everyone of all running or walking abilities who would like to get behind this worthwhile charity event. Starting at Carlow Town Hurling Club, Oak Park, entrants can complete a 5km or 10km route or the Kids’ Dash, an event especially for youngsters.
The event is run in memory of Charlie Curran of Dereen Heights, Carlow, who passed away following a heart attack in 2005. Proceeds from this year’s event will go to Heart Children Ireland and Billy’s World.
Many children in Ireland are born with heart conditions and deal with these issues every day. Heart Children Ireland provides crucial support to these brave kids and their families.
Billy’s World is a project to establish a unique resort for children with special needs and their families. When it’s completed, it will be the first amenity of its kind in Europe.
The project is planned to be built on land at the Heritage Hotel, Killenard, Co Laois.
Since its inception, the memorial run has grown and the organisers hope to have 800 people pounding the Oak Park Road, up from 600 last year.
This special event is spearheaded by Charlie Curran’s son, Charlie Jnr. Charlie Jnr said he was focusing on not letting standards slip after the hard work that has been done in recent years.
“In this day and age, people are looking to see an event progress and we now have people from all corners of the country coming to Carlow. It’s great for the town, as generates a bit of money in the town after Christmas,” he said. “It will be the same great atmosphere as the last few years, the same family atmosphere.”
Last year’s event sold out two weeks in advance and it was over-subscribed by more than 200 runners. It’s advised to book your place online well in advance to avoid disappointment. Charlie Jnr believes it may sell out in early January and said an entry would make a great Christmas present for the runner in your life.
Each finisher will receive a unique specially-designed medal.
This year, one participant will walk away with a once-in-a-lifetime experience of taking on one of the world’s most iconic marathons or the historic Camino walk.
Around 65 sponsorship packs will be issued to people who raise €100 each. They will then be entered into a draw on the day of the run and the winner will receive a choice of running the London or Berlin marathons or to walk the Camino. The prize includes flights, accommodation and transfers.
Each of these 65 people will also get free entrance and a specially-designed t-shirt on the day.
“The draw has attracted competition from all over,” said Charlie Jnr. “People from Sligo, Belfast and Cork have put their names forward for the day. It’s a huge prize.”
The event has established itself in the Carlow running calendar and it’s also a special occasion for the Curran family.
“For ourselves, it’s all about remembering Dad and seeing all those people out there in memory of Dad, in some cases doing things they never thought possible,” said Charlie Jnr.
“It’s a positive thing for the family; the whole family is involved in it from the mother’s side and the father’s side. It brings the family together when it can be difficult to see one another during the year. It means so much to us. It’s great to remember him. It’s so positive. Everyone is out there having a good time, there is no negativity.”
The event’s main sponsors are Penneys and the Alive and Well Health Store at Carlow Shopping Centre. Freddie Buttons is supporting the Kids’ Dash.
Charlie Jnr thanked all sponsors for their support and appealed for more to come on board.
“The more support you get, the more you can add to the event,” he said.
The Kids’ Dash, a 400m run, will take place at 10am and it costs €2. The 5km run starts at 10.30am and it’s €10 to enter. The 10km event starts at 10.45am and is priced at €15.
People can register online at www.popupraces.ie.