According to Eoin O Brien the worlds greatest 5 mile road race took place last Sunday in Terenure so how exactly did that happen.
34 years ago Emily and Mick Dowling started the Sportsworld 5 mile race, ‘The Classic’, and 34 years later it is still going strong and still doing what it set out to do – raise money for a charity, put on a quality top class race and get people into running and joining the club.
Over the years the course has changed a few times and there have been different course directors, race directors and committees but the volume of work probably hasn’t changed much. Believe it or not the work on this years race started back in September trying to get people interested in going on the race committee with the first meeting happening in October.We had 13 people on the committee this year with everyone playing their part. We had Delourdes Seymour, Nigel Elliott, Grainne Lynch, Karl Shevlin and Jim Browne working on the committee for the first time bringing huge improvements to the runner email design, extra stewards form the DCC , reduced printing costs, free face painter, sponsorship money, provided baking for every single meeting and most importantly brought new ideas and view points to the race.The last few years we have struggled coming up with a T shirt design and tying the race image together. Bronwyn has been a real asset to the race this year bringing a real professional uniform look to all the graphic design work (T shirt, information leaflets, posters, pacer flags) and rivaling the look of any professional race organisation.
Adrian Lanigan is on his second year on the race committee and linked in with all the running clubs and corporate teams to get almost 200 entries in the race.
Again a few years ago we had serious trouble getting any sponsorship for the race. The race is expensive and there is only so much money we can bring in with race entries. So to be able to give anything to a charity and for money to go back into the club we need sponsors. Liam Lenehan and this year Mark Hogan have not only got race sponsorship money but added value sponsors like a radio sponsor, waste management sponsor, food sponsor. As well as paying for the race this again gives a professional look to the race and improves the day out for runners.Maria Finnegan has the unenviable job of getting all the accounts together, making sure all the money has come in, all the bills are paid and pointing out again how much money Eoin wasted on novelty balloons.
Sandra Gowran is an amazing public speaker and no matter how rowdy a running crowd can be she has no problem controlling the room and getting all the sponsor, charity and race information across to the crowd.Frank Greally says Eoin O Brien has a race promotions job anytime he wants which might be a good thing if his employer ever finds out how much time he spends on the race each year. Some people think all Eoin does is spend the year thinking of the most expensive novelty balloons he can get away with buying but the fact is without Eoin’s constant race promotion the race would not of sold out the last few years and a big part of the charity donation each year is down to the race numbers he brings in.So what made the 2018 race special.
Like everything there were loads of jobs and small details that people may not realise happened that made the race a success.
Sandra Armstrong getting the cub scouts to deal with handing out the finish line water
Ronan Masterson getting a chilled van to give out the Glenisk yogurts
Noel Lynam collection 1700 bottles of water before the raceLaurence Delair and Niamh Cunningham setting up the refreshments after the raceJoe Byrne collecting the Burco’s for the race and stewarding the finish line after returning from the European Rugby championship final 4 o clock that morning
Val Power entering a company competition and getting the charity a $1000 prize
Mark Heffernan, Jose Chapa, Noel Lynam, Paul Cassidy, Jim Browne for sponsoring the race.
Dr Louise Jackman for taking care of 1380 finishers
Breda Browne for getting 2000 Donate Blood Pens for race
Anthony Gillian and Cormac Garvey for providing free PA systems
Martin Doyle, John Flaherty and Neil Purdy for putting out and lifting 500 traffic cones and 50 crowd barriersConor Kenny for safely driving the lead car around a tight courseAll the pacers who were complemented by Frank Greally on their professional job and all the runners who said they got them the time they wanted.Michael O Grady and Justin McKeever for working solidly on tired runners for 3 hours after the race for free
I’m sure there are things and people I have forgotten but it’s just to show it’s a club effort to put the race on each year and although at times everyone questions ‘is this worth it’ I think the positive atmosphere the race brings to the area, the money raised for the charities each year and the fact that the race is proven to get people involved in running makes it something the club should always try to continue.