The rapid growth of the Great Limerick Run has been reflected by the announcement that it has secured a title sponsor, Barringtons Hospital, at the launch of this year’s event, which will be held on May 5th next.
The hospital and organisers of the event, which in its fourth year is already the second largest mass participation event in Ireland, have signed up for a three year deal for an undisclosed sum that will see the May Bank Holiday event known as the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run.
The 2013 run is expected to attract in excess of 10,000 participants and will once again form the centre piece of the Riverfest festivities that have made Limerick the marquee destination for the May Bank Holiday weekend. Failte Ireland have also identified the event, which was worth €2.4m to the city last year, as one of the main Gathering activities for Limerick in 2013.
Announcing the partnership, Barringtons Hospital Managing Director Denis Cahalane said that the hospital is delighted to be associated with one of the real success stories of not just Limerick but the wider Mid-West region over the past three years. "We see this sponsorship as a great opportunity for Barringtons to promote the importance of an active life style, good health and wellbeing. Exercise relieves stress, achieves weight loss and the risk of related illnesses such as coronary diseases and cancer. This is an event for everyone and generally, participation in events such as this invokes physical, mental and social benefits so we couldn’t have come on board with a better event."
"As the largest employer on Kings Island area of Limerick also, we see certain parallels for Barringtons Hospital with the event. Like Barringtons, the event is growing and making a real contribution to the city. We love also that it is bringing people into Limerick from all over Ireland and abroad, showing off the best of the city."
Welcoming Barringtons on board, Event Organiser John Cleary said: "Having a title sponsor come on board just four years into the event, not least in the current climate, speaks volumes about the success of what is now, officially, the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run."
"Barringtons Hospital will bring not just some financial support to the event but medical expertise and advice in the run up to and on the day of the event. We are also delighted that our title sponsor is from the area and is such a strong match in terms of what we are trying to achieve with the Run, which is ultimately promote health and wellbeing."
The 4th annual Great Limerick Run was officially launched in City Hall the Mayor of Limerick Gerry McLoughlin and Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council Jerome Scanlan. Now firmly established as a highlight on the national sporting & social calendar, this year’s event takes place on Sunday 5th May through the streets of Limerick. In just three years race numbers have reached nearly 9,000 and the event this year will include the addition of a marathon relay and kids fun run in addition to the Full Marathon, Half Marathon and 6-mile.
Mr Cleary said that were it not for the support of local athletics clubs, city and regional authorities, the Gardaí, Civil Defence, sponsors and the people of Limerick, the event would never have achieved the success it has in just four years.
"From 5,500 competitors in year one to almost 9,000 last year we are confident that we will reach in excess of 10,000 participants in 2013 including over 500 overseas international athletes. Our aim has always been to reach 15,000 by 2017 and we are well on the way to fulfilling this target," he continued.
"What makes the Great Limerick Run unique is the inclusiveness with a distance for everyone, from the elite or first time marathon runners, to those trying a half marathon for the first time and finally to those who may be new to running completely who choose the 6 mile race."
Mr Cleary also confirmed at the official launch that the Irish Cancer Society, Ireland’s leading cancer charity, is the designated charity for this year’s event. Commenting on the partnership announcement John McCormack, CEO of the Irish Cancer Society, said: "We are delighted to be the official charity partner for the Great Limerick Run 2013. This event is a great way of getting people active. Being physically active is a key way to reduce your risk of cancer. We are excited to be involved this year and hope that many participants choose to take part for the Irish Cancer Society and help fundraise for our care, information and support services – available, free of charge, in Limerick and nationwide. Funds raised through this event for the Irish Cancer Society will help us support even more people who need it. I would like to thank the Great Limerick Run team for choosing us. We look forward to cheering on the runners, joggers and walkers in Limerick in May."
In addition to the new title sponsors, the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run is also supported by Limerick Local Authority, Irish Times, Newstalk, Limerick’s Live 95FM, Garda Siochanna, Limerick City & County Sports Partnership and the Limerick Communications Office.
Discounted entry fees are currently available online until February1st at €60 for the Full Marathon €45 for the Half Marathon and €20 for the 6 mile run or by contacting 061 609627.
Full details are available on www.greatlimerickrun.com.