Finn Valley AC will host their annual St Stephen's Day 5k as usual this year and there's an open invitation to families, athletes local and world class, walkers, joggers to join them at an event that has been 'running' for more than 48 years from the Finn Valley Centres.
An amazing event, over the years some very famous athletes have participated, among them Mo Farah and Vivian Cheruiyot - but it's not an elite race, they want to see everyone there, walkers, joggers and the serious runners and afterwards you'll be more than welcome to hang about for a chat and a cuppa at this wonderful family-friendly 5k.
It's a very special event, Patsy McGonagle of Finn Valley AC told DonegalLive: "It's a community event in the wider sense, those home for the holiday period tend to meet up. It's a run/walk, a community social occasion and as such has attracted as many as 800 to come out after the Christmas festivities for a breath of fresh air and take the opportunity to meet up.
"Yes it's a race at one level - Olympic champions Mo Farah and Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot, Mary Cullen have participated but its a people's event and therein lies the success and longevity of the event.
"Despite the odd weather challenge over the years the show went ahead. The event, originally held within the confines of Drumboe Forest, began with 20 plus competitors but with the change in attitude and more awareness in recent times numbers at best approach 1000 and its open for all ages, from 8 to 80 years."
Every year Finn Valley AC have a personality to fire the start gun at 12 noon, names have ranged from Jason Quigley, Philip Deignan, Frank McGlynn, Sinead Jennings, Catriona Jennings, Larissa Muldoon from the world of sport and there was local woman Cora Harvey while she was Mayor of Donegal - a competitor on this occasion. Others included Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher and local personality Mickey 'the Post'.
On this occasion a local family attached to the Finn Valley AC club will set all on their way in keeping with the family festive nature of Christmas. A contribution from race funds will be given to a local charitable cause.
The event is on St Stephen's Day at 12 noon and while entry is open until 11-30 on the day, the organisers would invite as many as possible to pre enter by calling in to the Finn Valley Centre in the coming days.There has always been a wide range of prizes so 2019 will be no different and you're encouraged to hang around for a cuppa and a chat afterwards.
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