Who will be Ballyhogue's 'Biggest Loser'?
Over 250 people are pounding the pavements around Ballyhogue in a bid to become the Biggest Loser.
The competition, run by Ballyhogue GAA Club, is up and running again this year after a very successful inaugural run last January. This year over 250 people are taking part as part of four separate teams, Ballyhogue and Galbally led by captains Sean Rochford and Eoin Byrne, Crann and Wilton lead by Shane Dawson and James Whelan while Myles Roche and Maurice Condon are captains of the Borrmount team. The final team, Bree, is led by Eddie Galvan and Denis Aspel.
Secretary of Ballyhogue GAA Cathal Byrne said there is great interest in the competition again this year.
'Basically we are holding three separate events this year, a cycle, a walk or run and a bog run. The cycle will take place on January 24 at 1pm starting off from Bree Community Centre. This is expected to be a 35km cycle. Then on February 7, also at 1pm, we are holding a 5k walk or a 10k run. Again this is starting from Bree Community Centre. The final event is a bog run in Byrne's Bog on February 27b at 1pm. This was a very popular event last year so we are expecting a big crowd at that.
'You don't have to be taking part in the Biggest Loser competition to take part in any of the three events. Basically you can just come on the day and pay an entry fee of €10. We are particularly looking for local GAA clubs, cyclists and running clubs to take part.'
But for those worrying about the competition of trying to lose weight there's no need to worry as the results and indeed weigh-ins are done on a group basis. 'We weighted everyone last week and we will have a final weigh-in on February 27 after the bog run. But it's not person against person but team against team. We have a massive scale that's usually used for weighing cattle and that weighs about ten people at a time so it's not a matter of having your individual weigh called out.'
The competition which is open to over 16s is very much a family affair and has been designed specifically to allow families compete as a whole.
Cathal said that for those wishing to get a bit of extra training in Ballyhogue GAA Club is also running training sessions twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7.30pm until 8.30pm in the GAA club. These sessions which started last week are suitable for people of all fitness ability and include a mix of walking and circuits.
The money raised from the competition will be used to fund development works at the club including fencing around the pitch itself and the erection of ball stoppers.
Cathal said the club has received great support so far. 'The whole parish has really gotten behind it. It is really a family based event and it caters for everyone. The local schools have also undertaken to do the walk which is great. We have about 60 people turning up to the extra training sessions. I think people find it easier to train when they are going as a group and also there is the sense of not wanting to let the team down.'
The four individual teams will also be running their own sponsorship events over the coming weeks. For more information check out the Ballyhogue Biggest Loser Facebook.