Best foot forward for Sunday's half marathon
The 6th annual Pettitt's SuperValu Wexford Half Marathon and 10km takes place on Sunday, April 26.
The event which is being held in association with DMP Athletic Club is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar in Wexford.
The popular course attracts runners, joggers and walkers from all over Ireland and beyond to enjoy one of Ireland's premium races. The race has been on a steady growth pattern since 2009 and organisers expect to attract 2,000 participants this year.
'The Wexford race has become a weekend away for many running groups and running clubs', says race organiser Eoin Ryan. 'Indeed it is expected that the race will generate €250,000 in revenue for the town and surrounds.'
The Wexford course have gained a reputation as being a fast course. Last year 76 per cent of half marathon participants and 63 per cent of 10km participants achieved a personal best time at the event. 'We are not shy about telling people about all the positives in Wexford,' said Ryan who travels widely around the country to promote the Wexford race.
'I feel it is also my responsibility to help fill hotels and bed and breakfasts to give something back for all the support we get.' In local circles the race has become a big social event on the Wexford sporting calendar not to be missed.
This year the organisers have secured two locations for toilet facilities and there are some portable toilet to the side of Billy Kelly's pub and some in the start are of the car park. Toilets are also available in Johnstown Castle on the half marathon route.
The Half Marathon Walkers start at 9.45am, this is a walker only section for Half marathon and running it may cause people to reach a point in advance of it being marshalled. Walkers are to walk with a maximum of two abreast until all runners have passed.
The Half Marathon runners start is 10.30am. The course is marked with yellow Km signs. The 10km run and walk starts at 10.40am. The course is marked in yellow then blue Km signs. This makes it easier to identify the signs for both separate events. 10km walkers are requested to start at the end of the 10km group.
Also taking part this year is school teacher Enda O'Doherty. Enda will be running the course with a five-stone washing machine strapped to his back to raise finds for Pieta House. Enda is running the half marathon in preparation for much longer trek from Belfast to his native Waterford in June.
Many local clubs, societies and charities have benefited from the race over the years. Last year the race directly donated €4,500 to charity. Charities benefiting this year include Wexford Women's Refuge, Orphan Relief, Rehab, St. Bridget's Day Care Centre, Irish Wheelchair Association and Special Olympics. For more information log onto www.wexfordhalfmarathon.com