Looking to burn off the holiday over indulgences?  Sheila Ryan has the answer with a series of races to whet the appetite (apologies for this being late the Editor has been travelling)

Christmas and New Year Races

Goal Mile, Christmas Day 2010

GOAL Miles are held every year during the Christmas holidays in
cities, towns and villages in Ireland and abroad. People of all ages sacrifice part of their holiday to run or walk a sponsored Mile in aid of GOAL. The original event was the brainchild of former GOAL chairperson and international athlete, Noel Carroll, and took place at the Phoenix Park, Dublin on Christmas Day, 1982.

The following year the founding GOAL Mile was transferred to the University College Dublin campus at Belfield, and the flagship Mile has been held there ever since. It has become an integral part of Christmas Day for the many participating families and individuals who want to support GOAL’s work on behalf of the poorest of the poor.

Since then the event has touched all corners of the island and beyond. During Christmas 2009, a GOAL Mile was held at 83 different venues in Ireland and overseas. Celebrities, sportspeople and GOAL patrons joined with other members of the community in raising funds for our humanitarian work.
A number of Ireland’s most accomplished jockeys even took part in a special GOAL sprint across the parade ring during the Leopardstown Festival on St Stephen’s Day, 2009.


Kilcoole Athletics Club Turkey Trot, Greystones, Co. Wicklow, St Stephen’s Day, 2010

Wear your Santa pullover to the Turkey Trot, a family event that starts and finishes at the Greystones playground and includes a kids dash, with free entry, at 10.30am. Lucky kids; they get the glory for a mere 500m whereas the big people need to dredge up a 5k effort from somewhere deep down inside, under the roast potatoes and mince pies.


The Fat Turkey Run, Sutton, Co. Dublin, 28 December 2010

The standard run at this time of year is 5k, but to prove what stern stuff you’re made of try the Fat Turkey 7 mile run. Part of the Fat Turkey Walk, which attracted 500 participants last year, the race begins and ends at Sutton and takes a course around Howth Hill. Warning: the course description contains the word “summit”, so bear this in mind as you weigh your body down with mince pies and Hazelnut Whirls during the days leading up to the race. The organisers have your whole day mapped out too. They suggest you take the train to Sutton Dart Station, entertain your kids on the bouncy castle at Suttonians RFC and stay around for showers refreshments and a full bar and entertainment later in the day.


Emerald Nuts Midnight Run, Central Park, New York, New Year’s Eve 2010

Well, if you do happen to be in New York, and think you’d fit in with a bunch of nuts, this is the race for you. The warm up starts at 10pm with a DJ and dancing in the Central Park Bandshell, followed an hour later by a costume parade and competition, all leading up to midnight when the race kicks off, along with fireworks. At four miles, it’s longer than the usual seasonal challenge, but if you’re going to turn up for a midnight race you might as well work up a sweat. And if that doesn’t leave you feeling virtuous enough, race entry gets you into a Pure Yoga New Year’s Day class.


Resolution Run, Renmore, Co. Galway, New Year’s Day 2011

Athenry Athletics Club invite you to start the new year as you mean to continue with a 5k road race. Kick off is at 1:11pm on 1/1/11, so you can be grateful they didn’t go for 11am. First timers and walkers are as welcome as seasoned runners and the Renmore Soccer Club is the venue for registration, showers and refreshments.


Tom Brennan Memorial, Phoenix Park, Dublin, New Year’s Day 2011

For Dubliners it has to be the Phoenix Park, where the familiar roads through the fields and forests, and the chance of seeing Santa’s reindeer recovering from their Christmas exertions, are well worth showing up for. The start time is a civilised 1pm and you can sign up on the day.


BUPA Great Winter Run, Edinburgh, 8 January 2011

The nice people in Edinburgh are giving you a week to recover from Hogmanay, making 8 January 2011 the date for the Great Winter Run. It’s a 5k course that undulates through the stunning surroundings of the Scottish Capital’s Holyrood Park. I suspect “undulation” may be Scottish for “mountain” but a fantastic atmosphere, medal and t-shirt are promised to all who can gather their spirits in time.


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