The toughest running race in Ireland, the energia 24, is set to start on the evening of July 19 at the recently upgraded Mary Peters’ track in Belfast. This will be the fourth year of the Irish Championship event.
Organiser Ed Smith says the event has gained international status among the ultra running community.
“The competition, which attracts participants from as far as New Zealand, is an official Irish Championship event now and this status means everything to competitors” says Ed.
The energia24 has been won for the last two years by Kildare man John O’Regan who holds the track record set in 2011 at 132 miles (213km). The women’s record is held by Deirdre Finn from County Mayo with 112 miles (181km).
Ed Smith says he’s looking forward to a clash of Titans between O’Regan and the Irish 24-hour track record holder Eoin Keith.
“Keith recently ran 300 miles in Phoenix, Arizona in three days – only the fourth runner in the world to achieve that,” says Ed.
“If he is in that sort of shape he’ll be aiming to improve his Irish track record of 147 miles (236km).”
This summer sees the introduction of a £250 bonus for anyone who breaks that record. In addition, a £500 prize will be awarded to the man and woman who run the furthest in 24 hours.
The race is sponsored by Belfast-based energy company energia and Belfast City Council through its Support for Sport scheme.
Tom Gillen, Chief operating officer of energia says the he is delighted to be back for a fourth year.
“Events such as these are headline-grabbing and good news for Northern Ireland and I am very pleased that energia can be associated once again with the race.”
The 24-Hour race is also funded by Belfast City Council through its Support for Sport initiative.
Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson says: “Belfast City Council is proud to support such a huge challenge through its Support for Sport funding programme. This year, the energia 24 is providing a warm-up act for the World Police and Fire Games which follow soon after and I wish all the competitors who are coming from far and wide all the best in what is a truly daunting undertaking.”
For more information on how to enter please go to wwww.active.com or contact Ed Smith, race organiser by email: firstname.lastname@example.org