BWG News

Soap Stars Battle it Out at Launch of SPAR Great Ireland Ru

Paula Lane from Coronation Street and Ryan Andrews from Fair City launch 2014 Race
– Up to 12,000 adults and children expected for great family running day out ~

The SPAR Great Ireland Run 2014 – which will take place on Sunday, the 6th of April in the Phoenix Park, Dublin – was launched today by Paula Lane who plays Kylie Platt in in the much-loved soap, Coronation Street and Ryan Andrews from the popular Irish soap opera, Fair City.

Paula and Ryan will be in the Phoenix Park on the 6th of April to run the 10k race on behalf of their local charities. They will join up to 12,000 other runners and their families in what is both a highlight of the athletics calendar and a great family day out. In the heart of one of Europe’s largest city parks, the SPAR Great Ireland Run will feature a course that challenges runners of all abilities and ambitions from the 10k race, to the SPAR Mini Run and the SPAR Junior Run.

The SPAR Great Ireland Run is the only race in Ireland to be recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body of athletics. The event is one of twenty-two races in the world to receive an IAAF Road Race Silver Label in recognition of the event’s high standard of organisation, elite participation and media profile.

This year’s race will once again feature a superb field of international and national distance runners. To further incentivise elite Irish athletes, and raise the standard of 10k running in the country, a prize fund is being put in place for the first ten Irish men and women.

Last year’s event was won by multiple Olympic gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia in 28 minutes 51 seconds. The women’s champion was Lauren Howarth of Great Britain in 33 minutes and 36 seconds.

Although the elites lead the field, the event is not only for the seasoned athlete – it is a great day out for runners of all ages and all levels of fitness. It will begin with the SPAR Mini Great Ireland Run for 3-8 year olds over a 1.6k course, where adults can accompany each child if they wish. This is followed by the SPAR Junior Great Ireland Run for 9 to 15 year olds over a longer distance of 2.5k. The day is topped off by the 10k which covers a scenic single lap of the Phoenix Park in its springtime glory. As in previous years, the event will be shown live on RTE Television. Every 10K finisher will receive a technical event t-shirt, medal, goody bag and chip timed results.

The 2014 event will also give runners the chance to represent their county in the All Ireland County Challenge competition for the Ronnie Delany Trophy. To qualify each county must have at least five registered runners, and the winner is determined by the fastest average time of each county’s competitors, using chip finishing time technology. Each county will also have a recorded time for the fastest male and female finisher.

Willie O’Byrne, Managing Director of BWG Foods (owners and operators of the SPAR brand in Ireland) said: “SPAR has a proud tradition of supporting athletics, and we’re delighted to keep flying the flag for Irish athletes in 2014. I’m sure our ambassadors Paula and Ryan will inspire people from all across the country to sign up for the SPAR Great Ireland Run. Whether you’re competing with the elite field or walking to raise much needed funds for charity, we’re delighted to have you along.”

Entries for all events are available at

Follow Great Ireland Run on: @GreatIrelandRun or like:

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