“There’s something about an Irish fun run and the Irish run the world global 5km had it all. The perfect start to the weekend on a perfect Melbourne day. I really enjoyed my role as Ambassador for the event to see so many people smiling as they cross the finish line. Great support from Irish communities around the world as we passed the baton onto London to encourage each other to get out and be active knowing that while helping ourselves we were also giving back, in support of The Ireland Funds Promising Ireland Campaign, organised by The Ireland Fund Young Leaders”.
A fitting description by Olympic Medallist and Global Run Ambassador Sonia O’Sullivan on a memorable occasion.
Melbourne’s leg of the Irish Run the World Global 5k got underway at 10am at the picturesque Albert Park Lake. Living up to its name as The World’s Most Liveable City, runners were treated to a perfect Spring day with clear blue skies and warm sunshine all morning.
A large crowd started to arrive at the Lake from 9am, and by the time Sonia O’Sullivan brought the competitors for a warm up run, 85 people had registered to participate.
With the tempting aroma of sizzling sausages and black & white pudding provided by Clonakilty Food, a sea of blue t-shirt clad runners (thanks to global sponsor KPMG) gathered at the starting line. While the official launch in Australia of Clonakilty’s sausages proved too much of a temptation for some committee members, the run commenced right on time with runners and walkers setting off at a brisk pace.
With the runners on their way around the lake, final touches were put in place for their return. Thanks to Taste of Ireland, it was possible to enjoy the BBQ with Ballymaloe Relish, Chef Sauces and Club Orange.
First person to arrive back in a brilliant time of 19 minutes and 23 seconds was Michael McNamara.
Less than 80 seconds later, with a time of 20 minutes and 42 seconds, 13 year old Sophie O’Sullivan, daughter of Sonia, crossed the finish line with consummate ease. Having set off together as pace setters after the first 100 metres both looked like they could have easily completed a second lap!
Sonia O’Sullivan crossed in second place in the ladies event in a time of 21:38, with Andrea McElhinney taking third seconds later.
In the men’s event, running on behalf of sponsor National Australia Bank, Leigh Stewart finished second in 21:45, while workmate Patrick Abbott finished third 1 second later.
A special mention has been well earned by the youngest competitor of the day, Paddy Hanley. Who, at only 8 years of age, completed his run, beating his Dad cum Chairman of the Melbourne Committee Adrian by over 2 minutes.
The Melbourne Chapter would like to express its gratitude to the amazing generosity of its members and all other runners for a fantastic fundraising event that’s sure to become an annual fixture in its busy calendar.
A big thank you to all our sponsors on the day; National Australia Bank, Office Movers, Clonakilty Food, Taste of Ireland, Bord Bia, Delaware North Companies, Open Door Co and National Hospitality Management. Without their support, none of this would have been able.
A final thank you to Karen O’Donovan from Clonakilty Food and Martin Lynch from Taste of Ireland, who fed a crowd of hungry participants, and all the volunteers who turned up to help out on the day.
About The Australian Ireland Fund
The Worldwide Ireland Funds are a philanthropic network across 12 countries that has raised over $480 million for worthy causes in Ireland and Irish causes around the world. It is the largest network of friends of Ireland dedicated to supporting programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development. Founded in 1976, The Worldwide Ireland Funds have benefited over 3,000 organizations. Funds raised are contributed by private philanthropists and organizations.
The Ireland Funds Young Leaders Society attracts professionals ages 25-40. Paving the way for the future, the Society cultivates an emerging generation of philanthropists while providing a networking forum and a connection with modern Ireland. With vibrant events around the world, members have raised over $1 million for the work of The Worldwide Ireland Funds.
With a goal of raising $100,000, all funds raised from “The Irish Run the World” will go to support The Ireland Funds Promising Ireland Campaign to assist worthy charities across the island of Ireland and Irish causes around the world. “KPMG is proud to serve as the presenting sponsor of The Ireland Funds Young Leaders inaugural global 5K,” said Shaun Kelly, Vice Chair of Operations at KPMG. “By sponsoring this event, KPMG is supporting The Ireland Funds Young Leaders’ effort to bring vital resources to organizations that address today’s challenging social issues.”