The Australian chapters of the Ireland Fund Young Leaders successfully kicked off the Ireland Funds Global 5k run on Saturday 4 October.
Sydney was first out of the starting blocks, at 8am in Sydney Park in St Peters. Sydney Swans and Kerry GAA star Tommy Walsh came along to cheer on the runners, and Taste Ireland, our Australian sponsor, also did their bit to improve runners’ times by providing a sausage BBQ for participants at the finish line. Runners and supporters stayed around in Sydney Park after the run for some refreshments to wash down the sausages.
There were also some self congratulatory pats on the back for rousing ourselves for an 8am run on a public holiday weekend!
Tommy Walsh kindly presented P J O’Brien vouchers to the top finishers on the day.
Karl Keating 21.49
Martina Simpson 22.09
Eamon Eastwood 22.55
Conor Byrne 25.52
Catherine Cunningham 28.22
Louise Kelly 36.10
We also had a special prize for our youngest competitor, Rosie Sheehan, aged 7 and a half. Well done Rosie. Our human runners were joined by some doggie friends on the day, Moses and Josie. We couldn’t convince them to wear the t-shirts from global sponsor KPMG, but we’re certain of their commitment to the Ireland Fund Young Leaders causes. And their loyalty has nothing to do with the sausages we gave them!
Sydney had 23 runners participating and raised a total of $4,732 in sponsorship. The run coincided with World Park Run Day, so the Ireland Fund runners had plenty of company and friendly competition as they made their way around the route, including from a very dedicated hen party in pink tutus. We also had two committee members who participated in the Melbourne event, including Andrea McElhinney, who romped home in fourth place, behind Michael McNamara in 19 minutes and 23 seconds followed by 13 year old Sophie O’Sullivan (Sonia’s daughter) less than 80 seconds later, then Sonia O’Sullivan in third, making up the top 4.
The Australian Young Leaders and friends were delighted to be able to kick off the global event, and hope to be able to participate and support in even greater numbers next year. The total raised by Australia this year was over $10,000 (Melbourne raising over $5,600).
The Australian chapter would like to say congrats to all the runners in the 11 cities across the world who participated in this great event. We’re still trying to get our heads around the fact that San Francisco started hours after us but finished the day before us. But we’ll have that figured out by next year!