The Race Series Returning For An 18th Year!

February 08, 2024

The Galway 5km Series returns this coming April for its 18th year and with registration opening soon, Run Republic spoke to Race Series Director Colm McAllen to talk all about the series, its inception, and what makes it so popular. 

'It was thought of/invented to promote Athletics within Galway at a time when it was in decline across all levels.'

The series sees six races take place every Tuesday, with each race hosted by a different club in County Galway.

McAllen told Run Republic what the funds raised from the series are put towards, with the focus being on the betterment of Athletics in the county at all levels.

'All the monies raised by the 5km series have gone back into every single one of the AAI-affiliated clubs over the years to promote all types of athletics within Galway, this includes both track & field and also both senior & Juvenile. This has helped Galway athletics flourish with a raft of young talent coming to the front in recent times. 

'The Galway County board use the funds raised to rent the indoor centre from AIT(TUS) to run the juvenile, Schools and both masters and senior County indoor events. The monies raised also help fund the outdoor event and the Cross Country (XC) for all age groups too. This helps pay for the timing, numbers, ambulances, and all the other things needed to host these events. The 5km series has also helped to fund equipment for clubs too.'

McAllen explained what the race series is all about brilliantly, beaming with excitement for the year to come, before being full of praise for the people who have helped make the series so special throughout the years.

'The premise of the series is quite simple. It's 6 evenings of no-frills racing and we cater for all levels of fitness from novice to speedster. You show up at the event location each Tuesday night and on the first night you arrive early, collect your chip-timed number, and then you run as fast as you like or as fast as you can. You show up the next night at a different location and try to improve or better your time. 

'This promotes running in groups and you have a great buzz around each venue for the evening of the race as on any given night you have 600 runners running down a country road or through a village or town. This also helps to encourage runners into clubs as they meet like-minded people from their areas and form running bonds with them and make friends. 

'This year we begin the series on Leg 94 which in a nutshell means we have run 94 5km races as part of the series since its inception and the very first leg of next year's event which will be hosted by Craughwell AC will be the landmark 100th leg of the series. 

'Through the years we have had many stalwarts keeping the series going and driving it on to become the best version of itself and I'm just following on from them. This year we upgraded the website and have all the information anyone needs for the series in the same spot, such as route profiles, course videos, links to each AAI club, race HQ locations, dates, times etc.'

The series begins on Tuesday April 23rd and registration will be open soon, so keep an eye on the Galway 5km Series website here! 

McAllen gave a rallying cry to runners around Galway and the country to get involved in whatever way they can, saying 'Please feel free to join us, it's the combination of unique locations, all the mixed abilities and the friendly atmosphere that make this a unique series of races.'

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