The Spirited IMRA Killiney Hill Relay Charity Race

April 17, 2024

As Race Director Andrew Hanney shared with Run Republic, the Killiney Hill Relay Charity Race marks the traditional kickoff to mid-week running, coinciding with the longer daylight hours that spring brings. However, what sets this race apart isn't just the thrill of competition but the emphasis on camaraderie and community spirit.

The uniqueness of this charity relay lies in its format, designed to foster a sense of fun and connection among participants. Upon arrival, runners find themselves in an exciting lottery of sorts, where all names are tossed into a hat. Teams of three are then randomly drawn, sparking instant bonds and a shared sense of adventure. This random team selection not only adds an element of unpredictability but also encourages runners to engage with new faces, reflecting the social ethos that underpins IMRA events.

Once teams are formed, the next challenge beckons – strategising the running order. The course itself is a 2.5km loop around the picturesque Killiney Park, offering a mix of scenic vistas and demanding terrain. Beginning at the car park, runners navigate through the verdant landscape, passing by the tea rooms before facing a brief yet intense 50-metre ascent to the iconic Obelisk. This climb, though challenging, adds a thrilling dimension to the race, testing both speed and stamina. 

After conquering the ascent, participants descend back into the welcoming cheers or playful banter of their teammates at the halfway point. Energised by the fun, they push forward through the second half of the course, tracing a path towards Dalkey. Here, another climb awaits, leading to the tower's pinnacle before a satisfying downhill stretch through the woodland brings runners to the finish line.

The relay is scheduled start at 7:30pm sets the stage for an evening of excitement and friendly competition, with approximately 60 eager participants forming 20 teams ready to vie for victory. 

Before the main event kicks off, there's a delightful prelude – a 'follow the string' race tailored for younger children. This inclusive touch, supported by the entire gathering, underscores the event's ethos of community engagement and shared enjoyment of running.

Beyond the thrill of the race, the IMRA Killiney Hill Relay Charity Race also carries a deeper purpose. Each year, the organising committee selects a charitable cause to support, highlighting the community's commitment to giving back. For this edition, the spotlight shines on St. Joseph's in Shankill, an organisation renowned for its exceptional care for individuals living with Dementia. The race thus becomes not just a celebration of athleticism but a meaningful contribution to a worthy cause.

In essence, the IMRA Killiney Hill Relay Charity Race isn't merely about running; it's a celebration of togetherness, sportsmanship, and making a positive impact in the community. As runners lace up their shoes and teams assemble, the true essence of this event shines through – bringing people together for a shared passion while supporting a noble cause.

Featured Image: Last years' Killiney Hill Relay, taken by John Shiels.

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