Beragh 5 launch 4

HUNDREDS of people all ages and abilities are expected to join elite runners from Ireland and Kenya in Beragh this Easter weekend for the village’s popular five mile road race and 5K fun run/walk.

Around 500 took part in the event last year, which for the first time, included a new scenic 5K circuit.

Bigger and better is the mantra for this year’s run at noon on Saturday April 4, which has secured the participation of a number of elite international runners from Project Africa Athletics.

Founded by former Omagh Harriers coach Ciaran Collins, who has coached at Olympic and Commonwealth level, the initiative has set up an Omagh based training camp for a group of World class runners who have opted to contest the Beragh 5. Their inclusion is expected to raise the bar even higher this year after the 2014 event saw local elite athlete Stephen Duncan take both the title and course record.

The Omagh Harriers runner surged home in a season’s best 26:02 last April, ahead of North Belfast Harrier Adam Boyd and Enniskillen runner Fergus McGirr. The in-form Paul Barbour is expected to lead the pack of local elite runners in challenging the African competitors.

Race co-ordinator Adrian Donnelly said he is delighted at the standard of entrants for this year’s race, but stressed that Beragh 5 welcomes all abilities.

“The standard of runners in this year’s event makes for both an exciting and historic race and offers the best runners in our area the chance to compete against runners of an international standard.

“But at its heart, the Beragh 5 remains a community event, and we look forward to welcoming participants of all ages and abilities.”

Beragh GAA club chairman High McNamee has expressed his thanks to all the sponsors who have pledged their support for the event.

“Along with our club volunteers, the sponsors have helped make the Beragh 5 a hugely successful community initiative and we look forward to welcoming hundreds of people to St Mary’s Park on April 4.”

The designated charity for this year’s Beragh 5 is the Alzheimer’s Society, which provides information and support for people with all forms of dementia and those who care for them.

Maeveen McNabb of the charity’s local branch said dementia affects almost 20,000 people in the North, with numbers set to surge over the next six years.

“Support from people taking part in fundraising will help to ensure that our valuable work continues. We are therefore delighted that the Beragh 5 is supporting us in this way,” she said.

The Beragh 5 Mile Road Race and 5K Fun Run/Walk takes place at noon on Saturday April 4 2015 at St Mary’s Park. Pre-registration fee is £10, or else £12 on the day (£7 for 5K). To pre-register, email details to adonnelly5@btinternet.com.

Beragh 5 launch 1

Launching the Beragh 5 are from back (L-R): Oisin Donnelly (Omagh Harriers), Adrian Donnelly (race co-ordinator), Hugh McNamee (Beragh GAA chairman), Maeveen McNabb (Alzheimer’s Society), Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers), Kate Corrigan (Knockmany Runners). Front: Daryl Meenagh (Carmen Runners), Cathoir Donnelly and Niamh Heaney (Omagh Harriers)