SPAR Great Ireland Run
In the heart of Dublin is one of Europe's largest city parks, and for one day every year, a 10k course that challenges runners of all abilities and ambitions. Don't forget that it’s going to be a family affair on the day too, as our popular Junior & Mini events feature a 1.6k course for 3-8 year olds and a 2.5k stretch for the older, 9-15 year olds.
Running events are some of the most popular types of fitness events out there – and are one of the easiest to get in to, whilst being very tricky to master. Because of this, it is a great place to start when you want to get in to a fitness regime – but there is a lot more to it than simply placing one foot in front of the other!
Brief History of Running
Competitive races are thought to have at first started (as with many sports) with the Ancient Greeks, though many other traces link it to the Egyptians, parts of Asia and many other parts of Africa. One of the earliest recorded event is from 1829 BCE at an Irish festival honouring the goddess Tailtiu in a series of sporting events known as the Tailteann Games. A thousand years later in 776 BCE, we have the first record of the Olympics in Greece, and this is likely where many forms of runs and marathons have their origins.
Since then many different type of events have come about – through the Olympic Games are still probably the most famous. Throughout the world events are held all the time from simple small 5k runs to enormous 26 mile sprints like the London Marathon.
How to get started in running events
Luckily it is one of the easiest sports to get in to – you just need to start moving! Starting off with small jogs and sprints is the best way to get started and then you can slowly start to increase distance to build yourself up to bigger and better runs. I’d suggest started off with something like a 5K as this is not too challenging but long enough for you to get a real sense for what is involved in the sport. You can read our article here all about how to prepare for your first 5K which will give you some more insight on how to get your training started.
Once you get started you will quickly see there is a lot more to taking on a run than simply getting out there and jogging. If you are looking to get serious then you may want to start investing in some good gear – a good pair of running trainers is the best place to start. You can also invest in a lot of other running specific clothing too though be warned things can start to get expensive.
Running Races Near Me
There are quite a lot of different runs to choose from depending on what kind of experience you are looking for, we list some of the best running events in the UK, if you know what type of event you want you can click one of the links below to find out more;
Fun Runs | 5K Runs | 10K Runs | Half Marathons | Marathons
Top Running Events in 2020
We have picked out the best events taking place in 2020. We have lots more listings available, just click on the 'Running Events' tab at the top of this page to find them.
Although we have picked this particular event, there are actually 4 different events taking place at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival so you really do have the widest choice available to suit your ability. Not only does it have great options but also stunning scenery, it takes place along the coastline and also the iconic Bournemouth pier. We have been to the Half Marathon event before so check out our review here.
The SPAR Great Ireland Run Course
One of the main attractions on the day, which is also beamed live to the nation on RTE 2, is the All Ireland County Challenge where you can have the chance to race for your home county.
The early bird discount gives you the chance to enter for only €20 (or £17), but remember, it's only available to the first 1000 people to enter!
The SPAR Great Ireland Run 10k takes place in and around the beautiful surroundings of Phoenix Park in Dublin – a 1,752 acre expanse, twice as big as New York’s Central Park, home to over 600 fallow deer and one of the world’s oldest cricket clubs.
A popular place for visitors and sporting events, the park is the perfect place for a 10k run. Starting on Chesterfield Avenue runners will make their way around the north corner of the park before looping around and heading south towards the Phoenix Monument and Papal Cross.
Keep your eyes open for hurling matches taking place on the Fifteen Acres, and get a glimpse of the Magazine Fort before you make your way west towards the Furry Glen passing St Mary’s Hospital. You’ll then head back up towards Chesterfield Avenue to make your big finish.
All Ireland County Challenge
The SPAR Great Ireland Run gives each and every runner the chance to represent their County in the All Ireland County Challenge. To qualify, each County must have at least five registered runners, and the winner is determined by the fastest average time of each county’s competitors, using chip finishing time technology. The winning County are competing for the Ronnie Delany Trophy. At the end of the competition we will also identify the time for the fastest male and female finisher.
More information about the All Ireland County Challenge will be coming soon!