Launch of the 2016 Achill Marathon

Galwegian Gavin Hennigan launches Achill Half Marathon & 10K

Official launch of 2016 Achill Half Marathon, with: Meaghan Hynes, Galway Simon; Bill Griffin, Galway Simon; Deidre Treacey, Galway Simon; Patrick Quinn, Simon Communities of Ireland; Eimear Larkin, Simon Communities of Ireland; Gavin Hennigan; Noel Stenson, Achill Event Management; Pauric Corrigan, Achill Event Management

The annual Achill Half Marathon & 10K Run returns this year on Saturday 2nd July on Achill Island. The event was launched last Tuesday by Extreme Athlete and Galway native, Gavin Hennigan alongside Achill Event Management and The Simon Community, at the Salthill Promenade in Galway. This year, the management committee have teamed up with The Simon Community as their charity partner. "We're delighted to be able to raise funds for The Simon Community this year and to raise awareness of the vital services they provide around the country," explained Pauric Corrigan of Achill Event Management.

The Achill Half Marathon coupled with the 10K Run will take place on Achill Island where a wide range of runners and walkers will get to enjoy the most beautiful course in Ireland. The race route is on the Wild Atlantic Way, giving runners a true taste of the wild, rugged West Coast. Though it can certainly be challenging, it is also one of the most rewarding and most scenic on the AAI circuit, and a genuine welcome from local people will support runners around the course.

The organisers have a unique way of making sure all the runners are ready to go when the claxon sounds the start of the race. Sean Molloy, manager of Achill Tourism, described what will happen: "The local Pipe Band will lead the way to the start line, and this unique Achill tradition adds an interesting twist to the start of the race!". "This year is the 11th Half Marathon and we have a few surprises lined up to celebrate this milestone".

The Achill Island race is famous within the running community for being superbly organised, with plenty of water stations, and it's all done on a community, non-profit basis. A portion of the registration fees will be donated this year to The Simon Community, as well as 75 places in each race where 100% of the registration fee will go directly to the charity. In response to feedback from more than 400 of last year's runners, there will be cash prizes again for the first three men and women who pass the finish line. All runners will be provided with complimentary tea, coffee and sandwiches after the race and an official race party will be held in the evening.

Bill Griffin, CEO of Galway Simon Community, said: "I'd like to sincerely thank the committee who have chosen the Simon Community for this wonderful initiative which raises much needed funds to support our work addressing the homeless and housing crisis. This crisis is impacting every region and community and people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. There was a 40% increase in the number of people in emergency accommodation in 2015 and the Simon Community works with over 7,500 people and families throughout Ireland each year. Access to affordable housing with support is the most cost-effective and proven solution to addressing the housing and homeless crisis. Support such as this helps us to continue to support people on their journey home".

Registration for the Half-Marathon is ?50 until 2nd May and after this will be the full price of ?55. The 10K registration fee is ?30. All runners will be provided with a race pack including a technical t-shirt and timing chip. To register for the event and for more information, visit www.achillmarathon.com. Fáilte roimh go hAcaill!

Official launch of 2016 Achill Half Marathon, with: Meaghan Hynes, Galway Simon; Gavin Hennigan; Deidre Treacey, Galway Simon;

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