Donegal Athletics board officials are bracing themselves for another bumper Brian McCormick Sports Donegal Grand Prix Road Race series.
The launch of the 2014 Grand Prix series took place in the Aura Leisure Centre on Friday evening. And on the back of record numbers who competed in 2013, Donegal Athletic board officials are anticipating even larger numbers taking part this season. Brian McCormick Sports is once again the main sponsors.
Over 10,000 competitors competed in the highly popular series in 2013 and the Donegal officials are anticipating even larger numbers to take part in this year’s series.
“The average numbers per race last year was 200 and when you multiply that by over 50 races it adds up to 10,000 and that is not taking into account the 1,500 runners and 1,500 walkers taking part in the North West 10k, ” said Brendan McDaid, competition secretary of the Donegal Athletics board.
This year’s series is made up of 54 races, the majority which are 5k events. However, there are a number of longer races. The schedule also includes five 10ks, one four mile race and the 15k Danny McDaid Memorial Race.
“I know many of the athletes take part in most of the events but regardless the numbers competing in the series overall are huge. And given the number of events and the even bigger numbers of people that are out walking, running and jogging we are expecting even bigger numbers this year.
“It is a hugely popular series and has really grabbed the interest at all levels and we have races this year in literally every corner of the county.”
The traditional start of the series is the North West 10k and that is the case once again in 2014. The Grand Prix kicks-off with the North West walk and run in Letterkenny on the first weekend in May. And the series concludes 21 weeks later with the running of Orla Memorial Race in Ards, Creeslough at the end of September.
Donegal Athletic Board chairman, Neil Martin, and Brendan McDaid were joined by main sponsor Brian McCormick of Brian McCormick Sports, and other members of the Donegal board and competitors at Friday evening’s launch.
Also on Friday evening, last year’s Grand Prix category winners - Teresa Doherty, Senior Women; Kevin Ferry, Masters’ Men and Gloria Donaghey, Masters’ Women - were presented with their awards by sponsor Brian McCormick.