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Sports Last Updated: 27, May 2017 - 09:47

Official Launch of Great Lakes Challenge Series 2016
By Noel Gibbons
6, Feb 2016 - 09:48

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The most popular news reporter in Ireland, if not the world, Teresa Mannion of RTÉ will make a necessary journey to Tourmakeady, on Sunday 7th February.

Teresa is RTÉ News' Western Reporter and became an overnight celebratory following her dramatic report on storm Desmond from the Salthill promenade - a report that went viral over the internet.

Noel Gibbons, Mayo County Council Road Safety officer and organizer of the Tourmakeady 8K, the first run in the series said : "We are delighted to welcome Teresa to the official launch of the Great Lakes Series 2016. This is the second year of the Great Lakes Challenge Series, which was a great success last year. Joining up with our neighbours in Clonbur, Carrnacon, Claremorris and Ballinrobe has been great fun and has mutually benefitted all participating groups." Yvonne Finn, who started the original Mini-Marathon in Tourmakeady in 2012, agrees with Noel and adds: " Getting together with other interested groups in Mayo to run the Great Lakes Challenge Series is an example of great community spirit, where 5 communities work together for the greater good of all our communities." Money raised in each of the events will be going to a specific cause or, in some cases, towards the development of a local amenities or programmes.

The official launch will take place at 2pm at Tourmakeady hall, on Sunday next, 7th February. Representatives from all 5 committees in the Great Lakes Challenge Series and their supporters are expected on the day. "At the official launch, we hope large numbers will attend and take part in a 5K loop walk or run" Noel explains.

Safety on our roads is a priority for all involved. RTÉ's Teresa Mannion commented: "Safety for all ages on our roads is a prime concern for everyone. The most important tip is to be seen and do this by wearing HI Viz if you are walking ,running or cycling."

The first event is the 8km ‘Out of the Woods' walk/run/job in Tourmakeady and will take place on Saturday 20th February at 12 noon. The route runs through the local Coillte woods in Tourmakeady and includes 2 hills, making it probably the most challenging of the 5 events. Organizers are looking forward to welcoming runners and walkers alike to the 8K. Money raised from the event will go towards the development of the local Páirc Sproai and CCTV system.

The second event is a 10K run in Clonbur, and takes place on 28th February at 12 noon.The route runs across two counties, County Mayo and County Galway and all proceeds will go to the locally established charity the Zambia Housing Project. "We do this as a local fundraiser every year and its great to be part of the Great Lakes Challenge series. Nine years ago we set up the charity and since then we've raised over half a million euro and built 64 houses," explained Michael Dolan. James Donovan co-ordinator of the Seamus Corbitt memorial run which has been held over the past three years said we are looking forward to large number attending and enjoying the local sites in Carnacon. Takes place on the 5th March at 12 noon.

One of the coordinators of the Claremorris10K run, which takes place on April 2nd at 12 noon,Ronan Kiranne said "We really enjoyed being part of the series last year; it was a great success! We are looking forward to this year's event and hope even more people will turn up and join in the event". The off road route around Clare Lake takes in the picturesque Land of the Giants walk. 
"We'll be welcoming everyone, walkers and joggers, to the event, which has an amazing route we hope to showcase again this year" said Mr Kirrane of Claremorris's organizing committee

Don't blend in - be bright and stand out.

The Ballinrobe event is an 10K, which takes place on 16th April at 7pm.Its the final event of the series and gathers a super crowd.

Organiser of the Great Lakes Challenge Series Noel Gibbons said the Series got off to a great start last year and there was great interest and support fromathletics clubs and sports partnerships in the region. " We are getting across a very important road safety message: "BE SEEN BE SAFE" every time you take to the road. A big thanks to Teresa Mannion for agreeing to launch the series and the RSA for providing the HI viz at runs/walks.
For more information and to learn how to register for each event visit Great Lakes Challenge Series on Facebook.

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