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Press release

Grant Thornton 5K Corporate Challenge to take place for the first time in Galway

Calling all Galway businesses – the Grant Thornton 5K Corporate Challenge to take place for the first time in Galway – Ireland’s largest corporate run raises €100,000 to date for good causes, & will support The Simon Community in 2018

Grant Thornton and Athletics Ireland have announced that the Grant Thornton 5K Corporate Challenge will take place in Galway for the first time, enabling businesses in the west to come together and take part in Ireland’s largest, and longest-running corporate run event.

This will be the run series’ seventh consecutive year. Last year’s sell-out event attracted 6,800 runners from 1,700 teams representing over 400 different companies.

The race series kicks off on April 12th at Galway’s Ballybrit Racecourse, followed by June 13th in Cork City Centre, June 21st at Belfast City Airport and finally, September 5th in Dublin’s Docklands. Connacht Rugby Captain John Muldoon, Cork camogie star Ashling Thompson and Ireland sprinter Brian Gregan are among the Race Ambassadors confirmed for the venues.

This year, the Grant Thornton 5K Corporate Challenge will support the top 100 emerging young athletes in Ireland through the Athletics Ireland, Junior high-performance programme whilst also raising funds to support the Simon Community. The charity works to provide housing, support and health care services to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 10% of the registration fees raised will be used to support the charity’s work further.

To date the Corporate Challenge has raised over €100,000 for good causes in Ireland, including St. Vincent de Paul, Pieta House, Laura Lynn, ISPCC, the Alzheimer Society and Make a Wish Foundation thanks to the participation of some 30,000 runners representing more than 1,000 businesses in Ireland.

Aimed at encouraging social running amongst Ireland’s business community, the event welcomes all abilities, from seasoned runners to beginners. Each run is a team event with four participants per team, with team members’ combined race times used to determine the winners in each category [male, female and mixed teams].

The entry fee is €100 for early bird registration of a team of four, all events are chip timed for accuracy and there is a race series t-shirt, medal and goody bag for all participants. The Corporate Challenge is organised by the national governing body Athletics Ireland whose mission is to support and develop the athletes of Ireland of all ages, disciplines and abilities.

Aengus Burns, Partner in Grant Thornton Galway said: “With Grant Thornton opening our Galway office back in 2011, I am delighted to welcome the Grant Thornton 5k Challenge series to the West. The 5K Challenge started with just one run in Dublin in September 2012 and has now expanded to 4 runs in the series with the addition of Galway this year. We are encouraging all local businesses to enter a team of four into the challenge and enjoy some ‘healthy competition’ with their local business neighbours and fitness enthusiasts. Join us at the great venue, Ballybrit race course for the opportunity to run 25 furlongs!”

Karen Golden from the Simon Community said: “The Simon Community are delighted to collaborate with Grant Thornton as charity partner for their 5k corporate challenge team runs this year and would like to thank everyone involved for their generosity. Your support will help provide vital outreach, treatment, housing, homelessness prevention, education and support services to people who are facing homelessness. As we continue to see more people turning to us for help, your kindness will make a life-changing difference and enable people to move to a safe and secure place they can call home.”

John Foley, Chief Executive of Athletics Ireland, said: “We are very pleased to continue are partnership with Grant Thornton for a further three years. Grant Thornton’s sponsorship of this event allows for it to be a revenue earner for the association with profits generated channelled into our Junior High Performance Athletics programmes. These programmes provide support and expertise to close to 100 of our emerging young athletes to help them to fulfil their potential.”

Foley added: – “As an association one of our core strategic objectives is to promote health and fitness in the population as a whole. This event enables us to reach beyond our core membership into the business community by encouraging them to focus on a fitness programme which targets a 5k run; a good starter point for novice runners.”