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Grant Thornton expands 5K Corporate Challenge to 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 run series will return for a seventh consecutive year and has been expanded for 2018.

Last year’s sell-out event attracted 6,800 runners from 1,700 teams representing over 400 different companies. This year, a new location – Galway – has been added to the race series line-up, enabling businesses in the west to come together and take part in Ireland’s largest, and longest-running corporate run event.

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 a minimum of 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.

Michael McAteer, Managing Partner, Grant Thornton Ireland, said: “Grant Thornton’s Corporate Challenge has grown from a single run in 2012 to a fully-fledged race series that has raised over €100,000 so far for good causes. It’s fantastic to have the support of the business communities in the various locations with more and more companies signing up each year for some healthy competition!

We’re excited to expand the event to Galway this year, for the first time. 2018 will see our biggest race series ever and will help the Simon Community continue the valuable work they do across Ireland.”

Fionn Faherty 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.”