At the moment, the only athletics track in Kerry is the full size 400m track at the grounds of An Ríocht AC in Castleisland. It's an excellent facility and is used for all the major track & field competitions in Kerry.
It is however a 15 mile trip from Killarney. The distance in itself isn't an issue when it's for the likes of say an occasional competition but driving children there back and forth twice a week is another issue. What is required is a local facility in Killarney that is easy for people in the town and surrounding area to access.
What is proposed is the development of a 200m micro track and a floodlit all weather pitch area which will be situated on grounds leased from the St. Brendan's Trust (St. Brendan's College Killarney).
The track will have 4 lanes and have a tartan surface. While it will be measured correctly...i.e. 200m in lane 1, the track will not be a standard 200m track like say the indoor track in Athlone IT. The gradient from lane 1 to 4 will be much reduced as the track will also be used by athletes with special needs. In terms of training however it is excellent for juveniles and adults.
One special feature will be the straight section that you can see at the top. This is about 120m long and will be properly measured, marked and certified. This will facilitate all sprint events such as say the 100m, womens 100m hurdles and mens 110m hurdles. They also have plans for a long jump area as well as a facilities for pole vault, high jump, shot putt and a throwing cage.
The initiative is being supported by three local clubs as well...Spa Muckross AC, Gneeveguilla AC and Kenmare AC...
One might ask why didn't they opt for a full size 400m track but the amount of land required and the costs involved would be in a completely different league. This new facility will suit the training needs of most of the local athletes be they seniors or juveniles.
As a project, I don't see why it couldn't be replicated elsewhere around the country? It is something a lot of other athletic clubs might consider.
So, back to the race! :o)
It is on Saturday the 26th of September with a 9am start.
The entry fee is €25 plus 1.50 process online.
For that there is the race, a medal, a dry fit top, chip timing and the usual prizes including spots.
The course takes in a loop to the north-west of the town as well as inside the park itself.
For more info and to enter, go to the race website...
From the organisers.....
KILLARNEY'S first micro-athletic running track is poised to become a reality. The facility, which will feature four lanes and an astro-turf football pitch, is to be built in the grounds of St Brendan's College. A special fundraising 10-mile road race around Killarney town is to take place on Saturday, September 26, and is expected to attract a host of elite athletes.
"People of all abilities, elite and recreational athletes, joggers and walkers are invited," said Jerh Griffin of the organising committee. "We are excited at the prospect of this race being an annual event to support the students and the community in this race as they jointly seek to create a mini style university approach to physical education in a sustainable way," added Jerh.