The race was established by two young local runners of the day, Sean Reilly and his brother Tom, with the idea of bringing leading athletes from West of Ireland clubs to their village for a day each year. In the mid-seventies an International dimension was added with a bus load of runners travelling from the Liverpool area to compete and this has continued every year since. This part of the event was organized by Liverpool based Tom Reilly. Sadly, Tom passed away a few years ago and a plaque in his memory stands beside the race finish line – a fitting tribute to the great man.
Incredibly, Sean Reilly will be at the helm for the 48th year on Sunday. Assisted by a small committee of family, friends and neighbours, he will ensure that it’s a top class and memorable event for all participants. Many of the visiting athletes are put up in local homes for the weekend. The format includes separate distance races for men, women, and youth and reflects the type of ” festival of races” that were popular in the Sixties and Seventies. Other similar festivals included the Tullamore Quinlan Cup Road Races and the Galway Round the Houses events. This format is likely to continue in Hollymount till at least the 50th anniversary which will take place in November 2015 and planning for this has already begun.
The numbers taking part have reduced in recent years due to the Dublin Marathon and a crowded fixture list. Hollymount has always proven itself to be a top class event. Recent winners include Matt Bidwell Galway City Harriers in 2011, Gerry Ryan Craughwell AC in 2012. Mary Gleeson of Mayo AC won the womens 3k race in 2010 and 2011. Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC was last year’s winner and was part of the Irish team who went on to win gold at the 2012 European Cross Country in Poland. This years event will be equally as good and is open to all levels of participation. The organisers say “come along to take part or just watch a little bit more history on the streets of Hollymount”.
(submitted by Michael McGrath)
10th November Race format:
Youth 3 km race: Boys & Girls at 1pm – Under 17
· Prizes for First 3 Boys & Girls
· Team prizes: 1st team with 3 to score.
· Cost of Entry €10
Ladies 3km International Race at 1.30pm
· Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd Senior Women
· Team prizes: First 3 teams with 3 to score.
· Cost of Entry €15
Senior Men’s International 10km at 2pm
· Prizes for the First 10 Individuals & First 3 men O/40.
· Team prizes: First 8 teams with 4 to score.
· Cost of Entry €15
Race Director: Sean Reilly 086-8402679.