The 2008 FUTURE Streets of Galway 8k Road Race - one of the biggest road races in Ireland - takes place this Saturday evening.
Race director Vincent Jordan and his team of Galway City Harriers volunteers have made a number of changes for this year’s event with runners wearing an electronic chip that will record their time as they cross the start and finish lines. Also this year, official starter Oliver Geraghty will get the race underway at the earlier time of 7pm from Southpark in the Claddagh.
Once again the Streets of Galway has proved a hugely popular event with entries closing mid-July when the race limit of 2,000 entries was received.
The majority of competitors are from Galway city and county, with many visitors also from around the country, the US, Britian, and Europe. Local athletic clubs will be well represented with 63 entrants from Athenry AC, 25 from Craughwell AC, and more than 15 from Tuam AC, Loughrea AC, and Mayo AC. More than 100 entrants come to the Streets via the Athletics Ireland Fit For Life initiative, while many families and entire households have entered the race,
Hewlett Packard Galway will be out in strength with 25 entrants, as will Attachmate in Ballybrit with 13. The Garda College in Templemore will be certainly out in force this year with no fewer than 135 entrants registered.
All ages are represented, juniors, seniors, and veteran with a total prize fund of €5,000.
The current records are held by Rosemary Ryan and Seamus Power. Traditionally a fast course, runners will be hoping the last few kilometres along the Salthill Promenade are not too windy in a bid to secure a new course record and the bonus offered by sponsors Future.
Both defending champions, Gerry Ryan of GCH and Rosemary Ryan of Bilboa, return to defend their titles. Former Irish Cross Country champion and international, Vinny Mulvey of Raheny Shamrock AC, will provide stiff competition for Ryan. Also one to watch closely will be Josphat Bolt of Clonliffe Harriers who has a 5k PB of 13.17 and recently won the three mile race at the Morton Memorial Meet.
Four-times winner and last year’s runner-up, Pauline Curley of Tullamore Harriers, will be absent this year. Instead, this popular competitor will be in Beijing, having been recently selected for the Irish team to compete in the Olympic marathon.
The organisers are advising participants to arrive in plenty of time for the start as traffic and parking restrictions will be in place. The route map and all the race information is available on the club’s website www.galwaycityharriers.com