Sixteen years on, the Balla 10km, goes from strength to strength

Pictured at the launch of the Balla 10K Road Race/Walk in aid of local charities. Front L-R; Betty Dabbagh (Western Alzheimer’s), Mary Tiernan (Mayo Autism Action), Teresa Mahon (Vice Chairperson Arthritis Ireland), Tom Connolly (M& C Financial Services sponsor), Sean O’Neill (Balla GAA). Back L-R: Pat Ryan (Mayo Autism Action), Caroline Gilmartin (Shebeen sponsor), Padraic Kiernan (Mayo Autism Action), Cyril Bourke (Premier Estates Maloney sponsor), Sheila McNicholas (Arthritis Ireland), Stephen Costello (M & C Financial Services sponsor), Michael McGrath (Mayo Athletic Club), Louise Killeen (Rock Chicks Bra Chain),  Photo Ken Wright Photography 2008.

Pictured at the launch of the Balla 10K Road Race/Walk in aid of local charities. Front L-R; Betty Dabbagh (Western Alzheimer’s), Mary Tiernan (Mayo Autism Action), Teresa Mahon (Vice Chairperson Arthritis Ireland), Tom Connolly (M& C Financial Services sponsor), Sean O’Neill (Balla GAA). Back L-R: Pat Ryan (Mayo Autism Action), Caroline Gilmartin (Shebeen sponsor), Padraic Kiernan (Mayo Autism Action), Cyril Bourke (Premier Estates Maloney sponsor), Sheila McNicholas (Arthritis Ireland), Stephen Costello (M & C Financial Services sponsor), Michael McGrath (Mayo Athletic Club), Louise Killeen (Rock Chicks Bra Chain), Photo Ken Wright Photography 2008.

For the past 15 years the Balla 10km has been one of the highlights of the Mayo athletics calendar and this year promises to be no different. Tomorrow (July 26 ) will see the 16th running of this event, which has become much more than just a serious athletic event.

Tomorrow will see the first stage of the Guinness world record attempt by Cancer Care West and Mayo Cancer Support Association to create the world’s biggest bra chain. They are hoping to get at least 10km of bras tied together for tomorrows event, but there is a long way to go yet with the current world record standing at 120,000 bras tied together which covered 76 miles. Tomorrow they will be looking to get 10kmof bras tied in a chain which would be about 10,000 bras. Race organiser Brendan Conwell spoke to the Mayo Advertiser about this charity attempt and the race earlier this month. “A number of local charities will be raising money at the race, I was in Dublin at the mini marathon earlier this year and got talking to the organisers of the event and thought it would be good for them to kick off the chain at this weeks Balla event.”

Even though you have probably missed out on getting your bra into the chain for tomorrow night’s events there are almost 70 miles of bras still to be tied into the chain and you can make your donation of a bra and €2 to Mayo Cancer Association, Rock House, 32 St Patrick’s Avenue, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

Races for everyone

Westaro Hosing Ltd Castlebar are the main sponsors of the race and have generously donated a T-shirt for everyone who finishes the race tomorrow, be they top-class competitive athletes or fun runners and joggers. The race event gets under way at 6.30pm with an U16 boys and girls’ 2km race/walk which costs €2 to enter. The main race gets underway at 7pm and the cost of entry is €10. The registration will take place in the Balla Resource Centre and the race will start form just around the corner form it. Showers will be available in the GAA clubhouse after the race, with refreshments being served in the Resource Centre afterwards and the prize-giving at 9pm sharp.

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