Kenya's David Rudisha, the current Olympic 800m champion and world record holder, and Brother Colm O'Connell, coach to 25 world champions and five Olympic champions, will participate in various activities in the city from September 11 to 16.
Their trip to Galway will include visits to schools on September 12 and 13 and a number of running events at Dangan running track on Saturday September 14. The events, which are sponsored by the North Pole Marathon, will be used as fundraisers for Galway Simon Community, Self Help Africa, and Education for Life, an AIDS charity in Kenya.
The school visit timetable is already filled but organisers are keen to stress that it is not too late to get more schools involved. One such way is to have a dedicated 800m run especially for a school on Saturday September 14. In fact, the same invitation is extended to all clubs, organisations, and companies. The organisers are encouraging people to run in their club colours, or even in their company t-shirts while waiting to watch the great Rudisha, who will take part in a celebrity 800m event. Connacht Rugby is one club that is already on board and will have their own dedicated ‘Connacht Rugby 800m’ run. To get involved, simply visit www.galwaykenyarun.com or email [email protected]
The day will also feature an elite mile where international athletes will attempt to break the four minute barrier in Galway for the first time. Admission is free and members of the public are invited to attempt the 800m themselves to gauge how close they can get to Rudisha's astounding world record of 1:40.91. Events kick off in Dangan at 1pm, with timed 800m runs for the public being operated every 10 minutes. The celebrity 800m will take place at 4pm and the Elite Galway City Mile at 4.20pm.
Following the track activities, a further treat is in store. A Q&A session with Brother Colm and David Rudisha will take place at Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. Organisers are keen to stress that tickets are selling very quickly and advise that people to purchase their tickets as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available from Great Outdoors on Eglinton Street, Claddagh & Celtic Jewellery on Quay Street, or online at www.galwaykenyarun.com
The Q&A Session is not just of relevance to those with an interest in athletics, but should interest anybody wanting to better themselves, whether it is in individual sports, team sports, business, and life in general. Brother Colm believes that traditional methods for sporting success need to be replaced with modern thinking and a more holistic approach. "It's an attitude, it's an approach, it's the way you deal with an athlete. It's the environment in which you bring them, that is what is important."
Admission to the Q&A is only €10, with all proceeds going to charity.