Sporting groups, runners and walkers in Galway are being invited to dress like movie character Rocky and join the Great Rocky Run in aid of the national suicide prevention and bereavement charity Console.
Decked out in the grey tracksuit and red headband of underdog hero Rocky Balboa, the innovative relay run organised by Galway’s Monivea Boxing Club sets off on September 13 on a 200km route from Galway to Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
“We are inviting people and groups to join us for just a few kilometres or the whole distance, the only condition is that they have to dress like Rocky,” said Gerry Cronnelly of the Monivea boxing club.
The run starts at Monivea in Galway and travels along the old Dublin to Galway road picking up participants in towns along the way including Athenry, Ballinasloe, Athlone, Kilbeggan, Kinegad, Enfield, Maynooth and Dublin.
Console founder and CEO Paul Kelly said the fun event aims to raise awareness as well as funds.
“Rocky was an inspirational character who triumphed over adversity and Rocky runners will be spreading Console’s message that there is hope and help available for people in emotional crisis and those bereaved by suicide,” said Paul Kelly.
The marathon relay, accompanied by a vehicle convey providing food, rest and toilet facilities for runners, is expected to take more than 24 hours to reach Dublin.
“People taking part don’t have to raise sponsorship, but they are being asked to buy their Rocky training gear,” said boxer Gerry Cronnelly
“We have four options ranging from €85 for the ‘heavyweight’ pack down to €25 for a ‘lightweight’ version.
“We are inviting members of the local boxing, running, and sporting clubs to join us for all or part of the way, along with anyone else who would like to support Console.
“Console will receive 90 per cent of the funds raised with the Monivea Boxing Club building fund receiving 10 per cent.
“We are asking people to register now at our website thegreatrockyrun.com We would also love to hear from volunteers willing to help out on route,” said Cronnelly.
Nationwide professional suicide prevention and bereavement charity Console offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide (Freephone 1800 247 247 )
The charity has full-time counselling centres in Limerick, Cork, Dublin, Wexford, Galway, Kerry and Mayo. It also offers services in Kildare and Athlone and has opened a service in London.
Counselling, advice and general support is available for any individual, couples, groups, families or children who have been affected by suicide.
Console can be reached at any time on freephone 1800 247 247 and many resources and useful information can be found at www.console.ie