Festive feast of GOAL Miles
ALTHOUGH the flagship event at Belfield's iconic track has gone, the GOAL Mile will still take place at 14 locations in the Dublin area around Christmas.
First off is today's GOAL Mile at Cloverhill Prison, where prisoners and staff alike will all run to raise funds for the less fortunate.
That's followed by a run in St Patrick's Institution on Christmas morning, when the GOAL Mile will form part of the day's celebrations.
Venues on Christmas morning include the tracks at Irishtown, Tallaght, Lucan, and Sundrive Park; the Phoenix Park, St Anne's Park, Kilbogget Park, Malahide Castle and Corkagh Park, plus nine venues in Co Kildare, six in Co Meath and five in Co Wicklow.
To take part, just come along, register on the day and donate what you can; there is no set entry fee.
The money will go to GOAL's 13 relief programmes in countries including Ethiopia, India, Sudan and Haiti. For a full list of venues see www.goal.ie.
The GOAL Miles tops a long list of seasonal events, with St Stephen's Day by far the busiest.
In Leinster, the Streets of Wicklow 5km this year commemorates the late Anne Earls, a founding member of Inbhear Dee. In her memory, all funds by the race will go to charity, so no big prizes and the emphasis firmly on participation.
A race with a loyal following is the long-established Bull Run around the paths, roads, grass and sands of Bull Island in Clontarf.
The race is a collaboration between the 5th Port Dollymount Sea Scouts Den and the Irish Amateur Wrestling Association, with runners and walkers sure of a warm welcome - and a hot cuppa afterwards.
On the other side of town, the annual Christmas Score Orienteering event takes place on Three Rock Mountain. All who enter have 45 minutes to visit as many (or as few) controls sites as they wish. At the finish, there's mulled drinks for everyone and goodies for the children. In the West, entry is already long closed for the Streets of Athenry 10km, which attracts top runners from all over the country, as does the Greencastle 5-mile in Omagh.
Enjoy an active Christmas!