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Derval swaps spikes for antlers in Reindeer Run

CHAMPION athlete Derval O'Rourke swapped her spikes for antlers as she offered her support to the RNLI's most important national fundraiser.

The RNLI Reindeer Run takes place on Sunday, November 23 and the Christmas event is a crucial income source for the marine charity.

Every Irish lifeboat station is supporting the Reindeer Run this year - and Derval said she was delighted to support a charity that has helped save so many lives.

"The RNLI is a wonderful organisation and deserves the support of everyone," she said launching the event (inset right).

The athlete's support for the RNLI is underpinned by the fact her husband, Peter O'Leary, is a talented sailor who has competed in both the Beijing and London Olympic Games.

Derval launched the 2014 run with the help of RNLI volunteers aged from four to 80 years from Youghal, Ballycotton, Helvick, Crosshaven and Baltimore RNLI stations.

The RNLI charity operates 230 lifeboat stations around Ireland and the UK. Since the charity was founded in 1824, its crews have saved an estimated 137,000 people in the waters off Ireland and the UK.

The Reindeer Run is being held at Fota House and Gardens with registration now open.

Those interested in taking part can get full details from www.rnli.org/reindeer