By Seán Lynch
A report has revealed that the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run 2016 generated a total boost of €4.04 million for the city.
This year’s edition of the Great Limerick Run took place on May 1 2016, during the city’s Riverfest event.
The Social, Sport and Economic Impact Report launched by Minister for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan, revealed a 43 percent increase in hotel reservations during the weekend from 2015, with guest average expenditure increasing by 40 percent.
A total of 12,684 athletes took part across the different races, 3,150 of which participated in the University of Limerick’s Children’s Fun Run, making it Ireland’s largest children’s run.
Speaking at the launch, Minister O’Donovan said, “Limerick has positioned its self as a centre for sporting, a sporting capital and the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run plays into that narrative in a very clear and real way and it’s paying dividends.”
“What we’re trying to do is get people to spend money regionally and to enjoy the experience that’s available in the regions and to shift the focus form a tourism point of view outward from Dublin.”
Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Limerick Michael Hourigan described the event as “a great lift the city” and praised the physical benefits of the run to participants and of the commercial successes of people coming to Limerick City.
The 2016 featured charities who benefited from the €735,000 raised were: the Irish Cancer Society, Focus Ireland, Pieta House and Milford Hospice. Runners were also welcome to raise money for a different charity of their choice.
Race Director John Cleary commended “the work and commitment of a huge amount of people”, describing it as a testament to all the effort that all those people have put in.
“There are big plans to move the event to an even bigger size in the years ahead. We have a number of ideas that are well underway to helping that take place and I look forward to working with all our strategic partners to help grow this event even further,” he said.
Almost 4,000 additional bednights were generated by the event, representing nearly a 50 percent increase in hotel reservations compared to 2015. 47 percent of participants indicated that they plan on staying in Limerick for at least two nights in the future.
Report author Mark O’Connell of W2 Consulting said: “The 15 euro return on investment, for every euro of that the Great Limerick Run has spent on hosting the event, in itself shows the dividend for the city.
Minister O’Donovan added, “I’d also like to thank the men and women who turn out and participate in this and give Limerick and the mid-west region a very good name over a few days, year in, year out, and now entering year eight.”
One of the key attractions for the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run is the three separate race lengths. The six-mile, half-marathon and full-marathon distances, as well as the Children’s Fun Run at the University of Limerick.
A total of 2,384 runners in the 2016 event indicated that they are now running as a result of the Great Limerick Run.
Registration forms for the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run 2017 which will take place on April 30, are available at greatlimerickrun.com.