A new challenge that has recently been launched for 2016 is the Go Active Ireland, Run 32 Counties Challenge.
As you can guess from the name, this challenge is to run a race in each of the 32 counties in Ireland during 2016. Any race will count provided it is longer than 5k and the results are verifiable to the organisers (by being posted online).
I imagine those that are interested in taking on this challenge will see it as more of a personal goal, a bucket list type of activity (that’s the way I’m looking on it anyway). But for those that are a bit more competitive, there is a points system in place. You essentially get 3 points per race, with a max of 1 race per county to score. However, certain races will be signing up to be official races as part of the challenge, and these will allow you earn bonus points.
Moving away from the competition aspect of the challenge, for me, it’s extra motivation to get to run in places of the country that I’ve never been to before and to experience new races. So as I plan out my 2016 in terms of training and races, the objective will be to balance hitting some of the big races that I want to do, with the ability to maybe squeeze a couple of small races in neighbouring counties that are far away, over the one weekend.
For example the Run Mount Julliet is on in Kilkenny on 13th February (options of half marathon or 10k). Maybe stay overnight in Mount Julliet (pretty nice) and then head off to Enniscorthy in Wexford the next morning for the Enniscorthy 10k. That’s Kilkenny and Wexford knocked off the list in one weekend.
Obviously you need recognition for completing the challenge! So here’s the t-shirt and medal that comes with finishing: