The annual Operation Transformation National Walk Day takes place on Saturday, January 7th. This is the seventh year of this national event where thousands of people throughout the country, including in Kerry, put on their walking shoes and take to the pathways of Ireland.
While Listowel, Tralee and Killarney have been included by the organising committee, the Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership, Castleisland, as a traditional and thriving activity / athletics hotspot has been overlooked.
If it’s facilities they’re looking for, there’s none better than Castleisland. An Ríocht stages anything up to a dozen 5K road races each year, it also hosts the Kerry Community Games finals every summer and a flagship, Lee Strand Kingdom Come 10 Miler road race each spring.
Richard Harnett and Paudie O’Mahony
The stadium also hosted a hugely successful Operation Transformation event for TV broadcast a couple of years ago. Then local mart manager, Richard Harnett and former Kerry goalkeeper, Paudie O’Mahony were in the eye of the OT storm and the event attracted hundreds out on a woefully wet night.
Need I mention the Festival of Kerry International Dog Show which attracts entrants from throughout Ireland and Europe each August and which the Castleisland facility takes in its stride.
Apart from the track at An Ríocht there is a fine and recently upgraded walk around the perimeter of the stadium. This takes in the river walk and the latter has several short loops in its town spanning whole.
There are parking facilities here which combine convenience and safety and away from mainstream traffic – and a small army of volunteer stewards well versed in the running of these events.
Fantastic Day Out
A press release from the organisers tells us that Kerry walkers will be doing their part building on what has been regarded over the years as a fantastic day out. As Operation Transformation has linked with Sports Ireland – formerly known as Irish Sports Council – the Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership is responsible for organising and co-ordinating the walks in Kerry.
“This year, we are very fortunate to be in a position to expand the number of walks countywide to three locations – Listowel, Killarney and Tralee,” said KRSP Co-Ordinator Córa Carrigg. “The increased number of walks is made possible by building on the wonderful work and existing efforts of the fabulous volunteers at the local park-runs in Killarney and Tralee. For Listowel we are engaging with the community centre to co-ordinate the walk there.
Infused with Magic
“Registration is essential for all events,” said Córa. “So if you are not already registered with park-run, you can register for free at www.parkrun.ie/register for the Killarney and Tralee walks. And don’t forget to bring your bar codes. For anyone participating in Listowel we ask that you pre-register for free at www.ot-listowel.eventbrite.ie.”
All three events take place on January 7th at 9.30am to coincide with an RTÉ radio broadcast. People of all ages, fitness levels and abilities are invited to come along on the day.
“January is a special time of year, which is infused with magic, loaded with new possibilities and ripe with potential pathways to explore and engage in healthier lifestyle options. It’s all about creating a gap in one’s schedule to make physical activity happen and be a part of our lives. Saturday’s walk provides an excellent opportunity for everyone to get 2017 off to an active start,” said Córa.
Córa Carrigg, Co-Ordinator Kerry Recreation & Sports Partnership. Email: email@example.com Phone: 066 71 84 776 or 087 20 43 631.
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