Over six hundred people turned up to take part in the RNLI Reindeer Run at Marlay Park in Rathfarnham, Dublin for Irish Lifeboats on Sunday (2 December).  The event, which this year featured ISA Olympic sailor Annalise Murphy, is becoming increasingly popular as a fun day out for all the family.  Participants got into the Christmas spirit by wearing a pair of novelty antlers on their head while completing their walks and runs around the park in their special Reindeer Run t-shirts. 

The reindeer runners came from all over Leinster and further afield with lifeboat crew from Wicklow and Lough Ree RNLI also taking part.  One man even participated while on holiday from California.  The charity is expecting to raise over €22,000 from the day, which will go to RNLI lifeboats in Ireland.

Special guest of honour at the RNLI Reindeer Run was Olympic sailor and Rathfarnham native Annalise Murphy who took time out of her busy training schedule to start the 10km and even take part in the run herself. 

Events started just after 10am at Marlay park when an excited group of children headed off on a short Santa Saunter.  Along the way they had to write down words associated with Christmas and were surprised on the route by Santa Claus and Rookie the RNLI Reindeer.

The ten km race started at 11am with Michael Purcell from Jones Lang LaSalle being the fastest male finisher with a time of 37 minutes and 36 seconds with the fastest female finisher Kathy Grassick from Pulse Triathlon club, Celbridge with her time of 44 minutes and 54 seconds.

Michael dedicated his run to his friend Vinnie O’Brien who sadly died in September off Kilmore Quay, in a diving accident.  Vinnie was passionate about the sea and admired the work of the RNLI.  Thirty-one of Vinnie’s colleagues from Green properties Ltd, where he worked, also took part in the run and raised over €5,000 in memory of their friend.

An hour later saw the turn of the 5km group with Dermot Gorman from Raheny Shamrock Athletic Club finishing first with a time of 17 minutes and 2 seconds and Anne Burke, the fastest female finisher had a time of 21 minutes and 40 seconds.

Commenting on the day, RNLI Reindeer Run Co-ordinator Rose Michael said, “We are delighted with how the day went and that so many people turned up.  The atmosphere was great with children and adults all getting into the Christmas spirit and enjoying the different events.  The sight of groups of children and runners taking off around the park in antlers was something special and I hope we can continue to organise this event in years to come. Thank you to everyone who took part and raised vital funds for the RNLI.”

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