SPRINTER SMYTH HELPS RACE GET OFF TO A FAST START
|L-R: Gary McGee (DCTC Coach), Chairman DCTC Cathal McLaughlin, Diana Casalins (Dental Solutions), Jason Smyth, Ciarán Gillan (Dental Solutions) and Adrian Boyle (DCTC Secretary)|
Derry City Track Club sprinter Jason Smyth took time out this week from his preparations for the upcoming summer track season to launch his club’s Dental Solutions 5K Classic road race. The two-time double Paralympic gold medallist flew home from his London base to put his shoulder to the wheel for the club’s inaugural promotion on Friday evening, April 10.
“Whilst I won’t be running myself, I see this is an important step forward for us as a club,” said the reigning NI 100m champion. “We were only formed last year but since then we have made huge steps forward, especially our masters’ section which must be as good as any other club in the country on the track. Although I’m in London most of the time, I can see from the local papers that we are also starting to develop some very talented youngsters and, for me, that should be what an athletics club is all about.”
The race will offer prizes to the first three men and women across the finish line as well as all the category winners. Every finisher will also receive a goody bag containing, among other things, a commemorative medal of the event. And there will also be a trophy for the club/running group that has the most finishers. The course will be certificated for the correct distance with electronic timing for every finisher. Races for juveniles will precede the main event. The U16s will run one kilometre with descending distances down to 500m for P6/P7 pupils.
The race is also the first to be sponsored by Dental Solutions although its proprietor Ciarán Gillan is no stranger to sport. He is the holder of an Ulster Minor Club Championship medal and his father, Séamus, held the post of chairman at Slaughtneil GAC until relatively recently.
“We think this race is a good fit for what Dental Solutions stands for,” said Gillan. “There never have been more people out on the streets and roads looking to improve their health than at present. We’d like to highlight that dental health is equally important and what a better way to do this, especially with a high profile athlete like Jason Smyth involved in promoting the event.”
On-line entry is currently open for the race at www.athleticsni.org. As entries may be limited to the first 300, it is advisable to register straightaway.