Running. It’s the perfect way to clear your head after a day in the office, it’s virtually free, and a great way to keep fit. No wonder the sport has become hugely popular in Ireland over the last few years. If you’ve just moved to Ireland and want the fast track to making new friends, this is definitely a pastime that’s worth taking up. During summer months, there are friendly races all over the country, and pretty much every local park has a volunteer organised park run on the weekends. So what are you waiting for? Grab those trainers and get moving.
If you’re looking for a great way to make new friends, be sure to check out parkruns. These volunteer-led events happen once a week in 76 different locations around the country. They typically take place on a Saturday morning – so you can enter into your weekend all smug that you’ve got your exercise out of the way. The runs are open to people of all levels and abilities, making them a great way to ease yourself in if you’re brand new to running. Joining your fellow racers for a coffee afterwards is a great way to get to know the locals too.
If you love the thrill of the outdoors, adventure races might be more up your street. While certainly not for the faint-hearted, these action-packed events are a thrilling way to see Ireland’s landscape. You’ll likely begin in your running shoes, but be prepared to cycle, paddle and run through mountains, lakes and along country roads. Just be sure to start your training early – you’ll need to be in peak condition for this type of race.
Get Fit for a Good Cause
We Irish love a charity event, and this summer there are races all across the country in aid of some really great causes. From ‘Darkness into Light’ to ‘Run for a Life’, there are lots of chances to flex your philanthropic muscles. If you’re new to your office, why not gather together some of your colleagues and enter one of the charity events as a team? That way, you can bond with your new workmates over fundraising and training before the race.
Join Athletics Ireland
With over 344 affiliated clubs and a membership of more than 58,000, Athletics Ireland is the country’s governing body of athletics. You can find your nearest club on their website, as well as some amazing resources, including a 5k training plan and nutrition tips.
A solo run is often just what’s needed when you want to clear your head. No timetable or rules, just you and the open road (and not a hefty gym membership in sight). There are lots of scenic places to run around Ireland. Dubliners for example have the Phoenix Park (Europe’s largest enclosed public park) right on their doorstep. Or, if you really want to blow the cobwebs off, there are jaw-dropping routes like Keem Bay in Co. Mayo, where you’ll find some absolutely beautiful, unspoilt terrain. Or how about whizzing past a monastic round tower in Wicklow’s historical Glendalough? There are endless routes to explore – time to hit the ground running.