The Somers family, originally from outside Castlecomer who completed the event at the Phoneix Park in Dublin
Not even a pandemic could stop the community spirit that prevails among the Powley men and women as the legendary Castlecomer Wellie Race took on a virtual feel for 2020.
The event kicked off on St Stephen’s Day and to date hundreds of people have donned their wellies and pounded the pavements all over the world to support local charities.
Some big names have also backed the event. Among those encouraging people to take part are An Taoiseach Michael Martin, broadcaster Mary Kennedy and Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Andrew McGuinness.
The Taoiseach took time out of his busy schedule and congratulated all of those involved in the Castlecomer Wellie Race for 41 years of work that has benefitted many local charities.
Meanwhile registration is still open and organisers are encouraging people to sign up. So far there have been entries from Australia, Canada, France and England.
“We would love to see people participate in this unique event and support us as we continue helping local charities, a tradition we have which we have successfully done for the last 41 years,” said the organisers. “We are inviting people to run/walk/crawl 5k over the Christmas season and have as much fun as possible.
“Our aim is to help those in need and keep the fun, laughter and community spirit that comes with our annual wellie race alive even when we can’t be together,” they added. “Now, more than ever, we need to help others and we fully believe we can do this together even though we are apart.”
Participants are encouraged to wear fancy dress, county colours, bring the pets and the only rule is - you must wear your wellies in keeping with the longstanding tradition.
Originally started in 1978 the Powley (an area in the hills surrounding Castlecomer) men decided, while playing cards, on St Stephen’s Day to run off the Christmas excess by having a race over a cross country circuit. Many of them did not have a pair of runners so they decided to opt for the next best thing - wellingtons! Over the past 41 years almost €1 million has been raised for charities.
To enter the Wellie Race see www.wellierace.com
See pages 10 and 11 for our nostalgic lookback at the Wellie Race over the years.
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