As the Burma Challenge walk, jog or run enters its 10th year, we look back to when we started in 2004, did we ever expect that it would become such a parish social event, encouraging lots of people to become and remain so active, enjoying and looking forward to each Wednesday night for the month of May, an event where people enjoy the social interaction, challenging themselves and the chat and cup of tea after each evening.
In 2004 we had 32 competitors, our original idea was to encourage people who did a gym programme for the winter to continue being active outdoors and how it has grown, with 65 taking part in 2012.
Some of our participants in the first year were Eileen Ryan, Billy Treacy, Mary Esmonde, Geraldine O’Brien, Paddy Doyle, Eibhlis Purcell, Aine Maher, Sheila Ryan, Lisa Quinlan and many of these took part for several years, 2 people participated 7 times, 5 people 8 times and Eileen Ryan & Billy Treacy have taken part in all 9, over the past 9 years 450+ people have taken part in the Burma Challenge. Recorded Personal Best times will be posted on www.moyneathleticclub.com.
The rules are very simple: on the 1st night (April 24th) everybody starts off together after which teams will be selected. On the second night (May 1st) everyone is handicapped and we will also see the start of the Family Challenge which is made up of husband/wife, father/daughter, and mother/son. On the 3rd evening (May 8th) it’s the round that turns the leader board on its head, but is always enjoyed by participants and spectators alike – it’s the cycle challenge, so get your bicycles ready. The 4th evening (May 15th) is the relay challenge; this is where each team member walks/jogs a 1km each. The final evening (May 22nd) is back to where you started when all participants will start together.
The Family Challenge was introduced in 2005, the Hayes Family from Ballyduff won in 2005/2006/2007, The Bookles Patrick & Ann (nee Purcell) won 2008, Ray & Liz Power are going for 5 in row this year and will anyone dare take them on? In 2006 we introduced the cycle challenge what a hit that proved to be with bikes from 70 years old – modern one taking part, not to mention the competition.
For the Burma Challenge’s 10th Birthday we are adding in a new element it’s a team relay. For anyone involved in athletics the relay is the most exciting event at the end of an athletics meet. As with previous years teams will have been decided on the first nights times, these teams will consist of 5 members, each member of the team will have to walk/jog/run 1k, with their combined times add to their team total. During the past ten years the Burma Challenge has raised funds for number of different charities in 2005 – Operation Smile, 2006 – Scoil Cormack, 2007- Mid West Spina Bifida, 2008- Defibrillator, 2009 – Fr. John Ryan, 2010 – Floor in the Indoor Training Facility.
Being the Burma Challenge’s 10th Birthday we would love to see as many old friends and new friends join us to make this the best Burma Challenge in its ten year history. So invite your family and friends for the 5 Wednesday nights starting on 24th April through to the final night on the 22nd May. Over the five nights you will enjoy the chat and banter, meeting old and new friends, post-race refreshments and also exercising while having fun. As part of the birthday celebration and as token of thanks we are going draw a voucher for Sunday lunch for two on each Wednesday night.