Sport and music strum along for charity race

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Dozens of people laced up their running shoes for Ireland’s first ever Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K in Limavady on Saturday to raise funds for Rotary International.

Fitness enthusiasts and music fans alike joined the start line at Drumceatt Square for an opportunity to run past a rhapsody of talented musicians in a unique event; which is the first of its kind in Ireland.

Seven local bands and buskers were dotted along different areas of the course so runners could experience an array of musical talent as they whizzed past.

The race was organised by Peter Jack (pictured above right), a keen runner who said the event was an ideal combination of his interests.

“My two passions in life are sport and music and I couldn’t get through a day without either, so I just thought this would be original, novel and different because it gives people an opportunity to run and listen to fantastic music,” said Peter, who has run thousands of miles and hundreds of races throughout the world.

With so much local talent in the borough, Mr. Jack said it was a great way to mix sport and the local music scene.

“Roe Valley has got so many amazing bands, and this will give them a platform to present how good they are, and it’ll inspire the runners because listening to music during a run lifts you and makes you go harder and faster”,” said Mr. Jack, who said it was also a great way to get young people interested in their health.

“We are growing into two types of people in society: the couch potato and the triathlon runner; and the problem is that most of our population fit into the first category,” said Mr. Jack.

“There’s an obesity crisis, we face a cardiac crisis and we face a diabetic crisis, so if we can get people to participate in low-key fun events like this - which are not desperately serious - they’ll understand that the first step is the hardest. The Rock N Roll 5K is a chance for people to go out and do something, and celebrate that they can do it”.

Mr. Jack added: “I’m hoping that the runners and singers decide that this is an event which they would like to do again because it’s for a good cause, and I hope that everybody loves it”.

The event’s band organiser, Ruari Connolly told the ‘Journal’: “Limavady has such a vibrant music scene and there are so many singers, songwriters and bands in the area, so this is a great opportunity to showcase the talent of some of these acts”.

Local musician, Becca Allen believes that events such as this are important within the community.

“The Rock N Roll 5K accentuates local musicians so that people from all over Northern Ireland can see that Limavady is a really talented town,” said Ms Allen.

All participants received a medal and the fastest man, woman and child runners received an ‘explore see do’ teddy bear as a reward for their efforts.

Some of the bands taking part include Furlo, Paddy Nash, Ruari Connelly and the Owls!

Race organiser Peter Jack said runners of all ages competed, and the list of entrants also included a runner dressed as a banana.

Keeping in the spirit of the fun run, times were not recorded but the almost 100-strong entrants list included participants as young as nine.