Storming the Castle 10k returning to ‘create a real buzz’ around Carrickfergus

Seapark Athletic Club has announced the return to Carrickfergus this summer (August 21) of the Storming the Castle 10k road races.

Absent for the previous two years due to the Covid pandemic, the race organisers say they are delighted to be hosting this event which brings hundreds of athletes, their family, friends and spectators to the town. 

Seapark’s Andy Smyth, race director, said, “We are very excited to be back for 2022. As one of the most popular races in the Northern Ireland running calendar, it attracted around 1,000 participants in 2019 from running clubs and individuals from across Northern Ireland.

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“Our fast, flat course is not only fantastic for those serious runners but also for enthusiastic amateurs striving for a new PB and those who want to run to raise money for charity.

Gemma Brown, Mid and East Antrim Council; Susan Kane, Seapark AC race volunteer; Lesley Wright, Aware NI; Jack Creighton, Ownies Bar and Bistro; Seapark ‘Knight’, Bobbie Irvine; Andy Smyth, race director, Seapark AC and young runner Mark McCracken.

“With the impact of Covid on wider society, this year, for the first time, the race committee decided to appoint the charity partner AWARE NI in an effort to raise awareness of mental health and also demonstrate the link between running and how it can positively impact on improved mental well-being.

“We are grateful to our partners Mid and East Antrim Borough Council who will be managing a kid’s fun run, ‘Chase the Knight’ for 4-9 year olds and a junior race for 10 – 14 year olds prior to the main 10k event - registrations for these are due to open next month.

“Post-race, we will also have family fun entertainment in Shaftesbury Park from 2pm thanks to the generous support from our local sponsor, Ownies Bar and Bistro.

“The event is also part of the new Cinema Coffee 10K Grand Prix so we expect to sell out as per previous years. We would encourage people to sign up now and take advantage of our early bird rates available until midnight on 30th June. Register at www.athleticsni.org”

Lesley Wright, from AWARE NI, said: “We are excited to work with Seapark AC and Storming the Castle 10K. Running is a great mood enhancer for everyone, helping many people deal with stress, anxiety and building resilience to help cope with modern day life challenges.

“Northern Ireland has the highest prevalence of mental illness in the UK, so the more we can do to get people talking about the issues to help breakdown the social stigma attached to mental ill health the more we can help people deal with depression and anxiety.

“We will be facilitating one of the water stations on the route so we will be doing our bit to refresh the runners and cheer everyone on.”

Mid and East Antrim Council has welcomed the return of the event.

Gemma Brown, sports development officer with the council, said: “Pre-Covid this event presented a great opportunity to showcase Carrickfergus to the hundreds of visitors on race day. We are delighted to see it back for 2022 and commend all the organisers and volunteers for their work to deliver this important event that encourages more people to get active and healthier lifestyles.”

Jack Creighton, owner of Ownies Bar and Bistro, said, “We are delighted to once again support this popular event that brings large numbers of athletes, their families, friends, spectators and volunteers, creating a real buzz around the town.”

Andy concluded: “There will be cash prizes for main race categories as well as spot prizes on the day so we expect this to be a fantastic day out for all involved.”

Full details are available at www.seaparkac.com or on Facebook Storming the Castle, #STC10K

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