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Smartsearch.ie Need 600 People for Ireland’s First Retro Run in aid of Western Alzheimers
Galway-based company Smartsearch.ie launched one of the most novel Guinness World Record attempts yesterday, (Wednesday 11th April) in Eyre Square.
Ireland’s first Retro Run will take place in South Park, Salthill on Sunday 10th of June with World Champion Garret Doherty expected to lead the field.
For anyone who doesn’t know what Retro Running is, says Smartsearch.ie Managing Director Michael Keaney, “it’s quite simply running backwards. We have engaged the World Retro Running Champion, over a 3k distance, Garret Doherty, to help all our entrants with their training and technique.
“Raising much-needed funds for Western Alzheimers, we believe this event will be one of the most memorable fun events in Galway this year. Not content with organising Ireland’s first competitive Retro Run, we also want to break a Guinness World Record, so I am calling on young and old to take up the challenge. It will be completed over a distance of 1km so people of all fitness levels will be able to run or walk it.”
Mayor of Galway Hildegarde Naughton was the first person to try retro running and took on World Champion Garret Doherty in a short race in Eyre Square. Launching the event Mayor Naughton called on everyone to get involved. “This is indeed one of the most novel events to take place in Galway this year and all in aid of a very worthy cause. I would encourage the people of Galway to come on board to help break the Guinness world record while raising money for, and awareness of, for Western Alzheimers.”
The current Guinness World Record for Retro Running is 539 and it was set in Belgium in 2009. Smartsearch.ie is hoping to get 600 people taking part in their retro run event over a short distance of just 1km.
Noel Higgins, Area Manager and Fundraising Officer for Western Alzheimers says, “when we were approached by Michael with this novel fundraising idea, we were immediately enthused and very excited to be involved. We are currently in the process of fundraising for a Residential Unit in Merlin Park which is very much needed given the growing number of Alzheimers and Dementia cases in Ireland and in the West.
Garret Doherty originally from Donegal, but who now lives in Dublin, has been retro running for three years. His introduction to the sport arose from a moment of spontaneity a couple of years ago. While taking his usual jog in Fairview Park, Garret decided to “turn to face the heat of the sun and thus began to run backwards. Then I saw the other people in the park were really intrigued by it.” He embraces this part of the experience and says, “humans love to stare, so I give them something to stare at.”
This unusual form of exercise originates from China. For thousands of years, the Chinese have been walking and running backwards. It’s a common enough sight even now, to see an elderly person taking a light jog in reverse around a park in Shanghai.
Very quickly after making his turn, Garret noticed a significant difference in his health and fitness. He says, “the sport cures all forward running injuries, because it builds up the muscles around the shins and knees. It also creates great forward running momentum as it keeps you on your toes.”
As well as the associated physical benefits, Garret also believes running in reverse leads to an increased mental capacity. He says, “It will increase your vision, awareness, co-ordination and balance. Similar to blind people, you start using the same set of senses.”
Scientists have long studied the vast differences between the methodical left hand side of the brain versus the more creative and independent right hand side. Garret says that by running in reverse “its a neurobic activity that incorporates use of the under used right side of the brain. It helps you to start thinking for yourself.” He uses Einstein as an example of someone who “was left handed and used the right hand side of his brain, but failed at school.”
To register for Ireland’s first Retro Run log onto Smartsearch.ie. The entrance fee is €25 with the first 600 entrants receiving a Retro Running t-shirt and a €25 voucher for Smartsearch.ie. All entrants will receive a certificate on completion of the run/walk. Sponsorship cards to help raise vital funds for Western Alzheimers are available to download from Smartsearch.ie. For more information on the event contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Notes to Editors:
Further Comment or Interviews Available with:
Michael Keaney, Managing Director, Smartsearch.ie
Garret Doherty, World Champion Retro Runner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Noel Higgins, Area Manager, Promotions & Fundraising, Western Alzheimers
Media Queries: Joanne Sweeney-Burke, Media Box Tel: 087-6237373
63 - Pictured at the launch of Ireland's first Retro Run organised by Galway-based Smartsearch.ie are Eamon Bradshaw, Director Western Alzheimers, Mayor Hildegarde Naughton, Garret Doherty, World Champion Retro Runner and Michael Keaney founder and Director of Smartsearch.ie Front Row - Alan Mulholland, Manager Galway County Football Team with Finian Hanley and Mark Hehir Galway County Football players. Photo by Tommy Hannon.
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