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Dublin: 2 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

Some of the biggest names in Irish athletics are all under one roof this weekend

Irish triathlete Kevin Thornton chats to The42 about Swim Bike Run Eat Expo’ organised in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.

Sonia O'Sullivan is one among many high-profile names taking part in the event.
Sonia O'Sullivan is one among many high-profile names taking part in the event.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Updated at 13.13

SOME OF IRISH athletics’ best-known figures will be gathered under the one roof this weekend for the ‘Swim Bike Run Eat Expo’.

Professional athletes and enthusiasts will take part in what has been described as ‘a major sports and healthy food expo’ this Saturday and Sunday in the Base2Race Sports Centre, Fashion City, Ballymount, Dublin 24.

The event, which began today at 8am, features renowned athletes and sports personalities including one of Ireland’s greatest sports people of all time, Sonia O’Sullivan, model athlete, Roz Purcell, writer Emma Hannigan, Chi running guru and former European Cross Country Championships gold medallist Catherina McKiernan, Irish Olympians for 2016, Maria McCambridge and Chris Bryan, Celebrity Nutritionist Emma Buckley, former Olympic Triathlete Gavin Noble and International race walker Colin Griffin.

The event is completely free to attend and will be run in aid of Irish Cancer Society and Breast Cancer Ireland.

Moreover, several unique spectacles will be on show — the weightless treadmill Alter G roadshow exhibition will be on site at the expo, along with an Altitude tent for demo.

In addition, topics covered in the various talks given will include biomechanics, strength and conditioning, nutrition, sleep and recovery, caffeine and athletic performance, altitude training, physiological testing and injury prevention.

One of the organisers behind the event, Irish triathlete Kevin Thornton, says that the concept for the ‘Swim Bike Run Eat Expo’ started off small but gradually developed into something much bigger.

“The initial idea behind it was to promote the [Base2Race] shop and the service it provides,” he tells The42. “But once I tried to get in touch with people and different brands and athletes, and just touch base with people to see what kind of interest was out there, it became obvious that there was a real desire to have something a bit bigger on site.

“We decided to move away from a triathlon specific expo, and we thought the ‘Swim Bike Run Eat’ name might be a little more inclusive. We also felt it would help to draw on the individual sports like swimming, running and cycling, and also convince the general fitness enthusiasts to come along as well — and those interested in eating healthily and living healthily.

“We touched base with lots of different brands and it quickly became apparent that they wanted to get involved.”


(Irish triathlete Kevin Thornton is one of the people behind the event)

Thornton also expresses enthusiasm about the lineup of speakers — a combination of renowned athletes and experts in various sports-related fields.

“There is a presenter coming over from the human performance lab in the UK,  who’s going to be specifically talking about recovery and how important that is.

“We’ve got Sonia O’Sullivan, who’s going to be talking about her experiences as a high-performance athlete but also as a relative newbie to triathlon. Catherina McKiernan is going to come along and talk about Chi running — she does a lot of workshops on the subject.

“Colin Griffin, the former Irish racewalker, is going to be there with two hats on — he’s the owner of the altitude centre in Dublin, so he’ll be talking about altitude training and the uses for his product as regards to sport. He also works in Santry — he does a bit of work in the running clinic there, so he’ll be talking about that as well.”

“Roz Purcell is going to be involved on Sunday. We’ve got the weightless treadmill Alter G on site. I went to try that yesterday and it was class. You’re running along and it’s almost like you’re moonwalking. Members of the public can test it out and see what it’s like to run on.”

Furthermore, it’s a charity event for Breast Cancer Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society — two organisations attempting to raise awareness of an issue that’s of personal relevance to Thornton. Similarly, the wife of Cian McGrath, one of the owners of the Base2Race store, is a cancer patient and supporter of Breast Cancer Ireland

“The reason we’ve chosen those two cancer-related charities is because I’ve had a bit of experience in that my own mother passed away with cancer. Cian’s wife has a well-known history of cancer. She’s got through radiotherapy and chemotherapy. So they’re both two charities that are very close to our hearts. I thought it would be a very good opportunity to help raise their profile and also get them a bit of cash as well.”

For more information on this weekend’s event, visit or the official Facebook page. On Twitter, the official hashtag is #swimbikeruneat.

All proceeds from this event go to Irish Cancer Society and Breast Cancer Ireland. More info here.

Originally published Friday at 19.00

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Paul Fennessy

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