Kia Motors Ireland has joined the ranks of major global brands involved in sports sponsorship in Ireland. Yesterday they were unveiled as title partners of a new nationwide running race series which will take place in 2018.
The Kia Race Series will bring together seven well established regional races around Ireland under one umbrella with a new closed road running event in Mondello Park.
It’s a smart move in an otherwise increasingly crowded running landscape to bringing existing races together under the one umbrella as opposed to trying to establish another series on top of the existing calendar.
Kia Motors will bring plenty of sponsorship experience and innovation to the table as well. They are partners of FIFA, UEFA and the Australian Open Tennis Championships around the world.
The Kia Race Series will kick off in March with The Streets of Portlaoise 5k with the finale event in Mondello Park organised in September by Pop Up Races.
Mondello Park’s close association with the motor trade and the facilities it has outside Newbridge in County Kildare make it a perfect setting for the series finale.
The Kia Race Series is aimed at encouraging Ireland’s best male and female distance athletes to compete against each other, with a new Kia Stonic up for grabs for both the overall male and female winner of the series.
To be eligible to win the series, runners must take part in five of the eight races including the finale.
There is a €7,000 bonus fund available for course records. The series also open to runners of all abilities from elite to club to weekend warriors with all those who take part in the series receiving a commemorative t-shirt.
“We are really proud to launch the inaugural Kia Race Series,” said James Brooks, Managing Director of Kia Motors Ireland.
“Kia is primarily a family brand and we see a great fit between the race series and our customer base. The series offers runners of all abilities the chance to participate to the best of their ability, and with the addition of the Mondello International 10k we hope to increase opportunities for people to take part in major closed road running events in communities throughout Ireland.”
“The series will be a great platform for inspiring competitiveness among new and well-established runners with the all-new Kia Stonic on offer as the prize for the overall male and female winner of the series.
The race series is being backed by Irish Marathon Record Holder Catherina McKiernan and Olympian Mick Clohisey.
“The Kia Race Series will encourage elite runners to race against one another; ultimately racing is the lifeblood of the sport,” said McKiernan.
“On a personal level it is exciting that the Run with Catherina race, which takes places annually in my hometown of Cavan, is part of the series. The race will take place in April to coincide with the 20 Year anniversary of my London Marathon win back in 1998.”
The official timing partner for the Kia Race Series is Pop Up Races, Ireland’s leading race timing and event Management Company.
Pop Up Races will also be race organisers of the Finale event in Mondello.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Kia Motors Ireland and the seven road races and their race directors. For the last race of the Kia Race series in Mondello, we are planning to bring the X-factor to make the finale memorable for all runners taking part.”
The KIA Race Series
1. Streets of Portlaoise 5k – 17th March 11am
2. Run with Catherina (Co. Cavan) 10k – Saturday, April 28th 7pm
3. Tallaght AC 5k – Sunday May 6th 12pm
4. Bob Heffernan 5k (Enfield, Co. Meath) – Tuesday 22nd May, 8pm
5. Braveheart 5k (Trim, Co. Meath) – Friday, June 15th, 8pm
6. Dunshaughlin 10k Road Race – Saturday, June 23rd, 7:30pm
7. Roscommon 10 Mile – 7th July 2018, 11:30am
8. Mondello International 10k – September 9th, 11am