A DONEGAL brother and sister have launched Ireland’s first virtual 3k race and aim to raised funds to aid frontline health workers.

Shannon and Pauric McLaughlin from Convoy have set up Race Against Corona Virus.

Both talented athletes who leaned the trade at Finn Valley AC, Shannon and Pauric have been through the scholarship system in the USA and now they’ve set up a competitive outlet during the Covid-19 shutdown – while adhering to the 2km distance regulations.

Participants register by donating a minimum €5 through their GoFundMe page – https://www.gofundme.com/f/race-the-corona-virus-covid19

After running the 3k, runners sent in a picture of their GPS watch or Strava for the McLaughlins to log onto their online leaderboard, which can be viewed here: https://racethecoronavirus.com/leaderboard

The leaderboard will be updated each night over the next three sees until May 4.


“We are aware that these are very trying times and there is a sense of helplessness among us all, but together we can achieve more and raise money for a good cause,” Shannon said.

“We want to make this is as fun and enjoyable as possible so please share your results on your social media accounts or send us through pictures when you have completed your 3km.

“Please remember to adhere to the government’s advice and stay within the 2km radius of your house. This is a solo race so be sure to keep 2 metres from other people at all times.

“As athletes/recreational runners we understand the power of teamwork and the importance of rallying together when the chips are down.

“Our amazing HSE staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to look after Covid-19 patients and all proceeds will be donated for the purchase of PPE.”

The local athletics calendar, like all sport across the globe, has ground to a halt, with no ideas on a resumption.

Shannon said: “Many people would be entering for local road races, half marathons, and marathons now that spring has hit so why not get your competitive spirit back and take part in the fight against the coronavirus by racing ‘virtually’ – this will give people a break from quarantining by getting your competitive edge back, although on a virtual basis.”