Events in Castlecomer
report available here)
started in 1976 the Powley (an area in the hills surrounding
Castlecomer) men decided, while playing cards, on St Stephen's
day to run off the Christmas excess by having a race over
a cross country circuit. Being a particularly wet day, Wellingtons
was the choice of footwear with Paddy Phelan emerging as the
first ever winner of the Wellington Race.
In 1981 the race was brought to ‘Comer following an
offer by local publican Jim Bollard to offer a perpetual cup
to the winner
The first Castlecomer Wellington Race took place over the
Kiltown circuit on New Years day 1981. The circuit is a demanding
5 km country road with two severe inclines and was an instant
hit with the people of Castlecomer.
Walkers cannot win any of the race prizes except the best
fancy dress prize.
Sixty-two people ran that year and £1,200 was raised
for the "Lourdes Invalid Fund" and the first winner
of the new route was David Farrell, the first Lady winner
was Caroline Coogan. From here the event blossomed and the
following year 1982 saw the first float parade and the winning
float was the "Pope Mobile". The number of runners
had increased to 230 and the amount of money raised was £3000
by it’s third year the number of runners was almost
The monies raised each year have been donated to a wide range
of local, national and international charities.
The Wellie Race celebrated it's 25th anniversary in 2005 and
to date has handed out over €250,000 to various charities.
Further details on the Wellie Race can be found here.