Jog For a Dog charity 5k returns to Kildare this Easter

Castletown House

Leinster Leader reporter

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Jog For a Dog charity 5k returns to Kildare this Easter

Sponsors Irish Dog Foods with organisers of the event

Now in it's fourth year, this Easter Monday April 2 will see the return of the ever popular Jog for a Dog charity 5k in aid of My Canine Companion Autism Services.

Coinciding with World Autism Awareness Day and once again kindly sponsored by Irish Dog Foods, Naas, this event has sold out in every running of the event.

Open to both runners and walkers, the race will start and end in the beautiful grounds of Castletown House, Celbridge, while the 5k race itself takes the runners and walkers around the town.

“We are so delighted that Irish Dog Foods are supporting us again” said committee chairperson Laura Sullivan at the official launch on January 9.

“Thanks to their generous support from day one, this event has gone from strength to strength and together we have raised over €53,000 for an amazing charity, that trains service dogs for children and young adults with autism”.

The race is organised by families who have all benefited from autism service dogs.

“Thanks to our sponsors covering all our race costs, every penny of our runners and walkers registration fees and any money they raise through sponsorship, goes straight to the charity” added Laura.

“Jog for a Dog is such a great event and thanks to the runners and walkers who have joined us over the last three years, this event has raised significant funding for us and has helped us train additional and much needed autism service dogs” said Niall Ruddy, who co-founded the charity with his wife Cliona O'Rourke in 2011.

2017 was a record year for My Canine Companion Autism Service Dogs with 47 service dogs qualifying with the charity. Service dogs can be a life changing addition to children with autism and their families and provide huge benefits including safety, independence and companionship.

This year's event is also being run in memory of Chantal McQuirk, mother of a young adult with autism who sadly passed away after a brave battle with cancer. Online registration is open at www.popupraces.ie with entry fees ranging from €10 for juveniles runners/walkers to €20 for senior runners/walkers.

This year sees the introduction of a Family Category to cover two adults and three children for €50. Numbers are strictly limited to 500 participants. Organisers hope to provide registration on the day (€15 for juveniles/€25 for seniors/€60 family) but this will be dependant on online sales. Chipped timing, medals, goody bags and refreshments for all participants. Further info available at www.jog4adog.com. Registration at www.popupraces.com. Sponsorship cards available by emailing race@jogforadog.com or calling 086 358 1338.