28 Sept 2022

Virtual Cheetah Run to raise 'much-needed' funds for Fota Wildlife Park

Eagle Athletic Club to run the 2021 Cheetah Run virtually to raise funds for Fota Wildlife Park

Eagle Athletic Club to run the 2021 Cheetah Run virtually to raise funds for Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park is delighted to announce the return of the Eagle Athletic Club’s 5k Cheetah Run as a virtual race to be run from June 7-13.

100% of the race entry fee will be donated to Fota Wildlife Park, which had to close its doors to the public for months at a time during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

As a virtual race, the entrants are free to pick a location and time of their choosing between June 7-13 for their run and upload their finishing time once complete.

The traditional 5k run for adults costs €10 to enter and the race also features a one-mile race for juveniles for €5, and a €20 family option is also available online.

Since its inception, the Eagle AC Cheetah Run in Fota Wildlife Park has been one of the most popular races in the Cork area and is a sell-out every year.

Covering 5k, this is the only race of its kind in Europe, with participants running on the paths through the 100-acre Park. There are normally plenty of furry spectators also, everything from ostriches to wallabies and of course the cheetahs.

Every year the funds raised from the Cheetah Run are used to support the Wildlife Park’s core objectives of research and conservation.

Eagle AC’s race director Tracy Cotter said: “Unfortunately it is not possible to hold the race on-site in 2021 due to Covid restrictions, so we have decided to go virtual instead.

"We are hoping that our 2021 race will help raise some much-needed funds for Fota Wildlife Park. The Park is a charitable status organisation that relies on gate receipts and membership fees for its income. Of course Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the finances of the Park.

"While we would love to be able to hold it on-site at Fota, the virtual set up means that there are no limitations on numbers entering and a person can take part in the Cheetah Run 2021 whether they are in Fota or in Falcarragh or further afield.”

During the closures due to Covid, the feeding and veterinary care for the 135 species of animals had to continue. The animals in the park receive the same excellent level of care as always, regardless of whether the park is open or closed.

While Fota Wildlife Park has since reopened to the public, numbers are strictly limited and many other safety protocols have been added to the visit to help prevent the community spread of Covid-19.

The money raised from entries to the Virtual Fota Cheetah Run will go directly to Fota Wildlife Park. An optional, additional donation to Fota can also be made during the registration process.

As well as race entry there is also the option to purchase a variety of bespoke race merchandise including medals, t-shirts and running buffs. 

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