Kerry O’ Flaherty was among the Irish distance runners to impress at the inaugural race series this year.

After competing at the European Cross Country Championships last weekend, Irish Olympians Kerry O’ Flaherty and Mick Clohisey helped launch the second edition of the Kia Race Series on Tuesday (December 12).

The 2019 edition of the nine race series aims to build on the success of 2018, which included eight course records broken and an entry increase of 29%.

The series, which is organised by Pop Up Races, includes nine races in seven counties across Ireland and begins in March with The Streets of Portlaoise 5k.

“I was delighted to win the 2018 Race Series and to win five out of the five,” said Kerry O ‘Flaherty, the 2018 female series winner. “It was a great idea by Pop Up Races to organise the series and to have Kia on-board as a sponsor is fantastic. I encourage all runners to go out and set a target of running one of these races in 2019 and see what they can achieve.”

The overall male and female winner will get to drive a new Kia Stonic for one year and there is the added incentive of €9,000 bonus funds on offer for course records. There will also be a Masters (O40) prize of a trip for two to the European Masters for both male and female winners.

Irish Marathon champion Mick Clohisey added: “The series drove the standard forward of distance running in Ireland. I look forwarding to lining up in the series in 2019 and having some great competitive races.”

The KIA Race Series

Streets of Portlaoise 5k: March 17, 11:00
Streets of Kilkenny 5k: April 18, 19:30
Bob Heffernan 5k (Enfield, Co. Meath): May 21, 20:00
Braveheart 5k (Trim): June 14th 20:00
Dunshaughlin (Meath) 10k Road Race: June 22, 19:30
Roscommon 10 Mile: July 6, 10:30
Edenderry 10 Mile (Offaly): July 21, 9:30
Castlepollard 5k (Westmeath): August 14, 20:00
The Lakes 10k (Blessington/Wicklow): September 7, 11:00

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