Vicarstown hosted its annual Beat The Barge Canal Fest last week, and again the combination of water sports with a competitive road race was a resounding success.
While sun had given way to rain by 1pm, Vicarstown's John Scully and a small but dedicated group of volunteers ensured it was a great day of water activities, culminating in the Oughaval A/c 4k Beat The Barge fun run.
Over 80 children enjoyed kayaking, pedal boating, and paddle boarding.
Helpers came from Daingean Grand Canal Adventures, the SVT youth sports leaders, Anne Marie Maher and her water safety volunteers and life guards, and Andrew Murray who spent the afternoon on the water ensuring all were safe.
For the younger children there was Arts and Crafts in the marquee and the arrival of the Dragon Boat from Athy generated great excitement.
With huge interest in developing water based activities in Vicarstown, the announcement of the new SVT Canoe and Kayak club was warmly greeted.
Details of the club will be announced shortly but expressions of interest can be made to James McGovern at 086 3800739.
After the water activities, registration opened for the 6th annual Beat The Barge Fun Run.
Numbers were down slightly this year, but the quality of the field was evident, with runners from all Laois clubs and beyond.
Almost 200 men, women and children ran, decked out in a commemorative tech t-shirt, designed by Killberry schoolgirl and Oughaval athlete Charley Johnson.
Beat the Barge is well known for its generosity of prizes, and this year there were prizes for the top 7 men and women, and 3 separate categories of prizes for secondary school boys and girls .
Vicarstown Canal Fest and Beat the Barge would like to thank most sincerely all of their generous sponsors, the SVT Community Sports Hub, Portlaoise and Portarlington Leisure centres and Emo Oil.. A thanks also to Waterways Ireland, Laois County Council, Laois Sports Partnership and Grand Canal Adventures for their assistance.
Thanks to all who helped on the day especially Michael Dunne, David Foley, Andrew Murray & James McGovern.
Thanks also to all the ladies who baked and helped with catering and to Mary and Jim Crean for the use of the pub.
A finally thank were extended to Philip and Orla Crean for manning the famous Barge...which organisers are happy to say most people managed to beat.
And for those didn't , there is always next year!
Run results below
1.Ava O Connor