Castlecomer Willie Race

Monday 01th January 2024
Location: Castlecomer
Check Times with the Organiser

The Castlecomer Wellie race is on January 1st every year to raise money for charity. It is a 5km fun


Originally started in 1978 the Powley (an area in the hills surrounding Castlecomer) men decided, while playing cards, on St Stephen’s day (Boxing day for British readers) to run off the Christmas excess by having a race over a cross country circuit. Not being the type of men that would be caught dead in a pair of Nike’s or Addidas runners, let alone actually own a pair, the most obvious foot wear for this type of event was, yes you guessed it, WELLINGTONS.

Now the less said about the amount of alcohol that had been consumed prior to this momentous decision the better but the history books will record that Paddy Phelan became the winner of the first ever Wellington race.

1981 is a year remembered for many events (More about 1981 is available in another part of the site) but without a doubt the most sensational event was the Powley men bringing the Wellington race to ‘comer (an affectionate abbreviation for the town of Castlecomer). 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 Year ‘s 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.
Organisers Website

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