IT was the day the Bishop of Kerry out-sprinted a country music superstar to be first across the line as a new world record was set in Killarney this Sunday.
Bishop Ray Browne showed a clean pair of heels to singing sensation Nathan Carter right at the finish as Glenflesk GAA club set a new world best for the number of people running or walking in wellington boots.
Organisers needed 2,000 people to break the existing record and even they were astonished when well in excess of 3,000 men, women and children turned up at the start to play their part.
The big event commenced at the Gleneagle Hotel and wound its way along the jarvey route on Muckross Road before the new record holders returned to the finish line to a rousing welcome.
The colourful 1km walk was fronted by music maestro Nathan Carter but there was nothing the country star could do when Bishop Browne zipped past him, arms outstretched, to win by a short head at the finish line.
Accordion legend Liam O’Connor, politicians, GAA stars, Olympian Gillian O’Sullivan and even Spiderman himself all played their part and they were joined by well over 3,000 others, from all parts of the county, as the record was shattered in no uncertain terms.
The previous best was 1,976 participants – achieved in Ketchikan, Alaska, USA this time last year – but right from the off it was obvious that the Glenflesk GAA club name was destined for the Guinness Book of Records.
“It was the largest fundraising event the club has ever organised,“ said committee member Danielle Favier.
“We wanted to help raise badly needed funds for the club but also to have an event which would put a smile on people’s faces and that it did,” she said.
“It was a huge success due to the hard work of so many volunteers in Glenflesk and indeed many other clubs, businesses and voluntary organisations throughout Killarney and Kerry,” Danielle said.
The Glenflesk GAA club certainly played a blinder in the advance promotion of the big event with posters, leaflets and even a fun-filled video which was a smash hit on YouTube.
Event sponsors, Rentokil Initial, availed of the opportunity to unveil Ireland’s first pop-up insect restaurant and they served up an array of exotic cuisine, including salted weaver ants, barbecued mole crickets and chocolate-dipped worms which went down a treat.
Glenflesk GAA club will now submit all the relevant evidence to the Guinness World Book of Records management team and the evaluation and accreditation process could take anything from eight to 12 weeks.