On May 4th this year, 5,000 Irish runners of all levels will have the opportunity to take part in the Irish leg of the Red Bull Wings for Life World Run.
The beautiful Ring of Kerry will host the Irish leg, which will see 150,000 runners in 40 countries take part in what is the first of its kind. In classic Red Bull fashion, this is no ordinary race.
The course is 120 km long, however, it has no finish line. Runners will be followed by a ‘chase car’ which builds up speed as the race goes on. Competitors are eliminated once the car passes them out. The last man or woman standing worldwide is the winner. That is a serious incentive to get training.
So with all that in mind, we've thought up a hypothetical sports star line-up for the race. Half of them are retired, none of them are track-and-field stars, but all of them have something that would make them suitable for a slog around Kerry with no end in sight, just the relentless hum of the chase car behind them.
Let us know who else you'd include, and what your finishing order would be.
1. Roy Keane
OK, so Roy is a while out of the game now, but I genuinely think he'd be a serious contender in this race. He convered huge distances throughout his playing career, and trained above and beyond what was expected of him on his return from his cruciate injury in 1998. Offer him a few million in sponsorship money for the guide dogs and watch the man train himself into ultrarunner condition. Those guys can stay at their peak well into their forties so expect Roy to clock a staggering distance around Kerry.
2. Carlin Isles
The US sevens star, new to Glasgow Rugby is the latest speed sensation in world rugby. We know this lad can run bloody fast, but could he slow things down and distribute that power over a longer time frame? He's in cracking condition and must amass a good few miles a week in sprints, but much like the speculation over his move to the 15-man game - can he hack it in the longer format?
3. Paul Galvin
The Finuge fashionista is recently retired, but the wing forward could cover the wide open spaces of Croke Park as well as any on his day. Expect him to be kitted out in Vibram FiveFingers or similar, glove-like minimalist running footwear. He'd be on home turf too, so would have a huge following to roar him around the Ring.
4. Paul O'Connell
The National Monument has stores of grit and that could keep the country's roads ice-free for a decade, but it's fair to say that Paulie isn't the most lithe runner we've ever produced. It's not his job, sure. But I'm certain that he could trudge grimly along for hours and hours. We have not yet seen the limits of the man's endurance. A real dark horse entrant.
5. Paolo di Canio
Another retired player on the starting line, but Paolo has previous in the long-distance running department - he accidentally ran the Swindon half-marathon in 2011, instead of the two-and-a-half-mile fun run he'd signed up for. That was no bother to him well after his full-time playing days have ended (he still loves a kick-about, mind) and he's an absolute head banger, one could expect him to enjoy the pain of the experience.
6. Tiger Woods
Tiger is a bit crocked lately, but that insatiable drive to win at all costs, that bitter hatred of losing would have him seriously well-positioned for a medal place. Even without all those things in his favour, his dalliances with the US Navy SEALs should be enough to have him breezing along for hours without a bother on him.
7. Nick Popplewell
Poppy's playing days are well behind him, but if he runs nearly as well as when he held the crown of Ireland's fastest prop forward then he should be fine for a few miles anyway.
8. Ashley Young
We already know that Young is the fastest footballer on the planet, so much like Isles, we'd like to see him tested over the unrelenting undulations of Munster. A highly-conditioned thoroughbred regardless, he should do fine provided he stays on his feet. Sorry.