The annual GOAL Christmas Day mile this year enters its 36th year, in which thousands of people walk, jog, or run to raise money and awareness for GOAL's projects in the developing world.
Remarkably, across the thirty-plus years, 400 million metres have been covered, which is roughly the distance from Earth to the Moon. Or the entire surface of Ireland 71 times.
The race has a rich history, and is responsible for a still-intact world record too.
In August 1985, the legendary Belfield track played host to a 'race' that has long since entered Irish running lore: the 'GOAL' Mile Relay featuring Eamonn Coghlan, Marcus O'Sullivan, Frank O'Mara and Ray Flynn, who set the world record in the 4 x 1 mile relay in a time of 15:49:08 - a record which still stands.
GOAL are active in 13 countries worldwide: Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Malawi, Niger, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Uganda and Zimbabwe. They continue to do vital work. Having operated in Syria since 2012, GOAL have ensured that more than 550,000 people have access to clean drinking water every day; 250,000 people receive food vouchers and food kits each month; 600,000 people can purchase bread at stabilized prices every day; while families who are forced to flee their homes because of the ongoing conflict can avail of critical emergency support.
There are more than 130 GOAL Miles organised across Ireland this Christmas Day. You can register and find your 2017 local GOAL mile via the GOAL website.