The Castlecomer Global Virtual Wellie Race took place on New Year´s Day, January 1, 2022. Here, Rosaleen Crotty on the event's history and how you can participate from anywhere in the world.

To explain, for those unfortunates who have not yet been introduced to the noble sport of Wellington Boot Racing - on New Year´s Day in 1980, a small bunch of hardy locals in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny set out to do a 5k run in their wellies. And so the Castlecomer Wellington Boot Race was born.

That one small run for a few, some 42 years ago, has since grown into a global wellie event for mankind.

And more, the Castlecomer Wellie Race has earned well over a million dollars for various local charities.

In the years since 1982, wellie races have taken place in all corners of the earth including Australia, the US, Canada, and of course in many parts of Europe.

A huge thank you to everyone who came out to support #castlecomerwellierace yesterday. It was fantastic to see so many...

Posted by Castlecomer Wellie Race on Sunday, January 2, 2022

Because of Covid, the Castlecomer Wellie Race has gone virtual; the event has morphed into the Castlecomer World Wide Wellie Event. Now, wellie racers the world over can pick a route near their home and run / walk / crawl the 5k.

Clothes optional - WELLIES A MUST!

Due to the virtual nature of the New Year´s Day Wellie Race this year, I report on only one small virtual race. A race that is but a small cog in the World Wide Wellie Racing wheel. Namely, the Tri-lateral Canada/Kilkenny/Switzerland Virtual Wellie Race which took place on January 1 at 2.30 pm local time, to coincide with the starting time of the Castlecomer Wellie Race.

Due to Covid issues, however, the Tri-lateral Canada / Talbot's Inch / Switzerland Virtual Wellie Race ended up being a Bi-lateral Canada / Talbot's Inch, Kilkenny Virtual Wellie Race.

But what was missing in numbers was made up for with enthusiasm. In particular from the Canadian contingent, which was made up of the Fieguth-Willms family cluster. The Fieguth-Willms family, spanning three generations of Wellie Racers, discovered this noble sport some years ago on a sojourn in Europe.

An exciting run it was too with a photo finish ending… and the winners can be seen trailed by an oversized leprechaun.

The wellie race's "photo finish" in Canada ... trailed by an oversized leprechaun! (Courtesy Rosaleen Crotty)

The wellie race's "photo finish" in Canada ... trailed by an oversized leprechaun! (Courtesy Rosaleen Crotty)

The Talbot's Inch run was a tad quieter, with one hardy stalwart going from Talbot's Inch, Kilkenny to the Lady Desert Bridge, Kilkenny, and back.

To end, I want to offer a big thanks to the Castlecomer Wellie Race organisers. For over 40 years, they have inspired people all around the world to get out on New Year´s Day and run and have fun in their Wellies. And the Castlecomer lads have made buckets of money for great causes to boot! Well done, well done, well done to them.

And for IrishCentral readers, it is not too late for you. Up to January 6th, you still have a chance to do a wellie run AND donate to the Castlecomer Virtual Wellie Run fundraiser

Happy and safe new year to you all!

AND DON´T FORGET - clothes options but WELLINGTONS a MUST!