On The Road Again (OTRA) is a Galway charity that aims to restore and instil positive self-esteem and empower clients to take control of their own lives for the better.

It is a Personal Development Program whose remit is to advance the self sufficiency of the homeless populations and those suffering from mental health issues by enrolling them in a structured, tailored program. This program is based on the positive benefits derived from the sport of running combined with a health education program & a committed follow-on plan. The primary service sees clients meet three times per week, building up to an hour of daily exercise.

While exercising your body produces endorphins or feel-good chemicals which make you feel instantly better and happier; effects last for some time after you stop exercising. These chemicals may also help combat depression. Exercise removes the build-up of stress hormones in the body which can undermine wellbeing, causing problems such as headaches, fatigue, loss of concentration, problems sleeping and many other mental and physical symptoms. Exercise can also provide focus; having new goals provides direction, and obtaining those goals however big or small breeds a sense of achievement and self confidence.

Pictured above was one of the recent training sessions which was hosted by Athenry AC club member, Martina Passman, and also included many members of the current Connacht Rugby squad.

OTRA also recently held the Monster Dash 5k road race on Halloween night where 115 runners ran around the streets of Galway, many in fancy dress. Please find below a summary of the race from Race Director, Paul Fallon.

β€œThe first annual Monster Dash 5k (An AAI permitted race) took place in somewhat challenging weather conditions on Halloween night last, Thursday Oct. 31st, which saw the participants take in 3 loops of Galway City.

Monsters, zombies, ghouls & goblins were out in force; in fact they surprisingly far outnumbered those in their usual running gear. I think people may have misread the poster and thought that you HAD TO dress up in costume, so a lot of the usual faces stayed away. Hopefully next year we will rectify this.

The winner of the overall race was Andrew Annett of Mourn Runners in a great time of 16:11. Prizes were in all the usual categories & were presented at the ON THE ROAD AGAIN offices on Lower Abbeygate Street. All prizes were donated generously by local businesses, with Lucy Lowry winning a bike donated by Martin Kearney Cycles for best costume (Pictured below).

The organisers would like to thank all the volunteers who came out on the night to help us with stewarding.

Results of the race can be found on Precision Timing at the link below.

Monster Dash 5k Results