Sanctuary Runners launch Cork City Marathon ’10 for 10′ Challenge

Sanctuary Runners getting into their stride as they launch their ’10 for 10’ Cork Marathon Challenge for 2023. (Photo: Gerard McCarthy)

Five years on from participating in their very first Cork City Marathon the Sanctuary Runners are back again with a plan to build the biggest team in the organisation’s history.

Focussing on solidarity, friendship and respect with all in the community including, and especially, asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants, the Sanctuary Runners this week launch their ‘10 for 10’ challenge.

“We want to get 10 participants from each business, community, street, school or sports club in Cork and beyond to join our team in the race on Sunday, June 4th. You can run, jog or walk the 10km and all participants will cross the finish line on Patrick Street. 

It will be an amazing event and allow people the powerful opportunity to show solidarity with people living in Direct Provision as well as Ukrainian people who have arrived in Ireland since the outbreak of war there,” said Graham Clifford, founder of the Sanctuary Runners.

All Sanctuary Runners will be given one of the organisation’s iconic blue Sanctuary Runner tops or singlets ahead of the event.

“Perhaps you can encourage colleagues, friends, fellow students or relations to take part. The people of Cork have always embraced the Sanctuary Runners and we know they will step up to the start line with us again. We run as one and we feel initiatives such as ours are needed now more than ever,” added Clifford.

Sanctuary Runners also hope to attract people to run the full or half marathon with them.


And one of the pacers in this year’s half marathon will be Adabblah Noel Selorm – a former refugee and proud Sanctuary Runner.

The Sanctuary Runners’ logo will also be emblazoned on the pacer’s running top in this year’s Cork City Marathon. 

Recently a pacer top from last year’s marathon, carrying the logo was delivered to the International Marathon’s Association in Berlin where it will be displayed showing the bond between the Cork City Marathon and Sanctuary Runners.

In 2018 Sanctuary Runners had 200 participants in their first Cork City Marathon, then 400 in 2019 before the pandemic interrupted. In 2021 the organisation had an amazing 1,700 people on their team in the virtual Cork City Marathon across 40 countries and last year the team of 450 on the streets of Cork, which included some 90 people recently moved from Ukraine.

Sanctuary Runners are hoping secondary school teachers and students in Cork and the surrounding counties will put forward runners and walkers this year as those aged 15 and over on race day are allowed enter the new 10km distance.


And plans for a lively street party in Cork City after the event are also in full swing.

The Grand Marshals for this year’s Cork City Marathon the award-winning Sanctuary Runners’ organisation, founded in Cork, has been celebrated at the United Nations for its unique model of doing things ‘with’ rather than ‘for’ refugees thereby fostering sustainable community integration.

To enter the Cork City Marathon as a Sanctuary Runner go to (please note there is a discount for those wishing to run in the 10km challenge with the Sanctuary Runners) and if you have any questions please email

For more information go to