Fota House Reindeer Run 2017

Registration for Fota House is now open, so help us raise some doe and get ready for the festive family fun. There’s a free T-shirt and antlers for every participant!

Join us for our annual RNLI Reindeer Run, taking place within the stunning grounds of Fota House Arboretum and Gardens.

This world renowned venue provides a stunning location for both novices and professionals to undertake our self-timed fun-run challenge!

Bring along the whole herd and enjoy some festive fun for all the family. Spaces are available in the 10K and 5K fun runs and there's a 1K Saunter, perfect for the little ones.

Race times
1K Santa Saunter starts at 10.30am
10K race starts at 11am
5K race starts at 12 noon

Sign up today on our Eventbrite page.

Race times

1K saunter starts at 10.30am
10K run starts at 11am
5K race starts at 12 noon

Check in

You will need to check in on the day. Please aim to arrive around an hour before your race starts and bring a copy of your confirmation email to the race as proof of ID.

Pre-registration is essential. Although there will be registration on the day, spaces will be very limited and we cannot guarantee availability.

Race number

Your race number will be given to you when you register on the day of the race.  Please remember your safety pins to attach your race number to the front of your top.

T shirts and antlers

All participants receive a free RNLI Reindeer Run T-shirt and antlers. You can collect these on the morning of the event. Please make sure you collect them in time to start the race. Registration will be located at the start of walkway up to Fota House and Gardens, beside the upper car park.

Race day clothing

The most important clothing you can bring is layers. You need to keep warm before the event starts, have breathable fabric on during the race, and be able to stay snug afterwards when your core temperature drops. Bring a change of warm, dry clothes for after the race.

If it looks like rain, make sure you also take a waterproof coat to wear before and after the race. Please wear appropriate footwear, as parts of the courses may be uneven, steep or slippery. Take care when running.

Festive fancy dress is encouraged, so why not get into the festive spirit and dress up?


The route is in the beautiful grounds of Fota House and Gardens. The 10K will do two loops of the 5K route. There may be parts of the course where the ground is uneven, steep and slippery, so please take care when running and make sure you wear appropriate footwear.

Distance markers will be displayed around the route at every 1km point. All runners are to follow the arrows and directions given by marshals.

The saunter is a family friendly walk. When you register, we will give you a start time but you’re free to do the walk at your leisure. An activity sheet will be provided and you will need to follow Rookie’s numbered signs to make your way back to the finish line. No running is permitted on the saunter course at any time.


As this is a fun run, times will not be recorded for runners. A clock will be available for you to record your own time. The route has been measured with a Jones counter.


There will be a goodie bag for the first woman and first man to cross the finish line for both the 10K and 5K races. Prizes will be awarded on crossing the finish line – due to the date of the event and potential inclement weather there will be no official prize giving on the day.

There will be also be spot prizes for fancy dress on crossing the finish line – so why not get into the festive spirit?

Age restrictions and parental consent

Minimum age: 14 years old.
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Minimum age: 10 years old.
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

1K saunter
No minimum age.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.

If you’re under 18, we must have received written confirmation from your parent or guardian confirming that they agree to you taking part in the event.


Parking at Fota House costs €3. The machine takes €1, €2 and 50c coins. Please remember to have coins ready for exiting the car park.

To reduce congestion and help the environment, please car share where possible.


The venue is on Fota Island, 10km east of Cork City. To get there, take the N25 east from Cork City for about 7km and then exit the N25 heading for Cobh/Carrigtwohill on the R624. Fota Island is approximately 2.5km further on the right-hand side.


If you have any queries, please contact your local Reindeer Run team at or call 1800 991802.


Toilets are available onsite but there are no changing rooms. There will be a facility to store your gear bags in front of Fota House. Please make sure your bag is tagged with your name and telephone number. Bags are left in the drop bag facility at your own risk. We cannot take responsibility for personal items or valuables.
If possible, please arrive ready to race.


All participants will be given a token for a hot drink. There will be water available around the route and at the finish line. There will also be catering onsite if your spectators fancy a hot drink or light refreshments. 

First aid

We will have the Order of Malta in attendance. Please make sure you write details of any medical conditions on the back of your race number. Please alert a marshal if first aid or assistance is required.

Please remember to seek medical advice from your GP if you are in any doubt about your physical ability to take part.


In addition to the entry fee, we encourage all participants to try and raise as much sponsorship money as possible to help the RNLI continue to save lives at sea.

It’s a great idea to set up an online sponsorship page by visiting You can personalise this page with a photo and message, and email it to your friends and family. They can donate quickly and securely online with a credit or debit card. We’re grateful for all money raised through sponsorship, and it’s a great way to create awareness of the event and the work that the RNLI do.

Alternatively, you could use a sponsorship form. Please email and we can send one to you. These should be returned on the day or to the RNLI regional office (address on sponsorship form) within 8 weeks of the event. Please return these with your cheque for any sponsorship money raised.


Dogs will not be allowed on the Reindeer Run courses. Dogs with spectators must be on leads and all waste must be picked up and disposed of properly.

Baby joggers, baby strollers and wheelchairs

As part of the course is off-road, we wouldn’t recommend using these. You may bring them to the course at your own discretion but participants should start at the back of the group in the interest of safety.

The RNLI will not be held responsible for any issues arising from the use of these items.


Spectators are very welcome but will be subject to marshaling restrictions. Please advise your spectators to dress sensibly for the weather and wear appropriate footwear. They’ll be able to buy refreshments at Fota House’s facilities.

RNLI merchandise

You’ll be able to buy RNLI merchandise on the day, such as Christmas cards, calendars and keyrings.


Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens
Fota Island
Co Cork


Start date: End date:


Adult ticket 10K - €22
Adult ticket 5K - €20
Adult ticket 1K saunter - Free
Under 16 for 5K and 10K - €15
Child ticket 1K saunter - €12.50
Family ticket - €55


Contact details
1800 991802