Eagle AC Cheetah Run 2021 goes virtual to raise funds for Fota Wildlife Park

100% of the entry fees of the annual race will be going to aid the conservation charity, Fota Wildlife Park


Fota Wildlife Park is delighted to announce the return of the Eagle Athletic Club’s 5K Cheetah Run as a virtual race to be run from the 7th to the 13th of June 2021. 100% of the race entry fee will be donated to Fota Wildlife Park which had to close its doors to the public for months at a time during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. As a virtual race, the entrants are free to pick a location and time of their choosing between the 7th and the 13th of June for their run and upload their finishing time once complete. The traditional 5K run for adults’ costs €10 to enter and the race also features a one-mile race for juveniles, entry €5, and a €20 family option is also available at


Since its inception, the Eagle AC Cheetah Run in Fota Wildlife Park has been one of the most popular races in the Cork area and is a sell out every year. Covering 5km, this is the only race of its kind in Europe, with participants running on the paths through the 100-acre Park. There are normally plenty of furry spectators also – everything from ostriches to wallabies to of course, the cheetahs! Every year the funds raised from the Cheetah Run are used to support the Wildlife Park’s core objectives of research and conservation.

Eagle AC’s race director, Tracy Cotter said about the 2021 race “Unfortunately it is not possible to hold the race on site in 2021 due to Covid restrictions. So, we have decided to go virtual instead! We are hoping that our 2021 race will help raise some much-needed funds for Fota Wildlife Park. The park is a charitable status organisation which relies on gate receipts and membership fees for its income. Of course, Covid 19 has had a huge impact on the finances of The Park”. She continued “While we’d love to be able to hold it on site at Fota, the virtual set up means that there are no limitations on numbers entering and a person can take part in the Cheetah Run 2021 whether they are in Fota or in Falcarragh -or further afield.”

During the closures due to Covid, the feeding and veterinary care for the 135 species of animals had to continue – the animals in the park receive the same excellent level of care as always, regardless of whether the park is open or closed. While Fota Wildlife Park has since reopened to the public, numbers are strictly limited, and many other safety protocols have been added to the visit to help prevent the community spread of Covid-19.

The money raised from entries to the Virtual Fota Cheetah Run will go directly to Fota Wildlife Park. An optional, additional donation to Fota can also be made during the registration process. As well as race entry there is also the option to purchase a variety of bespoke race merchandise – medals, tee-shirts and running buffs -visit for more and to register.

Images: Darragh Kane