Saturday 23 September 2017

Incredible marathon granny Joan (78) to take on her 35th race

Joan Brady (78) will run her 35th Women's Mini Marathon on June 5
Joan Brady (78) will run her 35th Women's Mini Marathon on June 5

Elaine Keogh

She may be 78, but super- gran Joan Brady can't wait to lace up her runners for this year's Women's Mini Marathon - for the 35th time.

The impressive feat means Joan will have completed her 350th kilometre in the inspirational event.

She has been involved in the charity run since it began in 1983.

"I've done each of the previous mini marathons and I believe preparing for it is so good for you that it has replaced the psychiatrist's chair," she said.

This year the hugely popular 10km event is issuing special medals to mark its 35th anniversary.

Joan first took up walking after seeing how it helped people in New York more than 30 years ago, and she set up a walking and jogging group in Dundalk.

"In Central Park I saw lots of people meeting up and realised it was a way of socialising and interacting with others, as well as staying fit," she said.

Since the early 1980s, the Dundalk Joggers and Walkers have trained on the outskirts of the town centre.

"When I started this, you didn't usually see women walking the roads and the lorries would beep at you," Joan said. The former advertising executive added that women do the 10km event for many reasons, often personal ones.

"It doesn't matter if you walk it or crawl it, you do it at your own pace and I've never missed a year in the 35 years," she said.

"My mother lived until she was 99 and I hope to make 100, and I plan to do the mini marathon that year too."

Joan, who has five children, is looking forward to a photo shoot this week with some of the other women who, like her, have been taking part for many years.

"I can't imagine a year without the mini marathon," she said.

Around 40,000 women are expected to take to the streets of the capital for this year's Vhi Dublin Women's Mini Marathon on Monday, June 5.

The deadline for entry has been extended until May 12.

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