independent

Friday 24 October 2014

Festival of Running sees Eimear hit a milestone

Published 19/07/2014 | 12:00

Some of the walkers take part in the festival.

There was a carnival atmosphere last weekend in the grounds of Avondale House as over 200 people walked, jogged or ran in the three-day Wicklow Hospice Festival of Running.

There was a carnival atmosphere last weekend in the grounds of Avondale House as over 200 people walked, jogged or ran in the three-day Wicklow Hospice Festival of Running.

All the action got underway at 8 a.m. on Friday when 20 people lined up to complete the 26.2 mile marathon course. An hour later another 40 lined up to tackle distances varying from five to 15 miles. For over six hours, the participants were cheered and encouraged by spectators, stewards and helpers as they checked off the miles.

For some of them this was the culmination of months of preparation and the realisation of a dream that they could complete a long distance event. For others it was the first of two or three challenges.

For Ann Marie Kenny and Ciarán Byrne, veterans of last year's Seven Day Seven Marathon Challenge, this was a return to familiar territory. On Saturday they were joined by Paul O'Rourke from Dunshaughlin, for a couple of laps, who completed the seven last year.

On Sunday Wicklow woman Eimear Hurley completed her 100th marathon and was joined by dozens of well-wishers, friends and family members. Being from Wicklow, there was nowhere else in the world where she wanted to complete her century.

Parnell AC stalwart Sinéad Tarmey planned to run 15 miles on Sunday but felt so good that she decided to keep on running and completed her first marathon! Philip Hayden from Laragh wanted to complete his first marathon on Friday but had to pull out at 20 miles. He returned to steward on Saturday and was determined to run the full distance on Sunday. This he did with an incredible time of 3:03.

The general consensus was that this three-day festival which was held in aid of Wicklow Hospice was one of the most enjoyable and friendly events on the running calendar. Everyone was a winner and each participant received a souvenir medallion and a Wicklow Hospice T-shirt.

The committee thanked everyone involved including Norman and the staff of Avondale House, café staff, physical therapist Neill 'Nipper' Kinsella, Dr. Mike Meyer, Sgt. Mary Burbage and Rathdrum Gardai, Michael Richardson of Wicklow Civil Defence and to Bill Porter of Parnell AC.

Wicklow People

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