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The Remembrance Run - walk, jog, run and remember

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The 2013 Remembrance Run: from left, Hazel Kelly, Adrienne O'Reilly, Natalie Fox, Donna O'Reilly and Amanda Smith.

The 2013 Remembrance Run: from left, Hazel Kelly, Adrienne O'Reilly, Natalie Fox, Donna O'Reilly and Amanda Smith.

SPORTSFILE

The 2013 Remembrance Run: from left, Hazel Kelly, Adrienne O'Reilly, Natalie Fox, Donna O'Reilly and Amanda Smith.

It's hard to believe that it is now only eight weeks yesterday to the third Remembrance Run 5k - the annual special themed event organised by Athletics Ireland in the Phoenix Park.

This year's Remembrance Run 5k takes place on Sunday, November 9 and entries are already pouring in - especially from many of the 2,5000 who found something special in last year's event.

The Remembrance Run 5K idea was something I often talked about to my dear and departed friend Con Houlihan; in his day, the doyen of all Irish sports journalists, who left us two years ago last August.

It was Con's passing in 2012 that finally spurred me into action and the first Remembrance Run 5K in November of that year included a special tribute event to my dear departed friend from Castle Island and a trophy with his name inscribed for the first runner home that year.

That was a lovely day in the Phoenix Park and it made my day when Colin Costello from Star of the Sea Athletic club in Meath, led the field home and was presented with the Con Houlihan Memorial Trophy. Colin was a regular visitor to Con's home in Portobello and that is what made his winning the inaugural event so special that day.

Also running that day was Feidhlim Kelly, an athlete who stayed faithful to Con through the last few years of his illness, visiting him most days in St James's Hospital, where from his bed Con would dictate his weekly columns for the Herald and Sunday World while Feidhlim logged every magical word into his laptop.

That first Remembrance Run 5K was also dedicated to the memory of Noel Carroll - another lifelong friend of mine; an athlete and Olympian whose enthusiasm, vision and can-do attitude greatly contributed to the first Dublin Marathon taking place around the streets of the capital in 1980; an event that spawned the first running boom in this country.

There was a time in the early 1980s when I would meet Noel Carroll for lunch at least three times a week in City Hall, where he was employed as PRO for what was then Dublin Corporation. It was Noel who persuaded the then City Manager, Frank Feely, that the inaugural Dublin Marathon of 1980 was worthy of support.

He also coaxed and cajoled the Garda Commissioner at the time to share his vision and along with a handful of other like-minded running enthusiasts Noel ushered in a new and all-embracing era of distance running in Ireland. As Noel so eloquently put it at the time: "The classic Olympic distance has been prised from the grasp of the Olympians and is now at the disposal of the common man."

The Remembrance Run 5K on November 9 gives us an opportunity to celebrate our own gift of days and fullness of health, while remembering in a special way family or friends passed, or others close to us who may be currently struggling with illness or other life challenges.

The special Wall of Remembrance erected at the finish of the 5K event was last year filled to capacity with signatures and heart-felt messages of remembrance.

The Remembrance Run 5K is most of all a celebration of LIFE and LIVING: www.remembrancerun.ie

editor@irishrunner.ie

Health & Living