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Marathon man Tommy hits the road in Ferns for charity run

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Marie Cashe, Billy Harper, Tommy McElwaine and Maria Lancaster before Tommy set off on his charity run from Ferns Castle.

Marie Cashe, Billy Harper, Tommy McElwaine and Maria Lancaster before Tommy set off on his charity run from Ferns Castle.

Marie Cashe, Billy Harper, Tommy McElwaine and Maria Lancaster before Tommy set off on his charity run from Ferns Castle.

Tommy McElwaine, from Ferns, is very well known within the world of running.

Having competed in over 20 marathons and countless other athletics events around the country he is one of the most respected members of his community and of his local running club, Sliabh Buidhe Rovers AC, in Ferns.

However, he was sitting at home recently watching TV when he began to think of a way he could give assistance to frontline workers during the current Covid-19 pandemic and decided to run laps around Ferns to raise money for people that he regards as real heroes.

His friend, Maria Lancaster, helped him set up a fundraising page through Facebook.

The event proved to be a fantastic success and Tommy completed a 10 mile course in just over an hour and in the process raised around €1,333.

Speaking to this newspaper Tommy said he was delighted with the success of the event and he thanked Maria for all her help in organising it.

'I just wanted to try and do something for the frontline workers who I think are doing a fantastic job,' said Tommy.

'The idea just came to me one evening when I was sitting watching television and I just thought I need to do something to help and that was the idea,' he added.

'It was spur-of-the-moment type thing that's all but I'm glad to be able to help.'

Tommy completed his first marathon in 1991 in a time of 2 hours and 42 minutes.

'I was only a young fellow then but I've enjoyed all the marathons,' he said.

'When we first did them you thought nothing of them,' he added.

'They were just events the same as any of the others you would do and you'd go anywhere in the country to run.'

Friends and neighbours cheered Tommy on as he completed his fundraiser and while people still hesitant about being out in public he said those who did support him adhered to social distancing guidelines.

Enniscorthy Guardian