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Breda's focus is on reaching the finish line

MY name is Breda McCrory, I live in Finglas with my husband Shay. I am currently doing a FETAC 5 course in Community and Health Services.

I was a regular participant in the Mini Marathon, years ago. I ran six of them and I did one full Dublin marathon in 1988. This is my second year running the Flora Women's Mini Marathon for Focus Ireland.

I got involved with Focus Ireland when I became unemployed a couple of years ago. I had time to spare and I wanted to do something to help people who had fallen on hard times. I always felt very sad when I would go into the city centre and I would see people sleeping on the street, looking so lost. It just does not seem right, especially when there are so many empty properties in the country.

I became involved with the charity when Shay and I volunteered for the Key to a Home Collection in 2009. Since then, we have volunteered in the Key to a Home Collections, The Four Peaks Challenge and the Dun Laoghaire Triathlon.

I also became a School Ambassador, visiting secondary schools to speak to them about homelessness and the work that Focus Ireland is doing to help.

Since becoming a volunteer with Focus Ireland, I have learned a lot about the wonderful work that they do. They are a terrific organisation and I have great admiration for them. Last year I decided I would do the Flora Women's Mini Marathon for Focus Ireland; it was my first time since 1991!

I am fairly fit as I walk a lot and I also horse ride and swim. My friend of more than 30 years, Ann, joined me last year. It was like going back in time for us, as we used to run together years ago.

I had planned to walk the 10K, but once we got started, the old bug got hold of me and I ended up jogging the whole distance. I was on top of the world when I finished. This year I hope to jog it again. I haven't actually started to jog yet, but I'm confident I can do it; the adrenalin on the day is a great help.

The Flora Women's Mini Marathon is a great occasion; the camaraderie is second to none and the atmosphere is electric. There is such a great feeling of goodwill and friendship and so much money is raised for deserving charities.

I'm very happy to be a part of it all again after an absence of so many years. The fact that I will be raising funds for Focus Ireland really makes it worthwhile. Ann won't be able to join me this year unfortunately, but I certainly won't be on my own. Come on, Mna na hEireann, is feidir linn!

www.focusireland.ie

>In conversation with Brenda McCormick


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