Donal's #LiveLife message lives on with annual Spa NS 6k run

Jacinta Lawlor Walsh, Louise Gaynor, Doreen O’Sullivan, Emma Gaynor and Marie Gaynor enjoying themselves at the Donal Walsh Spa NS 6k challenge on Sunday morning
Jacinta Lawlor Walsh, Louise Gaynor, Doreen O’Sullivan, Emma Gaynor and Marie Gaynor enjoying themselves at the Donal Walsh Spa NS 6k challenge on Sunday morning
Best of friends: Caolan, Conor, Austin, Dara, Billy and Luke at the Donal Walsh Spa NS 6k challenge
The Donal Walsh Spa NS 6k challenge

Fergus Dennehy

The weather was touch and go for a while at Spa NS as dark, grey clouds threatened to spoil the fun at the sixth annual Donal Walsh Spa NS 6k challenge on Sunday morning.

Thankfully, though, the day turned out as fine as it usually does; now whether this had anything to with Donal's mother's Elma Walsh's joke to runners and walkers to go that little bit faster to avoid the rain, we don't know but, slowly but surely, a grey sky turned blue.

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Here in Kerry, the name Donal Walsh needs no introduction, but for those unfamiliar with the story of the inspirational teenager, he passed away in May 2013 aged just 16 after a long and brave battle against cancer. 

Throughout his fight, his positivity and message of getting up, getting out and living life to the fullest became his mantra.

Now, six years on, this message of #LiveLife has been carried on admirably by Donal's former school, Spa NS, as they honoured the past pupil. 

Once again, the event saw hundreds of people descend on the school, where the message of 'LiveLife' shone brightly through the grey clouds.

If running or walking was not your thing, then there was a fabulous farmers market, science experiments, music, family entertainment and refreshments after the run for everyone to enjoy.

Speaking before the start of the run, Principal of Spa NS, Peter Lenihan, re-iterated to all gathered what the day is all about.

"We wanted to honour Donal's memory today, and so the committee worked to create an event where people would come together for a few hours, have fun and  practise and remember Donal's message which is #LiveLife, just as Donal had urged us all to do," he said.

Before counting down to the start of the looped walk, Elma thanked everyone for coming out and showing their support for the special event.

Kerryman

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