Almost 200 people crossed the finish line of the Tom Kelly 8km run at Ardfert NS on Sunday morning as the late stalwart of St Brendan's Athletic Club was honoured.
The late, great Tom Kelly – one of the founding members of St Brendan’s Athletic Club (AC) – was remembered in Ardfert on Sunday morning as close to 200 runners and walkers took part in an 8km event named in Tom’s honour.
Tom, who passed away in 2020, was a stalwart of the club and is still sorely missed by his family, friends and all those involved with the club he helped set up back in 1987.
Organisers simply could not have asked for a better morning to hold their inaugural event with the weather falling into that perfect Goldilocks weather zone of no breeze, not too hot, not too cold and mercifully, no rain as runners and walkers enjoyed a lovely loop around the Tubrid townland.
PRO for St Brendan’s AC, David Kissane, told The Kerryman on Monday morning that both the club and the Kelly family thought that the day was a fantastic success.
"We’re very happy. When you’re starting off a new race, you never know who’s going to actually turn up but we probably had it on our side that it was January and people are into their fitness and so forth so I think we were lucky that we hit that at the right time,” said David.
"We got great support too from the Kelly family themselves, they all rowed in behind the event to give it their full backing. The family sponsored the two cups that we presented to the winners on the day too and another one of the Kelly’s who is in business, Francis Kelly PVC, actually sponsored the trophy too so it was great to see,” David continued.
Denis Hegarty, as the first man across the finish line, was the recipient of one of these trophies, winning in a time of 25:55 while on the female side of things, Ciara Tierney was the first female finisher in 33:11.
Finally, David – who said he hopes to have the event back for a second year in 2023 – said that big thanks must go to all those in the the club community who were out in force to help out with the many volunteer roles on the day such as stewarding along the route and that ensured the day went smoothly.