900 take part in Marist 5k event
They couldn’t have asked for better weather as the sun shone brightly on St, Mary’s College on Friday night where the fifth running of the Marist 5K took place. It was a relaxed and warm atmosphere greeted the runners and supporters as they gathered outside the school.
I wasn’t too long there when I met up with chief race organiser Ciaran O’Dowd who told me the event was being used as a fundraiser for ‘Watch Your Back MND’ set up by local musician and songwriter Roy Taylor. The event, along with the 5K also hosted a kids fun run, craft fare, ice cream and food stalls and vans, live music and face painting to help add to the atmosphere. He went on to say they were expecting somewhere near 900 participants to take park and was looking forward to somewhat of a busy evening.
I then headed over for a chat with Carmen Gildea originally from Sligo now Dromiskin who was responsible for the face painting stall and was having a laugh with Alan McIntyre from Avenue Road who told me that he was involved with the ice cream stall, but was still going to find time to take part in the race too.
Another lady who was extremely active on the night was Patricia Begley from Silverbridge who was busy looking pretty and helping out and wanted to wish all the participants the best on the 5K.
Next I headed over for a word with Mark Lambe-Fegan from Plaster who admitted this was his first time taking part in the race and was looking forward to it. He was accompanied by his friend Robert Neary from Knockbridge who wasn’t taking part but was going to be cheering for Mark throughout the race.
Making my way through the crowds I ended up outside the Rawk Food van where I had the pleasure of meeting up Anthony and Sharon Johnston whom, along with feeding the hungry athletes, were celebrating 21 years of wedded bliss! They wanted a big shout out for son Luke who was supposed to be helping out but had gone on the missing list.
After this I caught up with Rachel Clarke from Riverside Drive who runs for Blackrock AC and was hoping for a time under 25 minutes and she had Stephen, Sinead and Katie Clarke all there to encourage her on her quest.
Not too long later I met up with race MC Stephen Yore from Avenue Road who was looking forward to the start and when I asked was he not going to take part, replied, “unfortunately, I’ve left my runners at home”.
After this I headed over for a chat with Niall Fergus from Carlinn Hall who was officiating at the Mini Athletes Fun Run which was an event for children up to 7 years of age and he was being ably assisted by the delightful Emma Conroy from Muirhevnamor who was with her kids Chloe Conroy who was ready for the race and Kyle Lawlor who had to sit this one out due to injury.
Not too far away I got talking to Elaine, Kaitlin and Dean Griffin from Castle Heights who were limbering up before the starting horn and said they were all looking forward to their first time taking part in the Marist 5K.
I then headed over for a quick word with Brendan Connolly from Clancullen Park who told me he has competed before and was looking forward to a nice relaxed pace on a lovely evening.
Not too far away I had the pleasure of meeting up with mother and daughter Mary Halpenny and Fiona Logan both from Stabannon who said Mary is a seasoned campaigner when it comes to racing and she was looking forward to taking Fiona on her Marist 5K debut and agreed it was a lovely evening for the race.
I then made my way through the crowds where I met Robert Fitzgerald from Drogheda who runs with Boyne AC and was on the look out for his fellow clubmates Catherine Tiernan and Gillian Connor to run together and said he’d definitely be searching for a personal best on the night.
After this I caught up with father and son Andrew and Matthew Dearey from Seatown Gardens who said they were both looking forward to the race, but were a bit worried they wouldn’t be able to get up to Oriel Park in time for the Cork game afterwards.
This was going to be somewhat of an easy run for Eddie Curtis from Newry whom I met next, Eddie was with Gerry Patton and told me this was their first time running the Marist 5K. He went on to say he had taken part in the Arctic half marathon in Tromso in January where they had been running in the dark in minus 25 temperature in snow and ice and concluded it had been tough, specially when they had to pay €14 for a pint afterwards.
Not too far away I got talking to Darren Crawley from Garrybawn, Thomas Crosby from Point Road, Gavin Coleman and Fiachra McShane Coleman from Medebawn who told me they’d already experienced the Marist 5K and were looking forward to another good run out.
Making my way through the crowds, I then met up with Reece Bellew from Haggardstown who is in Transition Year and was looking forward to the run while his mum and sister Laura and Isla were ready for the walk instead.
Not too long later I met Sinead and Rosa Dullaghan from Blackrock who were accompanied by their lovely dog Hestia who couldn’t wait to get going and they said they’d debuted at the race last year and were delighted to be back again.
Next I got a word with Emma Gilbey who runs for Ace AC in Drogheda and was joined by Charlie, Victoria and Robert Gilbey who were looking forward to their Marist 5K debut that evening.
I then headed over for a chat with Majella McDonnell from Carrick Aces AC who told me she was really looking forward to the race and was accompanied by Leo Brown from Jocelyn Grove who was carrying an injury and would have to restrict himself to cheering Majella on.
After this I met up with Martin, Bríd and Aoife Morgan from Ravensdale who told me Aoife was looking forward to the race and to becoming a Marist 1st year in September where she’d get to play plenty of soccer and gaelic.
Getting ready to take part in the Mini Athletes race were Mac and Lugh Tackney from Castle Road who were accompanied by their mum Carla who was trying to convince them that the ice creams were only for after the race!
I caught up with my old mate Saoirse McCann from Avondale Park who told me this was his first time running the Marist 5K with wife Caroline and said both kids Leah and Dylan are students in the school, so it was going to be a good evening for a run.
After this I got a word with Dermot Dawe from Lower Point Road, Claire Brennan from Ballybarrack and John Rogers from Avenue Road who are n the Order Of Malta and said they were impressed with the turn out of athletes and said they hoped they were as busy as previous years when they only had a couple of minor incidents to attend to.
Not too long later I got a quick word with Terry Hynes who told me his son Conor and grandson Ferdia were both ready for the race and wanted to wish them all the best.
I then met up with Declan and Sadhbh Greene from Blackrock who were there with dog Cooper who couldn’t wait to get going. They were joined by Gavin and Ryan Mulholland also from The Rock who said Ryan would be representing the family as Gavin was still having hamstring issues.
After this I headed over for a quick word with Sean and Paul Leonard from Castle Heights who were with Belgian Sheppard Sceolan ready for the offs. Sean is in 6th year and was looking forward to a busy time with the dog.
Next I got talking to Chris and Michelle Doyle from Marian Park who were there to cheer on daughter Clara who is in 2nd year and was ready to make it count where the race was concerned.
I then had the pleasure of meeting up with Terry Kelly from Manydown close who is a brother –in-law to Roy Taylor and told me his wife Petrina, sons Terrance and Aaron and daughter Terina were joined by Roy’s wife Lisa along with his nieces Alana and Cliodhna McElroy were all ready to pound the roads for such a worthy cause.
Finally, before the race got under way, I met Michael Donnelly from Tudor Grove who was there to cheer on son Paul Donnelly who was taking part and was sure he was going to get a great time on such a lovely evening.