In spite of the weather and counter attractions almost everywhere else you’d care to think of, Sunday morning’s Run Rudolph Run 5K attracted up to 120 hardy participants to the streets, roads and athletics track in Castleisland.
Conditions were bitterly cold and wet for most of the run and the participants ran into head winds on various parts of the course.
Apart from the positional and placings rivalries of the leading athletes, the great majority of the runners were conducting their own battles with their personal performances and a keen eye on the clock.
Achievement and Elation
There’s an atmosphere and a feeling at these events which weather can’t dampen, defeat or quench. It’s the feeling of achievement and elation at getting back into the stadium and onto that last half lap of the track and stepping over the line.
There are always the stories of elation on crossing the finishing line – once you catch your breath and of those who almost pulled out when hit with a head wind or a tough hill along the route.
Members of the Murphy family from Knocknagoshel know the feeling well after Sunday morning’s race.
Katie Murphy and her niece, Claire Fitzgerald were first timers on Sunday morning and they had huge family support at the finishing line when they and friend Mag O’Connor from Scartaglin came in together.
There was a poignancy to their participation in the event as they were raising funds for a cause close to their hearts.
The late Nora Murphy
Katie’s sister and Claire’s aunt, Nora Murphy died last March in Knocknagoshel and her death was attributed to Sudden Unexpected Death with Epilepsy (SUDEP).
This is a cause of death which takes one in a 1,000 adults and one in 4,500 children with epilepsy each year. People who are otherwise healthy are suddenly taken and no other cause of death is found when an autopsy is completed.
Now the Epilepsy Foundation has launched the SUDEP Institute and is actively promoting awareness and to ensure it gets the public attention it deserves.
Head of Steam
The Murphy family had built up a head of steam behind Katie and Claire coming into Sunday’s 5K event and had managed to raise €3,000 for the institute in memory of the late Nora.
The Kilburn, London based Ann Murphy, who flew home to Kerry specifically to support the girls, acted as the family spokesperson on Sunday.
There was another international dimension to the Murphy’s involvement. When the girls crossed the line and got their medals around their necks and a breath back in their lungs, they were filmed live and this was transmitted to family in Australia there and then.
Ann Murphy then told of how they got together as a family and decided to do something like this in Nora’s memory.
Competition at An Riocht
“We got the idea of doing the race today when Claire won a competition in An Riocht to do the 12 weeks of training sessions for this race. That was around September and maybe three weeks into the training we all had a chat and we decided we’d do it for our sister Nora whom we lost last March.
“There is a great awareness of SUDEP in England and throughout Europe and America and elsewhere but very little in Ireland. We’re hoping with the setting up of the institute that will change here.
Proud of the Girls
“We are so proud of the girls for having done what they did here today. We’re delighted that we got behind them as a family and raised €3,000 for the institute and we’re going to make it an annual event from here out.
“Nora did an awful lot of work for charity in her time and we’re glad that we can do this in her memory and name and in our own way,” said Ann in conclusion.
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