Though they have no exact, official numbers the organisers of The Mall’s first ever Couch-to-5K Road Race estimate that they had a turnout of close to 200 for Saturday’s historic event in the village.
The proceeds will go to the local, Scoil Mhuire Primary School Parents’ Association.
There was a huge sense of pride of place and of personal achievement hanging in the high altitude, hill-top village air on Saturday afternoon. Euphoria, in fact, wouldn’t be too strong a term to put on the contagious atmosphere which prevailed there.
Hugs and Kisses
As the competitors began to cross the line on their way back there were hugs and kisses in celebration of a morning well spent. In fact, most of the elation released in the aftermath was in store for the past ten weeks. The majority of the participants had been under the guidance of the likes of Eileen O’Connor and Richard Murphy on their own Couch-to-5K programme down at the Willie Walsh Memorial Park.
That began in January and, in the meantime, they battled with their own will-power and some woeful weather conditions along the way.
“We’re delighted with yesterday’s turn-out and we got away more than we expected to. We were worried about the weather – but it all went smoothly for us,” said Eileen O’Connor on Sunday.
“Now – and it’s due to demand – we have another 10-week course of Couch-to-5K beginning on Wednesday, April 9th. at 7pm. We’re going to stick with the Wednesday evenings at 7pm and Saturday mornings at 10-30am as people here are used to it now.
After our regular Couch-to-5K training we’ll have an advanced session after for those who have progressed from the winter sessions. We’re looking forward to the fine evenings and the people of the area have been a huge support to us as you saw here yesterday,” said Eileen.
While the adult population of the village and its surrounding district came out in strength, it bodes well for future generations that so many of the children of the area also took part. That too is a cause for celebration for the organisers. They needn’t be one bit shy in taking a bow for their efforts on that score alone. – John Reidy 29-3-2014©