Who said I couldn’t run 10k? What? Oh, that’s right…. no one.. except me perhaps! I’m chuffed because I really didn’t want to do it but now I’m so glad I did. (In about 1:30 which is good for me). What a great day. Despite the storms and gales of the 1st day of an Irish summer, 40,000 women put their best foot forward in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon, raising millions of euro for 800 charities. I was running for The Hope Foundation so give them a few bob if you can spare it: Donate
Irish International ultra runner and adventurer John O’Regan made history today when he was allowed to lead vision impaired running sensation Sinead Kane, after a lengthy battle with race authorities who were sticking to their guns on the ban on male entrants. It was explained right up to ministerial level that John didn’t want a race number, but simply needed permission to guide Sinead. However it took a radio appeal to the general public before the tide turned and the two athletes were allowed to take their place at the starting line. The Women’s Mini Marathon Ltd announced it had reviewed its policy relating to visually impaired and wheelchair entrants and would welcome both male and female assistants going forward. A wonderful result.
I loved John’s radio response later to the question of why he wouldn’t ‘just dress as a woman’ – I’m paraphrasing, but it was along the lines of: “I’m an international athlete, I have more to be doing with my time than running around in a dress”. Proper order John. This was a battle for rights, and both you and Sinead won today.
But the real hero for me today is a little closer to home. Former sprinter Terry Martin (my dad) is 90 on Saturday and he was delighted with my #VhiWMM medal. It didn’t matter that it took me an hour and a half. He had hugs and congratulations and smiles. He also told me he was proud as punch of me. I love sharing moments like this with my dad, and it makes the whole day all that more special. Dad also took control of the post-race recovery drills… and that was nice too. All that experience pays off you see… 😜