Irish descend on New York for marathon
Irish contingent line out for annual event
Most attention is fixed on who crossed the finish line first at the New York City Marathon, but there are different ways to win the race. For a group of four girlfriends from Limerick, Ireland, it was charity rather than personal glory that motivated them to partake in the world-renowned 26.2 mile-run.
“I was roped into it over a few drinks by Sinead,” joked Mary Tobin, 33, pointing to her brunette fellow runner and friend, Sinead Cusack. “My nephew was helped by Enable Ireland, so fundraising for this trip was close to home.”
Enable Ireland is a national voluntary organization providing therapy and services to children and adults with physical and sensory disabilities throughout Ireland. They have 33 sites in 14 locations, and fundraising by individuals or groups is confined to the locality they come from. Joanne Murphy, the Community Fundraising Manager in Galway, Ireland said that the organization followed a social model of disability theory that focused on the person, not the disability.
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“Everyone recognizes the name because it’s local, and we wanted to be successful in fundraising and promoting our cause,” explained Deirdre O’Byrne, whose marathon run coincided with her 30th birthday.
Tobin, Cusack, O’Byrne, and 28-year-old Neisha Leahy all know each other from school or their local soccer team in County Limerick. They began training in April, and stuck to a schedule of both short and long runs every week before flying into JFK last Thursday.
“Three weeks ago, we did a 20-mile run, the longest we’ve ever done,” said Tobin, who, like Leahy, participated in the New York City Marathon for the first time this year.
“I’d never run a marathon until this September,” said Leahy. “I just want to finish, keep the pace.”
For Cusack and O’Byrne, this was their third time running the marathon, and both women said that there was just some sort of pull to New York, so that they hadn’t thought about competing anywhere else. Leahy and Tobin agreed that the combination of a fundraising race, and a shopping trip to New York, made them all the more interested in and committed to training. Seated in the Helmsley hotel on east 42nd Street the night before the race, the women talked about relaxing over dinner and a movie, and looked forward to “being celebs” for a day, with more than 2 million spectators cheering them on.
The lobby of the Helmsley was packed with nervous runners, sneakers attached to their backpacks, and accompanied by excited family and friends. Most hurried towards the Sports Travel International desk from Ireland, headed by Mayo-born Martin Joyce, 56.
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Everyone disregard my post that is unfinished. I hit enter by mistake, sorry.Spanish judge slams Ryanair’s sexist air hostess calendar
Chuck I didn't realize that you had a great sense of humor, that was to funny. I actually had to watch it two or three times before I came to my decisThe New York Times questions Ireland’s highly-praised economic recovery
Maybe the Times should question Obama's recovery.Bah! Humbug! The ten worst things about Christmas (PHOTOS)
And to you Chuck a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. I have my New Year resolution already and that is to stop antagonizing you, enough is en