Mayo AC: The Terry Fox Foundation Connection

2007 Terry Fox Ballina 4 mile start: left 3rd Anto Devaney (146), John Byrne (146 the ‘man in black’), 2nd Martin Conroy (125). Women’s race winner Mary Gleeson in pink

The Terry Fox /James Murtagh story published yesterday is a good reminder of the club’s connection with The Terry Fox Foundation.

Back in the first decade of this century

Mayo AC held an annual Open Road Race League. The chief organiser was Michael McGrath, Club Chairperson at the time.
It featured races at 7 locations in the county and was open to all. A points system based on the first 25 men and women finishers in each race  determined the league results and prizes

Mayo AC 2007 Open Road Race League poster

One of the seven races was the Ballina 4 mile, held in association with the Terry Fox Run. This race was organised for over 20 years by Ballina businessman Michael Rice. All proceeds from the event went to the Terry Fox Foundation.

Mayo AC had established strong links with newly formed Athenry AC. Their website  published some results from the Mayo AC Open Road Race League in the club news section. This was prior to the establishment of in 2010.
This 2007 link from Athenry AC’s club news section includes details on Terry Fox, the background to the Terry Fox Foundation, and the Ballina 4 mile which raised significant donations contributed by race entrants.
 There are more Ballina Terry Fox Run results in the attached links.
This is another report of the 2008 Ballina Terry Fox Run 4 mile published at time :

“2008, October 24

Byrne best in Belleek

Winner of the Terry Fox 4 Mile in Belleek was John Byrne (Mayo AC), who only broke the challenge of Ballina man Martin Conroy in the final half mile. His winning time of 20.15 was 25 seconds faster than last year. In third place was Anto Devaney. Mayo AC’s Mary Gleeson, who has dominated the Women’s League so far, recorded her fifth win from seven races. Second was Ann Murray. With just two races to go in the C&C Cellular Mayo Open Road League, John Byrne and Mary Gleeson remain top of the leaderboard. Next round is the Hollymount International Road Races on November 9.”

These links are a unique historical record of Mayo’s connection to the Terry Fox story, and how the Terry Fox Foundation was supported directly through the excellent work of Michael Rice and by runners from the county and beyond.

The 4 mile race distance was quite common in those days – and is still a popular choice for event organisers.

As in our upcoming fundraiser:

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