This morning’s inaugural Michael’s Remembrance Greenway 5k run/ walk was a time when we paused and remembered our friend and clubmate Michael McNeela who died suddenly last October just days before the Dublin Marathon in which he was due to run.
Today’s event was an occasion too for many to remember family and friends who have passed in recent times.
The Remembrance Run was a ‘felix culpa’ occasion, as Michael’s passing in October became an opportunity for Mayo AC to organise an event in his memory along the Castlebar Greenway where he trained regularly. Painful as memories are, there is often healing to be found amid the joy of sporting activity.
Mayo AC Club Chairman John Byrne welcomed all those who assembled at the start and thanked them for their support of the inaugural Michael’s Greenway Remembrance 5k event. He also thanked all who helped organise it, and invited all participants to have refreshments afterwards in Scoil Raifteirí.
Colette Tuohy also thanked the runners and walkers. She spoke movingly of how Michael and herself ran miles and miles along the Greenway where they met for training runs, and how often he would have done a substantial warm-up around the adjacent Town Park before their agreed meeting time!
Before the start John Byrne presented Michael’s family with a framed picture of Michael’s club vest, his Dublin Marathon bib number and 2022 medal. It was an emotional moment on a beautiful sunny New Year’s Eve morning.
Local athlete Cathal McHale (Clonliffe Harriers AC) was the first runner back at Scoil Raifteirí finish in 16:38, Tadgh Hanrahan (Mayo AC) was next across the line with Conor Naylor third 18:40. Colette Tuohy was first woman in 20:48.
There was a great turnout by Mayo AC – those not running giving their support as stewards and at Scoil Raifteirí.
The 130 finishers came from near and far, from local clubs, and from the local community who walked or jogged the out and back course.
The event was not timed but there was a clock at the finish line.
Thanks to all club members who helped organise the 5k run, especially the core team: John Byrne, Colette Tuohy, Sarah Byrne, Ann McDonnell and Andy Neary.
Thanks to all others who supported the event, Castlebar Fit4Life, former members, the local community, and to Scoil Raifteirí for the use of their excellent facilities.
Afterwards there was a lovely spread of refreshments at the Scoil Hall. Huge thanks to Turlough Stores – Michael Barrett, Attracta and Kelly – who provided them, and to Tara Cafe who also supported.
Proceeds from the event’s donations box will be presented to Community Living (Residential) HSE at a later date.