This September I’m running a half marathon. For the craic. Well actually cos a friend is celebrating his 40th down in Dingle this year and he invited us along for the party. For those of you who haven’t yet experienced the magic that hangs on every droplet of moisture in the wild Dingle air, I advise you to hightail it down to the peninsula for a few nights. You won’t regret it.
Now what my friend failed to mention right away was that along with celebrating reaching another milestone in his time on this planet, we were all to register for the full or half marathon that weekend. It seemed like a good idea when I drunkenly signed both myself and the Frenchman up for the half marathon back in early May. The first question when we woke up the next morning to find the email confirmations in our inboxes, was what have we done?The second was how long is a half marathon anyway? 21 kilometres. Yes, that’s right, TWENTY-ONE-KILOMETRES. Nearly the distance from Galway city to our new house. And we live in the middle of nowhere.
But it’ll be a weekend away from the kids, a weekend to catch up with some most excellent people, a chance to let loose and welcome the dawn from the side other than what we’ve been unwillingly become used to. It will also be a chance to test my limits which is something that used to terrify me but what is life if you aren’t prepared to push yourself out of your comfort zone every now and again. Training is progressing, not as smoothly as I would have liked, but so far, no injuries and I can now say that I can comfortably run 12 kilometres. And what’s 12 kilometres? That’s right it’s 21 kilometres backwards. So what I’m saying is, I got this…kind of. It’s a far cry from my huffing and puffing at the start of the Couch to 5k journey I embarked on back in January. Running is not the kind of thing that has come easy to me. I never acquired that strange addiction to it that some people seem to get but it’s nice to have an active hobby that doesn’t include having my bum parked on a seat in front of some kind of screen for hours on end.
Running is also a great way to raise funds for charity and I am delighted to say that I’ll be running this year’s Dingle half marathon in support of the Manuela Riedo Foundation. For those of you who are unaware, Manuela Riedo was a 17 year old Swiss exchange student who was murdered in Galway in the summer of 2007. Her tragic loss of life was a huge shock and wasn’t something we imagined could happen in our home town. The foundation was set up in her honour to provide funding to professional agencies working in the areas of Prevention, Awareness, Education and Healing of sexual assault and rape. With the twin pronged attack of government funding being cut left, right and centre coupled with our extraordinarily inadequate justice system (just take a look at the lack of jail time a convicted rapist recently received) it’s not hard to see why the work that this charity is doing is needed now more than ever.
So if dear reader, you feel like you want to do something to help the desperate state of affairs in this country, you can check out the Manuela Riedo Foundation here. You can join Team Manuela and come run/walk with us in Dingle in September. Registration for this closes on July 31st. I have also set up a MyCharity Page where you can donate if you are feeling generous!
So please take a look, maybe learn a bit more about the charity and come join us if you can. If I can run, anyone can. Grab those runners, buy yourself a new exercise outfit and hit the road. And remember, sweat is fat crying. Or something.