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In damp conditions, almost 1,000 runners, walkers and joggers took to the streets of Waterford city to do their bit for both charity and their physical wellbeing on Sunday last.
The Munster Express/Caulfield’s SuperValu 10 Kilometre Fun Run drew a total of 960 entrants to the Regional Sports Centre, with Paul Deegan of Gowran AC and Adele Walsh of Saint Senan’s AC the first gentleman and lady to complete the distance.
Set on their way by Mayor of Waterford Jack Walsh, whose starting gun fired at the second time of asking, the good-humoured field departed the RSC at a lively pace under rain bulging clouds.
The first competitor out of the arena was Stephen Walsh, who picked up the top prize in our wheelchair section.
Within just a few hundred yards of departing the Kilbarry paddock, a lead group had formed, featuring many of those who would go to pick up category wins.
The field was soon stretched along the Cork Road en route to the city centre. Some were there to race against the clock and compete for honours.
Some were there just to enjoy the exercise. Some were there to walk and raise money for a host of charities, both local and national.
Others were there to write about the run for this particular edition of The Munster Express – and having come out the other side of it in 46 minutes, 44 seconds, I’m happy to report that I’ve survived to tell the tale!
“We’re delighted that the Fun Run, literally, ran as smoothly as it did today,” said Kieran Walsh, Managing Director of The Munster Express.
“We’re delighted to have Caulfield’s SuperValu on board as our new co-sponsor and I’d like to thank my own staff, as well as Thomas Caulfield and all his staff, for the enormous work they’ve put into organising this event over the last few months.”
Caulfield’s SuperValu Director Thomas Caulfield was similarly thrilled with the Fun Run’s success.
“This is our first year to be involved as a co-sponsor and, like Kieran, I’m delighted that everything has gone so well,” he said.
“We held our first Fun Run meeting several months ago, and we’ve met on a regular basis in the lead-up to the Run to put it together from an organisational point of view.
“It’s truly been a team effort between ourselves and The Munster Express, and it’s been a very positive link-up for both companies, one that I hope will remain in place for many years to come.”
Fun Run beneficiaries Waterford Hospice were represented on the day by Chairman Pat O’Gorman and Treasurer Gerry Rush, who both thanked the sponsors for assisting their cause through the Fun Run.
“We are so pleased that Waterford Hospice was selected as the recipients of the funds raised from this marvellous occasion,” said Pat O’Gorman.
“To see so many people today supporting so many causes, including our own, despite the inclement conditions was enormously heartening and proof once again of the generosity of the people of Waterford and the surrounding areas.
“Both Gerry and I and everyone in Hospice would like to thank The Munster Express, Caulfield’s SuperValu and all the competitors for the wonderful support they’ve offered us today.”
Competitors received wonderful support on the course from the many hundreds of people who braved the elements to cheer on the large field so enthusiastically.
Believe me, a friendly voice of encouragement proved helpful on more than one occasion when the legs felt a tad on the heavy side.
So thoughts have already turned to Fun Run 2009 and the goal for this particular trotter is quite simple: but you’ll just have to wait for next year’s build-up to begin to find out what that is!
A few thank yous:
A word of thanks to everyone who helped on the day – to Mayor Jack Walsh, to Des Colbert and Waterford Athletics Club, Noel Power of the County Athletics Board, Sergeant Larry Langton and his Waterford Garda colleagues, John and Darren at the Regional Sports Centre, Patricia O’Neill and her team of masseurs, Michael Forristal and The Order of Malta team, Konor Halpin Entertainment and of course to WLRfm for their broadcasting presence at the RSC. Thanks also to Fintan Walsh for both his counsel and good humour and to the staff of both The Munster Express and Caulfield’s SuperValu, the latter proving a delight to work with right from the off. Let’s do it again next year!
A note in your diary:
The presentation of prizes for this year’s Munster Express/Caulfield’s SuperValu Fun Run will take place this Friday afternoon, September 19th at the Granary, opposite this newspaper’s offices, at 4.30pm.