Running Proud for Our Town

fun run1

It was the first official weekend of the summer and the cloud and drizzle that loomed overhead was no match for the atmosphere that was generated by the people of Ringsend/Irishtown, who gathered for the highly anticipated community Fun Run.

The Our Town initiative aims to regenerate the locality by pulling in resources from community and corporate sectors with the spirit of cooperation that will nurture the culture of social progression. Celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin and architect Felim Dunne are lending their expertise to the plan, which promises to overhaul the Ringsend/Irishtown area.

Participants took on four laps of Ringsend Park, totalling 5km, in fine fashion. Beetlejuice, a manly nun, a group of Power Rangers and a not very well thought out scuba diver who tripped over his flippers as soon as the starting whistle blew, were among the sea of yellow t-shirts, certainly the predominant colour on the day.

Among a group of participants were Tina May, Audrey Plunkett and Donna Maher, who are all relatives of Ross Cummins and wore yellow Run for Ross t-shirts. “We are doing this today in honour of Ross, the local DJ who tragically died in February of this year,” Tina May told NewsFour. “He was everybody’s friend, everyone knew him in the area,” another lady adds.

Alan, aka the King of Cambridge (Boys FC), was there to raise money for St. Vincent’s Hospital Neurology Dept. “We have raised over €1000 already through sponsorship,” he told us.

Although fun was the theme of the day, with many of the competitors happy to walk to the finish line, there were also many serious runners taking part. Thomas Tracey was the winner of the men’s race. Without taking a chance to catch his breath, he spoke to NewsFour. “Really enjoyable, very good support along the way, particularly on the straight. It’s always the same when there’s an event in Ringsend,” he says, “I’m back running now a few months and this has given me a real boost. I’m looking forward to the summer now and the marathon in October.”

Sharon Woods won the ladies’ race, having run with two fellow Crusaders, the resident athletic team, who all finished in the top 10.

Diarmuid and Eppie, having pulled on their running shoes, both made impressive times, though Diarmuid admits he found it hard to keep up with his daughter. “Tough! A lot of local competition, but what a great atmosphere today and they have organised it so well,” he told NewsFour when asked how he found the race. “It’s a great start to the whole regeneration program. This has been a bit of a challenge to the community, to see if something could be organised, and they’ve certainly done that. It’s great to see everybody united in a great community spirit. It’s onwards and upwards now. This is the green light.”

Diarmuid Gavin and Felim Dunne would like to thank Clanna Gael, The Anchorage, NewsFour, BADRA, Serve the City, Intersevens, Ringsend Community Services Forum, Bridge Utd, Crusaders, Irishtown Stadium and O’Dwyer Auctioneers for their involvement in organising the event.

A gallery of images will be available to view on in the next few weeks.

By Maria Shields O’Kelly