Families come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are large, while others are little.
They can be bonded by bloodline, or can be brought together out of shared experiences. Family has been to the forefront of my mind this past week. My uncle James O Neill passed away recently. James was a gentleman and a stalwart of Castlehaven and Cork GAA. I have many wonderful memories of spending summers in Myross near Union Hall with my cousins. James was much loved and respected by all who knew him in the area and beyond. He was involved heavily in all aspects of the local community and will be sadly missed by his family and loved ones.
It was heartwarming to see family and the local community rally around James’ loved ones to support them in their time of need. It’s in times like this that I think of my own immediate family. I am very lucky to have a great family support network around me.
When it comes to my training and races, Lorna and Ella are my number one supporters. Both are a constant source of encouragement. Lorna also has to constantly listen to me talk about my training, the latest gear or the next race. She has the patience of a saint but is always there in my corner. My Mam and Dad and my five siblings along with their partners and children are always there for support.
This is especially true when it comes to marathon day in Cork. Plenty of my family will be dotted around the course to offer support and with much needed water or lucozade. It’s such a huge boost seeing a family member on race day in Cork.
The wider Cork running family will also be out in their droves on marathon day. Without the support of the Cork public such an event could not take place. People are incredible to get behind this event and many different events around the county. It can be seen day in and day out and races and training sessions. People volunteer with local clubs for coaching, transport to races and are part of committees. Without these people, races and clubs could not exist.
This sort of endeavour was on full display at Fota Wildlife Park last week as Eagle AC organised the Cheetah run. Between the kids race and the adult race the club put on two sensational races in one of the most unique venues a race can be set in. To organise an event of this magnitude takes a huge effort, Ruairi and Karen our race directors deserve massive congratulations and credit. They were ably assisted by members of the Eagle AC family who came out in force to ensure both the children’s race and the main race ran off without a hitch.
It was a special night for the club as the ‘Anne Lucey Murphy Memorial Cup’ was presented to the winning lady Hannah Steeds by Joe on the night. Well done to all involved in the club for again hosting one of the most compelling races on the calendar.
So as I edge closer to race day I’m very thankful for my family for all their support over the last few months. I’m thankful to my Eagle family for their constant encouragement and to the wider Cork running family for their backing also.
Enjoy the sun over the week ahead. Happy running!