A group of Galway women, who from humble beginnings have tackled marathons all over the world, will hold a special reunion in the city later this month.
Twenty-one years ago, Galway Meet and Train was something of a disparate group when it came together for the purposes of training for the Dublin Women’s mini marathon in 1992. Some had run before, some had not run at all, some had a background in other sports, but many had no sporting history at all. Now in their 21st year, many of that original group still regularly meet at the car park at Renmore Church, running in all weathers and still regularly taking part in leisure and charity runs.
The instigator of this group was Edel Murphy - a competitive athlete with Galway City Harriers, who managed to instil a ‘can do’ attitude that was key to individuals who were just starting out on a long road. Many became bitten by the running bug and over the years they estimate that more than 200 women have turned out with the group, running 40 marathons, countless half-marathons, and hundreds of shorter events.
Several women, Máire Kelly, Therese Geraghty, Eileen Noone, Mary McCann, Adrienne Walsh, Bridie Foliard, Dolores Foley, Geraldine Fegan and Hilda McGrath still tog out several times a week.
They have travelled the world running these events, taking in many of the big city marathons, like London, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Barcelona, Stockholm and Rio de Janeiro. Their most spectacular trip was the marathon between Buffalo (New York ) and Niagara Falls on the Canadian side of the border.
Later this month, Saturday March 24, the group will hold a special 21st reunion, kicking off the day where it all began - in the car park at Renmore Church at 3pm and running a three mile loop. Refreshments are being organised on the spot immediately afterwards, while an evening has been organised in the Menlo Park Hotel at 8.30pm.
The organisers emphasise that people can run, jog and walk, and they hope anyone who has been part of the group at anytime over the past 20 years can make it on the day.
The group has created a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/galwaymeet&traingroup, and photos, comments and reminiscences can be posted there.
For further information contact Máire Kelly.0868036044, Dolores Foley, 0862039165, or Hilda McGrath, 086 8548692.