Friends join forces to help Tony keep marathon tra­di­tion go­ing

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS - By DEB­O­RAH COLE­MAN

THE sense of com­mu­nity within the ath­let­ics world was never as strong as at the re­cent Dublin City Marathon when Ark­low man Tony Hickey was helped to com­plete the gru­elling race by a group of friends who wanted to en­sure that his tra­di­tion of never miss­ing the event since it started 38 years ago was up­held.

In re­cent months, it looked as if life­long run­ner Tony would have to sit out this year’s mar­ta­hon due to ill­ness but his friend and ex-wife Mary Nolan Hickey came to the res­cue with a plan.

‘Un­for­tu­nately, Tony was di­ag­nosed with a brain tu­mour six months ago. He had surgery and is still go­ing through chemo­ther­apy but he wasn’t go­ing to be well enough to run the marathon. He had en­tered be­fore his di­ag­no­sis as like me, he has run it ev­ery year since it started,’ Mary ex­plained.

Tony’s part­ner Jill and Mary then de­cided to see if there was any way they could keep his marathon tra­di­tion alive; any way that he could be pushed around the 26-mile cir­cuit, en­abling him to com­plete the event and cross the fin­ish line.

‘It just goes to show the power of so­cial me­dia be­cause we put out the call to see if any­one had a suit­able wheel­chair that Tony could use. A nor­mal one would have been too bumpy for him and dif­fi­cult to get around the cir­cuit. Even­tu­ally a lovely fam­ily in Grey­stones came to the res­cue and pro­vided Tony with a chair and on the day I was helped to push him by Tommy God­kin, Nigel Browne, Liam Mur­phy and Charles Flem­ing. We got over the line in just over five hours,’ Mary said.

Mary paid trib­ute to the team for their sup­port and kind­ness in help­ing Tony achieve his 38th Dublin City Marathon.

She also com­mended the ded­i­cated mem­bers of Inbhear Mór AC and Coral Run­ners, Ark­low who com­pleted the marathon, fol­low­ing months of tough train­ing.

There was great rep­re­sen­ta­tion from the com­mu­nity and some won­der­ful times recorded as fol­lows: Shane O’Con­nell 2.59, Alan Duffy 3.18, Michael Priest 3.29, Laura Mc­Cann 3.32, Slawek Bosy 3.45, Tr­ish Syn­nott 3.46, John Mc­Cann 3.50, Aoife Tun­ney 3.56, Sharon Wheeler 4.18, Rachel Cole 4.18, Marc Cole 4.18, Justyna Wis­niowska 4.26, Louise Doyle 4.27, Ali­son Be­han 4.27, Michele Geoghan 4.42, Mary Hickey 5.08, Joan Heaslip 5.14, Tommy God­kin 5.30, Alan Plun­kett 4.20, Clair Plun­kett 4.14, Claire O Con­nor 5.14, Derek Walsh 3.52, Dinny Kenny 4.03, Alan Holt 3.32, Jean Mol­loy 4.42, Orla Cooper 5.31.

The Inbhear Mor Ath­letic Club mem­bers who took part in the Dublin Marathon.

Han­nah Fig­gis from Dunlavin with her daugh­ter Lil­lie.

Shirley Ross from Grange­con with Dr Cather­ine O’Sul­li­van.

Mar­garet Gaffney from Tul­low with Dr Cather­ine O’Sul­li­van.

Mary Nolan Hickey.

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