Friends join forces to help Tony keep marathon tradition going
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.