Carrying on for a good cause
Helen O’Callaghan on a one mother’s marathon challenge
Newbridge-based Aoife Curran will run the VHI minimarathon on Monday in aid of CMRF Crumlin, wearing full combat gear and with 30lbs — the weight of her three-yearold — on her back.
A member of the Irish Defence Forces, mum of one Aoife wanted to challenge herself to do something more than simply run in the mini-marathon. “So I said to Shane, my husband, we’d weigh Oliver and I’d carry his weight on my back.”
Aoife’s choice of charity is because “the first name for medical care that always comes to mind is Crumlin”. She brought Oliver to the hospital when he was just three months old. “It’s horrible when your child’s sick. You try to stay positive but it’s terrifying because it’s out of your control. With Oliver, it was nothing too serious, thankfully. He had trouble with his oesophagus. I was trying to feed him and he was finding it hard to drink and crying. We brought him in as a precaution.
“The staff were amazing. He hadn’t yet got all his vaccinations, so they put him in isolation. They explained that because he’d been premature, he was just a little behind in his development. Because I was a first-time mum and they saw I was nervous, they reassured me I was doing a great job. They even rang a few days later to see that he’d settled.”
Shane, also in the Defence Forces, prepared a mini-marathon training programme for Aoife.
“He’s helping me with a few exercises, with weights. I started off with a low weight on my back and he built me up to 30lbs. As recovery, he’s helping me do different stretches and foam rolling,” says Aoife, 32, who trains five days a week. “Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I do varying distance runs. Wednesdays I go out on the Curragh Plains with the pack on my back. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do weights.”
Aoife will do the run with older sister Vanessa, who’s participating for the same charity. “This is Vanessa’s first big challenge since losing six stone in weight, so the two of us will be supporting each other.”
And Oliver – who has helped Aoife’s training with pleas for piggy backs – will be cheering from the sidelines, along with dad Shane.
For Aoife, the whole effort is for children who need help. “If I can struggle for an hour and a half to get even one diagnosis for a sick child, I’ll be doing ok.” Aoife hopes to raise €500 for CMRF Crumlin – cmrf.org/user/aoife-9
READY TO GO: Aoife Curran is running the VHI mini-marathon with the equivalent of son Oliver’s weight on her back.