Generation game as 80-year-old Pat and grandson take part in Great Limerick Run

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Pat O'Regan who turned 80 last week, with his grandson Ben Meehan, 12, who completed the six-mile run in just 46 minutes

Pat O'Regan who turned 80 last week, with his grandson Ben Meehan, 12, who completed the six-mile run in just 46 minutes

IT was a real family affair for fitness fanatic Pat O’Regan, and his grandson Ben Meehan who both finished the Great Limerick Run.

Pat has just marked his 80th birthday and is a well-known long distance runner in Limerick – and it looks like his grandson Ben, 12, is on the way to emulating his feats, after he completed the six-mile race in just 46 minutes!

It could have been faster, however, his aunt Joan Garry, said, pointing out the Christ the King sixth class student was itching to run ahead of his father Brian for the whole race.

“For the whole of the way around, Ben was asking if he could go ahead,” she said.

“On the last mile, his Dad gave him permission. And he took off like lightning.”

There was a lovely reunion between Pat and Ben at the finish line, as both received their medals. “For a 12-year-old boy to run that time is amazing. It really is. Dad has been running all his life – and Ben is certainly taking after him,” Joan added.

Elsewhere, 13-year-old Sean Byrnes was celebrating after completing his fourth race on his hand-trike in just one hour and 11 minutes.

Sean, from Pallasgreen, was born with Spina Bifida and is a wheelchair user.

He completed the race with his mum Fiona, and his father John said: “He is an amazing young man with a great attitude to life. My wife Fiona who loves walking, but is not a runner had to train very hard to keep up with Sean!”

Children with type one diabetes from around the region also joined in the fun, taking part in the annual kids’ fun run on the eve of race day.

The team were co-ordinated by Dr Kerrie Hennifan, an intern at University Hospital Limerick, and Maaz Mirza, a third year student, with others helping.