THE Mayor of the Metropolitan district Cllr Michael Sheahan is to join up to 10,000 other participants in the Great Limerick Run.
Mayor Sheahan has hit the running track and is getting ready to take part in the 10km event, which takes place over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
He is doing it to raise money for the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association in the Mid West, which exists to raise money to improve the lives of people with the condition.
His participation came after a throwaway remark he made at the launch of the Great Limerick Run last month.
Taking up the story, Mayor Sheahan said: “On the day I launched the event at the Strand Hotel, I made a comment that as a youngster I used to do a bit of running, and I would like to do some again.”
Seizing on the opportunity, Michelle Daly-Hayes of the charity, asked him if he would be prepared to run for Mid-West Spina Bifida.
“Of course I said I would be delighted to do so,” Cllr Sheahan said, “I visited their headquarters in the Delta Retail Park. It is a wonderful facility. I am absolutely thrilled to be running for them. They do fantastic work.”
As well as running for the organisation, Mayor Sheahan added: “ I am also hoping to develop a sports activity called ‘wheelchair throwball rounders’ for them, and maybe they can develop a programme around that.”
City East Fine Gael councillor Sheahan hit the tracks for the first time in more than a year over the weekend, and admitted he was surprised he lasted the pace during a tough training session.
“Last Saturday was my first time on a track since before the local elections. I used to do a bit of cycling. This is a great opportunity for me to get fit, as well as raise money. I am just delighted I did not collapse, to be honest,” he laughed.
Between now and the Great Limerick Run, the mayor has pledged to visit the track at least once every other day.
While many runners will set themselves a target time to finish the course, Mayor Sheahan’s aim is rather more modest - at least for the moment anyway.
“My target at the moment is to complete the course in one piece, and live to tell the tale. But I will probably get more competitive as I get fitter,” he revealed.
Although it is his first time taking part in the Great Limerick Run, he is a keen cyclist, and growing up in Askeaton, he took part in a number of long-distance runs.
Due to his build, the mayor says, he is often last when it comes to a short sprint, but can last the pace when it comes to long-distance races.
More than 1,000 people have already registered for the Great Limerick Run, and this number is set to grow further with 10,000 anticipated to take part.
For more information, please telephone 061-609627.