In excess of 40,000 women ran in this mini marathon today. It's all of 10k, and it's actually magic.
Listening to the radio as I came home this evening, I heard the presenter say that 'some' of the women ran for charity, and that 800 charities were represented. The truth is that the vast majority of people who run in this mini marathon are running in aid of a charity.
I stood there watching the women come home and thought, "Isn't it just so incredible that so many people who have been in contact with an ill person or a dying person or someone who has died because of an illness ... they all come together on this one day and walk to try and aid others not to die from the disease, the illness?"
Cystic fibrosis, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, acquired brain injury, kidney disease, cancer, hospice support groups ... 800 charities. I couldn't possibly name them all.
My Sinead and her friend, Amanda, this year they walked in aid of Bru Columbanus, a building attached or connected to University College Cork. Back in 2011 when I was in hospital in Cork for a month, my three children stayed in an apartment for free. The girls have run in aid of Bru Columbanus before.
Coming home, I heard on the radio the voice of one of the participants. She was a lady from Tipperary, I think her surname was Anderson. She was 89 years old and said that this was her 20th marathon. She hopes to be there in her 90th year.
I saw a woman with walking sticks and a foot all plastered up. Women pushing other women in wheel chairs. My girls told me of someone who was unable to walk properly being 'carried' - she'd 'walk' the way she can walk, but two other women carried her the ten kilometers.
I heard some women on radio giving out about the handful of men who dress up as women and walk - the women saying, "Why can't men leave this to us?" But, one of those men I saw today wore a shirt naming his mother who had died of cancer which said "Love you, Mum." Nobody has the right to deny any man who has suffered in any way walking/running to support the cause that supports people who suffer what his mother suffered. I think, the giving out is all 'mouth' as we'd say - words just said, not meant.
I think all of us who have suffered from a bad disease one way or another, we all know what each other has gone through and we would never in reality negate any of us. I think, though, we should leave it a women's mini marathon. I don't think there is another mini-marathon like this in the world, and all those women who ran, jogged, walked - they are incredible people.