GALLERY:

Two Laois runners come first and second place at Irish Kidney Association fun run

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Two Laois runners who headed to Dublin to support a great cause last Saturday, came out winners in every way.

A Portlaoise woman and a Portarlington teenage boy who took part in the Irish Kidney Association’s ‘Run for a Life’ family fun run last Saturday, made it home in top positions.

Paula Guinan from Portlaoise put in a great performance at the fun run in the midday heat in Dublin, securing 1st prize in the 10km distance with an impressive time of 45.10.

She registered the fun run with her friend Brid McGill, also from Portlaoise, to support the cause as Brid's mother-in-law Josie McGill who underwent a kidney transplant in November 2016.

Eoin Worrell aged 15 from Portarlington was supporting the fun run because his uncle is undergoing dialysis.

Eoin a student at Coláiste Iosagáin, came second in the 5km men’s race with a finish time of 19.40.

He made it in just 24 seconds after the overall winner for the same distance, Tallaght AC member Garrett O’Keeffe from Kilnamanagh. 

Hundreds of people of all ages lapped up the summer sunshine when they came out to support an important cause which is close to many of their hearts, organ donation, by taking part in the IKA’s ‘Run for a Life’ family fun run at Corkagh Park, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 last Saturday May 19.   

Honouring his deceased organ donor at the event was Ken Mulkerrins from Lucan who underwent a heart transplant in Spring 2016. Ken's brother-in-law Joseph Dunne who is now living in Portlaoise, is enjoying the successful longevity of his kidney transplant which he received 17 years ago. 

Later this summer, Ken, a former Irish Freestyle Kayaking Champion, will cycle 212 kilometres from Dublin to the Circle of Life Garden in Galway to promote organ donation.

Also taking part in Run for a Life was Ken's wife Pamela, their two young children, Conor, 9 and Kate, 6.

“Our family has participated in Run for a Life every year since it began and it’s a great day out and an event we would not want to miss.  For many years we took part in it to celebrate the kidney transplant which my brother-in-law Joseph received when he was 25 years old. We didn’t expect that more recently I would also need a transplant, a heart transplant, which saved my life two years ago. Two members of our family are alive today because of the generosity of two organ donors," Ken said.

Run for a Life Race Organiser is Colin White. 

“Our annual Run for a Life, which is now in its tenth year, is a great day out for all of the family. It is fantastic that the sun shone throughout this year’s event and that almost 500 people including transplant recipients and their families and friends from all over the country turned up to support it. The Irish Kidney Association sees this charity fundraiser as a positive way to promote organ donor awareness. The loyal support for this event is wonderful with many making it a feature on their annual calendar.”

The ‘Run for a Life’ family fun run was open to people of all ages and levels of fitness who could choose to walk, jog or run in the chip timed event, which offered prizes for winners in a choice of chip timed c2.5km, 5km and 10km distances. 

For more information on the event visit website www.runforalife.ie

Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association tel. 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050.

Visit the website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor -card here.

Alternatively download the ‘Digital Organ Donor card’ onto your phone.