This year's RunDonegal Women's 5K has raised €7,513 for the Brid Carr Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
The event, which was hosted by Finn Valley AC on Sunday, March 31st, had an entry of 706 - the second biggest number of participants since the race was established.
The proceeds from the 2019 Run Donegal Women's 5K were presented to the family of the late Brid Carr - a native of Glencolmcille who died from ovarian in 2014 aged 54. She had been living in London with her family when she passed away. This was the third year the Brid Carr Fund was selected as the main beneficiary from the Run Donegal Women's 5K - it also benefitted in 2015 and 2017.
Speaking at the cheque presentation in the Finn Valley Centre, Patsy McGonagle of Finn Valley AC, said the event was a great success again this year.
"We had over 700 competing and we'll try to build on that. The organisation was great. Events like the RunDonegal Women's 5K are good for women and good for awareness. It's such a positive thing. If somebody had told me 30 or 40 years ago that there would be over 700 women running in race for women only, I wouldn't have thought it was possible. But it's a great success story and great credit to the Grace Boyle, Bridgeen Doherty and Rosemary Foy for the work they've done behind the scenes. Well done and keep the enthusiasm up. Repeating the success year on year and improving it year on year is the real challenge," he commented.
Race director, Grace Boyle, recalled the early days of the annual event.
"Back then there were very few women running and we decided to put on a women's only race in an effort to entice more women to get out and get active. When you go to a 5K now there are more women that men," she said.
"There was one case this year that really brought it home as to why we hold this event every year. A woman came to us who had suffered from cancer. When she was going through her treatment she wondered if she'd ever get back to walking a 5K again. She came along and did this year's RunDonegal Women's 5K and that was the success of the race this year. She was so proud of herself and we were so proud we could facilitate the likes of that woman," she added.
"We couldn't be as successful without the professionalism of Neil Martin and Patsy McGonagle and we are so lucky to have them and Finn Valley on board with us. Every cent that came in for this race will go directly to the Brid Carr Fund. There wasn't one cent spent on anything. Our t-shirts were sponsored by Tim Kelly in London, our water was sponsored by Celtic Water and I even pulled in Isobelle Doherty from the Donegal Hospice to help with the numbers and the sponsorship of prizes. So everything was sponsored and that really is something.
"We are delighted to be associated with ovarian cancer research and it is the way forward. We all know we have to get to the bottom of what's going on and we have to get the cures. We're delighted to be associated with the Carr family and Rosemary, of course, is a very good friend of ours. I'd also like to thank Martin McHugh for organising the sponsorship of the water. Before I die there's one thing I want to do and that is to get 1,000 entries for this event. I think we are getting there and I do believe next year is the year we will achieve that."
Thanking the various sponsors for their generosity and support, Rosemary Foy, a sister of the late Brid Carr, paid tribute to those who helped out on the day. She explained that the project being supported by the Brid Carr Fund was coming to an end in July, adding that consideration was being given to starting a new project.
On behalf of the Carr family, Pauric Carr extended his gratitude to all involved with the RunDonegal 5K.
Padraig McEnaneny, CEO of Celtic Water, congratulated the organisers of the the event.
"It's a credit to all involved and hopefully it will inspire other people to get out there and raise money for vital causes," he said.
"I wish you all continued success and if you are looking for help next year, we'd be glad to support you," he added.
Next year's RunDonegal 5K has been fixed for Sunday, April 5th.