BY HELEN RIDDELLÂ
TWO Beara based runners successfully completed the San Francisco marathon which took them over the famous Golden Gate Bridge.Â
Joanna Riddell and Frank McQuaid were presented with certificates of honour for their achievement by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.
Joanna, from Bere Island started her running career just over two years ago with the weekly Bere Island parkrun.Â She gradually increased her running distances, taking part in the Bantry Bay Run, Ballycotton Run and Connemara half marathon, before undertaking her first full marathon in Dublin in 2016. Â
She said: âIt was a tough course, but crossing the bridge was such fantastic moment. This year is the fortieth anniversary of the San Francisco marathon which is the main reason I decided to run it, and it made it even more special by meeting Mayor Lee and being presented with the certificate of honour for completing the marathon.'Â
For Frank McQuaid, originally from Dublin but now living in Eyeries the San Francisco Marathon was his fourteenth marathon and his fourth in the USA. Cork has been twinned with San Francisco since 1984 with officials from the two cities regularly visiting each other to strengthen links.Â
Cork Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, on hearing that Joanna and Frank were taking part in the San Francisco marathon gave them a letter of introduction to his San Francisco counterpart and a book on Cork to present to him.Â Joanna also presented Mayor Lee with a book on the history of Bere Island.
Further strengtening the links between the two cities, the 2017 Cork City Marathon was won by San Francisco native Chris Mocko.Â Now back in Beara, Joanna is busy training for the Galway and Dublin marathons later this year.Â