BY MARTIN WALSH
SPORT Ireland CEO John Treacy has vowed to compete in a West Cork marathon, even if it will be a little different to his Olympic silver medal winning performance in 1984.
A long time friendship with another former athlete, Courtmacsherry’s Richard O’Flynn resulted in Treacy launching the Great Wild Atlantic Marathon Walk, a fundraising event for the Courtmacsherry RNLI that takes place on August 11th next.
Speaking at the launch in the Hayfield Manor in Cork before he attended the Cork City Sports on Tuesday last, Treacy said: ‘Richard (O’Flynn) and I go back a long way, indeed, he was a big part of my success in ’84. He always spoke about the scenic beauty of his beloved Courtmacsherry and I am delighted to launch this event.’
He added: ‘Unfortunately, as it happens this year, I will be in Berlin at the time of the marathon walk but there is no doubt about it, I will make it another time.’
Last year’s inaugural marathon event raised just over €7,000 and attracted some 350 walkers, many of whom did the entire 26.2 miles while others took the optional versions of a one-way half marathon, 10k or 5k walk.
The Courtmacsherry RNLI is one of the oldest lifeboat stations in Ireland and on Sunday last was called out twice during the afternoon and brought two yachts to safety.
Treacy continued: ‘People are out being active and being part of the community and what you people are doing is fantastic, doing it for the Lifeboat is a great cause. You are out there helping your community, helping people out that may come into trouble. It’s fantastic to have the GAA involved as well.’
He concluded: ‘I will come down some year to do part of it, I probably wouldn’t be able for all six hours.’
The involvement with the local Barryroe GAA Club highlights the Respect the Water campaign through the partnership between the GAA and the RNLI, who aim to halve coastal drowning by 2024. Participants for the Great Wild Atlantic Walk Marathon Walk can enter on online at eventmaster.ie