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South African event inspires hospice mountain run

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By Sean Moriarty

A group of local hill runners, inspired by world record holder South African Gerda Steyn, raised over €800 for the Kerry Hospice Foundation in the Gap of Dunloe last Sunday.

MOUNTAIN RUN: Colleen Coffey Stephen Griffin Denise Smith Siobhan Falvey all from Beaufort at Sunday's mountain run.

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FUNDRAISING: Martina Thompson Anna Eager Louise Riordan Miriam Beasley Claire O’Malley Colleen Coffey. Back row: Denise Smith and Stephen Griffin all from Beaufort.

FINISH LINE: At the finish line at Lord Brandon’s Cottage were Gary Landers Diarmuid O’Malley Miriam Beasley Tadhg O’Malley Noel Hyde Chris Grayson Paul O’Sullivan and Jeremy Curran.

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Steyn is the fastest woman to complete Comrades Marathon in her native South Africa.

The 98 kilometre event, run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, is the world's biggest and oldest ultra-marathon race.

In 2019 she won the Comrades Marathon in a record time of 5 hours, 58 minutes and 53 seconds, becoming the first woman to complete the run in under six hours.

Beaufort man Diarmuid O’Malley is a veteran of over 30 marathons and ultra-marathons, including the 2013 Comrades Race, and he was one of the organisers of Sunday’s event that catered for all abilities. He is planning to return to the famed South African event as soon as travel restrictions allow.

“A week after her 2019 Comrades success, I had the pleasure to show Gerda Steyn the Gap of Dunloe route and her exact comment to me was "you have no excuse not to run Comrades again with a training route like this on your doorstep",” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

O’Malley’s plans were disrupted due to pandemic related restrictions and the 2021 Comrades event was contested online. He decided to use the route he had shown to Steyn for this year’s Comrades Virtual event and roped in 35 other local hill running enthusiasts to help him out.

"I competed in Comrades in 2013 which is the year of the famous 'bird wind' edition with the highest percentage of dropouts from the warm temperatures, it was a bit like that last Sunday. I had planned to do it last year, it then got moved to this year and now moved to 2022, so fingers crossed," he added.

“35 runners and walkers gathered at the Gap of Dunloe to cover 10km, 21km and 45km routes over the hills of one of Ireland's most iconic roads to Lord Brandon's Cottage. The 45km route covered two loops and the 21km was one loop. In the true spirit of Comrades, all participants managed to successfully get to the finish line in the hottest recorded day of the year in Ireland."

Between them they raised €800 for the Kerry Hospice Foundation, helped by local women Denise Smith and Siobhan Falvey who were on the organising team, as well as members of the hospice staff.

“It was great to get out running and not chasing a time, just catching up with running friends again and all for a fantastic worthy cause,” Diarmuid added.

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Can you talk your way to fitness?

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness Recently, our team at Activate was talking about the regular check-ins we do with our clients. We try to sit down with each client in person at least once every six months, if not once a quarter, and see how they are doing. If we can’t get them to […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

Recently, our team at Activate was talking about the regular check-ins we do with our clients. We try to sit down with each client in person at least once every six months, if not once a quarter, and see how they are doing.

If we can’t get them to sit down with us, we’ll at least touch base via Zoom or phone. Text messages aren’t adequate to really understand how someone is doing and progressing as we help them towards their health goals, so we don’t count those.

What’s interesting is how difficult it can be sometimes to track down and set up a time to catch up with clients. In passing, it’s simple, but those conversations aren’t as focused and usually don’t allow us to get into why someone is or is not seeing the progress they need. So many times it’s something we all know we need to do, but to sit down and have a real conversation with someone about how they are doing can be tough, or even intimidating depending on the situation.

People start with us knowing we want to provide accountability, guidance, education, and motivation to help them accomplish their goals. But, when it comes down to the accountability portion, it can be difficult to want to talk about things that may not be going as planned.

However, when we look back at our most successful clients – those who have accomplished or are accomplishing what they set out to do when they started with us – they are the ones who actually seek us out to sit down and get help. When we ask them about their goals or if they have time, they are excited to catch up and see what they can improve. Or, they are asking us to help even before we reach out to them.

Those clients have not always had it easy either. Post lockdowns there were a lot of people re-orienting their schedule and lives and trying to make sense of what their goals needed to be. I personally had quite a few heavier conversations with people as we stepped through a plan to “reset” and get into a habit that fit their adjusted goals and schedules. Without those conversations, we may not have been able to help people as much as we are able to (thankfully).

ACCOUNTABILITY

For every area of your life; family, marriage, friendships, work; having accountability, a source of quality guidance, and motivation is as absolute must if you want to improve or progress. We can do some things alone, but we can do most of those things far better with others who have been there before or who can walk with us as we step through our journey towards our goals.

If you are looking to improve at anything in life, be it professionally, or with your health and fitness, the first step is to acknowledge where you are and then seek out a trusted source of information to help you clarify and align the moving parts to ensure you can get to where you want in the timeframe you want.

It’s why we start every member at Activate with a free consultation and why we continue to talk to our members. If we don’t know where you want to go, how can we help you get there? “Going to a gym” is fantastic and will be of huge benefit to your health, going to a gym that is invested in your journey multiplies this power exponentially.

So, no, you can’t “talk your way to fitness”, it takes many hours of work and consistency, but starting your journey with a good honest talk and someone in “your corner” will ensure you start – and continue – in the right direction.

To have a chat about your health and fitness goals, visit www.activate.ie and find out more.

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Former footballer to launch new book

By Sean Moriarty Former Senior Kerry footballer and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Aidan O’Mahony will be in Eason on Saturday to sign copies of his new book. The Rathmore man enjoyed a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey, making 70 championship and 85 league appearances for Kerry between 2003 and 2017. In January 2017, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Former Senior Kerry footballer and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Aidan O’Mahony will be in Eason on Saturday to sign copies of his new book.

The Rathmore man enjoyed a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey, making 70 championship and 85 league appearances for Kerry between 2003 and 2017.

In January 2017, O’Mahony won the RTÉ ‘Dancing with the Stars’ series with professional dancer, Estonian Valeria Milova.

His new book ‘Unbroken’ is an account of the discipline it takes to be part of one of the country’s most successful Gaelic football teams. It is also a story of managing external and internal expectations and pressure, and of the importance of knowing when to ask for help.

“I am really looking forward to meeting everyone next Saturday, great to finally release my book and I hope people enjoy it,” he told Killarney Advertiser.

O’Mahony’s Killarney book signing will be the first of many around the country in the run up to Christmas.

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