We had a great day at the expo in Elverys Sports Galway today – Thank you to our guest speakers TV fitness guru Karl Henry, Wheelchair Marathoner – Jerry Forde, Marathon Club Ireland Chairperson Valerie Fogarty and Para Cycling world title winner Eoghan Clifford. Also pictured Sabrina Carey from the Elvery Power Team and Angela Geraghty from Galway Bay Half Marathon & 10K and Joanne Murphy from Tri Talking Sport.
TV fitness expert Karl Henry was the main speaker at the The Galway Bay Half Marathon and 10k Expo in the Elverys Sports Store Galway. Karl spoke about his personal and sporting challenges in life and encouraged everyone to set realistic goals and achieve them by being ‘good to yourself’. In other words reward yourself for every little milestone. On a personal note Karl shared his experiences in overcoming severe ‘shyness’ to become a TV personality. Mentioning his love of Galway and frequent visits to take part in races organised by Ray O’Connor, Karl recalled his traumatic and exhilarating participation in the Connemara 100 mile road race a few years ago sighting the race as one that he wants to go ‘head to head’ with again. So whether it’s your first 10K or a 100 mile race do the preparation, set realistic goals and most importantly stick to your plan. Eat the same breakfast as you always do. Wear clothes and shoes that you know are comfortable and don’t be tempted to wear new gear. Do what you have trained to do and then let the atmosphere and camaraderie of the event carry you that bit further.
Valerie Fogarty, Chairperson of Marathon Club Ireland talked to the crowd about the strong friendships and brilliant social life that being part of the club has given her. Valerie believes that anyone can do a marathon if they stick to a training plan and have the determination to build their fitness up slowly – it won’t happen over night but it is worth the effort. Valerie emphasized that you need the support of your family as the training does require putting in the hours. Valerie thanked Ray for making it possible for 40 members of Marathon Club Ireland to run a full marathon on the Half Marathon course. The club love the support they get from the Half Marathoners as they fly past the Marathoners on their first lap when we are on our third and starting to feel the pain!
Following Valerie, Jerry Forde – Ireland’s much loved and well known Wheelchair Athlete stunned the audience when he revealed that he would be clocking up his 293rd marathon at Galway Bay. Jerry often does a marathon or two a week as well as fitting in his job as a DJ in Cork. Jerry recently recovered from a stroke and used that same resilience and strength of character along with the undeniable Cork sense of humor to fiight his way back to fitness. Although Jerry has spent most of his life in Cork he is originally form Galway and like Karl, has developed a great friendship with the Galway Bay Half Marathon and Race Director Ray O’Connor over the years.
Possibly the most emotional part of the evening was the interview with Para Cycling world title winner Dr Eoghan Clifford as he shared his experiences with us and recalled how he coped with the news of his illness and his determination to succeed in his chosen sport.
Big thank you to Joanne Murphy from Tri-Talking who kept the chat going and entertained us all.