Public urged to support Sanctuary Runners in marathon

Public urged to support Sanctuary Runners in marathon
5 time Olympian Rob Hefferran and his wife Marian pictured with Sanctuary Runners Yolanda Mhene and Johnny Riordan at the Mardyke, photographed during a training session on Sunday in preparation for the Cork City Marathon.  Picture Clare Keogh

MORE than 300 sanctuary runners are taking part in this year’s Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon and the founder of the initiative, Graham Clifford, is urging Cork to show its support for the blue shirts over the 26.2-mile course.

Although the movement is about getting people active and enjoying the physical and mental benefits of exercise, Mr Clifford told The Echo that that running was secondary to the social aspect.

“It is great for people of Cork to meet and chat with those in direct provision,” Graham said.

More than 50 people staying in Direct Provision centres are participating in the marathon, along with 250 others who are running in solidarity of them.

“There were more than 200 Sanctuary Runners in the Cork City Marathon last year and I will never forget the uplifting feeling I got from support in the crowd who were cheering us on,” said Graham. “It is a very special feeling and I just hope that they are just as encouraging this year.”

The Sanctuary Runners train up to three times a week as a group, taking part in the Ballincollig Park run every Saturday and also running at the Mardyke track on Friday evenings as well as training with Togher AC on Tuesdays.

The initiative is supported by Cork Cork City Council, and The Tomar Trust, who sponsor the t-shirts that the group run in. To get involved in the project, contact info@sanctuaryrunners.ie.

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