What better way to remember a top Derry athlete

Aquathon winner Colm Quigley. (1308PG07)
Aquathon winner Colm Quigley. (1308PG07)
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Up to 200 people are expected to lace up their trainers in the Bogside next week to run in memory of one of Derry’s best known athletes.

North West Triathlon Club legend Colm Quigley, died suddenly on March 20, 2011. He was 39. He competed with distinction for his club and country on many occasions during a lifetime of triathlon and athletics events.

Next Thursday night will see the annual Jog in Bog 5k race held in his memory and his son Daniel - himself a promising young triathlete - is urging those who raced against his dad over the years as well as runners and fun runners of all abilities to take part in the event.

“What better way to remember my da than holding a race in his memory,” Daniel told the Journal. “We hope to have an even bigger entry this year for what is a great race and at just £5 to enter it’s the cheapest chip-timed race with tee-shirt and refreshments you’ll get anywhere.”

Colm Quigley was a familiar figure in athletics, especially on the Triathlon Ireland circuit where he is fondly remembered as one of the country’s top triathletes and a trusted mentor. Peter Jack, of Triangle Triathlon Club, said: “He always had time for you, he always had a bit of craic and he always had an interest in what other athletes were doing and an awful lot of athletes looked up to Colm because they knew that he succeeded at the highest level.”

“He was very highly regarded in the North-West Triathlon Club and in Triathlon Ireland. He loved racing, he loved training and he loved putting back into the sport that gave him so much.”

President of Athletics Northern Ireland Derry Gerry Lynch said Colm was a “terrific athlete who competed with distinction over the years”.

Conal Heatley, former Triathlon Ireland Secretary General and one of the pioneers of the development of Triathlon in Ireland, said Colm’s reputation in the sport outstanding.

“I did not know Colm particularly well, but I knew enough to fear him as a competitor and respect him as a man. He had represented his club and country with distinction over many years, earning the admiration of those that he raced against. But although an outstanding athlete, it was his willingness to put something back into the sport that highlighted his dedication and generosity. Colm was deeply involved in sport in the North West, for many years a lynchpin of the local triathlon club where he made his mark in coaching, race organising, racing and generally cajoling members.”

Derry elite triathlete, Irish Olympian Aileen Morrison, who is currently racing on the international circuit, will never forget the generosity of Colm at the beginning of her life in triathlon. “Colm brought me over my first race bike when it arrived, and built it. This was the kind of Colm, he’d do anything for anybody. Colm arrived at training with a bit of pipe insulation for the handlebars to put my watch onto. He had a whole bag of bits cut up - one for everybody in the audience. Colm’s generosity and kind spirit made him one in a million,” she said.

Thursday’s Jog in the Bog, organised by the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum will commence at 7.30pm with registration in the Gasyard Centre from 6pm. All are welcome.