Two Derry natives have made a marathon trip back to the city ahead of competing in the actual Walled City Marathon today.
Pictured above are Patrick Hegarty, now living in Galicia, and Naomi Hasson, who has worked and lived in Bilbao for the past 16 years. They have both have flown back from Spain especially to take part in the first marathon the city has hosted in 30 years.
Patrick, from Darleen Park in the city, is running the race in memory of his late father Seamus, who passed away after suffering from Leukaemia in 2010.
“I’ll be raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphona research,” he told the Sunday Journal yesterday while taking some time out ahead of today’s event.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like this and I’m a bit nervous but I’m hoping it’ll go well and that people will donate at justgiving.com/patrick-hegarty.”
Patrick will be cheered on by his mum Joan and his girlfriend Irene who has also travelled from her home in Spain to be here for the event.
Naomi Hasson, daughter of Austin’s owner Luke Hasson, has made the trip from Bilbao and will run in memory of her cousin Paul Woods who died in June last year from a rare hereditary blood disorder.
“It’s something which has affected our family quite a lot and for me, running the marathon is about raising awareness as well as vital funds for research which is why the money we raise will go the Grace Nolan Foundation. Paul was just 21 when he died and this is something which has affected other members of our family so we want to do what we can and we’re delighted to have raised 2,000 euro so far.”
It’s the first time the Derry born mother of three has competed in a marathon.
“I’ve never done anything like this in my life and I am definitely nervous about it. But I’ll have plenty of people cheering me on,” she said.
To donate to Naomi’s fund visit http://www.mycharity.ie/event/naomi_lucy_wolfgang_take_on_derry_city/