Record numbers walk for Foyle Hospice

Niamh O'Kane,Clare Brolly and Amber McSparron. (06060SL15)
Niamh O'Kane,Clare Brolly and Amber McSparron. (06060SL15)

Record numbers of Derry woman of all ages braved the heavy rain on Sunday to take part in this year’s Foyle Hospice Walk/Run.

More than 4600 women registered to take part in the event and despite the horrendous weather organisers say that an estimated 4500 women pounded the 5k route from the Everglades to Templemore Sports Complex.

Community fundraiser Noel McMonagle said he had been “humbled and inspired” by the strength of character of the Derry women who refused to let the rain dampen their spirits as they walked the route.

“We had been prepared for a small turn out given the weather. I had spoken with our marshal team that even if we only had a small number of walkers we would have to do all we could to keep spirits up.

“It would have been easy for people to decide to stay at home instead but it was just unbelievable - the way people came out and got into the spirit of the walk. This was our biggest ever walk.

“There was a great atmosphere. Yes we had rain and yes people had to wait around a bit as we dealt with the huge numbers of walkers - but it was a good rain and once everyone got started the atmosphere really got going.

“We didn’t hear people complain. The women just got on with it and to be honest, it was very inspiring.”

Before the walk kicked off Noel and his team held a brief silence in memory of those who had passed away in the last year or who had been cared for in the Hospice before leading the crowd in an emotion laden rendition of ‘Abide With Me’.

“In recent years the walk has become much more than a walk. People have a sense of purpose related to it and for many people, they walk in memory of a loved one.

“ It is very emotional to see all thoses faces and names on t-shirts - and the walk, the biggest event in our fundraising calendar, has come to mean so much to so many people.”

Click on external link to the right to access pics from the 5K