The inuagural Ronan Clarke Trail Run

July 26th, 2015

Ronan clarke trail run

Ronan Clarke Trail Run:

Mayo is ready and charged for the inaugural Ronan Clarke Trail Run set to take place July 26th in aid of Mayo/Roscommon Hospice and Killala GAA Benevolent Fund.

A stunningly beautiful and equally challenging 13k trail run will follow a course from the Community Centre in Killala to Ross Beach, along the shore and across the rocks to CBI beach and back to the Community Centre again. A road based 5k is also planned for families or those preferring a less demanding trail.

Mairead McGuiness, member of the European Parliament and former co-presenter to Ronan on Ear to the Ground, will fire the pistol and signal the start of the run. Mairead will also present the winners with their prizes following the trail run.

A former presenter of the farming programme Ear to the Ground, Ronan was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in 2013 and passed away a year later on May 29 2014 at the age of 41. The father-of-three was a weekly regular on television but returned to his native Killala to pursue a career in teaching before being diagnosed with the rare form of cancer.

Ronan was also well-known for his involvement in GAA. He played for Killala from the age of 14. Ronan played midfield on the Killala under-16s team that won a county title in 1988. In 2008, Ronan played on the Killala team that won the Junior and Connacht Championship titles.

Behind the scenes Ronan served as club secretary for five years. In 2012, he held six positions in the club including vice-chairperson, registrar, divisions board officer, underage coach, assistant PRO and children’s officer. Ronan also coached a number of underage teams throughout the years.

Sarcoma, which affects between 150 and 200 people a year in Ireland, is a cancer felt as a lump that can affect fat, muscle, blood vessels, cartilage or bone. It has a large number of subtypes and can affect anybody of any age and in any part of the body, though it is more frequently seen in adults aged between 30 and 50.

Sarcomas are rare tumours, making up less than 1% of adult cancers and nearly 10% of children’s cancers.  Generally, surgery is the most important treatment and this may be preceded or followed by radiation and/or chemotherapy.

Due to its rarity sarcoma is often overlooked by the mainstream. Following the death of her husband, Sinead Quinn has taken it upon herself to raise awareness about rare types of cancer like sarcoma, appearing on The Late Late Show and various radio stations across Ireland.

November 2014 saw Ireland’s first conference on sarcoma which was set up by the Irish Sarcoma Group and took place in Dublin. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, who was diagnosed with the rare cancer in 2014, opened the conference. The meeting brought together Irish and international specialists in the field with the primary objective being to help raise awareness of sarcoma and develop a centralisation of services. The second Irish Sarcoma Group Meeting is set to take place at the Gibson Hotel, in Dublin this December.

Registration for the Ronan Clarke Trail Run will begin at 10.30am at Killala community centre. The run will commence at 12 noon. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Prizes will be awarded in the Ronan Clarke Trail Run in the following categories; medals for overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for the 5k, as well as under-14s and under-16s, in both male and female categories. A cash prize of €50 will be awarded to 1st male and female in the 13k, €30 for 2nd and €20 for 3rd. Also attending the event is Ronan’s close family, including his wife Sinead Quinn.


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