By Denise O’Donoghue
Maura Barry from Kilflynn, Co Kerry, will take on her first half marathon in Cork this weekend.
Maura, who is in her 30s, and her friend Christine challenged each other to begin running, just six months before the Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon takes place.
“I’ve always done a little bit of running over the years, but not that much. At Christmas, my friend Christine and I decided we’d start running seriously, so we joined St Finbarr’s AC,” Maura said.
“I’ve had it in my head to do one, and now I’ve taken to running in a serious way.”
Maura trains for the half marathon three times a week.
“I started training seriously in March. I do three runs a week, including one big run at the weekend and two smaller ones midweek. I’m just taking it handy and building up the miles.”
The timing and location of the Cork City Marathon appealed to Maura.
Maura got her love of staying active from her family, who are passionate about cycling.
“My family are cycling mad. My parents do the Ring of Kerry cycle every year, and my brothers and sisters and I take part as well.”
A year ago Maura took on another impressive challenge, climbing Africa’s highest mountain.
“Last year I was travelling through Africa for a few months in the summer.
"We went to Tanzania and I climbed Kilimanjaro. It was very difficult, but so worth it. It was amazing.”
After her first marathon, Maura will take on the Ring of Kerry cycle once more, before deciding what comes next.
“After the Cork City Marathon I’ll cycle the Ring of Kerry again in July. Beyond that, who knows.”