Granny in the running for 30th annual mini marathon

A glamorous grandmother who has walked thousands of kilometres for charity is shaping up for her 30th annual mini marathon in Dublin.

Joan Brady, 73, helped set up a joggers and walkers club in her home town of Dundalk many years ago.

She travels to the capital on bank holiday Monday with 53 other women whom she has described as her extended family.

“On the bus we will have the essential ingredient of life — support, friendship, kindness, and lots of fun.”

With enthusiasm that would put a 210-year-old to shame, Joan formed a local walking and jogging club in her home town after she saw people walking in Central Park in New York.

“I was working there and I saw lots of people meeting up and realised it was a way of socialising and interacting with other people as well as staying fit.”

When she returned to Ireland she put out a call to set up a club in Dundalk: “120 people turned up and we took it from there.”

That was in the early 1980’s and, twice a week since then, the Dundalk Joggers & Walkers train on the outskirts of the town.

“When I started this you didn’t usually see women walking the roads and the lorries would beep at you!”

Joan has five children and is a “very proud” granny to Killian, 10, and Alva, 5.

She said walking was important because “it bridges the age barriers — anyone can do it”.

As she prepares for her 30th 10k, she is raising money for the Simon Community.

As for next year, she says: “I cannot imagine a year without doing it.”


Lifestyle

Some days you’ve got to make your own sunshine, writes Annmarie O'ConnorTrend of the Week: Escape from lockdown loungewear with these creative closet options

Children’s author Sarah Webb didn’t want sixth class pupils to miss out on their graduation, so to mark their end of year she organised a series of inspirational videos delivered by well-known Irish people, says Helen O’CallaghanIrish celebrities help students say goodbye to primary school

We are all slowing our pace and appreciating the wonders around us, says Peter DowdallMagical maple holds us spellbound

Sustainable gardening tips and a fascinating documentary are among the offerings on your TV todayThursday TV Highlights: A Prime Time look at how schools will cope in the Covid era features in today's TV picks

More From The Irish Examiner