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.”
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