Pádraigín Riggs from Cork was encouraged to take up running five years ago by her daughter and has embraced the sport in the last few years, even setting an ambitious challenge for herself, writes Denise O’Donoghue.
“I started running around 2012. My daughter asked me to join her on a run and I said I have no running shoes. She said go buy some, so I went out running and I’ve kept it up since,” she said.
Pádraigín developed a love for half marathons, and this weekend she will take part in the Cork City event.
She has set an challenge for herself and is already over halfway there.
In two years time, she hopes to cross her 70th half marathon finish line at the age of 70.
Pádraigín run half marathons in London, Lisbon, Rome, Prague, numerous locations across Ireland and the UK, and, of course, Cork.
She has taken part in the half marathon in her home city a number of times, and describes it as a tough old course. “There are a few tricky bits to it but the last four or five miles are on home ground,” she said.
With less than a week to go, Pádraigín hopes to fit in some more training before the big day.
“I enjoy running by the river. I also do some hillwalking and mountain climbing. At the moment it feels like there are not enough days in the week before the Cork half marathon.”
Pádraigín would encourage older people to follow her lead and take up running.
“I’d recommend running to anyone in retirement. It’s not just for young people,” she said.
Pádraigín runs in all weathers, and she embraces the elements when she is out on the road.
“Winter doesn’t exist anymore. You see all the seasons when you’re out running and, for me, there is no bad season.”
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