Pádraigín edging towards Half Marathon century target at WHM
25 August 2022
If ever a runner embodied the ethos that you can catch the running bug at any age it’s Cork woman Pádraigín Riggs who will take part in this year’s Waterside Half Marathon on her way to an ambitious target of completing 100 half marathons by the age of 75.
The Derry event will be her 84rd time taking on the 13.1 mile distance, a feat that is all the more remarkable because she only took up running eleven years ago at the age of 62.
The 39th hosting of the event on Sunday September 4th will be her first time taking part and she is excited by the prospect of running through the maiden city.
“My husband Ronny and I haven’t had a trip away since the start of the Covid pandemic so we are going to make a weekend of it and explore the North West,” she explained.
“I’ve heard a lot about the crowds at the Waterside Half Marathon and the beauty of the course through the historic city and over the bridges.
“The Dingle Half Marathon is the same weekend but Derry is one I’ve always wanted to do and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Although born in Tipperary, Pádraigín settled in Cork where she retired as a Lecturer in Modern Irish Literature at UCC 11 years ago.
She started running with her daughter in 2002 and soon developed a love for the Half Marathon distance which led to her setting the ambitious target of completing 70 events by the age of 70.
Her running journey has taken her to Half Marathons in London, Lisbon, Rome, Paris, Prague and numerous locations across Ireland and the UK.
She trains mostly by herself but will run in the colours of her Galbally club, Mooreabbey Milers, next week.
“In the end I completed 76 Half Marathons by the age of 70,” she added.
“I decided to set a higher target of 100 by the age of 75 but the Covid situation intervened and, with no organised runs for most of 2020 and 2021, I may not meet my target by December 2024 but I’ll keep trying.
“I’ve always been fairly fit and I really enjoy hiking but athletics wasn’t an option when I was at school and I was never into team sports so it was much later in life before I discovered it.
“I’d recommend it to anyone no matter what your stage in life, it’s a great way to get out into nature and stay fit and healthy.”
Around 2,000 runners are expected at the start line for the 39th staging of the event which is hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council.
Runners will wind their way from the Ebrington site start, along the banks of the Foyle, crossing both the Foyle Bridge and the Peace Bridge en route to the finish on the St Columbs Park track.
A limited number of places remain for the Waterside Half Marathon, registration details, race instructions and traffic and travel for the event can be accessed at www.derrystrabane.com/whm.