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25 Sept 2022

Launch of Longford Marathon 2022

Launch of Longford Marathon 2022

Longfored MD Cathaoirleach Gerry Hagan, Fr Kieran McGovern and Conor Murphy (Site Manager Abbott Longford)

A few clicks through the Longford Marathon website shows the last time the race was run Barry Sheil was the first past the line with a time of 02:36:28.
That was back in 2019. A lifetime ago for enthusiasts who measure their passion in hours, minutes and seconds. Following the two year hiatus the 2022 Abbott Longford Marathon returns on Sunday August 28, 2022.
The 19th iteration of the 'The Friendly Marathon In The Heart of Ireland' was launched last Thursday in The Longford Arms Hotel.
Marathon Committee Chairman Fr Kieran McGovern welcomed guests saying: “It's like nothing happened, but a lot did happen,” commenting on the gap in the roll of honour. Bywords for the annual event; camaraderie, co-operation, perseverance and inclusiveness were still exercised in the two intervening years as the event persisted in a virtual format.
Fr McGovern said the repercussions of the pandemic were evident as preparations for the 2022 event started. The loss of committee members Donal Drake, and the passing of Pat Hooper and Andrew McCord were also noted by the chairman. Fr McGovern said Longford Marathon exists because of the contribution of many people; from stewarding to catering to hospitality and of course the runners themselves.
The committee chair noted one positive to be taken from the dark period: “During the pandemic lockdown it was a great relief to put on running shoes to get out. Out where there was less traffic and the air felt fresher. Run, run for five kilometres, maybe a bit more,” he joked, “People got fitter, times got better.”
Fr McGovern said the event “could not have a better sponsor” than Abbott. He pointed out that the multinational medical devices and health care company sponsored six of the world's most prestigious marathons; the Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon and the New York City Marathon.
The chairman closed saying: “We have a reputation of high standards and a friendly welcome that are the key ingredients to the success of the Abbott Longford Marathon and the reason participants return year after year. Those pieces of this huge jigsaw all fit together to create a beautiful picture.”
Site Director for Abbott Diagnostics Division Longford, Conor Murphy, spoke of the links with the Marathon: “Over the last 19 years you have made the Longford Marathon a great event. We are delighted to be on board as a sponsor. This is the 19 year since we broke ground in Longford, so there is a nice synergy.”
“As people know we are going from strength to strength. We are expecting to grow in the future. We get great support from the town, which has made us the success we are today. I would like to wish our colleagues who are running in the marathon the best of luck. We are looking forward to welcoming colleagues from different sites to the Longford event,” Mr Murphy said.
The Abbott Site Director referenced crucial marathon spin off: “An important part of the marathon is the charity partners. I just want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the fantastic work St Christopher's do here in Longford, providing essential services. I think giving back by the marathon to the local community is hugely important,” Mr Murphy concluded.
Cathaoirleach of the Longford MD Cllr Gerry Hagan said Longford Marathon puts out a very positive image of the town and county: “It's hard to believe it is 19 years in operation, that is testament to the great work this small committee has done over that time.”
Cllr Hagan committed the assistance of the MD to the event: “Whatever we can do in the council to support the marathon we are more than willing to do. Often we forget the volunteers who give up their time to stand on a road to make events like this possible. It's a very special day for Longford and showcases what we have to offer.”
Cllr Uruemu Adejinmi praised the organisers saying: “The Marathon brings a lot of positives to Longford and must be supported. This is a great place to live and a great place to run.”
Participants are advised that if they entered the 2020 event, and did not opt for a refund at the time then their entry will be automatically transferred to this year's event. This year's race features the usual calendar of events: Streets of Longford 5K, Half Marathon, Marathon, 39.3 Mile Ultra Marathon and four person Marathon Relay. For more details go to the website: http://longfordmarathon.com/

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