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Marathon family makes major donation


Paul Fallon, centre, from the On the Road Again charity, with members of the extended Hughes family who raised 45,930 by running the Dublin City Marathon last week.
?Paul Fallon, centre, from the On the Road Again charity, with members of the extended Hughes family who raised 245,930 by running the Dublin City Marathon last week.?Pic: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Marathon family makes major donation to mental health charity

Áine Ryan

TWENTY SIX miles of a marathon may have been more grueling for some members of the record-breaking Hughes family but presenting a whopping cheque for €45,930 to a Galway mental health charity, made every – blistered, chafed, agonising, exhilarating, fulfilling – step through the streets of Dublin worthwhile.
On Bank Holiday Monday last, they entered the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest number of family members (31) to run a marathon, adding to the family’s proud record 30 years ago when eight brothers entered the famous book for being the most number of siblings to complete such a challenge.  
For On The Road Again (OTRA) founder, Paul Fallon, the huge donation ‘far exceeded’ his expectations and not only ensures the financial future of the charity but has greatly enhanced its recognisability and awareness.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, Mr Fallon, said the charity, which  encourages mental health through running and exercise, was competing in a very busy market with many other organisations that have national and global branding.
“When Isabelle Greene (whose sister Máire died tragically earlier this year) came forward with the idea to run the marathon and try to break a record, we were delighted as public awareness is so implicit to our success. Obviously, suicide is a very sensitive subject and there is still a stigma attached to it and we are trying to let people know there is help out there,” Mr Fallon said.  
Record-breaking runner, Clodagh McGovern, who was among the 28 cousins and three uncles from the original 1984 line-up, said the entire group was ‘so proud’ of their achievement.
“I know our grandparents, the late Pádraig and Máire Hughes, would have been so proud of our work-ethic and dedication to the goal.  While I wasn’t running to the best of my ability on Bank Holiday Monday, nothing would have stopped me. When I came into the 20-mile marker, it was very hard and lots of people were slowing down but it was such a feeling of achievement when I crossed that finish line.”