Marathon tribute to diabetic

 

THE FAMILIES and friends of a man who was tragically killed in a car crash 10 days ago have been given unprecedented permission to run the Dublin Marathon in a relay later this month.

David Kelly (39), from Monument Road, Menlo, Co Galway, was a diabetic who was due to take part in the race.

Mr Kelly was killed when his car struck a wall on the Moycullen Road near Galway city in the early hours of Saturday, October 3rd.

Mr Kelly owned Kelly’s bar, formerly the Living Room in Bridge Street, Galway city. He was married with three children and was a popular figure in the city.

The marathon organisers have now agreed to allow 26 of his friends and family to each run a mile of the course. The race takes place on Monday, October 26th.

One of those helping to organise the relay is the former international long-distance runner Paul Donovan, who represented Ireland in both the 1984 and 1992 Olympic Games.

His brother Richard, who organises and runs ultra-marathon, said they have been inundated with friends and family willing to run a mile. Mr Kelly’s widow Joan will run the last leg.

“There are so many who have volunteered that we have more than enough at this stage,” he said.

He described Mr Kelly as a “nice guy” who was “universally acknowledged as a nice person”.

He had been diagnosed with diabetes as a young adult, but had nevertheless run several marathons, including ones in Chicago, London and the Inca Trail. “He never let the diabetes get in his way,” said Richard.

Mr Kelly’s 11-year-old daughter also has diabetes and a group of friends and family are hoping to raise money for the Galway Diabetes Parent Support Group.

Marathon organiser Jim Aughney said they had turned down many requests in the past for people to be allowed to run the race in relays, but the nature of the tragedy and the proximity of the race itself meant that they would allow it as a one-off.

“We were approached shortly after his death and we agreed to allow his number to get around the course from start to finish.

“Given the nature of the tragedy which happened, we want to facilitate them in any way that we can.”