Gerry (63) doing New York half marathon for CMRF

Gerry Cully, from Crumlin, has been working in the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation (CMRF), the charity for Crumlin Hospital, since June 2007.

At 63 years old he’s just started training for the New York Half Marathon 2020 and he wants other people to join him and raise funds for some of Ireland’s sickest children.

pg2 Eleanor Mooney

“I had planned to do the New York Marathon three years ago, but I was sick, nothing serious, but was unable to take part.” Gerry said.

“I wanted to do it for my 60th birthday. So three years later I’ve been persuaded into going for it. I absolutely love New York. I’ve been going to New York for CMRF for many years with a team of men and women of all ages who take part in the NYC Marathon to support CMRF Crumlin. I’ve always thought I’d love to be on the other side of the fence as the wonderful team pass by me on the side line.

“I’ve never done a marathon before, just the marathons I run around the CMRF building on hectic days. I’m not a fast walker, but I do enjoy walking. I’ve a programme of training set up over the next few months and my colleagues here in CMRF are giving me lots of encouragement, so there’s no getting away with it. I’m hoping other people will sign up too and walk or jog with me in the New York half Marathon in 2020.”

One of the first events Gerry worked on in CMRF Crumlin was the Women’s Mini Marathon which he loved. Over the last 11 years of his career he’s worked on at least two overseas events each year.

“In 2007, I was assigned to my first overseas event which was in Boulder, Colorado.” Gerry explained. “I brought 82 people out to Colorado that year. Over the many years in CMRF, I have travelled to many parts of the world fundraising for CMRF Crumlin. I’ve visited places like Brazil, Cape Town in South Africa, India and China. Sixty CMRF supporters and myself walked the Great Wall of China. Events like this were always a great opportunity for supporters to share their own journey and connection with the hospital and why they want to support us. When you’re telling people that you’re travelling abroad for work it sounds wonderful, but there is a lot of hard work that goes into planning the event. It is so worth it though.”

Two of Gerry’s favourite events are Bloom and the New York Marathon. “It’s so special to see the garden form in the Phoenix Park and I love the build up to the event in June.” Gerry said. “I’ve been working on the New York Marathon for many years. A lot of our supporters who take part in New York Marathon have been doing it for years, so it’s always lovely catch up with them. Needless to say a number of them are trying to encourage me to do the New York full marathon, but at 63 years old, I’d like to dip my toe in the water and do the half marathon first.

“If you’re even thinking about taking part in something like this just do it. Some people have a bucket list, so why not add a half marathon to it? For someone my age, when you mightn’t want to do a full marathon, it’s a great option. This is a great time to start training too. I’ve just given up chocolate and minerals and started walking. Now’s the opportunity to do it. If you do want to join me for the New York half marathon then sign up as there’s such an incredible buzz around New York at that time of the year, and also don’t forget that it’s St Patrick’s Day after the event. Where better to celebrate completing a half marathon than New York around St Patrick’s Day?”

At 63 Gerry says he still loves working as the Liaison Manger between CMRF Crumlin and the hospital. He gets to meet over 2,000 staff in the hospital, the families and patients attending the hospital and his colleagues in CMRF. “There is never a dull day in CMRF, as we are always kept on the go. I do hope that other people will be tempted to join me on my journey to walk, jog and talk while supporting sick children on the New York half marathon 2020.”

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