Surprise guest lends support to runners at Scoil Mhuire Blue Run
Determined not to let the inclement conditions hold them back almost 700 runners and walkers turned out for Scoil Mhuire, Coolcotts Blue 5k Fun Run in aid of its Rainbow Unit for children on the autism spectrum.
Braving the cold, wind and rain the runners, some serious, some there just for fun, were cheered off by none other than Mrs Sabina Higgins - wife of Uachtarán na Héireann, Michael D. Higgins - who was there to launch the event.
Commending the work of staff and parents at Scoil Mhuire, Mrs Higgins discussed developments in services for children with additional learning needs in Ireland before being presented with a bouquet of flowers by mother and daughter, Ruth and Eve Kelly.
Having been suitably warmed up by Sonya from Club Vitae in the Maldron Hotel the runners and walkers, some with dogs and buggies in tow, tackled the 5km course and Niall Sheil was the first man home, with Anna-Leigh Hore taking the honours in the female category. In the under-16 category, Cillian Gondards and Danielle Store were first past the line in their respective category, and it was double celebration for Cillian as he and the rest of the Gonard clan picked up the First Family Home prize to boot.
Paddy Malone won the veteran award for the second year running, with the first buggy home prize going to Alex O'Reilly. Dachshund Rio was the first dog home with proud owner Lucy Small.
Upon crossing the line, the runners were welcomed back to Scoil Mhuire, where music came from DJ Martin Gordon, blue candyfloss was provided by Lynda and the SLAM Entertainment team, and refreshments by Scoil Mhuire's Parents Association. But most important of all, was the warmth, which helped everyone forget about the wintry conditions outside.