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Runner and editor Frank Greally to walk from Mayo to Dublin on 50th anniversary of 10,000m record in aid of Coombe hospital

Runner and magazine editor Frank Greally (69) will be walking around 200km over 12 days in September to raise funds for the Coombe Hospital.

r Greally will honour his 10,000m junior record which he holds in the Santry Stadium, set 50 years ago today that has not been beaten since.

He aims to raise €50,000 for charity organisation Friends of the Coombe to enable the purchase of a new management system which will manage expressed and donated breastmilk.

He will begin his walk in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo, stop over at the Coombe Hospital and finish at The Morton Stadium in Santry, where he set his unbeaten record half a century ago.

The walk will take him 13 days.

Mr Greally was born prematurely in the Coombe Hospital and was not expected to survive. He was six years of age when he lost his baby brother Gerard.

“I was only six when my baby brother Gerard was born and he only survived a few days. Gerard’s death had a profound effect on me for many years and it was only in my early 50s that I fully came to terms with his passing,” he said.

“My brother tells me that my mother brought me home on the train to Ballyhaunis wrapped in a blue blanket. Now I want to give something back to The Coombe Hospital for helping to bring me and my brother safely into the world.”

His own daughters have also welcomed their own children into the world at the hospital.

“There’s a nice twist to the story too, as two of my daughters, Laura and Claire were born in The New Coombe and their mother, Marian also nursed there. To bring it all full circle, Laura is now going to have her first baby in the Coombe in October.”

The seasoned runner set his 10,000m national junior record in Santry in 1970.

The record still has not been beaten and he later ran internationally for Ireland and won an Athletic Scholarship to East Tennessee State University.

He founded and edited Irish Runner magazine for 37 years and he is now the Athletics Ireland Ambassador for The Daily Mile.

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