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“On 3rd November next, I have a rendez-vous with a challenge outstanding for 20 years. On 14th November 1993, I took part in the New York City Marathon as member of a cross community group from Northern Ireland. It was my second NYCM (had completed the first two years earlier). Although I had not trained as I should, I set out that morning with 30,000+ others full of hope and expectation. At just over 41km (25 miles), almost in sight of the finish line in Central Park, I sat becalmed and bewildered on the park kerb digging deep into unconsciousness to answer a NY cop’s follow-up question – “Well”, says he, “where are you then?”. I had crashed – right through the Wall.
And no answers for the police man – despite the hundreds of multi-coloured, fleet-footed, two legged clues pounding the path through the park. Sad end to a promising day – laid out on a trolley at the end of an intravenous drip in a crowded corridor in FW Roosevelt Hospital for six or seven hours. No medal – just some unfinished business.So, twenty years on, NY – here we come again! Slower, somewhat lower expectation, but in form, with miles on the soles of my shoes. And with a cause in mind! I have committed to run (and finish) my third NYC Marathon on behalf of two charities, one of which is Research Motor Neurone.Over recent years, Motor Neurone Disease, once almost unknown, comes more frequently into our individual world with a name tag – family, friend, business associate, neighbour. Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterised primarily by progressive paralysis. There are no effective treatments for MND with death usually occuring within 3-5 years of symptom onset. The causes of MND are not well understood. Research taking place at Trinity College Dublin (http://mnd.ie/) aims to reveal a better understanding of the disease which will in turn lead to new solutions so that MND can be a treatable disease for all sufferers.I have chosen to support these efforts and invite you to join by sponsoring me in making a contribution to this cause.Please click the link to http://www.mycharity.ie/
event/gerrymcalinden_nycm/ and I would be most appreciative of your solidarity. I’ll keep you posted on my training.”
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