Galway man Des Kelly will be among thousands at the start line of the Dublin Marathon on Sunday morning as he runs over 26 miles for a very good cause.
Des, who is the Hospitality Manager at Galway Greyhound Stadium, will run his first full marathon in aid of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT).
The IRGT, established and operated by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB), is a registered charity which is jointly funded along with greyhound owners to rehome greyhounds after retirement and in promoting greyhounds as domestic pets.
Retired greyhounds and their owners act as regular ambassadors for the IRGT on race nights at Galway Greyhound Stadium and others across the country.
Having been involved in the greyhound industry for over 15 years and seeing first-hand the work being done by the IRGT in rehoming retired greyhounds, he says the IRGT were the obvious choice to raise funds for: “I think they do great work in providing a loving home for greyhounds where they will be treated with compassion and kindness when they retire from the track. Most weekends we have retired greyhounds in Galway as part of the welcoming team that meet customers as they come through the door. The people are always delighted to meet them and the Greyhounds just love the attention.”
“I first started running in 2015 when I joined a group of 500 runners who ran a half marathon in Dingle for the Manuela Riedo Foundation. Since then I have ran another two half marathons. Dublin will be my first full marathon. Having ran a few half Marathons I felt no need to run a full one. However, last Christmas my wife gave me an entrance to the Dublin Marathon. I was quite shocked and can only think that it was pay back for buying her a Hoover for a present the previous Christmas. I agreed to run, provided she would also enter. So now both of us will be at the starting line on Sunday,” Des continues.
Des has set up a GoFundMe account to allow members of the public to donate to the cause which can be accessed here.