Walking, jogging and running have positive health and wellbeing benefits, as Karen Kealy from Carlow has found.
Karen was born completely blind due to a retinal condition. She began her fitness journey with the Adare to Cahir 76k cycle with Today fm. She then started taking part in her local park run races, and has taken part in many other races including the Charlie Curran Memorial, The Lord Mayor Challenge and the Tom Brennan 5k Road Race, among others.
Taking part in the Charlie Curran memorial run in her hometown, Carlow, was momentious for Karen. “This was my first time to take part in community sports; it was a great experience for me.”
Karen has met some brilliant people along the way, she expresses her gratitude for the guide runners who she runs with. She says “I first met my guide runner Deborah McArdle through a friend at the Lord Mayor Challenge in Phoenix Park on New Year’s Day, she has been fantastic.”
Karen also runs with Claire and Pauric who she met through her local park run group. Claire guided Karen in her first ever park run. Noleen is another lady who Karen runs with twice a week.
Karen’s message to people who are blind or vision impaired is to get involved in their local community fitness activities. She is currently training for her next big challenge in May, the great Manchester Run — an annual 10k run; it is the largest race of its type in Europe.
If you would like to get more active, why not begin training for the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon. Training plans and advice will be available online at www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie.
You can register to join Team NCBI online or contact Joanne on 0873641201 or Joanne.McCarney@ncbi.ie