CMRF Nicola O'Sullivan
Super Hero Fun Run, Fota Wildlife Park, Sept 2010

Last Saturday, 18 September, CMRF held a Super Hero Fun Run in aid of the Cancer Fund and St. John’s Ward at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin in Fota Wildlife Park, Cork.  There was a brilliant atmosphere on the day and I would like to extend my warmest thanks to everybody for showing up in costume and taking part so enthusiastically in support of this event.

Approximately 200 people showed up to walk/run the 5K course – we were delighted with the turn out and we were so thankful that the weather didn’t let us down :0)  We had face painters and arts & crafts on hand for the day and the kids were not shy in telling the artists who they wanted to emulate!! Coca-Cola very kindly sponsored the water and Haribo provided sweets on the day.  The lifesize Haribo teddy bear proved to be very popular with both children and adults alike!! 

The run commenced with a ’kiddies dash’.  Our under 5’s took their warm ups and the dash very seriously.  The costumes were brilliant and it goes without saying that the kids really stole the show! They were highly entertaining!! There was a mad stampede to the finish line where every child received a Super Hero Fun Run medal and a Super Hero Certificate.  They were fantastic, so a huge congratulations to all of our little heroes :0)

The Irish Navy had 10 staff members taking part in the event; they all dressed up in a variety of costumes that included BatGirl, Ghost Busters and Super Nanny!!!  They really got into the spirit of things and I would like to extend an immense thanks to them all for making such an effort on behalf of the Cancer fund and for their continual support of the hospital. 

Further support was received by Angie Benhaffaf with her twin boys Hassan and Hussein.  The boys were wearing their Super Man outfits in support of Our Lady’s Hospital and they are just adorable.  We were delighted to see them doing so well and we really appreciate their support.

After the ‘kiddies dash’ everybody proceeded to walk/run the course around Fota Wildlife Park.  Afterwards, all the adults received their well earned Super Hero medals and certificates.  Three nurses from St. John’s Ward attended on the day and it was great to see them taking part alongside past and present patients of the ward.  The feel good factor was incredible.

The Super Hero Fun Run, Fota provided exactly what it said on the ad i.e. F-U-N!!!  The wonderful animals in Fota Wildlife Park added an extra dimension of entertainment to the day, so a huge thank to Fota Wildlife Park for giving us permission to host the event there.

We are so grateful to each and every one of you who displayed such generosity and positivity in support of CMRF and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Your donation will go a long way towards improving the lives of so many ill children attending Our lady’s.  The money is still trickling in but we will keep you posted as to what the final figure is in a few weeks.

Lastly, but by no means least, an immense thank you to Adelina Corigliano, the face of our Super Hero Fun Run campaign 2010 and her incredible family, Lynda and Pasquale Corigliano.  Their fundraising efforts are tireless and we cannot thank you enough for your continual dedication to CMRF and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital.

Kilometres for Kids Chicago Triathlon 2010. Day 5: Monday, 30 August

We had a serious night of celebrations last night! It was brilliant fun. Everybody was still on an adrenaline high after the event and the sense of CMRF team spirit was amazing.

We are all taking it easy today after the intensity of yesterday’s triathlon. Some people are relaxing by the pool, others are shopping and needless to say, everybody is delighted that they have completed their challenge so successfully.

We are leaving to head back to Ireland tomorrow and I can honestly say this was one of the best events I have ever been on. The people taking part in the Chicago Triathlon 2010 are truly remarkable. I admire each and every one of them for succeeding in achieving their goals and for so generously supporting The Children’s Medical & Research Foundation and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our triathlon eventors - GO TEAM CRUMLIN!!!! 

Check out the race results here!

Kilometres for Kids Chicago Triathlon 2010. Day 4: Sunday, 29 August

WOW - what an event!!  I am HYPER after it all.  The CMRF triathlon team did us VERY PROUD today.  I am immensely impressed by each and every one of our CMRF team members, they are amazing.  The atmosphere was quite simply electric and the amount of adrenaline and competitiveness in the air was nothing short of remarkable.

We got our wake up call at 4am, although most people were awake already in anticipation of the event.  After breakfast the CMRF Triathlon Team geared up for their upcoming challenge.  The teams wave times varied from 6.00am - 10am.  Jackie, Francis and I were on hand with Irish Flags and LOTS of cheering (I am completly hoarse after it, but it was more than worth it).

Everybody is on an absolute high after today’s event - the swim, cycle and run was incredible to watch.  The weather was absolutely scorching, it was 39 degrees out there (102.2F) and it was genuinely so tough on our athletes - I have never seen anything like it.  Nonetheless, our CMRF athletes rose to the occasion with flying colours. I have some mega pictures and I can’t wait to post them on facebook.  I am so proud of everybody, there will be lots of serious celebrations tonight. What an achievement!

One of the most poignant stories about why people are taking part in this event on behalf of CMRF is from a new eventor this year.  He was attending Our Lady’s hospital last year with his child for a standard overnight procedure.  Our triathlon brochure caught his eye while he was in the waiting room and he deicded he wanted to raise money for CMRF there and then.  The amazing part of this story is that only SIX months ago he could not swim (!!), he finished the triathlon in just a little over 3 hours today.  AMAZING.

I am tempted to say that I will have to buy a bike and a new pair of runners when I get home…..I am not ‘committing’ as of yet, but I can certainly see how this sport is absolutely addictive.  A girl’s gotta have aspirations!!

Kilometres for Kids Chicago Triathlon 2010. Day 3: Saturday, 28 August

We had a great night last night.  A group of us went to the Cheesecake factory for dinner.  Be warned - the portions there are the size of your arm so I may not eat again until Christmas!! Our CMRF triathlon team had to stock up on lots of carbs in anitipcation of Sunday’s event so they were all very happy with the choice of restauraunt.

I can’t wait to see them all taking part in the Chicago Triathlon 2010. We are all getting both nervous and excited about the tomorrow’s event.  Everybody is taking it easy today so that they will have plenty of energy for their upcoming challenge.  Even though I am here to support the team and am not taking part in the event, I am already feeling the excitement in my bones. 

I just can’t wait to see all of our CMRF Team in action, I am so impressed with each and every one of them for doing this on behalf of the CMRF and Our Lady’s Hospital.  Their support of CMRF makes an immense difference to the lives of so many sick children.  I have my Irish flag at the ready and I plan on taking lots of honey tonight for all the supportive yelling I will be doing tomorrow.


Kilometres for Kids Chicago Triathlon 2010. Day 2: Friday, 27 August

The Windy City was far from windy this morning as the CMRF Chicago Triathlon team woke up to another beautiful day of sunshine. 

Chicago River

photo from:Flickr

All of the triathlon team gear and bikes have arrived safe and sound so the CMRF team are rearing to go!!  We had a brilliant night last night and there were lots of laughs.  They are such a great group of people and I am happy to say that everybody has instantly bonded. 

The Microsoft boys -Kevin, Barry, David and Peter all had their shirts engraved with personalised logo’s to enhance their ’triathlon team sprit’.  Kevin (Top Gun), Barry (Boss Man), David (Horse Power) and Peter (The Hero) certainly grabbed the local’s attention!! 

Nuala Moore from Kerry was also wearing a t-shirt with her self professed mantra on it ‘I may not look fast (and on the back) but inside I am running’.  Everybody was in great form and it was very interesting to hear all the different reasons why people chose Our Lady’s Hospital as their charity for the event.  The dedication by the CMRF triathlon team to CMRF and Our lady’s Hospital is very evident and heartwarming.

After mingling with the team at breakfast some of the group went to do some warm up training in the Hilton Hotel Gym. This is an amazing facility located on the 8th floor of the hotel; it has an Olympic size swimming pool and all the required amenities for our triathlon athletes. Hence, the competitive atmosphere is commencing already.  We all went down to Ohio beach where the group went for a warm up swim and then a cycle – it was a spectacular day and we had lots of fun in the sun.

Things are heating up here already - Team Crumlin are chomping at the bit to do Ireland proud this year.  I have no doubt that the team’s dedication to their training will pay off.  :0)

Kilometres for Kids - Chicago Triathlon 2010. Day 1: Thursday, 26 August

The CMRF Chicago Triathlon group arrived in beautiful Chicago today, August 26th.

Chicago skyline

I was very excited to meet the team. I had arrived in Chicago prior to the group and was able to ensure everything was in tip top shape for their arrival. This year we have 21 fundraisers participating on behalf of The Children’s Medical & Research Foundation, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. We are thrilled that so many people are dedicated to our sick kids.

I was reunited with many familiar faces but also had the chance to meet some new participants taking part in the event. This year on our team we have Edmund Ball, David Bradley, Paul Byrne, Pauline Duhautbout, Thomas Gethings, Kevin Gunning, Paul Hooks, Marie Keane (O’Meara), Liam Keating, Mark Lacey, Shane Lucid, Nuala Moore, Miriam Moroney, Nessa Murnaghan, Mark McGee, Joseph O’Grady, Peter O’Grady, Barry O’Sullivan, David Power, John Skelly, John Staunton and our very own Janet Keating from CMRF. Also Jackie Bell and Frances Lynch have flown over to show their support for the team! Everybody arrived full of great spirits and they are all ready and very enthusiastic for their upcoming challenge

It is fair to say that the group are very upbeat after their long journey and it certainly helps to arrive to an optimistic 76 degrees F!! The weather in Chicago for the next few days is going to be HOT so there will be plenty of sunscreen exchanged!!! We are staying in The Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago - it’s a gorgeous hotel in an absolutely fantastic location. We have everything we could possibly want literally on our doorstep - you can’t beat that. (we are spoiled for choice here!!)

The group will take it easy this evening to recover after their journey and we will meet up later for their welcome dinner. Tomorrow will be a day of relaxation and light training in anticipation of the upcoming Triathlon. We are all really looking forward to a great week ahead!! GO TEAM CRUMLIN!!!!

Chicago Theatre

Photo from: Flickr