TWO Northside sisters are organising a 10-kilometre run to raise money for suicide and mental health awareness.
Emer and Catherine Clarke, who are originally from Raheny, are the brains behind the Summer 10K Charity Run which takes place at St Anne’s Park in Raheny on Sunday, August 5.
The run is just one of the fundraising events that the sisters have planned with the ultimate goal of raising €10,000 for the charity Suicide or Survive (SOS).
After the Raheny run, Emer (35) and Catherine (47) intend to run the Dublin Marathon in October followed by the New York Marathon just six days later.
It will undoubtedly be a grueling test of endurance, but they’re up for the challenge, according to Emer.
“We both got into running relatively recently when we started doing Boot Camp classes about a year ago,” she explained.
“After that we did a 10-mile run purely to see if we could do it. Then we did a half marathon a few weeks later and then on to a full marathon.
“What we have set out to do this year is, of course, a mammoth task but we are never ones to shy away from a challenge. We’re loving every minute of it.”
The Suicide or Survive charity is close to the hearts of both Emer and Catherine who have been touched by suicide and mental health issues through their professions.
“I’m a guard and Catherine has over 20 years’ experience as a nurse so we have both seen the after effects of suicide or mental illness,” Emer stated.
“Now more than ever there is a growing need for money and for awareness of suicide and mental health as these are issues that come to the forefront in times of economic difficulties.”
The Suicide or Survive charity is working to break down the stigma associated with mental health issues while ensuring that those affected have access to quality recovery services tailored for their individual needs.
The charity is working to ensure those with difficulties are treated with dignity and respect, and experience a service that offers them hope, a safe place and a positive future.
Caroline McGuigan, chief executive of the SOS charity, praised Emer and Catherine for their selfless “vision and dedication”.
“Organising activities, while preparing for a demanding marathon, is inspirational,” she stated.
“We appreciate all the support we get and I would strongly encourage anyone who wants to get involved to register for the Summer 10k Charity Run on August 5.
“The funds that come to SOS will be used to help us deliver our advocacy programme, as well as our Eden Programme and our Wellness workshops which help to upskill our community during these challenging times.”
Emer and Catherine have been overwhelmed by the local support they’ve got since they began organising the Summer 10k in Raheny.
They hope that 300 runners, joggers and walkers will sign up for the event in aid of the worthy cause.
“We are hoping that the event will be both fun and entertaining,” Emer added.
“We’ve already had a huge range of support from people who want to get involved either by participating or providing entertainment along the way.
“And of course this is a great way to stay healthy – both physically and mentally.”
• To register for the Summer 10k which kicks off at 11am in St Anne’s Park on August 5 go online to http://precisiontiming.primo-solutions.co.uk/ps/event/SummerCharity10kRun.
Registrations can also be made on the day of the race up until 10.30am.