herald

Thursday 17 January 2019

Dream result for winner Hilary

Before yesterday's Flora Women's Mini Marathon Dublin Hilary Casey couldn't sleep with nerves.

“When I did get to sleep I had this awful dream where I arrived at the Mini Marathon start at 5pm instead of 3pm,” said the 36-yearold Dubliner, who went on to win the visually impaired category of the race in a personal best time of 53 minutes 18 seconds.

Hilary, who has a condition called ocular albinism, started running about eight years ago. “I would go from one lamp post to the next and gradually could go further and further.”

She took part in a couple of Mini Marathons before officially registering for the visually impaired category two years ago.

“When I ran the Mini Marathon without registering as visually impaired, I was running into pavements and hitting things. Allowing us to start off five minutes early makes a huge difference.”

Hilary knew she was in good shape after completing a charity run for her employers the National Council for the Blind last December, where she ran a mile every hour for 24 hours.

“Last year, the elite runners passed me by Leeson Street Bridge. This time I was on my own until the Four Seasons Hotel. It was eerie running along on my own - people weren't sure whether I was part of the race or not.”

Amusingly , Hilary even got one or two “Come on Sonia” cheers from people who mistakenly thought Sonia O'Sullivan was running the race.

A brilliant second in her first ever race was Dublin teacher Rosemary Sweeney. Although she was running her first ever race, Rosemary set off at speed, and although she slowed down later, still finished just outside the hour. Four minutes behind was Imelda Walsh in the best quality visually impaired race ever in the Mini Marathon.

Over a hundred ran or walked the Flora Women's Mini Marathon for the National Council for the Blind in Ireland.

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