There were emotional scenes in Avondale GAA last Sunday morning as Liam Kelly reached the finish line of his epic 168.8km run, which he did in 22 hours and 5 mins. This challenge started just after 12pm on Saturday with Bill Porter doing the honours of starting the race, some children from the GAA club ran the first few laps with Liam, this support continued throughout the day and night with children and adults dropping in to walk and run the laps. This was community spirit and inclusion at its best, everyone felt like they were contributing and a part of this massive challenge making it a really special event. Many of the children came out few times to join Liam, inspired by what he was doing. Indeed, some of the runners stayed longer than they planned, this was key to Liam’s success!
At about 130km Liam began to hit the wall of physical exhaustion, his mental endurance was tested, Liam felt like he was not going to finish. But Liam’s sheer grit and quiet determination along with his supporters right by his side saw him through. Liam finished the 2nd last lap by himself and the final lap was for his family, his wife Karen and three sons Conor, Aidan and Liam were with him as he crossed the line to a tremendous reception from all his supporters.
The support he received came from everywhere, from people making donations, messages of encouragement and support, people calling out to cheer him on, the children and adults who walked and ran with him. But ultimately this was down to Liam and his inner strength to get the job done and he certainly did it in style. As one of his friends said ‘Superman wears Liam Kelly pyjamas’.
To date Liam has raised nearly 18k for 4 charities (Asthma Ireland, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, Down Syndrome Ireland & St Colmans Residential care centre ), his idonate page is still live at the link below