RUNNERS taking part in this year’s annual Greencastle Run on St Stephen’s Day could be forgiven for thinking they are at a distinct disadvantage given that one of those taking to the start line will in all likelihood get a helping hand from ‘on high’.
In fact, local parish priest Fr Eugene Hasson, will no doubt be calling on a little ‘devine intervention’ as he bids to conquer the famed Greencastle hill during the 29th running of the popular five mile road race.
Fr Eugene, now in his 60th year, ran the festive event three years ago and came last. In 2013 he was laid up with a broken ankle but in terms of his running career that proved something of a ‘Road to Damascus’ moment.
In May this year the local man of the cloth again pulled on his running shoes and has been on the long narrow road (the only kind around Greencastle) to redemption ever since.
A few weeks ago the runaway priest completed the New York marathon and while he doesn’t expect to ‘Lord’ it at Greencastle he is hoping to better his last outing come Boxing Day.
“I always walked it since coming to Greencastle in 2007 but ran it three years ago and came home in the coveted position of last,” he joked.
“I couldn’t take part last year because I had a broken ankle. However with all the good weather I started running and training in May and ended the year by completing the New York marathon.
“I did a lot of training and I can now run the Greencastle course backwards. For me I had to be out at 6am in the morning.
“I just might improve on my efforts of three years ago but as we all know there are no guarantees.”
FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S ULSTER HERALD
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