A Crumlin man is dashing to the Big Apple next year to run the New York Half Marathon – at 63 years of age.

Gerry Cully has just started training for the marathon, which he plans on running to raise money for the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation (CMRF), the charity for Crumlin Hospital.

He has been working at the charity for the past 12 years as the liaison manager between CMRF Crumlin and the hospital.

He gets to meet more than 2,000 staff in the hospital, the families and patients attending the hospital and his colleagues in CMRF.

Gerry initially planned to take on the challenge of the half-marathon initially for his 60th birthday, before falling ill.

He said: “I had planned to do the New York Marathon three years ago, but I was sick – nothing serious, but I was unable to take part.

“I wanted to do it for my sixtieth birthday, so three years later I’ve been persuaded into going for it!”

Previously, Gerry has visited New York with a team who took part in the New York City Marathon for the charity, but this is the first time he’ll be on the other side of the fence.

“I absolutely love New York. I’ve been going to New York for CMRF for many years with a team of men and women of all ages who take part in the NYC Marathon to support CMRF Crumlin.

“I’ve always thought I’d love to be on the other side of the fence as the wonderful team pass by me on the sideline,” he said.

This will be Gerry’s first marathon, and he says he’s being encouraged greatly by his colleagues – and hopes others will join him before he flies to New York next year.

Gerry said: “I’ve never done a marathon before, just the ‘marathons’ I run around the CMRF building on hectic days.

“I’m hoping other people will sign up too and walk or jog with me in the New York half Marathon in 2020.”

For further information on how you can fundraise for the hospital, see https://cmrf.org/