Porterstown Panthers Larry Healy and Sally Downing with Olympic silver medalist John Tracey.

Irish Olympic silver medalist, double world cross country champion and Irish marathon record holder, John Treacy, teamed up with local running group Porterstown Panthers at a recent training session.

Over a hundred runners and walkers joined the running legend for a 5k training session in the Phoenix Park. Tracey shared some of his expert running tips and did a rapid fire question and answers session before the 5k run got under way.

Speaking to the Porterstown Panthers, Treacy said: “You are an example to everyone in Ireland. When I am driving my car and I pass runners or people out walking, I’m delighted because it means that the message has filtered through that we need to invest in our health and wellbeing.

“But even more than that, this kind of a group is really what life is all about; having those social interactions, having great friends and having that connection with running.

“I always had great friendships all through my life, whether I was at the highest level of my sport and we had great craic and that’s what running is really all about.”

Speaking about the event, Porterstown Panthers founder Larry Healy from Castleknock said: “It was great to see such a huge turnout for this special occasion.

“To have an Olympic silver medalist and Irish marathon record holder here running with us and sharing his wise words is such an honour. I, like many people here, have followed John’s running career since he was double world cross country champion in the late 1970s to 1984 when he took silver at the summer Olympics in LA.

“I know that we have all come away feeling inspired and motivated to keep running, to look after ourselves and enjoy the friendships we have made along the way.”

Porterstown Panther coach, Sally Downing said: “Larry and I set up Porterstown Panthers in 2017 to provide free running support to local people living in Dublin 15.

“Porterstown Panthers has been going from strength to strength, with many runners going on to complete 10k races, half marathons and the marathons.

“I think one of the reasons for this success is that we have a good mix of people coming each week and strong friendships have developed. There is always plenty of chatting and laughter when we go running.

“Porterstown Panthers is free and open to people of all ages and abilities. We meet each Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm, meeting at Farmleigh Gate. We also encourage participants to attend Porterstown parkrun each Saturday at 9.30am, which is a free weekly, timed run.”

Healy also took the opportunity to present Treacy, who is also a board member of Concern Worldwide, with a cheque for €1,000 made out to Concern Worldwide.
Find out more about Porterstown Panthers on www.facebook/porterstownpanthers