Frank Greally sets out on his journey on- Gratitude Road- a tonic for both mind and body.
Frank Greally- Athletics Ireland Ambassador for The Daily Mile and former editor of Irish Runner, recently celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his still standing National Junior 10,000 metres record (30,17) by running a lap of the track in Morton Stadium where he set the record on an August evening in 1970.
Frank also marked the occasion by announcing his next undertaking – ‘Gratitude Road’ – which will see him walk from from Ballyhaunis to the Coombe Hospital in Dublin via the Royal Canal from September 7th to September 19th.
Athletics Ireland and Waterways Ireland are supporting ‘Gratitude Road’ as Frank seeks to highlight the importance of looking after our mental and physical health as he undertakes the over 200km walk. The strategic partnership between Athletics Ireland and Waterways Ireland has been promoting physical activity on the many trails and facilities across the Waterways Ireland system, and Frank's journey will further highlight the importance of staying active as part of a healthy lifestyle .
This partnership between Athletics Ireland and Waterways Ireland has seen a range of programmes including ‘The Daily Mile’ avail of Waterways Ireland facilities to help promote improved levels of fitness, health and wellness across all ages in a fun and sociable environment. As part of Gratitude Road, Frank will be providing registered schools of ‘The Daily Mile’ with their activity flags as part of his role as ambassador for ‘The Daily Mile’.
Speaking at the launch ‘Gratitude Road’ Frank Greally said “I am delighted to be in a position to take on this journey. It is something I’ve been planning for some time and it great to have both Athletics Ireland and Waterways Ireland support me as I make my way back to Dublin from my hometown of Ballyhaunis. There is a deep and primal reason too for me making this walk on Gratitude Road. I am dedicating it to the memory of my brother Gerard who died when I was six- a few days after he was born at home. Gerard's passing had a profound effect on me for many years until I finally found professional help to guide me to peace and closure of Gerard's passing- something I am deeply grateful for”.
“Gratitude Road gives me a chance to give thanks for all the many blessings I have had in my life. Gratitude Road for me is all about Family, Friendship, Life Challenges, Health (Physical and Mental), Love, Loss, Resilience and Gratitude. I had problems for many years with the twin demons of depression and alcohol, but with the help of family, friends and medical professionals, I have for almost 20 years now found a Recovery Road that has led me to Gratitude Road and now this walk.
“My hope is that my journey along Gratitude Road will open the conversation for others around mental health and wellbeing. Exercise has always been a terrific escape for so many people in dealing with life’s challenges, and I want others to know that something as simple as a short walk or jog on your own or with a friend can have such a positive effect on your mental health.
Athletics Ireland are encouraging everyone to get behind and support Frank by getting out for their own 2k-a-day for #MIND&BODY, and to share their own personal stories of how exercise has helped in improving their overall health and wellbeing.
Frank is no stranger to the Waterways Ireland trails and he is looking forward to seeing the newly opened sections along the Royal Canal where the new Royal Canal Greenway will open later this year. He said; “I have personally run or walked along several of the Waterways Ireland canal systems and I was very anxious to incorporate sections of the Inland Waterways as well as visits to local schools in my Gratitude Road route. I’ve found that the proximity to water has its own unique healing powers and for me a walk or run along my local waterway can be truly uplifting.”
Sharon Lavin, Head of Marketing and Communications, Waterways Ireland - “Waterways Ireland are delighted to support Frank on his journey over the next few weeks. Exercise plays such an important role in our mental health and wellbeing and we are delighted that Frank will be taking in some of the Royal Canal Greenway before it launches later this year. The Royal Canal Greenway will be the latest in a range of greenway options available in Ireland. It will be the longest of its kind, stretching for 130km from Maynooth to Longford Town / Cloondara alongside the tranquil and historic Royal Canal.”
“Waterways Ireland have previously worked with Frank in promoting ‘The Daily Mile’ and we feel this is a fantastic opportunity to further educate people of the benefits of getting out in the fresh air for a daily dose of exercise.”
Waterways Ireland has seen a huge increase in the number of recreational and domestic tourist users on and along all the waterways in recent months. The provision of the Blueway and Greenway trails have created even more opportunities for people to try new recreational activities. Waterways Ireland and Athletics Ireland look forward to supporting Frank in promoting the health and well-being and social opportunities that are available in the great outdoors.
Keep an eye on the Athletics Ireland social media channels for updates on how you can support Frank as he sets off on Gratitude Road on September 7th.
Gratitude Road Map - Click HERE
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To learn more about Waterways Ireland please visit https://www.waterwaysireland.org/