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Popular 'Marty's Run' in Derry has been cancelled but organisers insist it will be back next year

Annual event is another victim of the pandemic

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The annual 'Marty's Run' is in memory of Martin Gallagher who was killed in 2009.

The family of the late Martin Gallagher have thanked the public for their support as they announced that ‘Marty’s Run’ will not take place this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, though they are hopeful of its safe return next year.

The 5k event takes place annually in October as a tribute to Martin, who was well-known amongst local running circles before he was tragically killed on Halloween night in 2009.

Last year, hundreds turned out once again to celebrate the tenth anniversary of ‘Marty’s Run’.

His father, Martin Gallagher senior, explained that while the family were disappointed that the event couldn’t take place this year, they wanted to do what was best to keep everyone safe.

“As a family we have been so grateful for the support that we have received each year during Marty’s Run and the hundreds of runners and walkers of all ages and abilities who have turned out each time to celebrate Marty’s life and to help raise funds for fantastic causes.

“Last year we were also delighted with how many people took part in the tenth anniversary of the event which was a particularly poignant and special day for my wife Elizabeth and I, our children and our extended family.

“We would love nothing more than to keep the event going this October, but we feel that given the current circumstances it simply wouldn’t be right.

"The health and well-being of the community is our number one priority and, therefore, we have made the difficult decision to not move forward with this year’s event, but we are already looking forward to its return in 2021, as long as it is safe to do so."

He continued: “We would like to thank every single person who has taken part in ‘Marty’s Run’ to date, the sponsors who have been so generous, and everyone involved behind the scenes. It is because of all of these people that we are able to celebrate Marty’s life through something that he loved doing.

“We want to reassure everyone that this certainly isn’t the end of ‘Marty’s Run’, we just simply couldn’t in good conscience take it forward this year in light of the current difficult circumstances that we are all trying to navigate.

“We are already making plans for our 2021 event and, as long as it is safe to do so, we are so looking forward to the return of ‘Marty’s Run’.

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