Issue 161

Last Saturday witnessed one of the most spectacular sights on the Omagh sporting calendar when well over 3,000 runners – of all ages and abilities – swarmed to take part in the Spar Omagh Half Marathon. Despite the gloomy day, thousands travelled from all arts and parts of the country and enjoyed participating in the event.
From what started off as a 10 mile race in 1981 organised by Omagh Junior Chamber the event has grown considerably over the years. In 2000, just 240 runners took part. But through the sterling work of the Omagh Harriers Half Marathon Committee that number has now grown to over 3,000 pitching it as one of the top half marathons in the country.
It’s the first of the big local outdoor events of 2017 and organisers are to be congratulated on its massive success.
In our Big Interview this week, Claire talks to Castlederg marathon man Liam McHugh as he puts in preparation work for his tenth London Marathon. He will be running to highlight the work of Cystic Fibrosis sufferers and the wonder drug that changed the life of his daughter Rachel.
We also hear about Carrickmore girl Gemma Fox who has been honoured for ten years service at McDonald’s restaurant. Despite having Down’s syndrome, Gemma’s bosses have rated her as ‘amazing and so positive.’
John speaks to the Ward Sisters from Loughmacrory as they release a single to mark the fourth anniversary of the death of their mother, Geraldine.
This year also marked the tenth anniversary of ‘Puddlefest,’ the 12-hour marathon music event staged by Puddleducks Playgroup at Clanabogan. On the photographic front, we’ve been to St Ciaran’s College where pupils marked the 50th anniversary with a Fashion Show and pupils took to the catwalk to show off the latest trends.
Finally, the Mid Ulster Festival of Drama brought the curtain down on nine nights of drama as the Carrickmore-based drama festival celebrated its 50th anniversary in style.

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