Marathon charity push for Diddler
JUST months after the
local community rallied around Paul Dillon with a
fundraising campaign to help manage his Motor
Neurone Disease diagnosis, the Newtowncunningham man
along his family and friends plans to give something
back to other sufferers.
Affectionately known locally as Diddler, the 44
year-old was one of the most familiar faces at the
front of the field at the Waterside Half Marathon
before his diagnosis, at the start of this year,
forced him to retire from athletics.
Now wheelchair bound, a team of 15 of his closest
friends and family will bid to raise funds for the
Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association by taking
turns to push him around the 13.1 mile course when
the popular race takes place on Sunday, 01 September
Paul Dillon, front centre, was a familiar face at
athletics events across the North West.
For Paul, it will be an
emotional return to one of his favourite events on
the North West Athletics calendar but he is excited
at the prospect of being back in the field at the
event which is one of the longest established races
“Being from Newtowncunningham the Waterside Half
Marathon was a race I always looked forward to as it
was on my doorstep,” Paul said.
“I did it six times and had a pb of 1.21, I would
work towards it each summer and try and beat my time
each year. It’s a day I’m really looking forward to,
it will be nice to be part of the field again and
meet everyone I would have run against over the
A week-long series of fundraising events in
February, including the ‘Dash for Diddler’ run that
attracted the biggest ever field for a 5k in
Donegal, helped raise over €85k that allowed Paul
and his family to make essential modifications to
his house and car.
“The fundraising effort and the response from the
community was overwhelming and I’m pleased that I
can give something back now by raising funds for
others with the condition through the Irish Motor
Neurone Disease Association,” Paul continued.
You can donate to the fundraising campaign for the
Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association at the
EveryDayHero fundraising page .
The Waterside Half Marathon takes place on Sunday,
1st September, beginning at the parade ground in
Ebrington Square and finishing on the running track
at the nearby St Columb’s Park.
The scenic urban route takes in both sides of the
River Foyle, passing many of the city’s historic
landmarks including its famous walls and the
Guildhall before crossing the iconic Peace Bridge
and onto the finish.