Jasmine Angus, Sonia O'Sullivan, Maria Twomey and Tarryn Bennett pictured at last year's run.
Sonia O’Sullivan is set to support the battle against ovarian cancer again this year by participating in a Melbourne fundraising run.
The Emer Casey Fun Run commemorates a 28-year-old Youghal solicitor who died of ovarian cancer in 2006 and raises funds to support Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
The former 5,000m World Champion and Olympic silver medalist involvement with the Emer Casey Foundation began in Ireland when she ran in the Youghal fun run some years ago.
“I just thought it was amazing,” O’Sullivan told the Irish Echo.
“It was quite a small event, a family-run event in honour of the Casey’s daughter. It just had a very positive energy about the whole charity and the event.”
The Olympic medalist didn’t hesitate to say yes when approached to run in the Melbourne event last year.
In 2010, over 160 people participated and raised over $23,000 to support research into familial breast and ovarian cancer.
This year’s event has already raised $1,617. It will take place at Monash University’s Clayton Campus on Sunday, May 22.
O’Sullivan’s participation will double as a final practice before she competes in the Cork City Marathon on June 6.
The 41-year-old mother-of- two divides her time between Melbourne and Ireland since becoming an Australian citizen in 2006.
“If anything, it’s different in that when I’m in Australia [life is] centered a lot on family life, kids and school and things like that,” said O’Sullivan, mother to Ciara, 11, and Sophie, 9.
“Because I’m only [in Ireland] for a certain amount of time I tend to run around and do 101 things and be extra busy. Then when you come back here I suppose you just have to adapt and get into a different routine.
“I’m lucky it’s Easter holidays at the moment, it gives me a chance to take my time and just relax for a few weeks.”
O’Sullivan faces a busy 12 months leading Ireland’s athletes as chef de mission for the 2012 London Olympics.
The Irish backroom team is currently being put in place and the country’s athletes are being put through their paces in qualification.
Supporting athletes outside of her own discipline has been an enjoyable learning experience, said O’Sullivan.
“When I was a top athlete and part of the team, you were focused on what you were doing and you didn’t really pay much attention to the other athletes doing different sports in the Olympic Team.
“Now, I’m learning a lot more about the people who ran the team when I was in it and the different sports.
“There are so many good athletes in Ireland. You don’t realise it when you’re so focused on one sport,” she said.
For more information about the Emer Casey Fun Run and to register, visit http://www.emercaseyrunmelbourne.com/