While the front runners were sprinting off in search of prizes and personal best times, the majority of those taking part in the Enniskillen 10K Road race and Leisure Walk where treating the event as a personal challenge. Some were looking to surpass their times of previous years and some were just hoping to be able to cross the final bridge and complete the course. For many however the most important part of the day was not the time on the clock, but the money raised for charity.

Traditionally the 10K is one of the biggest fund raisers in the county for local charities and 2015 was no different, with many of the field using the event to raise money for worthy causes close to their heart. For weeks in advance of the race many runners have been appealing for donations, and Saturday was the culmination of their efforts as they not only achieved a personal goal but provided much needed income for organisations who rely on donations to survive.

For Damien Wilson, the 10K represented a chance to raise money for the cancer organisations that helped his late mother Margaret in the months before she passed away last year. “I lost my mother last year to cancer and I just felt that I wanted to do something,” he said. “I had surgery myself and I was hoping I would be able to do something because Cancer NI and Macmillan were all very good to my mother.” Damien was not setting out to break any speed records, but his sense of achievement was the equal of the front runners, as he completed the course with a smile on his face. “It went alright but we weren’t the fastest - we just made it in under two hours,” he said. “My back was a bit sore the next day but not too bad! That was the very first time I did it, and I’m already looking forward to getting back out and doing it again next year.” Melissa Warrington from Fivemiletown was another who saw the event as a great opportunity to generate some funds for a cause that had special meaning to her as she combined the run with a table quiz to raise over £1,000 for the MS society.

“My dad was diagnosed with MS back in October last year so it was something that was important to me,” she said. “A couple of my friends agreed to help me raise money. We currently have over £1000 so it hasn’t gone bad.” The race didn’t go badly for Melissa either. On her second attempt at the 10K she crossed the line in a respectable 52 minutes. “We got in under an hour and that is what we were hoping for,” she said. “My cousin and I did a good bit of training for it, and we stayed together the whole way through. I did it last year and this time I beat my previous time by a minute.” Melissa and Damien have both vowed to come back in 2016 for another attempt at the course, and charities throughout the county and beyond will be delighted to see them and others like them returning as worthwhile causes continue to reap the benefits of one of Fermanagh’s most successful community events.