I'm just back in the office on a Saturday morning after a visit to the Galway Gorta/Self Help Africa Gala Dinner in the Meyrick Hotel on Eyre Square last night.
There were 250 generous guests; amongst them TD's, a Senator and the Galway Mayor (who has some mean moves on the dance floor, respect). There was some really nice food and lovely wine and loads of spot prizes. There was a real good will feeling in the room.
What struck me most though was the people behind the organisation. If ever I needed motivation to do this 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge in 2015 I got it in spades from CEO Ray Jordan's speech on the analogy between him being at the Ireland v Springboks game and the 'matches' he sees African women farmers play with the opportunities they are given with the farming projects that are set up with the help of Gorta/Self Help Africa.
I got it from the genuine passion, empathy, energy and professionalism of Ronan Scully and Ciara Tallon whom I thank sincerely for their enthusiasm about my challenge. I know it will be an emotional and tough road yet I walk away from this event with even more energy than normal (scary, right??), an iron determination to make this work and help make a difference, a plan and a fantastic back up team.
There is no doubt in my mind this was the best place for me to be in the world last night, thanks for the invite and Let's just 'Keep on Running with a smile' and create more opportunities for African farmers.