Following on from the news item as per my last blog post John told me that this was going to be a big story as we could see how popular it was becoming and the reaction it was causing. The next morning I woke to find my original tweet had been retweeted almost 100 times which eventually peaked at over 150 retweets and then the calls started to come in for radio and newspaper interviews. I was starting to get overwhelmed with all the attention but agreed to speak with Anton Savage on Today FM by phone with John on another line to tell our story which he was finding hard to believe. The interview went quite well even though I felt slightly under prepared but all I did was tell the truth about what happened and voiced my disappointment. The interview finished and then I just wanted it to stop as it was all getting to be a bit too much and then I got a call back from Today FM to tell me that the race organisers had called to say they had changed their policy and they wanted us back on air. We went back on the show to answer a few questions which were mostly about how we felt. I was caught off guard and hadn’t expected the change in policy so I became slightly emotional but was so relieved with the positive outcome.
See below for the update as published by The 42.
THE ORGANISERS OF the Women’s Mini Marathon have done a u-turn and will now allow a visually impaired and wheelchair athletes to compete with male guides.
The42 reported yesterday that Sinead Kane, who has just 5% vision in both eyes, was told she could not compete in this year’s event because her guide is a man.
John O’Regan — who has operated as Mark Pollock’s running guide — was due to assist her during this year’s event on 1 June in Dublin.
But this morning on their Facebook page, the organisers released a statement confirming that male guides will now be allowed.
“The Women’s Mini Marathon Limited has reviewed its policy relating to visually impaired and wheelchair entrants. To preserve the female character of the event only females can enter.
“However, we appreciate that some visually impaired or wheelchair entrants need assistance. We have changed our policy in this respect and will welcome both male and female assistants for these entrants.
“Male assistants will be given a special permit to allow access, while female assistants can either enter the event or receive a special permit.”
O’Regan had stated yesterday that they planned not to run even if the organisers changed their minds.
“We’ve decided that even if they change their mind now, we would not be willing to take part as it just feels like we’ve had to fight for this and that’s wrong, you shouldn’t have to fight for the opportunity to compete.
“We might not be able to change the rules but we want to highlight how wrong those rules are.”