Magnificent seven: Donegal siblings in marathon effort

The Dillon family who are running the Dublin marathon pictured with their father Jimmy. L to R: Paul, James, Karl, Rosaleen, Ronan, Christopher and Kevin

SEVEN members of the same Donegal family are busy training for the upcoming Dublin Marathon.
The Dillon family from Letterkenny will be raising money for the Irish Kidney Association, an organisation that has supported and helped their father, Jimmy, over the last ten years.
Members of the family will travel from locations throughout Ireland, the United States, England and Spain to run the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon on Sunday, October 29.
They are being led by James Dillon, who works as a Senior Director International Logistics with Alere, a Galway based Medical technology company.
He will be joined on the start line by his five younger brothers Ronan (Dublin), Kevin (Boston), Karl (London), Paul (Letterkenny) and Christopher (Spain) together with his sister Rosaleen (Boston).
Three older sisters Anne, Michelle and Christina will also be present to lend emotional support during their 26.2 mile marathon through the streets of the capital as will their parents, Jimmy and Mary Dillon.
One of Letterkenny’s best known and respected businessman, Jimmy Dillon operated Dillon’s Supermarket on the Main Street, Letterkenny, alongside his brother Bernie for many years. Today, the site is home to Dillons Hotel.
“Dad undergoes dialysis three times a week in Letterkenny University Hospital and the staff there are excellent. A few years ago we spoke about the possibility of doing a race together as we all do triathlons and bits and bobs. While a few of us have managed to be in the same race together this will be the first time that we’re all going to do the same event.
“I wouldn’t mind but I hate running. It’s my least favourite element of the triathlon but we’ve all signed up now so we’ll see how we get on,” James said.
“We all have our own favourite charities which we support but with dad getting treatment in Letterkenny we decided to do it for the Irish Kidney Association because they have helped keep our dad alive,” he added.
While Rosaleen, Ronan and Kevin have all run a marathon before James, Karl, Paul and Christopher are preparing to dust off their running shoes for what will be their first-ever marathon .
“Training while working, raising young families and overcoming injuries has been a bit of a challenge but it will all soon be behind us and we’ll be ready for the big day,” James said.
Indeed, a bout of food-poisoning while on a work-trip to China has kept James off the road for much of the last two months but he’s back up and running this past week or so.
So who is going to be the first member of the Dillon family across the finish line?
“Paul’s pretty good. He’s done a sub five hour Half Ironman but, more importantly’ it’s about trying to raise as much money as we can for what is a very worthy cause,” he said.
You can donate by going to their JustGiving page at

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