Dariush to dominate Newry Marathon
Schoolmate of Dariush and Newry Times columnist Mark McLoughlin speaks about ‘Team Dariush’ in memory of the tragic teenager.
On the 3rd of January 2012, the Newry & Mourne community and beyond were left in shock at the passing of Dariush Mehrtash, who sadly lost his long, courageous battle with cancer, leaving all who knew him heartbroken and devastated.
His funeral brought a huge turnout to his small town of Dromara, with well known people like Banjo Bannon and Conor Murphy MP attending. He was a much loved son, brother, boyfriend, grandson and has inspired so many people with his bravery.
Now, in order to raise money for the Bone Cancer Research Trust, a group of around 150 runners from all over the district have come together to form ‘Team Dariush’ and they will take part in the Newry Marathon, Half Marathon and Fun Run on Sunday 3rd June in memory of Dariush.
Thousands of pounds have been raised so far for ‘Team Dariush’, bearing testament to his huge popularity from Newry to South Armagh, to the Newcastle area and further afield. Among those taking part in the Fun Run are Dariush’s younger brothers, Aryan and Keyon, but running the marathon are his girlfriend Eimear Murphy and family friend and organiser Judith Boyd, amongst others.
Speaking to Newry Times, Judith said, “I have ran the Newry Marathon every year for different charities such as SaDS, the Hospice and Indian schoolchildren, and this year, for my fourth marathon, I suggested to run it in memory of Dariush since we had grown so close to Eimear and the Murphy family and I felt it would be a fitting tribute to run in his memory.”
Judith added, “It has grown so much; my children decided to join me, as did Eimear, Naoimh, Blinne and his other friends. After posting details on Facebook, people who had not even met Dariush contacted me to join the team, his story just pulled at their heart strings.”
They have been training relentlessly for months in preparation for the marathon and it will all have paid off by Sunday. As well as this, a group of St. Colman’s students and a team of nurses from Musgrave Hospital and The Royal Victoria have also joined the team and will be running for Dariush. Dariush’s proud mother Mauritia Mehrtash will be at the finish line on Sunday to cheer on those running in her son’s memory.
Dariush developed a rare form of bone cancer in his early teens – osteosarcoma – which primarily affects children and young adults and due to its rarity, this form of cancer doesn’t receive any government funding so it relies wholly on fundraising. Throughout his illness Dariush remained strong and brave and never let it get in the way of everyday life.
He remained a typical teenager and loved his nights out, driving, and sports. He was involved in many sporting clubs, such as Dromara GAC and Newry Triathlon Club, as well as being made an honorary member of the St. Colman’s team which won the MacRory and Hogan Cup. He also was in the school’s Corn na nÓg team when he was in 3rd year.
Dariush would often be seen in his red Volkswaagen Golf and loved to spend time in Grounded in Newry where his former girlfriend Eimear works. Eimear, Judith and Lidi will be tracked online on Sunday whilst competing in the marathon and can be followed here: http://www.tracksmart.info/
As well as the marathon, a swim will be held this Friday at Camlough Lake at 10.30pm to raise funds for the charity, anyone is welcome to come along. It is a 750m course, that taken by the Guinness World Record holders in 2009, and there has also been a pub quiz in Camlough, where Dariush spent a lot of time with his girlfriend Eimear who lives there. The spirit of Dariush definitely lives on!
Anyone who wishes to donate can visit www.justgiving.com/
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