Maddie Gets 5 Miler Underway

Maddie Gets The Cliffs of Moher 5 Miler Underway

A 5 Miler Run, Jog, Walk, Waddle and Toddle to commemorate the short life of baby Nicholas Stokes of Phoenix, Arizona took place along the dramatic Cliffs of Moher in County Clare on the 16th March 2013. Nearly 300 runners, joggers and walkers, including many from Phoenix, took part in the 5 Miler which was held in glorious sunshine. The run was organised by the Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board.

Newborn baby Nicholas passed away at the Cliffs of Moher in 2006.  His parents Kelly and Delia were so touched by the support they received at the time of the tragedy that they have since raised over $90,000 to supply emergency equipment and emergency response training for personnel at the Cliffs of Moher, the very popular tourist destination on the west coast of Ireland, where the First Aid Centre is known as “Nicholas Room”.
The 5 Miler was part of Phoenix Week 2013 which marked the 25th anniversary of twinning between the town of Ennis and the US city of Phoenix. For seven days in March, Ennis celebrated the special relationship it shares with Phoenix, Arizona. Nearly one hundred people travelled from Phoenix for the week long event. The group included an official delegation led by Michael Johnson, the Phoenix City Councilman. He was joined by City Council representatives and executives, business leaders and Phoenix Sister City personnel.
According to Cllr. Mary Howard of the Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board, “We organised a week long series of events in order to mark the 25th anniversary of our relationship with Phoenix. One of the highlights of the week was the Cliffs of Moher 5 Miler. We feel this was a very positive way of honouring the memory of baby Nicholas and the generosity of his parents”.

Off and Running at the Cliffs

The Stokes family has warmly welcomed the Cliffs of Moher 5 Miler, “It is such a fitting way to celebrate the significance of Nicholas’ short life. We are deeply moved to see how his story and the amazing response of those who came to our assistance continue to inspire compassion and a desire to help those critically in need of medical assistance” said Delia Garcia Stokes. ” This event is about community. We thank everyone who came out to help support the quality first aid services provided through Nicholas’ Room First Aid Centre at the Cliffs of Moher and the compassionate care provided in the neonatal unit of St. Munchin’s Hospital” she added.
Phoenix Week in Ennis was organised to coincide with the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in County Clare. Also in Ennis was the Saint Mary’s Catholic High School Band from Phoenix who accepted an invitation to play in the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Ennis. During their visit, the band visit Ennis schools, performed at Mass in the Cathedral and at the start of the Cliffs of Moher 5 Miler.
The Mayor of Ennis, Cllr. Peter Considine, had welcomed news of the proposed run, “It is very heartening to see the ongoing support of the people of Phoenix for the Stokes Family. It is very important that their loss and their generosity are marked here in County Clare during Phoenix Week. What better way than to have an event at the Cliffs” he said.
T J Waters, Chairperson of the Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board was keen to stress that the run could not have taken place without the support of the staff at the Cliffs of Moher, “They were completely behind this 5 Miler and did everything necessary to make the event special for all the participants.”
The Cliffs of Moher 5 Miler route had breathtaking views of the majestic Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s beautiful western seaboard. The route also took runners down country lanes and past Irish farmland on the very edge of Europe offering participants a fantastic opportunity to savour this ancient and precious landscape.