By David Hennessy
Former London Rose Emma Murphy O’Connor will run the London Marathon in aid of Multiple Sclerosis Trust. 2016 London Rose Emma chose to run 26 miles for the charity because someone very close to her has the condition.
Emma told The Irish World: “One of my best friends from uni has MS. She got diagnosed when she was 17. And I think she’s really overwhelmed. It’s nice to be able to do it now and try and get more help and more research into medications and things for her.
“I watched my cousin’s fiance. He ran the marathon last year. Given that I was born and brought up in London, it’s the first time I watched it and it was amazing.
“I entered the ballot first and after entering the ballot I realised that I might not get a place so I decided to do an application through a charity. Before the ballot even came out I knew I had a place with MS which is quite nice.
“It’s hard to get out and training when it gets dark and it gets cold over the winter but having someone to do it for is quite nice.
“I’ve got up to 20 miles now.”
A lawyer from Ealing with parents from Cork and Galway, Emma took the sash from Aisling Hillary in 2016 and says this year’s London Rose candidates have no idea of what awaits.
“I sent in an email when I was like 15 or something and they told me I wasn’t old enough yet.
“My sister and my cousin both said to me, ‘If you don’t apply now, we’re going to apply for you’. So I applied then.
“I didn’t know all of the madness that ensues once you get selected.
“On the actual final night, it feels comfortable because everybody gets along well. You stand up and it’s like talking to a room full of your friends and their families.
“It is just such a lovely experience and all the girls are in it for the same reason, because they are nice people and want to get involved and make friend and be involved in their Irish community. We all have the most absolute amazing time.”
To donate to Emma’s cause, click here.