Around 5,00 people turned out for Darkness Into Light (DIL) in Kilkenny city this morning, writes Sean Keane.
Led by culinary teacher and celebrity chef, Edward Hayden, it was an uplifting experience with everyone in good form despite the light rain.
Many of those were perennial DIL participants who got up at 3.30am for the 4.15am start.
They all had their own personal stories and on the way around the 5 kilometre route by the River Nore, strangers swapped stories and became friends and afterwards everybody enjoyed tea, coffee, fruit, buns, (you name it), in James Stephens Military Barracks where the staff went above and beyond the call of duty.
The main organiser and the chairwoman of Darkness Into Light in Kilkenny, Kathryn Hutchinson, did an amazing job and without her the organisation would be lost. She gelled together all strands of the operation and displayed a dignity under pressure that was wonderful to see.
The event was well run, well marshaled - People left the barracks with a mile of their face.
A noticeable aspect of his year's DIL was the diversity of people, from all kinds of backgrounds, young and old from 10 year old Ruairi Galwey to Eileen Little, whose age we can't divulge, but she has been a pensioner for a good number of years.
And a special word of thanks to Pat Moore, photographer for putting a smile on the faces of the people he photographed.