Four Buncrana men have set themselves an extreme running challenge to fundraise for local health services during Covid-19.
Gerard Doherty, Shane Doherty, Declan Irwin and Christian McGinley are all experienced athletes who have competed together in recent years.
But with all their adventures cancelled for 2020, they decided to do something closer to home.
At first, they considered doing a 19km challenge, then it lengthened to 19miles. But that has now stretched to a gruelling 190km run in 19 hours.
The run, beginning at midnight on 30th May, will be in aid of the Buncrana Community Hospital, The Nazareth House and Letterkenny University Hospital.
“It will be a challenge, but there are other people facing bigger challenges every day,” said Declan Irwin.
“We were training this year for various events like marathons and Iron Man in Denmark. We came to the realisation we weren’t going to be doing them but we were still training. We decided to put it to use.
“Watching the news and seeing everything that’s going on, you appreciate that the frontline workers are doing and we thought we could do something for them.”
The team is planning to do consecutive 10km runs around the Inishowen 100 (plus an additional 20km). This will be a total run of 47.5km per athlete with approximately 7,500ft of climbing in total The route will depend on Covid-19 exercise restrictions by the end of May. And if they are not eased, they’ll be doing a lot of loops around Buncrana town instead.
The run will be streamed live online for everyone to tune in and cheer them on over the 19 hours.
Gerard, Shane, Declan and Christian have all be training separately so far, but there is sure to be a bit of entertaining competitiveness once they get out on the road.
Fundraising is well underway online on GoFundMe: www.gofundme.com/f/190km-Covid-19-Run-Challenge or cash donations can be organised by contacting team members or the Facebook page: 190km Covid-19 Run Challenge
The first fundraising target was already reached in just two days. It has now been raised to €19,000, and ultimately the team is hoping to collect €30,000 for the hospital and two nursing homes to benefit from €10,000 each.
Businesses and individuals are being invited to secure sponsorship slots for the run. Sponsorship places for businesses are €100 each and they will be advertised throughout the team’s media campaign and will also be advertised during the live stream. Recognising that this is a challenging time for businesses, the team is also grateful for any individual donations of any size.
“We’d like to thank everybody for their unbelievable support for the four of us so far,” Declan said.
“We’re hoping to keep the fundraising momentum going and get the reach further to include businesses and donations from all over Donegal.”
To donate, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/190km-Covid-19-Run-Challenge
You can follow the team’s training journey on Facebook at: 190km Covid-19 Run ChallengeTags: