Marathon woman at halfway point

 

AN IRISHWOMAN running nearly three marathons a day in an attempt to raise at least €70,000 for charity has crossed the halfway point on her journey.

Joanne Uí Chrualaoich Fearon (37) set out at first light from the lighthouse at Malin Head in Donegal on Friday, and was to arrive in Kilmallock, Co Limerick, last night. She is hoping to complete by tomorrow the 550km journey to Mizen Head, Cork, in under six days, which would set a world record. That is about 70 miles, just short of three marathons, a day.

A programme manager at University College Cork, Ms Uí Chrualaoich Fearon wants to raise €1 for every 10 steps taken to reach her target of raising €70,000 for the Carers Association of Ireland.

She is an experienced runner in ultra-marathons, but said trying to cover the 550km distance in five days was “a great step into the unknown”.

Today’s leg, having already covered more than 300km, will see her leave Kilmallock at first light and arrive at Bantry, Co Cork, ahead of the final stretch.

Steffanie McDonagh of the Carers Association said Ms Uí Chrualaoich Fearon had made good progress before the warm weather on Saturday and Sunday broke her stride.

“As she was coming into Athlone, it was the hottest place in Ireland,” Ms McDonagh said yesterday. “We had blisters, toenails almost coming off and some lost ground because of the heat, but she has picked up some ground today.”

Ms McDonagh said the initial plan to cover the distance in five days had been revised to six days. However, the attempt to break the Guinness world record for running the journey was still alive.

The donations were coming in at a steady pace, Ms McDonagh said, but more were welcome at www.mycharity.ie/event/every_ step_of_the_way/.

Separately, a Dublin man is planning to cycle from Malin Head to Mizen Head this weekend on a fixed-wheel bike in just 24 hours. Amateur cyclist David Murphy will leave Malin Head on Saturday morning on the bike, which does not allow him to change gear or freewheel.

He is hoping to set a world record for the quickest time covering the journey on a fixed-wheel bike, and to convince the Government to commit more time to the detection and prevention of cancer. More information is available from www.fixcancer.net