Marathon Cycle raises money for Down Syndrome and rural men’s mental health
Over the past number of years, Alan Heaney and his cycling team have undertaken an ultra-cycle charity event, namely Mizen to Malin (600km in 23 hrs 20 mins) in 2017, Land’s End to John O Groats (1,600km in 4 days) in 2018 and many more. This year, they are embarking on a mammoth task – cycling from Lourdes to Knock, i.e. 2,000km in just 5 days.
On Tues 18th June, Robotic Milking Specialists and Lely Center Mullingar Co-owner/Founder, Alan Heaney who hails from Swinford, County Mayo is leading a group of 4 endurance cyclists on a MASSIVE 5-day 2,000 km ultra-cycling challenge. Starting from Lourdes (south of France), up through France, across the English Channel (by ferry), over England & Wales, across the Irish sea (by ferry) and down west to Knock in County Mayo, from start to finish in just 5 days.
This is an extremely tough, mental and physical challenge and along with cycling up to 400km per day the cyclists will be sleeping in small tents on the side of the road at night. They are doing it for 2 very worthy causes – Down Syndrome Ireland West & Raising Awareness of Mental Health – anxiety and depression in farming.
Down Syndrome Ireland West are based in Swinford, County Mayo. They were donated a house and some land by Máirt Cambell, who also donated 25% of his will so that his home could be transformed into a Centre for all of Connacht to advance the daily outcomes for people and their families with Down Syndrome. The intention is to make the house fully accessible with a playground and use it as the West of Ireland’s focal point for the community.
Raising awareness for Mental Health – depression & anxiety in farming families – we all know of the isolation, weather stresses, financial pressures etc. that occurs on many Irish farms and some really struggle with mental health and wellbeing…. Last year’s beautiful sunny weather which may have being a God send for most ordinary people, actually placed financial, physical and emotional strain on many small to medium sized farms which unfortunately resulted in many farmers struggling with their mental health and some taking their lives.
The event is self-financed so 100% of all donations will go directly to the 2 Charities.
Schedule for Saturday 22nd June 2019
Depart Dublin Port 6am.
Arr. Circle K Parkway West 06.25 – Dep 06.35.
Arr. Kinnegad 08.30-Dep 09.15.
Arr. Longford 11.15 – Dep 12.00.
Arr. Castlerea 14.00 Dep 15.00
Arr. Knock 16.30 Dep 16.45
Arr. Swinford 17.45/18.00
Dublin Port to Circle K Parkway West 11km
Circle K to Kinnegad 56km
Kinnegad to Longford – 53km
Longford to Castlerea – 54km
Castlerea to Knock – 33km
Knock to Swinford – 20km
A homecoming reception is planned for the team this Saturday, 22rd June at The Gateway Hotel, Swinford at approximately 6pm. There will be entertainment, music, face painting and a bouncy castle and it promises to be a great event for all ages. We are inviting everyone to join us on Saturday 22nd June to welcome the team home after their epic journey.
Please keep an eye on the “Lourdes to Knock 2000km Ultra Charity Cycle” Facebook page www.facebook.com/lourdestoknock2000km5day for updates and live tracking of the teams progress throughout the week and especially on the day of to the homecoming, as the weather could affect their arrival time. There is also a GoFundMe page set up where you can donate www.gofundme.com/1nejnyo700. Any amount that you can contribute would be kindly and greatly appreciated.
The cyclists completing the journey are Alan Heaney (Killasser), Gary Bigley (Kiltimagh), Jonathon Verry (Crossmolina), Maurice Dore (Mullingar). The support crew are: Martin Conlon, Liam Filan, Elizabeth Conlon, Michael Maloney, Seamus McDonagh, Shane Conlon (all from the Swinford area) and Kevin Morgan (Ballymoe, Galway).
Follow the team at:-
Instagram – lourdestoknock
Link to gofundme : http://bit.ly/5day2000km