Two south Donegal men men gave themselves one of the toughest challenges last weekend when they took off on a combined run and cycle of 100K from Bundoran to Arranmore Island in aid of the RNLI.
Niall Clancy who hails from Kinlough and James McIntyre from Ballyshannon both set off from Bundoran Lifeboat station just after 6am on Saturday morning last with Niall running and James cycling.
Niall’s route took him through Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal Town, Mountcharles, Frosses, Glenties, Gweebarra Bridge, Lettermacaward, Dungloe all the way to Burtonport,
From Burtonport it was then on to the Arranmore ferry where most may have taken advantage of a quick rest during the crossing - however not for James, he was straight on to the treadmill which had been placed on the ferry for the occasion.
James was joined on various legs of the journey by members of the Tir Chonaill Athletic Club who kept his spirits up on the 100km journey from station to station and they later joined the athletes for the celebrations on the island.
Meanwhile while Niall was punching out the miles on the tarmac James McIntyre and his team from Mullaghmore Triathlon Club and Donegal Bay Cycling Club took off at the same time cycling as far as Lough Eske where James then made the lonesome journey across the Bluestack Mountains, constantly keeping organisers informed of his progress via text message.
From the Bluestacks it was then all downhill to Glenties and then on to Portnoo where, with Bundoran RNLI Crewman Killian O’Kelly, he kayaked the remaining 22km to Arranmore Island.
There is no doubt that both lads did not take any of the easy options that might have been available - with one on a treadmill and the other in the kayak the 100K were well and truly conquered.
Speaking on completion of the challenge at the Arranmore RNLI Lifeboat Station, Niall said, “It’s been a long but great day. The weather conditions couldn’t have been any better for both myself and James – though it was very cold this morning leaving Bundoran! I’m looking forward to a few weeks off training before I get back into it for the Athlone Half Ironman in August.”
James added, “We’d both would like to express our gratitude to everyone who supported us ahead of the challenge and also today – particularly those who sponsored us and those who ran and cycled with us today, our support teams, our chefs, the RNLI crews and sponsors Ormston’s Mace Ballyshannon and All Sports Donegal Town.”
The two men and their entourages were met at Arranmore Island Lifeboat Station by the lifeboat crew and the Arranmore Pipe Band who recently performed in the Aviva Stadium at the Austrian match.
Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Bundoran RNLI and Bundoran Tourism Manager Shane Smyth said, “We are thrilled at the success of the challenge and delighted that over E2, 000 has been raised for both stations. We are indebted to James and Niall for their selfless support of our charity and would like to thank them sincerely on behalf of both crews.”