Excitement is building across the country with the news that almost 150 amateur cyclists and a host of GAA stars are lining up to bike across Ireland from May 20th to May 27th. This is for the second ‘Race The Rás’, a charity cycle in aid of The National Breast Cancer Research INST and Aware.
Already confirmed to support or take part in the cycle include Declan Darcy (Leitrim and Dublin), three-time All-Star, Sean Og Ó hÁilpín (Cork), Dan Shanahan (Waterford), Eddie Brennan, Derek Lyng, James McGarry (Kilkenny), Willie Joe Padden, John Maughan (Mayo), Kevin Cassidy, Declan Bonner (Donegal), Ollie Canning. Sean O Domhnaill (Galway), Tom Brewster (Fermanagh) rugby legend Mick Galwey, Paul Earley (Roscommon), Colin Regan (Leitrim), Evan Kelly (Meath), Ronan Carolan (Cavan), Eamon O’Hara (Sligo), and Ciaran Whelan, Coman Goggins, Paul Clarke (Dublin).
Declan Darcy, ex-Leitrim and Dublin inter-county footballer who is taking part in the cycle is asking for former GAA players and residents of Donegal to partake in the charity initiative. “We need as many people as possible to take part in the race as we want to build on last year’s success and reach our target of raising over €250,000.”
Declan is one of many people personally effected by cancer with the sad passing of his sister last year. “My younger sister Sinéad battled with the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma. She put up a daily fight against this disease but sadly on 9th April 2011, she passed away. She was only 39 years old with three very small children. I hope that my story and that of Sinéad will help build awareness of how something as simple as a small mole on your skin could actually kill.”
Former Roscommon All-Star, Paul Earley explained the endurance needed to participate in the event: “This is a serious undertaking. Each of the eight stages averages 156kms in length - 1,260kms in total - and will take over five and a half hours to complete, so the eight-day cyclists will be on the bike for almost 50 hours in total.
“There are also a number of mountain stages which will pose huge challenges to many of the GAA players who don’t have the natural body type required for the lengthy mountain climbs.”
To register for the cycle, please log on to http://racetheras.com/event-registration/. With 8 stages to choose from, cyclists can opt to do all 8 stages or a single stage or opt for a combination of 2 or 3 stages. Those wishing to donate can do so by visiting www.racetheras.com/donate