Endurance Challenge 2068km was started James Colbert and Sean Buckley, who plan to undertake a record triathlon feat by cycling through every county in Ireland, swimming 120km of the River Shannon and running in four consecutive marathons, a total of 2068km, all in just 22 days. The event is in memory of Sean’s father who passed away from cancer last year.
Members of the public can join Sean and James at one of the four marathons taking place throughout the country, or on four regional cycle tours.
The cycling challenge will take the Endurance team through every county in Ireland, covering in excess of 1800km. This is the equivalent of over half of the distance covered in the 2012 Tour De France. 4 cycle tours will take place in total and 250 cyclists are invited to join the team on each tour. The tours are as follows:
Tour of Connaught
Saturday 9th : Depart Galway City Saturday morning to Sligo Town Co. Sligo
Via: Roscommon, Carrick-On-Shannon. Distance: 174.58km or 7-8 hours
Sunday 10th: Depart Sligo Town Sunday morning to Galway City Via: Westport, Ballinrobe (Both Mayo). Distance: 184.55km or 7.5-8.5 hours
Tour of Ulster
Monday 11th: Depart Armagh Town Co. Armagh Monday morning to Derry City
Via: Banbridge Co. Down, Antrim Co. Antrim. Distance: 174.25km or 7-8 hours
Tuesday 12th: Depart Derry City Tuesday morning to Enniskillen Town Co. Fermanagh Via: Strabane Co. Tyrone, Donegal Town Co. Donegal, Ballyshannon Co. Donegal. Distance: 142.56km or 6-7 hours
Wednesday 13th: Depart Enniskillen Town Wednesday morning to Armagh Co. Armagh Via: Cavan Co. Cavan, Castleblayney Co. Monaghan. Distance: 153.66km or 6.5-7.5 hours
Tour of Leinster
Thursday 14th: Depart Dublin City Thursday morning to Kilkenny City Co. KillkennyVia: Wicklow Town Co. Wicklow, Bunclody Co. Wexford. Distance: 170.39km or 7-8 hours
Friday 15th: Depart Kilkenny City to Longford Town Co. Longford
Via: Athlone Co. Westmeath, Birr Co. Offaly. Distance: 166.37km or 7-8 hours
Saturday 16th: Depart Longford Town to Dublin City Via: Castlepollard Co. Westmeath, Drogheda Co. Louth. Distance: 172.81km 7-8 hours
Tour of Munster
Sunday 17th: Depart Cork City to Limerick City Co Limerick Via: Killarney Co. Kerry. Distance: 198.87 8-9 hours
Monday 18th: Depart Limerick City to Cork City Via: O’Briens Bridge Co. Clare, Chair Co. Tipperary, Lismore Co. Waterford. Distance: 177.47 or 7-8 hours
4 consecutive marathons will take place in each province, in almost as many days! Each individual marathon is a distance of 42.195km or 26.385 miles, totalling 168.78km. 300 runners are invited to join the team at each marathon. Runners will be able to participate at marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k distances, and places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.
• Ulster: Starting and finishing in Monaghan, Ulster on 20th August TBC
• Connaught: Starting and finishing in Westport, Co. Mayo on 21st August TBC
• Munster: Starting and finishing in Midleton, Co. Cork on 24th August
• Leinster: Starting and finishing in Fingal Dublin on 23rd August
Commenting on the upcoming endurance test, Sean Buckley said, “I love to challenge myself mentally and physically and have had the ambition for a long time to create an ‘ultimate challenge’, which would test my mind and body to the limits. Having recently lost my father to cancer, I hope that by completing the Endurance Challenge and inspiring others, we will also raise much needed funds for Breakthrough Research to facilitate their work into new treatments for cancer. To have witnessed personally the pain and suffering that a cancer patient endures during treatment made me realise that any pain I would endure during our 2068 challenge would pale significantly in comparison.”
His Endurance partner James Colbert said, “I have long had a feeling that there is something I can do that will not only fulfil personal ambition to achieve something that no one else has achieved but that will benefit others. It is only when cancer touches someone in your family or friends that you realise how powerless you are. All your trust and hope goes into treatments, which all stem from cancer research. We hope our challenge we will raise much needed awareness and funds for Breakthrough Cancer Research, while at the same time fulfil our personal ambition to bring our bodies to their ultimate endurance – to breakthrough all walls.”
Eoghan O Sullivan, campaigns manager at Breakthrough Cancer Research said, “Anyone can participate in Endurance Challenge 2068km, whether you are a professional cyclist, a marathon runner, or would simply like to run 5km of the marathon next year. It’s not only an excuse to get fit but it will also make a huge difference to the research projects our scientists are currently undertaking as we have set an ambitious target of €500,000. Sean and James have committed the next year of their lives to train six days, covering over 200km a week across , the 3 disciplines in their own personal time to raise an incredible amount of money, but they can’t do it alone, so we hope others will be inspired by them. .”
Breakthrough Cancer Research funds the development of new treatment options for poor prognosis and incurable cancers that do not currently respond to conventional therapies. They work closely with clinicians in practice all over Ireland to significantly impact on the number of people who can survive the disease. Research programmes funded by Breakthrough Cancer Research must focus on translating lab discoveries into new treatment opportunities and over the past 15 years they have delivered more than 5 new treatments to patients throughout Ireland.
Monies raised through Breakthrough Cancer Research are used to support focused research programmes, directly fund scientists and purchase laboratory consumables. By supporting them, you can ensure that all cancer patients throughout Ireland have the opportunity to access the most up to date and effective treatment for their disease. There is hope and that hope is in research.