Challengers from across the country are preparing to tackle the Moylagh 50 Mile Challenge on June 8 and raise vital funds for cancer patients.
The event, now in its 8th year, will see up to 1,000 participants set off at 6am on a 50 mile route around counties Meath, Cavan and Westmeath.
The challenge has raised over €575K to date for the Irish Cancer Society and LARCC Cancer Support Centre, to support the provision of vital services for cancer patients and their families.
The challenge is considered to be one of Europe's biggest 50 Mile Challenges and inherits its name from an endurance test first handed down by John F Kennedy to the military to cover 50 miles on foot within 20 hours.
Participants can walk as much or as little of the course as they want with many walking in memory of loved ones, or in support of those affected by cancer. Members of the Irish Defense Forces will be taking part in full military attire again this year to see if they can complete the tough challenge in full.
The walk will take participants along ancient abbeys and megalithic hills high above the county of Meath. One of the features along the route is the Loughcrew Cairns, a passage tomb site older than Newgrange. The megalithic site dates back over 5,000 years and is the highest point in Meath.
Next walkers will see the magical forest of Mullaghmeen, a tranquil forest, before the route passes the ancient abbey at Fore. Whether you walk or run, you'll find great hospitality along the route from the local communities.
Funds raised from the Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge will be split this year with 10% going to LARCC, 10% to a local specialist palliative care comfort fund, and 80% going to the Irish Cancer Society.
Bernie McHugh of LARCC said Cancer Support Sanctuary LARCC is very grateful to have been the recipient of funds from the Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge over the last number of years.
"These funds have been used to create and furnish a new counselling room on the ground floor of our Centre in Multyfarnham and also to furnish and add materials and supplies to the Children’s Play Therapy Room on the first floor.
"The funds have also been ploughed directly into service provision allowing LARCC to continue to provide free counselling and therapies to people in the surrounding area affected by cancer.”
Gerry McDonnell of the 50 Mile Challenge said:
“It is amazing, the momentum that the challenge has gained, registrations are coming in fast and we encourage everyone to participate, even if you only walk one mile, that one mile will make a difference. It’s great to see so much interest this year and we are hoping to smash our previous numbers. The walk is not only a way of raising much need funds in the fight against cancer, it is also a personal discovery for anyone taking part. People are sometimes emotional when finishing and feel a sense of achievement. It really is unique and powerful for anyone taking part. We also have very low operating costs with almost everything donated from the local communities, including water, food, t-shirts etc. which means that more of the funds raised go direct to the charities.”
Brenda McCarthy, Community Fundraiser with the Irish Cancer Society said, “Funds raised through the Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge have played a hugely important role in supporting people affected by cancer in Ireland. But cancer incidence is on the rise. This year 40,000 people will get a cancer diagnosis which means there is a greater demand for our services. Donations will ensure cancer patients and their families have the information, care and support they need. Donations also fund lifesaving cancer research to find better ways of treating and diagnosing cancer. The support you give is so crucial, register now and make a difference.”
Visit www.50milechallenge.com to register or for further information.