Students plan to run the length of Ireland to raise money for charity

Two Bangor University students are going to run the length of Ireland to raise money for charity.

Sport Science Students Philip Clarke, 21, and Michael O’Reilly, 21, are currently training to run 385 miles through Ireland in 13 days in early July. They decided to embark on the ‘Run for Cancer’, which will take them from Mizen in county Cork, Ireland’s most southerly point to Malin head in county Donegal, the most Northerly point, to raise money for charity after both their families were affected by cancer.

Michael unfortunately lost his mother to cancer in 2008 and also lost his aunt to ovarian cancer. Philip’s mother was also diagnosed with brain cancer at Christmas and he has lost an aunt to breast cancer.

Philip said: "I wanted to do something to raise money for cancer charities. So I came up with the idea for the charity run and when I approached Michael he jumped on board straight away.

"I am completing this challenge to raise money for my local cancer support centre which is currently supporting my mother through her treatment. The centre is the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre in Drogheda Co. Louth. Michael is completing the challenge to raise money for his local cancer support group. The group is the Shercock/Killann Cancer Support Group in County Cavan."

Philip added: "We started training at the end of February and will be training up until the event in July. We increase the distance that we run on the roads each week.

"We started at 20 a week and will be working up to completing 130 a week, two weeks before the event.

"Our training also consists of stretching sessions and lower body weight training. We are very lucky as we have had the full support of our department at Bangor University. Dr Stewart Laing of the School of Sports, Health and Exercise Science, is our main coach. He is also supported by Phillip Heritage and Sam Coleman, both students at the department, who our giving us physiological support..

"We also have the support of three other students Keith Begley, Donnla O Hagen and Coaimhe Martin – they have been a massive aid in preparing Michael and I for this monstrous challenge.

"Neither of us have even completed a marathon between us before, we are both new to running, which makes this challenge and even bigger feat."

"We are setting ourselves short term goals to achieve the long term goal of completing the run. I think once the event starts it will be tough but I think we will both enjoy the experience as we will have completed the hard work before hand and have such a good support team with us."

People can donate to Philip cause through www.runforcancerireland.com and Michael’s cause through

www.michaelsrunforcancer.com

Publication date: 13 May 2011