Twenty two members of the same family are set to compete in the Dublin City Marathon this Bank Holiday Monday in a bid to set a new world record and raise funds for a Galway-based charity.
The extended Hughes family has come together for the marathon bid 30 years after another group from the same family — the eight Hughes brothers Cathal, Harry, Seamus, Pat, Owen, Richard, Vincent, and Declan — set a world record for the most siblings to complete a marathon in 1984.
Now the brothers’ nieces and nephews, along with three of the original record breakers, plan to secure a similar Guinness World Record for the most family members to complete a marathon — the record, which currently stands at 16, is held by the Kapral family of Wisconsin, USA.
The group is making the record-breaking bid to raise funds for On The Road Again, a Galwaybased personal development initiative which works to help people who have been affected by homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues to become self sufficient through structured exercise programmes.
OTRA, founded by Galway man Paul Fallon, is based around the positive effects which can come from running, an activity which, when done regularly, benefits many aspects of participants’ lives. As well as the obvious benefit to physical and mental health, a regular exercise regime promotes positive self esteem and empowers people to take control of their lives.
Candidates for the programme are referred through healthcare professionals and ad-hoc referrals from local charity partners.
Candidates who have taken part in the programme have achieved great things, from going back to school and/or work, moving from sheltered accommodation to residential or independent living, to reconnecting with family and friends and reducing their reliance on medication for conditions such as diabetes and depression.
To sponsor the Hughes family in their recordbreaking attempt visit http://www.sponsor.ie/hughes-family--friends-dublin-marathon-/event/dublin-marathon-2014/ .