Following on from their epic three-day 240km run from Dublin to Mayo in April 2019, Hardy Bucks stars Peter Cassidy and Stephen Kelly don the running shoes again for a cause very close to home.
Starting on September 22, the ‘bucks’ are going to tackle the coast of Mayo along the scenic Wild Atlantic Way over five days. This 350km ultra endurance event will be in aid of raising funds for Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation.
Peter Cassidy said: "On the descent from Ireland’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick, while looking upon the heavenly Clew Bay which was bathed in an amazing light, Stephen and I had somewhat of an epiphany and decided we would do something for Mayo. We had an epic three-day voyage on foot from Dublin to Mayo in 2019, it was extremely difficult but the rewards from that run vastly outweighed the difficulty.
"The size and enormity of this task probably hadn’t been realised at that time but by the bottom of the mountain, we had decided what we were going to do, when we were going to do it and who we were going to do it for.
"Who we are doing this run for was the easiest decision we made. Mayo Roscommon Hospice is a charity which provides a service that is invaluable for the people of Mayo and there is barely a family that is not indebted to the incredible staff of the Hospice.
"We decided to run the coast of Mayo along the Wild Atlantic Way, this will be an almost 350km and five-day trek. This is going to be one of the toughest challenges we have ever done but it pales in comparison to what the patients and staff go through each and every day. To us doing a run for them is nothing short of a privilege."
Stephen Kelly commented: "Hungry for a new adventure and with memories of the sense of achievement from last year's run, I wanted a new challenge. The question was what challenge would we undertake? Our puzzle was quickly solved one day as myself and Pete descended from the Holy Mountain overlooking the beautiful Clew Bay.
"What could be better than running the Wild Atlantic Way - and although I had planned and dreamed of running it's entirety, Covid-19 restrictions helped to decide to run our very own section of paradise in Mayo.
"Who would we do it for? Well another question that was easily answered after a meeting with the fantastic ladies Martina and Angelina as they gave us the tour of the new Hospice building in Castlebar.
"We were astounded on hearing what it takes and has taken to get Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation to where it is today. We are honoured to be able to support such a fabulous facility that provides such care for patients, family and staff in the west of Ireland which is our home.”
CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation Martina Jennings said: "We are truly honoured and humbled that Stephen and Peter have chosen us to be the beneficiary of this event. It will be a huge challenge for them – running a little over a marathon a day – but knowing what they did last year, we know they will be more than ready for it."
"These types of fundraisers are why we can keep doing what we do – funding vital palliative care services in Mayo and Roscommon.
"This year has been a difficult one for fundraising due to the pandemic but people like Stephen and Peter step up to this sort of challenge and not only raise vital funds but raise awareness of the work Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation does and perhaps lights the spark with other people to come up with their own unique ideas."
Stephen and Peter have set up a fundraising page on iDonate and you can make your donation here: http://idonate.ie/runtheborder.