A group of Mullngar women have just completed their 50th 5,000 metres on road, bike, or pool in aid of a charity close to their hearts.
Team Ava ran, cycled, and swam in aid of Retts Syndrome research, on behalf of six-year-old Ava Murtagh, daughter of Katie and Dillon, from Greenpark.
Whilst the lion’s share of the effort was conducted on the roads and pools of Mullingar, two ex-pats - Maeve and Barbara Maguire - put in their 50 days in the much more pleasant surrounds of sun-kissed Dubai.
The 21-strong Team Ava each committed to the challenge a number of months ago, and finished up on Sunday (October 28 ) on Dominick Street.
The Advertiser asked Gillian Flynn, one of the participants, how often the easier, 5k option on the bike was taken over the 50 outings and she admitted: “Quite a bit”.
In fairness, though, she did then qualify this, admitting to doing 50 lengths of her pool, and 5k on a treadmill before climbing on the bike for nearly half her outings.
“I was doing this three days a week, and had to up it to seven days a week [for the challenge] and thought it would be easy, but it wasn’t,” said Gillian.
“It kinda feels like I’m on holiday now,” she added.
Team Ava has already raised an impressive €3,000 online, and this is set to increase substatially over the coming weeks.
“The off-line donations are still to come in yet. Everybody’s in the same boat.‘Oh, stick me down for a fiver, or a tenner’,” explained Gillian.
Retts Syndrome is a rare, neuro-degenerative genetic condition that affects almost exclusively girls, and leaves most sufferers unable to walk or talk, and prone to seizures.
However, with genome treatment Rett Syndrome has been reversed in lab mice so a cure is believed to be really close.
Research is funded mostly through charitable donations. Team Ava is part of a larger international team trying to raise enough money with the aim of speeding up the hunt for a cure.