The seven cyclists who will take part in a 24-hour Mizen to Malin charity cycle for the Tipperary branch of the Irish Kidney Association
It’s a long way from Tipperary for seven men who will undertake a gruelling 600km ultra cycle from Mizen to Malin, scaling 4,000 meters of elevation, and all within 24 hours between June, 25 and 26.
The event, supported by Upperchurch Drombane Cycling Club (UDCC), was launched at Liberty Square in Thurles on June 1.
The organisers hope the cycle will raise over €7,000 for the Tipperary branch of the Irish Kidney Association
Attending the event’s launch were the challenge’s seven cyclists, one of whom has chronic kidney disease, and their crew who will be travelling the route in two vans and many more supporters.
Representing the Irish Kidney Association at the launch was Tipperary branch secretary Orla Hogan Ryan from Nenagh, who has undergone four kidney transplants, including two from deceased donors.
No stranger to sport, Orla has won many medals at European and World Transplant Sports events). Some other kidney transplant recipients also showed up at Liberty Square.
Taking part in the Mizen to Malin challenge will be David Russell, an award winning young farmer from Thurles, as well as father and son David and Jamie Donovan, also from Thurles, along with well-known building contractor Seamus Duggan, from Templemore, Pat Heffernan from Moyglass, Fethard, and James Tobin, an actuary, who lives in Urlingford.
One of the magnificent seven cyclists will be 45-year-old kidney patient Francis Hogan from Templemore.
The self-employed father of five was diagnosed with a hereditary kidney condition, PKD, when he was in his early twenties.
Through careful medical intervention and medication and healthy lifestyle choices, including dietary and fitness, he has slowed down the progression of his disease and he now has 25% kidney function.
Francis is a strong advocate for fitness in aiding a person’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
In 2001 Francis’s late father Gus, who also shared the same hereditary kidney condition, passed away in hospital, at the young age of 49, with heart failure just a day after undergoing a kidney transplant.
Speaking at the launch, Francis said: “The seven of us have been training hard for this challenge, and while we are used to long distance endurance cycles, we have never done anything to this scale before.
"Our club, Upperchurch Drombane, is located in a small rural area, and yet, at least two other members of the club and their families have benefited from the support of the Irish Kidney Association. That’s why we are channeling the fundraising into the Tipperary Branch of the Irish Kidney Association.
“We hope that we can help raise awareness about organ donation also. I’d like to thank everyone who is supporting the event including UDCC, the organisers, supporters and sponsors and also the support team who will be travelling in a minibus as well as two vans, one in front and one behind, including a mechanics crew and the other crew who will ensure we are fed, hydrated and have a change of clothes.”
The seven will set out on the 600km cycle from Mizen Head in Ireland’s most southerly point in Cork at 3pm on Saturday, June 25, and plan to arrive at Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland, on Sunday afternoon, he said.
Speaking at the launch Orla Hogan, the secretary of the Tipperary Branch of the Irish Kidney Association said: “We are hugely grateful to UDCC and greatly admire these seven men who are truly magnificent for undertaking this gruelling challenge to support the work of the Irish Kidney Association.”
Anyone wishing to contribute to the event’s fundraiser can do so at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/francis-hogan-549-hogan
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