More than 150 cyclists will tackle the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal for charity this September.
Brothers Lee and Alan McGinley, who are originally from Letterkenny but have lived in London since 1987, hope lots of people from Donegal will join them along all or part of the route. Their aim is to raise £20,000 for Donegal hospice.
The event is run by O2E (Ordinary to Extraordinary), a charity that was set up in 2006 by a group of friends from Beckenham Rugby Club in Kent to make a difference to the lives of needy, seriously and terminally ill children. Over the years, the group has raised nearly £1.8m. Of this, nearly £100,000 has been donated to Irish charities including Temple Street Childrens' Hospital and the Jack & Jill Foundation.
The group also aims tomake a difference to their own lives by supporting and encouraging sport and adventure, with all the benefits that brings. Lee explains, "The way we achieve this is by encouraging and supporting the ‘ordinary’ person to get outside of their comfort zone and take on, for what is for them, something ‘extra-ordinary’. It can be anything, from a 5k to a triathlon.
"There have been so many incredible challenges over the years and the main one that we have been involved with since 2007 is Big Kev's annual cycling challenge each September.
“For example, we've cycled from London to Paris, Cork to Galway, Calais to Amsterdam. The challenges cover between 200 and 300 miles in two to three days with a party and/or other event at the end. The atmosphere, camaraderie and out-and-out achievement of all the riders make them something quite special."
Cyclists will also be raising funds for a number of British children's charities.
The late Paul Skelly, a friend of Lee and Alan, suggested last year that it would be fantastic to have the event in Donegal this year, so the brothers and their mother Mary got busy organising the logisitics.
Their brother Joseph, Lee's wife Sue, his son Conaill (16) and other family members and friends are also taking part for the first time.
"The main objective we have this year is to get as many people from Ireland involved, have fun along the way, and raise as much as possible for Donegal Hospice,” Lee says.
The challenge takes place September 14-17. with celebrations at the Finn Valley Centre on the 18th.
It's possible to join for one day or all three days and the lads especially hope local cycling clubs will get involved.
Full details, including how you can help at http://www.crowdfunding.justgiving.com/
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