John grew up in Castlerea and lives in Fuerty, Co. Roscommon and has set up a GoFundMe page ‘Suck Valley Way in a Day’ to raise funds.
John, a member of Roscommon Harriers, says it’s the longest distance he has ever trained for and he hopes to use the event to raise awareness of the beauty of The Suck Valley Way.
“The hard work is done and now I’m tapering my runs ahead of the 5th of June,” he said.
“It’s like an ultra marathon really and I’ve never run anything like it before. My sister Julie McMullen is an ultra runner though and she ran Mizen to Malin Head last year and I ran a couple of days with her on that.
“The Suck Valley Way itself is a fabulous amenity and I would have fished on the river when growing up in Castlerea. You never know what you might meet on it in terms of wildlife…it’s really like being out in the wild. It’s a lovely mix of bogs, woods, fields and country roads and it’s accessible to everyone and they’ve done huge work on it in Castlerea and out in Glinsk with new paths and stiles”.
The ‘Suck Valley Way in a Day’ GoFundMe page has already raised over €1,000 for Mayo Roscommon Hospice services, which John says are invaluable to families across the region.
“Our family, like many others, are aware of and grateful for the support that Palliative Care Nurses provide. However, some people don’t realise that the Hospice services and supports are there for them until they’re in real trouble. There are great supports available for patients and their families, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be an end-of-life scenario,” he said.
John has received wonderful support from his wife Anne Marie, who will be coordinating car support, maps and the all-important food. His children Sarah, Rachel and Daniel, who have been given social media duties, will also be running part of the route with him.
John is also very grateful for the support of his fellow Roscommon Harriers members including Frank Murphy, who he says has done “huge work” with adult runners in Roscommon.
John says he would really appreciate any support on the day and has encouraged people to come and say hello anywhere along the route.
All funds raised from the ‘Suck Valley in a Day’ challenge will be used to support Mayo Roscommon Hospice Palliative Care Nurses in the vital work they do.
To support John’s fundraising efforts log onto the GoFundMe page and search for ‘Suck Valley Way in a Day’.