Genevieve Williams from Mountrath is taking on the challenge of her life on March 7 with her best friend Megan.
The daring duo are one of 110 teams chosen to take part in Jailbreak 2015, an Irish university challenge to race to an as yet secret destination in the world, crossing the finish line within 48 hours by 9am March 9, but it is not as easy as it sounds.
“We have to get there without spending any of our own money, or taking a flight that is longer than 2 hours,” explains Genevieve, a graduate of Mountrath CS.
Competitors have to use their ‘blagging’ skills and charm to travel for free, but can accept donated airmiles.
They must also complete four charity challenges.
“It’s going to be amazing, the secret is to draw attention to ourselves, go a bit crazy, lose our shyness and run up to people to ask for help,” she said.
Her study of linguistics and sociology will come in handy.
“We are going to learn basic phrases in lots of different languages, but it will be interesting to see how people will react,” she said.
She decided to do the challenge in her final year because it is the first time the competition is open to girl only teams.
“They changed the format so it is safer for girls. Before it was how far you could get in 48 hours, so people ended up in bizarre destinations. We think this year it will be in Europe,” she said.
The fact that Amnesty International and St Vincent de Paul were the chosen charities sealed the deal for her.
“Amnesty do extraordinary work in equal rights, and I volunteer with UCD St Vincent de Paul. We do a soup run for the homeless and an afterschool programme for disadvantaged children. All the money we raise goes to them,” she said.
Her parents Catherine and Liam are worried, she admits.
“But each team has a media correspondent who will track our progress, and help us get home as well,” she said. Along the way we will have a massive social media presence, through our videos, photos, check ins, and constant tweets about our adventures and charity challenges.