The three volunteers who are hosting the ‘Longest Day’ triathlon in Portarlington and the Marathon des Escargots, have cancelled their own epic challenge of a 24 hour long triathlon, due to family illness.
The Marathon des Escargots events are full steam ahead however, and will aid two charities, Irish Autism Action, and the LARCC cancer support centre in Westmeath, attended by athlete Mark Neilon’s mother who is undergoing cancer treatment.
As that treatment intensified, Mark took the big decision to drop out of the 24 hour triathlon. In support of him, friends Wes Reilly and Richie Hart then called a halt to their fundraising challenge.
“Family comes first. The main reason I got into this was for my mother. LARCC have been so good to her, they are the only cancer support centre in the midlands that offer residential care, and national services. Training was going to be impossible,” said Mark.
The three are ploughing ahead with organising a public triathlon at 7pm on June 21.
“We have about 30 entries in so far, people have until June 12 to register online to get a t-shirt, or up to June 19, without a t-shirt. It is a sprint triathlon, a 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run based in Portarlington Leisure Centre so it is ideal for first timers,” said Mark, who lives in Portarlington.
They are encouraging local businesses to put forward a triathlon competitor, with the emphasis on friendly rivalry. Entry is €60, including a t-shirt, with a barbecue that evening in The Anvil.
Entrants are coming from as far as California and Russia for the Marathon des Escargots’ on July 12, which features full, half and 10k options, all chip timed.
“It is a flat course, with music along the route and cake at the end,” says Mark.
Entry fee for the marathon is €60, half is €32 and 10k is €25. See www.marathondesescargots.com, or find Up and Over ultra triathlon’ on facebook. To enter, see Run Ireland or www.active.com.