Barretstown as a charity does not need a huge introduction – the work they do with sick children and for bereaved families is well known. Some of the stories you hear are so moving and to listen to some of the people involved with Barretstown speak about the cause so passionately, you can tell how much the organisation means to them as well understand why it has proved so successful.
The event itself is a run/walk/hike the length of the Dublin Mountain Way (the Wicklow Way’s less known and thankfully shorter cousin!) beginning in Tallaght and finishing in Shankhill. The route actually had be altered last minute due to the awful events in Enniskerry last weekend. So while we initially understood it would be 42km, the total distance was only 40.6km which but to bed my pre-event deliberations whether I could claim this as my fourth marathon or not!! So just the 40km and the 1,000 meters of climbing. Simples huh?! Ayeee!
My experience of running off road in the mountains is not vast but is definitely expanding. I have a gang of mates with a similarly adventurous spirit and every time we go running off-road we without doubt excitedly discuss how this is such a great change to road running and agree to do it more often! We are slowly but surely getting better are sticking to our best laid plans. That said, an adventure of this magnitude was most definitely a step into unchartered territory.I was completing the event with one of my oldest and best friends – the ‘one time Sportsworld’ attendee David Magill. We were both at similar levels of fitness and we agreed that we would start together and finish together. In truth it was this element of teamwork and sticking together that was probably the highlight of the event for me. We were discussing at the beginning whether this might be the start of a long and loving relationship with ultra-running. You could tell that was like 6km in. I can assure you by 36km all ultra-running ambitions had been parked! With the full truth being told, without the camaraderie and company of a friend not to mention that we were representing such a good cause, even making it that far may not have been guaranteed. In short Eoin Keith, you can rest easy for now!!!!
The event was extremely well organised. We met a lady at the end who asked us how they might be able to improve the event and I hand on heart couldn’t think of anything. It was faultless with amazing organisation and ridiculously good signage that not mention a raft of extremely lovely volunteers (off whom there was over 100!). I couldn’t recommend this event enough for someone who fancied taking on a new challenge. In total there was €150,000 raised for Barretstown, a phenomenal effort for a truly worthy cause. A massive well done to Barretstown and all the people that made yesterday possible. And of course a huge thanks to all of those who kindly sponsored me – your donations were greatly appreciated by myself and more importantly Barretstown.