A GROUP of 21 Letterkenny-based cyclists will take on the Mizen to Malin cycle next weekend to raise money for Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
The ‘Mad Dogs’ are all Errigal Cycling Club members who are funding their own expenses and all monies raised will go directly to the charity.
The idea was formulated – as all best ones are – following a social gathering in the Brewery bar after the 2021 Donegal Ultra 555.
“The plan is for all cyclists to complete the event together in one group with no one being left behind, as in life cyclists are much stronger as a group than as individuals,” event organiser Colm Richardson explained.
“We see ourselves as much more than a cycling group and would now like to give something back to the community, hence this fundraiser,” he added.
Colm was joined by Shaun Holian, Liam Doherty, Martin Temple and Shaun McDaid at the inaugural meeting in the Brewery.
“We all know someone who has used the invaluable services of Crumlin Children’s Hospital and this group of cyclists, whilst having an itch to complete the epic Mizen to Malin, also what to give something back to the community,” he said.
“Unfortunately, Shaunie (Holian) recently underwent major surgery and will be unable to take part but he remains one of the group’s integral members,” he added.
The group, who initially talked about completing the cycle in one day, now aim to do the 580 kilometre trek in two and a half days.
Day 1, Thursday afternoon, September 16, will see them cycle 100 kilometres from Mizen to Macroom and travelling on to Ballinamore in Leitrim (300K) on Friday with the final 180K leg to Malin Head on Saturday.
“We’ve a right mix of abilities and ages taking part. Some of the lads, including Eoghan Moore and Cormac Hall, would still be teenagers while James Frain is retired. We don’t know his age but he calls himself an officially retired pensioner,” he quipped.
Many of the group took part in this year’s Donegal Ultra 555 – as individuals or team members – while some are getting in some mileage ahead of a Mizen to Malin cycle race next year.
“A lot of us were training for the 555 and we got a group developed but I still don’t know where the ‘Mad Dogs’ tag came from although some of the lads did suggest that we do the run in the one day,” he laughed.
“Some of us had children attend Crumlin hospital and from the front door right through to each end of the hospital we were looked after so well by every member of staff. We want to thank them all for their hard work and kindness.
“Also, we’re also doing it for the mental well-being of the group. It’s more than just cycling for these lads. It’s probably their ‘switch off’ time from work and family commitments,” he said.
“We’re all based in and around Letterkenny but a lot of us migrated into the town from different parts of the county,” he added.
The cyclists are: Shaun McDaid, Colm Richardson, Martin Temple, Martin Jordan, Alan Mailey, Damien Holian, Mark Cassidy, Kevin Holian, Troy Hegarty, Owen Boyle, Neil Sullivan, James Frain, Samuel Rankin, Eoghan Moore, Cormac Hall, Mark Hunter, Seamus Wilkinson, Victor Hunter, Hugh Gallagher, Paul Fagan and Liam Doherty.
All monies raised through the fundraiser will go directly to Crumlin Children Hospital, with all costs for the weekend being absorbed by the cyclists themselves and the main sponsor The Dry Arch Complex Letterkenny. You can support the group’s fund-raising on https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mad-dogs1?
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