Running 50k a day around Ireland to make a difference for the homeless
By Maurice Garvey
KNOWING that homeless people are afraid to go to shelters at night is a primary reason why two experienced marathon runners decided to run around the country.
Clondalkin resident Mark Conlon, and Noel Ward, from Ballyfermot, are running 50km a day for 22 days around Ireland – to raise funds for the Simon Community.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donnchatheir launched the challenge on Friday, November 3 at the Mansion House, as the pair took off towards Kildare in the first leg of the journey.
Mark, an ex-Irish Army man and currently a security guard on the Luas, and Dublin Bus driver Noel, see first-hand the devastation of homelessness in the city centre every week.
“What we see is that people are walking around at night, afraid to go to shelters,” said Mark.
“We talk to them and they say they feel more comfortable if they don’t go near the shelters. There is no privacy, you are beside people who are drinking, taking drugs, violent.”
Mark hopes funds raised will go towards shelters that provide homeless people with private and secure sleeping quarters.
The pair have the aid of a small team of volunteers to help them in their challenge around the country, and have relied on the kindness of strangers for putting them up at night and providing them with access to showers and food..
As of Tuesday evening, the pair had made it as far as Waterford. From there, it will be on to Cork, Galway, Belfast, and back to Dublin.
Follow their adventure on Facebook at Markandnoelsultramarathonforthehomeless.
To donate on their Just Giving Page donate HERE
All funds raised are going directly to the Simon Community.