independent

Saturday 20 September 2014

Paramedic puts pedal to the metal

Olivia Ryan

Published 09/08/2014 | 12:00

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Tony Murphy

A DUNDALK-BASED paramedic is using pedal power to raise vital funds for the Breakthrough Cancer Research charity.

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Tony Murphy will embark on a cycling challenge which will take him along historical and scenic routes through every county in Ireland, covering in excess of 1,780km.

The Ardee native has signed up to participate in four cycling tours, which will see him join other cyclists as they pedal their way north and south of the border, aiming to raise €500k for Breakthrough Cancer Research.

Tony explained that the cycle tours are just one part of the overall All-Ireland Endurance Challenge which is made up of four regional marathons, four regional cycle tours and a swim of part of the River Shannon.

'I will be just doing the cycling part of the challenge, which begins in Galway this Saturday,' said Tony.

The distance being covered by Tony and the other cyclists is over half of the entire Tour De France route.

'We're hoping to average about 170 to 180 kilometres every day in order to finish the challenge in 10 days. It will be tough, but I am looking forward to it. I've been doing a lot of training.'

An avid cyclist, the Louth lifesaver is part of the local cycling club in Ardee, where he first heard about the challenge and was so inspired by it and the good cause it will benefit.

'My father has been diagnosed with cancer, and is very ill at the moment. So I really wanted to do this for the Breakthrough Cancer Research charity.'

Tony only took up cycling just over four years ago, initially, he admits, 'to lose weight . . . but then I really began to enjoy it'.

In that time, he has dropped five stone, and developed an all-consuming hobby.

During the cycle endurance, he has also volunteered to act as paramedic if needed along the route.

Having already raised €4,500 for the cancer charity, he is appealing for further donations through his Mycharity.ie page, under 'Tony Murphy'.

'I really want to thank my family and work colleagues for all their donations and encouragement, and Eamon Martin from Wheels and Heels, Ardee, for kindly sponsoring all my bike components and servicing.'

For further information on the challenge, check out the website www.endurancechallenge.ie

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