Niall running Camino in 22 marathons in memory of his mother

Deborah Coleman

Published 01/05/2013 | 05:22

n The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which Niall will reach near the end of his 908km challenge. INSET: Niall setting off at Dublin airport.

A Wicklow man is taking on the challenge of running the entire 908km of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in memory of his late mother.

Niall Roche (31) from Dunlavin will run the equivalent of 22 marathons in three weeks in memory of his mother, Ronnie Fehily, who passed away following a brain tumour last year.

He and his family set up Brain Tumour Ireland, the first nationwide organisation dedicated to brain tumours in Ireland.

The aim of Niall's journey is to honour Ronnie's memory and to raise awareness about brain tumours and the work of Brain Tumour Ireland.

Niall's Camino challenge started in St Jean Pied de Port on Thursday and will see him reach Cape Finisterre which means 'end of the earth' during the third week of May.

Speaking before he set off along the grueling route, Niall explained why he chose this particular challenge.

'I had always thought I would take Mom on a holiday just to say thanks for everything she had done for me over the years. Since I'm not really much of a shopper or a spa weekend kind of guy I thought a few days walking the Camino in Spain might be something we would both enjoy and would be a good way to spend some time together; walking and chatting. But you always think you have all the time in the world and as too often happens life got in the way, the holiday never happened and time unfortunately ran out for Mom.'

From initial plans to walk part of the route Niall took it a step further and made up his mind to run instead.

'In tribute to Mom's strength and determined spirit, and with the hopes of raising awareness and funds for Brain Tumour Ireland, I have decided to run all 908km of the Camino past Santiago to the coast. My final destination, Finisterre, means end of the earth, and so I have called the challenge "To the End of the Earth for Ronnie and Brain Tumour Ireland",' he said.

Niall, who will turn 32 during the challenge, will maintain a blog page to keep supporters at home in Ireland up to date with his progress at

Anyone wishing to support the challenge by donating to Brain Tumour Ireland can do so at Niall's My Charity Page.

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