Tuesday 16 January 2018

Over 500 cyclists to take part in 100km charity race in aid of rare disorder research

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Hundreds of cyclists are set to take part in a charity race next month that aims to raise funds to further research on a rare degenerative, neuro-muscular disorder.

Friedreich's Ataxia (FA), which affects a minority of people in Ireland, impacts the muscle coordination and body functions of sufferers.

Organiser Barry Rice (34), who was diagnosed with the disorder in 2013, is confident that the fundraising event  "will have something for everyone" - and is expecting some 500 participants.

"We’ve designed this event to suit everybody from novice, leisure cyclists, looking for a fun day out to the hardened pros who will think nothing of a 100 km ride on a weekend," the Dubliner told independent.ie.

Cyclists of all ages and abilities are welcome to take part in the cycle in Ashbourne, Co Meath, on Saturday June 20.

Read more: Dublin man with rare disorder thanks man who enabled safe return of specialised bike through 'tug-of-war' with gang of youths

Participants can choose from one of three routes, distances ranging from 13km to 100km, for an entry fee of €30.

The Ratoath Wheelers are also helping to organise the charity leisure cycle in aid of Freiedreicht’s Ataxia Research Ireland (FARA) & Ataxia Ireland.

Funds raised will primarily go towards research into finding a cure or treatment for FA as well as providing assistance for those living with a genetic ataxia. 

Last summer, the inaugural cycle was hugely successful, raising some €15,000 for Ataxia related charities.

This year, Dublin-based firm Horizon Pharma, which is involved in clinical studies regarding possible treatments for FA, has already provided €5,000 in sponsorship for the event. 

Further details of the event:

* All routes will be aided by support & guidance vehicles, and the longer routes will feature designated rest stations. 

* The 38k & 100k routes will get underway at 9:30am.  The 13k route will start at 10:30am.  

* Entry fee includes free limited-edition, Cycle Ataxia t-shirt (subject to registering by 12th June), a light breakfast, refreshments during the cycle, and a full lunch afterwards. 

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