Students take long way around to raise €40,000
THEY have braved freezing temperatures, driving rain and the odd crash – and a group of transition-year students are still only half way on their 'Long Way Around' Ireland.
The 24 students left Glenstal Abbey School in Co Limerick a week ago on a gruelling charity cycle that will see them pedal their way around Ireland to raise €40,000 for Crumlin Children's Hospital in Dublin.
The boys are averaging around 60km each day and, when not in the saddle, they are walking through towns and villages with their buckets collecting donations.
Yesterday, they arrived in Dublin, having cycled through terrible conditions in the Glen of the Downs in Co Wicklow.
Asked what was the most difficult part of the two-week challenge, Tim Costigan (16) replied: "Cycling in the wet and the cold is just horrible and the wind slows you down so much. Oh, and the roads in Kerry."
Several students came a cropper this week, after a flat tyre for one rider caused him to slow down, only for those cycling behind to plough straight into him and over the handlebars.
Despite a few bumps and bruises, the students were in good spirits as they collected on Grafton Street.
Teacher Paul Huntley said they are hoping to raise around €40,000 over the course of their two-week trip, which will see them head to Drogheda, Navan and Cavan today, before heading west to Roscommon, Mayo and then Galway before finishing back in Limerick on Good Friday.
"It's exhausting because we're constantly on the road, living out of a bag," he said. "We have two groups and each group cycles around 60km a day, sometimes more, while the other group is ahead in the towns and villages collecting money."
Further details on the students' charity cycle, including how to donate, can be found on www.longwayaround.ie.