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Sunday 15 July 2018

'The heat is mad, pure sunshine, but I'd rather it to the rain' - Irish man walking 557km across Ireland in heatwave for a good cause

Martin Sheridan of Mountnugent is completing the journey from Malin Head, Co. Donegal to Sneem, Co. Kerry

Martin Sheridan makes his way through Tyrone-- just one of the ten counties he will pass through on his 310 mile trek. Photo: Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge
Martin Sheridan makes his way through Tyrone-- just one of the ten counties he will pass through on his 310 mile trek. Photo: Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge

Kyle Ewald

While most of Ireland is lounging in the park, taking a tip in the ocean or firing up the BBQ to enjoy this heatwave, a Cavan man is walking 557km across the country in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.

Martin Sheridan (45) of Mountnugent began his journey last Saturday morning at Malin Head in Co. Donegal and will continue to walk around 40 miles a day until reaching the Ring of Kerry, Sneem Co. Kerry around noon on Sunday.

"It’s my first and last time doing the 310 miles," Martin joked.

"The heat is mad, but everything is pure sunshine, so I’d much prefer to do it in this weather than if it was lashing rain and cold."

"But I’ve been piling on the sunscreen and drinking lots of water, of course."

The massive trek will cover 10 counties including Donegal, Derry, Fermanagh, Cavan, Leitrim, Longford, Offaly, Tipperary, Limerick and Kerry.

Martin Sheridan with fellow walker Carmel Traynor and local Enda Gavin who donated to his cause in Ballinahown. Photo: Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge
Martin Sheridan with fellow walker Carmel Traynor and local Enda Gavin who donated to his cause in Ballinahown. Photo: Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge

Martin told Independent.ie he was completing the challenge for "a worthy cause and to continue to challenge myself."

Prior to his epic journey, Martin completed the Moylagh JFK 50 mile challenge—an annual fitness challenge in aid of the Irish Cancer Society—six times including this year.

The seasoned runner has also completed 14 marathons since 2013, but said he has never encountered such heat.

"I’ve been heading out around six every morning to beat the worst of the heat, and then we finish around five or six in the evening," Martin explained.

While he has been receiving loads of generous donations from people he has encountered along his way, Martin also has already raised over €2000 in honour of the Irish Cancer Society on an online donation campaign.

"Unfortunately, a lot of people have lost loved ones to cancer, so it’s nice to raise money for a cause a lot of people can relate to," Martin—who lost his father in law to the disease in 1990--  said of his fundraising for the cancer research and support charity. 

Martin poses outside the village of Ardcroney in Tipperary. Photo: Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge
Martin poses outside the village of Ardcroney in Tipperary. Photo: Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge

The father of two said he could not complete the journey without the mass amounts of support he has received from both the public and his family: "People will walk with me for parts of the journey—sometimes the entire day which is lovely."

"My wife has been incredible throughout the entire journey, too. Her job is tougher than mine because she’s in the hot car all day, but she been there to see me through it all."

To donate to Martin’s cause, click here.

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