Alice and The Hatter make their way to Rome
All roads led to Rome for local students Ailis Brassil from Dundalk and Thomas Dorian from Grangebellew last week as they took part in the DCU Beg, Steal or Borrow Challenge in aid of the Irish Cancer Society and Movember.
Using a combination of planes, trains and automobiles, the first year students managed to make their way to the Eternal City and raised around €2,000 for the sponsored charities.
'It was great fun but exhausting,' said Thomas, who like Ailis is doing a Master's degree at DCU having previously studied at St Patrick's.
'When we got to Dublin on Thursday, we found out that there were a number of surprise checkpoints which included London, Liverpool and Cardiff. We went back to our old campus at St Patrick's, wearing our Alice and Mad Hatter costumes and shook buckets to raise money.'
They then got a flight to Gatwick and travelled by train into the centre of the city to the checkpoint at Tower Bridge. 'We were then given the choice of going to Munich, somewhere in Sweden or Milan so we decided to go to Milan as at least it was in the same country as Rome.'
After that they made their way to Standsted but after discovering that the only available flights cost €300 , they decided to sleep the night there, collecting money so that they got get a flight the next morning. They also decided to ditch their costumes as they were too warm for travelling and boarded a flight to Italy with a number of other teams.
'We ended up spending 15 hours in the airport so we were exhausted by the time we got to Milan,'recalls Thomas.
The city's famous cathedral was their next stop, so after getting a train to the city centre, they walked to the Duomo to pass through the 'checkpoint' before boarding a train for a three hour journey to Rome.
On arrival in Rome, they got a taxi to the Trevi Fountain, the final stage of the challenge, reaching their destination at 5.30pm on Friday, twelve hours later than the winners.
'We were delighted to make it as some teams didn't. We had an amazing time, made some great friends and the craic was ninety,' said Thomas.