It's no mean feat walking 100km but that is exactly what Billy Ryle and his supporters accomplished at the weekend as they took their final steps in their 10-day long fundraiser in aid of the Austin Stacks GAA club.
Billy and friends had been walking twice a day every day since Friday July 17 and he finished up on the Sunday just gone July 26; Billy had been splitting his walks into one session of 6km in the morning and a second walk of 4km in the evening.
Speaking to The Kerryman about his achievement, Billy said that while he enjoyed the walks, he's certainly looking forward to returning to his preferred method of exercise, sea swimming in Fenit!
"I completed the 100km walk on Sunday afternoon about 4.45pm. We did the regular 6km session on Sunday morning and the 20th session, the final 4km session in the afternoon," he said.
"It was a great feeling to step over the line for the last time. I am exhausted after ten consecutive days of walking and I'm looking forward to returning to my favourite leisure activity, sea swimming in Fenit," Billy continued.
"We were blessed by the weather. We had only one shower in all twenty sessions. Otherwise it was sunshine all the way. St Martin De Porres, The Dominican Black Friar of Lima, who is my patron Saint, never lets me down. He delivered again during the ten days of the walk," said Billy.
Speaking about the level of support that he received over the last 10 days, Billy said that certainly would not have been able to complete all 10 days without the support of all those who came out to walk with him.
"I don't think I would have made the 100km journey without the support of my faithful band of walkers who sustained me with stories, laughter and companionship over the ten days. My feet and I owe them a very sincere debt of gratitude. They even allowed me to be first to cross the finishing line, which was a lovely gesture," said Billy.
"We shared a lovely celebration of poetry, stories and good humour at The Bracker Memorial Monument at the end of the 100km walk to bring down the curtain on a memorable ten-day event. It was very special and I will always remember the entire adventure fondly," she continued.
This is just the first step in Billy - who chairman of Austin Stacks - attempts to raise €25,000 for the club so that they can build a new disability access path at the club grounds.
"The new path will prevent footfall damage on the pitches. It will also facilitate disability access to the far terrace in Connolly Park for those who are wheelchair bound or unsteady on their feet. The Árd Charraig terrace in Connolly Park is sheltered with sun, rain and wind at your back. I'd like to make it accessible to all supporters," said Billy.
The GoFundMe page can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-bracker-100km