Thursday 18 July 2019

Scottish couple run the coastline for charity

Ciara Galvin

Scottish pair Rachel Winter and Simon Clark recently braved the elements in Sligo during the cold snap while running the coastline of Ireland for charity.

From Findhorn, near Inverness, they set off on their adventure last August from Dublin to raise funds for Ecologia Youth Trust.

The Trust provides orphans and vulnerable youngsters with family homes, an education, school meals, child sponsorship, and mentoring in Kenya, Uganda, Russia and Scotland.

Arriving recently in Sligo, Rachel, Manager and Volunteers Co-ordinator with the charity and Simon, an architect, said they have been enjoying the county's hospitality.

Managing the 2,250 mile trek surviving on as little as €10 per day, with that figure now down to €5, the runners have been getting by thanks to the generosity of people all over Ireland.

"We sleep anywhere from cow sheds to laundry rooms and community centres. We're lucky that anywhere we stay people usually feed us too. The people of Sligo have been so kind," said Rachel.

As Rachel is currently carrying an injury she sets out in the mornings two hours before her partner in order to get a head start..

"Originally we thought we'd be finished by Christmas. We're keeping as close to the coast as possible so that's why it's taking us longer," Rachel explained.

Having completed an arduous 5,100-mile run around the British coastline in 2017 for the charity, raising over £25,000, Simon hopes this challenge will help raise £10,000 to continue the charity's work.

"Sligo is our tenth county...We've been getting around town visiting the tourist board and went to Sligo Yoga Centre where Tara was amazingly kind," said Simon.

Covering 15 to 25 miles per day, Rachel and Simon aim to finish up their navigation in early March right where they started on O'Connell Bridge, seven months after setting out on their coastal challenge.

Sligo Champion