Mary's heading off for another lap!
Arklow athlete hopping on her bike to do a lap of the country
Arklow athlete Mary Nolan Hickey is taking to the roads once again for another Lap of the Map - this time on a bicycle.
Following the unprecedented success of last year's RNLI fundraising initiative where she ran solo around the coast of Ireland and raised over €75,000, Mary will soon depart her home town for another lap, but this time she will cycle anti-clockwise.
'I am planning to set off on April 14, as that was the day I got back to Arklow last year so it has a special meaning to me. I have a bike which has been sponsored and I expect that this lap won't take as long as last year's but it will definitely be a challenge as while I have done triathlons in the past, I'm not a natural cyclist,' Mary says.
In a change to the original Lap of the Map, Mary will cover the route in 14 days sections, taking a seven day break back in Arklow in between, due to personal and business commitments.
'I know what we achieved last year probably won't be repeated but I would love to top up what was raised for the RNLI. I had a wonderful team without whom I'm certain that amount would not have been raised. This time I have a smaller team so it will be a challenge but I am looking forward to it and I'm excited about setting off,' she says.
Mary and her helpers are currently finalising her route and time-line and she says she would love to see people on the outskirts of small towns, join her when it is safe to do so.
'Safety will be paramount so I will only travel a route if it is safe to do so, and I will walk through any towns which I feel are dangerous in terms of traffic and crowds - whatever feels comfortable really,' she said.
Mary has her bike sorted, but is currently on the lookout for safety gear including a helmet and lights.
Anyone who would like to sponsor Mary is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 086 3045418.