Monday 18 December 2017

Irish team of celebrities to compete against UK in Sports Relief’s biggest ever challenge

Former Irish rugby international Shane Byrne training for the Sports Relief challenge.
Former Irish rugby international Shane Byrne training for the Sports Relief challenge.
The Irish team sailing in the Irish Sea in preparation for the 1000 mile race on land and sea.

CELEBRITY Gardener Diarmuid Gavin. TV presenter Craig Doyle, Sonia O’Sullivan and Shane Byrne will lead a team representing Ireland in a massive Sports Relief challenge.

The Irish team will compete against celebrities from England, Scotland and Wales that will race over 1000 miles around the UK and Ireland in the biggest ever Sports Relief challenge.

The competing teams will start simultaneously in their home cities of Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh and London as they run, row, cycle and sail their way clockwise around the UK and Ireland for eight days in March, finishing on St Patrick’s Day.

The Irish celebrities completing include Craig Doyle, former Irish rugby union Captain Paddy Johns, Sonia O'Sullivan, Shane Byrne, former professional cyclist Joe Barr and sailor Ian Moore.

The teams are currently training for the challenge. The Irish leg of the race will see the teams cycle and run from Dublin to Larne for the course of 130 miles. The departure point of St Stephen’s Green will see the teams run past the Bank of Ireland and Trinity College, cross the Liffey, run up O'Connell street and change to bikes when they reach the Spire of Dublin.

Departing Dublin on their bikes, they will head north on the N2 towards Ashbourne, and on through Ardee to Drumnacarra and Newry. The team will cross the border to Glenavy and head through to Larne. The last mile will be along the foreshore finishing at the base of the Chaine Memorial.

From there they will sale 50 miles across the Irish Sea to Stranraer and the next leg of the race. Sports Relief are hoping to raise their biggest ever amount from the race that will be covered on the BBC every night for its duration.

Comic David Walliams has already raised more than £1 million for this year's appeal from his 140-mile swim along the River Thames last year.

And Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton is currently on course to raise a fortune through her 500-mile trek to the South Pole - skiing, cycling and kite-skiing for up to 14 hours a day.

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