Help Simon achieve his goal, to raise £10,000 for marginalised children and young people in Kenya, Uganda and Russia, by running 2,000 miles around the coast of Ireland.
Track Simon’s route live!
Simon and Rachel have been running now for more than 4 months and throughout Christmas and the New Year they have been tackling the cold and wintery conditions. Together they have run over 1500 miles and raised more than £4,000! Together they are heading northwards on the westerly coast and spent New Year’s Eve in Belmullet, Co Mayo. The scenery may be beautiful but the challenge is tough! Not only has the majority of their route been off-road, Simon and Rachel have endured illness, exhaustion and extremely tough conditions. Despite the love and generosity of the people they are meeting along they way they are still spending several nights a week sleeping outdoors and staying dry is difficult. However, they have also had many adventures and met fantastic people along the way. They have experienced everything from cold-water swimming with seals to climbing the tallest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohil.
One of the people they met early in their journey was Mary Nolan Hickey; a woman who took on the same task as Simon and Rachel at the start of the 2018 to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. They have shared some wonderful stories of the generosity of the people they have met with the Ecologia team while they have been away. Many members of the public have gone out of their way to help them achieve their goal by offering accommodation and food. Rachel said:
On Saturday, we arrived after a 19-mile day of running in the rain and wind. We were feeling pretty positive but achey and in need of a shower/laundry after a few days of running and camping so Simon walked into the first hotel we came to [the Arklow Bay Hotel], described what we were doing and asked if there was anything they could do to help. Without batting an eyelid, the duty manager sat us down, asked us about Ecologia and went off to organise tea and a room, where they let us rest for the last two nights with breakfast included! Amazing!
This isn’t the only gesture of good will that they have received. While in Wexford, Rachel and Simon received a great reception from the Riverbank House Hotel. Rachel said:
Colm, the manager, was so lovely – he said he would love to help but they were full and that all he could do for us was offer us a meal (which we were super happy with). He said he would let us have a room for free if a booking fell through. Which it did! Colm was so funny – he seemed genuinely happy that he could help us, even though he had lost a booking! And we were so relieved to be able to get a hot shower and a bed and breakfast in the morning, while still sticking to our budget of £10 a day (our money – all donations go to Ecologia)!
Whilst in County Waterford, Simon and Rachel found themselves in a downpour of rain and stumbled across John Wheelan’s Bar in Stradbelly. Simon said:
At 11 [John] asks where we are staying as it’s raining. He has a shed, we thought garden shed, and said yes. The only server behind the bar, he whisks us into his car, speeding inland to his shed. I feel like smuggled goods not knowing our destination; he drops us at the end of the lane of his farm with instructions, then speeds away to serve the next Murphys. We walk, turn and shine the light – it’s a cow shed, with fresh straw and cow pats.
It seems that everyone who Simon and Rachel pass want to offer a hand in supporting their fundraising task. You can read more about all the businesses and organisations that have supported the running duo by going to the Our Supporters page.
Want to know more? Find about why Simon and Rachel are taking on this monumental run here.
We will bring you updates of their journey as it unfolds. Keep checking back for the latest news and articles about Simon’s progress here.