DURING the past few weeks, Sinead McKenna and Conor Leonard have been pulling on the running shoes in a two-month walking and running fundraising challenge to raise money for a number of different Cancer charities.
Sinead and Conor are very active members within the local community so whenever the Covid-19 lockdowns came into place, the duo decided to try and do something positive to keep their spirits up during this time.
For Sinead, she admits that this initiative has been a very welcome distraction for the family during this time and it has been great to give something back to the local charities which do great work in providing palliative care and support to people suffering from Cancer.
“We are all very outgoing people with football and music, and we were looking through Facebook for ideas and saw a lot of people had signed up for Cancer Research UK 56 miles run in February. I didn’t think we would have been fit to run but knew we could walk it so we decided we would walk 44 miles in January for Cancer Connect NI and 56 miles for Cancer Research UK in February, a total of 100 miles. So far, we have walked 147.3 miles in January and are running at least two miles every day in February.”
“It has been great to focus on something other than Covid and to support charities because their funding has been radically reduced in these times. Of course, we have the added bonus of getting fit and it has been great for our mental health and general well-being. It has allowed us to connect with people, all be it at a safe distance. We are extremely lucky to have great families within our club and it’s made a huge difference to a lot of people.”
At the time of going to press, Sinead and Conor have raised a whopping £2005 for Cancer Research UK and £1000 for Cancer Connect NI and looking back on the challenge so far, Sinead admits they have been shocked with the reaction they have got from people throughout the whole community.
“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people. The support and encouragement we get from the people we meet on our walk or run is unbelievable. A special mention must go to our GAA family.
These have spurred us on to run the 56 miles in February. It really makes a huge difference to Conor and his face lights up and off he goes. He is extremely proud when Kevin and Ciara Boyle, Buster Boyle and Seamus McMahon acknowledge his great work.”
The pair are on the home straight now with another two weeks left of their massive challenge and for Conor, he is already planning on how he is going to celebrate this momentous achievement!
“He has requested Chinese and Prosecco! We have a few surprises up our sleeves because he truly is an inspiration to us all. His commitment and determination never faltered and we are extremely proud of him.”
If you would like to donate to Sinead and Conor’s challenge, you can donate by messaging Sinead privately via Facebook.
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