In recent years, there have been a number of tragedies in our lives and the lives of people very close to us that have left us with grief and doubt, an experience all too many of us have gone through. Like many people we struggled to know how to respond, but alongside helping those close to us, we decided to do as much as we could to raise funds and awareness for Pieta House.
Our skills lie in challenging events, so we set out to challenge ourselves as often as possible. We could only hope that people would get behind us and with huge generosity, they did. School friends, teammates, family, colleagues, strangers, all sorts of people heard and saw what we were up to and responded more than we could have expected, thank you all to each and every one of them. We were aware that we were asking a lot of people and we knew we were shouting loudly, but if we didn’t then we wouldn’t be helping anyone.
We completed all but two of the challenges, one because of dangerous weather and the other because of injury. That left us with 12 completed challenges, including the highest mountains in mainland Spain, the UK, Ireland and Russia, which is also Europe’s highest. We also ran two marathons each and to get to them we ran two 10ks and 2 half-marathons each, as well as over 800k of running in training, plus plenty of hiking and gym sessions. Edel also tacked on early morning pool sessions for a few months so she could swim a mile in one go for one of the challenges. We think we can stand over our record for the year even in the face of the incomplete challenges.
Singling people out for special mention is fraught with danger, it’s too easy to forget someone for the few minutes you’re typing, but there are a few we couldn’t possibly not name out loud. Isabel and Olive for lifts to and from airports and the huge help with the quiz among other things, Maurice and Malachy for the PA we used, the people of Inniskeen for the support at the quiz and just as importantly, for every “fair play” as we ran around the roads to get ready for the next event, the sponsors and donors for the prizes for that quiz, my colleagues for their donations and help with setting the quiz (seriously, recruit them for quiz teams, they made it impossible for me to fox them!), Crory’s Outdoor and Lifestyle for the repeated sharing on Facebook and Iain Miller of Unique Ascent and Bren Whelan of Donegal Climbing for very generous offers of help with challenges. I’m absolutely certain I’ve left out someone that should be on that list and my utmost apologies, but it’s only a temporary omission and we haven’t forgotten anyone.
The appeal remains open for a while and anyone who wants to can donate here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kevin-duffy8
Just as importantly as the fundraising, maybe even more, we also set out to make people aware of the work of Pieta House. It’s an absolutely vital service and one we’ve been proud to support in any way we could. You can find out more about them here and contact details if you’d like to get in touch with them http://www.pieta.ie/ If you think you should call them, there’s no reason not to.
We’re grateful to you all for your support through the year. We will do other events here and there for Pieta House in the future, but we’re looking forward to the break for a while, just a few lie-ins and boxsets before we get the itch to be off again.
Thank you all so, so much again, Kevin and Edel.