Drung DRUNG

Tour of Ulster. Enniskillen to Armagh. Wednesday, August 13th

It is done. This big target was set back in late March, and today it has been ticked off the list.
After a most delicious breakfast at the Enniskillen Hotel served by the most professional & friendly staff I’ve ever come across, Brian, our resident mechanic, was keen that to put some oil on the chains, after horriffic rain yesterday.
An earlier 9am start to coincide with a rising westerly wind, pushed us along briskly lo lunch in Castleblaney and our final destination back to Armagh City Hotel. We took it easy today. It was a day to savour after two tough ones. Marion and her cousin Marguerite were waiting for us, and after photographs and a very short chat among the Ulster Warriors we went our separate ways. We intended staying longer, but the cavalcade was moving on to Dublin for the next phase, and they looked like some beauty-sleep was badly needed…

Thanks
I want to thank many people. In no particular order: Niall the head honcho, Tommy & Kieran on lead van, Catherine for the food stops (especially the Bassett sweets!) and Brian our mechanic. They watched over us. They organised our bike-day from top to bottom, and were fantastic.
I’d like to thank all who donated to my charity page or gave me cash, and finally I want to record my appreciation to my ten bike buddies for good safe cycling over the three days. Unfortunately all ten were were no craic at all. As dry as sticks, they were…but, sure, isn’t it the fundraising that’s most important?

I am back with these no-craic-at-all-at-all cyclists for the Tour of Munster on Sunday and Monday next. Report to follow.
Highlights:
The staff at the Enniskillen Hotel
Sun &  tailwind
Rolling countryside of Cavan & Monaghan
A little extra excursion around some lonely unmarked roads
Tailwind. Did I mention tailwind?
And last but not least…the staff at the hotel
The village of Drung. I noticed that the Irish and English spelling is exactly the same. One in italics the other in CAPITALS. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to figure out which was which. Does anybody know of any other placenames with this feature?

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Catherine prwsents Kieran with pretty pink carnations.

No craic? Well, I hope you weren’t fooled by that!

So, that’s it from me, and that’s it from Ulster. I need to go watch the Irish ladies rugby world cup semi-final against England.
You’ve had an overload of Spring Forwarding, and it’s important for you to wait a wee while for the next wee story.

Páraig / Pat (whatever)

The Big “C”

There was a time not too long ago in Ireland when the word Cancer was not mentioned out loud. The shortened “Big C” was the phrase used my so many. Thinking about it now, I’m struck by the fact that “BIG” was included. Definitely, it is a BIG disease; for certain it was magnified even further in our society because it was the BIG untreatable in most cases, and surely it developed a larger-than-life meaning for many who suffered and for those who watched loved-ones crumble from health to death.

Today, things are different. Different, but in some ways the same. Even though it is now talked about more freely and because the prognosis for many forms of cancer is so much better, there is still a terror attached to this disease. However, as a society we are becoming more accustomed to challenging our terrors. I have no doubt that a significant aspect of this change is due to our increased understanding of the role of science, and our strong belief that we do possess the means to find the necessary solutions. In this regard, RESEARCH is the key. It’s not just me saying that. We live in times where we now understand that, while it is critical that we provide services for those who have cancer and for their carers, it is equally critical that we focus on our attempts to treat the causes and not the symptoms.

I noticed a link recently to National Breast Cancer Research Institute. They do great work. In fact, recently three members of Dungarvan Cycling Club (Emma, Anthony & Beanie) completed Race The Rás, together with hundreds more, to raise funds for and awareness of breast cancer research.

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National Breast Cancer Research Institute. Key words: AWARENESS and RESEARCH

And with that in mind, I turn my thoughts back to Endurance Challenge.  As my preparations for August’s Endurance Challenge 2068 begin in earnest, I thought I’d share my profile with my readers. Having met with Niall at the recent Comeragh Tour in Ballymacarbery, I shared with him my commitment to blog the event. Several days later, following a phone call, I was nominated as a “participant of interest” (god, just imagine……..a retired oul school-teacher!) and I submitted the profile below. The purpose is to help in promoting the event and to encourage others to sign up to take part.

This is a REAL challenge to raise funds for REAL cancer RESEARCH

This is a REAL challenge to raise funds for REAL cancer RESEARCH

PRESS RELEASE

My name is Pádraig de Búrca, from County Waterford. I will be at the start line in Armagh in August, and I urge you to consider joining with me (for this section or others of your choosing )and hundreds of others, in our efforts to raise much-needed funds for Breakthrough Cancer Research.
I took to cycling in 1999 after several injuries playing badminton. I am a member and former secretary, PRO and chairman of Dungarvan Cycling Club. While I am competitive, my true enjoyment comes from the many sportives I’ve done. My favourite, of course has to be the Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford, but my seven Wicklow 200’s, Mizen-to-Malin and Alpe d’Huez rank very highly also.
I usually run during the autumn / winter, and recently graduated to several half-marathons. I run (towards the back of the pack) with West Waterford AC. This year I decided to keep both my cycling and running going side-by-side, and when I joined my local Tried & Tested Triathlon Club, I learned to swim in order to take part in their inaugural local triathlon. As soon as this is completed, my focus will shift back to the bike and I will be researching old and new challenges in the run-up to my three-day Tour of Ulster (August 11-13). Definitely on my list is the Tour of Meath in July, and the Tour of Kildare, together with longer spins with my local clubs.
I am a retired primary school principal teacher. When I retired, I had decided not to commit myself to any new ventures for a full six months. I did have some requests, because people know that I work hard when I do make a commitment. Almost to the day, when my six-month moratorium was completed, I spotted a Facebook post about Endurance Cycling 2068. It sat on the back burner for a few weeks, and then I decided to register. Why this one? Well, I will be cycling in memory of my brother-in-law Jim, who died last February. I am thinking that it will be an emotional time for me.
I also made a decision recently to keep an active blog about this event, my training, together with a mish-mash of other bits & pieces. I’d love you to follow me for updates. More importantly, I’d love if you would consider participating in any section of the challenge. You’re not a runner or a cyclist? Well, why not consider organising an event? The good people back in the Midleton office will be only too happy to advise. Sure, if it comes to it, so will I…
It’s likely that many readers have or have had some experience of cancer in their family. This is my opportunity to make a big commitment to a big cause. Finally, I feel that I will get from it more than I give. So could you! Check it at Endurance challenge 2068. As Mrs. Doyle says….go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on…
Go on! Join with us.
Please feel free to make a donation however small to my JustGiving page or MyCharity.ie

Are you a Twitterer? Follow me @deburcapadraig

ENDS

 

I would be very interested in hearing from others who have registered for this event.

Are you a cyclist / runner? Have you or your family been affected by cancer?

 

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FINALLY, if you notice any typos here, please let me know so that I can fix & update.

Endurance Challenge 2068

I’m sitting in the car at Ballyduff Lower soccer club grounds, near Waterford My nephew Gary is training with the Waterford Development Squad and I’ve a bit of time to kill. So its my chance to do an Endurance Challenge 2068 update. The event takes place over 22 days in August and when you read what’s involved it will give you that gasp factor! Here goes: 120km swim of the river Shannon, 4 marathons (one in each province) and 1780km of biking taking in each of the 32 counties. This is truly the triathlon endurance event of the year! A small number will participate in the entire programme. I will be going to the start line in Armagh for the three-day Tour of Ulster section. This comprises over 470km in the saddle as the expected 350 cyclists travel to Derry on day 1, down to Enniskillen on day 2, and returning to Armagh on the final day.
Online sponsorship charity page is up and running (two, in fact): MyCharity.ie and JustGiving, and I want to take this chance to thank those who have sponsored me already. Go raibh míle maith agaibh!
I’ve had several requests to include payment via Paypal. This is a very simple option if you have a PayPal account. simply send a donation of your choice to pmm5pla@gmail.com Some funds have been donated here already. Again, my sincere thanks. I intend updating my charity pages when I get a chance later.
Finally, for now, why not take the opportunity to follow my blogging for this event? Simply insert your email address on the homepage to get instant updates; or check back here whenever you want.
I’m off now to watch the rest of the training session.

Sponsorship card arrived today from head office.