“You’ve actually lost your mind.” my mam said. “Have you even thought this through?” The answer was, as always, that I had thought it through but perhaps not as much as I should have. The comments on Facebook shared the same broad theme: “Have you any idea what you’ve let yourself in for Oliver?” “Nice knowing you Ollie!” “Ehh, good luck? Madman…” The plan that elicited said response is fairly simple. Run a bunch of Irish marathons. Well, 20 of them actually. Within one year.
On the 10th of March 2012, I’ll begin by running in the ‘”West of Ireland’ series of marathons, which starts at Maam Cross in Connemara. This will kick-start a string of runs that will hopefully end slightly over nine months later with the Clonakilty Marathon and the end of the ‘West of Ireland’ series in December. Along the way, there will be a somewhat strenuous period in May during which I’ll be running six marathons, including three in as many days at the beginning of the month (Ballyhoura, Limerick and Belfast).
Further details will be posted up over the coming months on this blog as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Mycharity.ie and YouTube (if I can just figure out how to edit video!). This endeavour is naturally in aid of a very good cause indeed, namely to raise funding for Reachout.com (Inspire Ireland Foundation) which is a charitable organisation providing assistance and information on mental health to young people, helping them to lead happier lives. In their own words:
The Inspire Ireland Foundation is part of a network of charitable organisations that aims to improve young people’s mental health and well-bring through online services. It’s flagship programme is ReachOut.com, an online service that helps young people through tough times. It’s a quality mental health information site that is a safe and confidential space where young people can go and access information if they are worried about themselves or a friend going through a tough time. Inspire Ireland delivers several other key programmes including PleaseTalk, a college and higher education initiative that promotes the message that talking is a sign of strength while also providing an online directory of support services for students, and Get on Board, an advocacy campaign that aims to get youth mental health on the political agenda.