A Cork-based cancer research charity has launched a lockdown challenge to raise much needed funds for pioneering cancer research.
Following the cancellation of racing and walking events as a result of the spread of Covid-19, Breakthrough Cancer Research is challenging people to an alternative form of completing a race.
‘The Race that Nearly Wasn't’ event will see people take part in a virtual race from their own homes by running, jogging or walking 2km each day for 20 days.
The aim is to have completed the equivalent of a marathon by the end of the month while getting 20 minutes of exercise each day.
Breakthrough is encouraging people to get creative with their clocking their kilometres, all while adhering to the current restrictions surrounding exercising within the 2km radius limit of your own locality and social distancing.
The charity hopes to raise €40,000 for cancer research by encouraging 2,000 people to sign up at a cost of €20 and asking everyone who signs up to nominate five other friends or colleagues to do the same.
Campaigns Manager at Breakthrough, Eoghan O’Sullivan, said: “2020 has already been a year like no other. And never has the value and need for research, and the vulnerability of cancer patients, been felt so starkly.
“Breakthrough’s work is 100% funded through public donations and we have an ambitious target of €2 million for 2020. Our work, the research we fund, and the treatments we help find are in jeopardy without continuing support from the public.
“Unfortunately, the reality is that cancer continues to kill one person every hour in Ireland, every day, every year. This fundraiser will help to keep us on track to raise the essential money needed for cancer research to achieve survival for all cancers.”
Cancer survivor Lucy Fahy from Drimoleague had to postpone a charity walk from West Cork to Dublin as she is at high-risk of catching the Covid-19 virus.
She is now at home cocooning which she said is a “lonely time without much to focus on”.
Ms Fahy is now taking part in ‘The Race that Nearly Wasn’t’ event and said that it helps her focus on being healthy and gives her something to plan for each day.
“I'm lucky as I live in the countryside so keeping my social distance is easy for me anyway. Some days I’m going to do laps around the field next to my house, and if the weather is bad, I’ll clock the kilometres inside by walking lengths of the corridor,” she said.
To sign up and track your progress, log on to theracethatnearlywasnt.ie and download the app.