A Cork teen has been taking part in Breakthrough Cancer Research’s 2km lockdown challenge ‘The Race that Nearly Wasn’t’.
14-year-old Ben O’Regan has swapped his beloved GAA for running, raising a total of €700 in aid of cancer research to date.
Ben has been taking part in the virtual race which sees him run 2km each day for 20 days within the 2km radius travel restriction of his own home.
He has been mapping out his routes creatively spelling out the word ‘donate’ and creating smiley faces on his progress tracker.
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.
The Cork-based cancer research charity launched the lockdown challenge earlier this month 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.
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.
Speaking about Ben’s fundraising efforts, Campaigns Manager at Breakthrough said: "Ben blew us all away with his creativity when he did special-shaped runs during the challenge.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to Ben for his fantastic efforts and support.
“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.
“So, we are encouraging everyone who was planning to run, jog or walk in a race for us, and others who have never even contemplated doing a charity race, to sign up for this virtual lockdown challenge today.
There is still time to sign up to ‘The Race that Nearly Wasn’t’ on www.theracethatnearlywasnt.ie.