POPULAR Northside native Denis O’Gorman has just finished walking eight marathons for the charity Cork Missing Persons Search and Recovery, a group very close to his heart.
Denis explains how the adventure came about.
“I normally walk a lot in the summer, and my good friends Norma Thompson and Deborah McArdle, who I know from the Special Olympics put the idea in my head.
"They encouraged me to do something for charity so after losing my good friend Tomas Rawley a few years ago, we selected the Cork Missing Persons and Recovery organisation as the charity I would walk for.
"I originally was to walk four marathons, however, I surpassed that distance early so I decided to walk four more.
"I would like to thank his family, Deborah, Norma and all the people who donated money, as I was very aware that money is very tight with people in today’s climate,” Denis said.
Deborah McArdle, who is a mentor to Denis as a basketball table official, and the Special Olympics was full of praise for Denis.
“Denis soon will start the Athlete Leadership program, where he will mentored by Norma Thompson who also helped with this challenge.
"Denis was already walking every day. I myself was currently doing a running/walking challenge in May for Chernobyl Children Ireland, and Denis was walking more every day than I had to do as part of the challenge, so I thought that he could do a fundraiser for a charity linking it to his walking.
“The first target we put was €200, we knew that the walking was going to benefit Denis, both mentally and physically, and was also a way to make people more aware of the charity.
"Also this would be a great benefit for the volunteers in the organisation, as the fundraising was just a bonus."
Denis reached €200 within days and we've had to increase the target four times along his campaign. His current target is €1,000.
“The challenge was for the month of May.
"At first we thought that the distance of four marathons was going to be a push to achieve but Denis covered this, all within the restricted distance, in the first two weeks.
"We increased it to the distance of eight marathons and Denis did this in great style.
"Denis is raising funds for Cork City missing Persons Search and Recovery in memory of his close friend Thomas Rawley, who was a great mentor to him, and a great basketball man.
"Finally, I would like to congratulate Denis on this great achievement, and I know Denis has a special place of the basketball community in Cork, however, his Special Olympic family are just as proud of all his accomplishments," Deborah added.