Wednesday, August 28, 2013

CYCLING up and down Patrick’s Hill 100 times in one stint is a gruelling challenge most of us wouldn’t even consider.
But endurance cyclist Donncha Cuttriss, from Mayfield, has upped the ante after completing the challenge in six-and-a-half hours last September and now plans to ‘step it up a gear’ by cycling up Cork’s steepest hill 150 times without stopping next month, in aid of Abbey’s Wish to Walk.
Donncha, who is a former Elite Special Forces Irish Ranger, expects to be in top shape for the event on September 29 as he will have just completed the 1,300 mile 2,100km Race Around Ireland which he hopes to finish in six days — and which also includes a spin up Patrick’s Hill.
He says that finding the motivation to train for the challenges has been easy as he knows the money he raises through the events will go towards helping a special little girl.
Five-year-old Abbey McGeough from Dublin Hill is currently confined to a wheelchair, having been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in 2009, after she was born with Hydrocephalus — a blockage of fluid to the brian.
Her family have set up a campaign to raise 100,000 over the coming months so that she can have surgery in the US next April which is expected to enable her to walk.
Donncha, who is also the first Irish cyclist to have completed the 3,000 mile Race Across America, from California to Maryland, in just under 11 days, said he was inspired by Abbey’s story.
“I just like pushing myself and setting myself challenges and it’s a way of doing something good for charity,” Donncha, aged 41, said.
“The hill is inspirational as well — every Cork person has a story about it — and huge crowds turned out to support me last year so I’m hoping it’ll be even better this year as the challenge is even bigger.
“It’s only an 80 mile cycle but it’s a 22,000 ft climb if I cycle up it 150 times and I’m looking forward to repeating the challenge,” he said.
Abbey’s mum, Leslieann McGeough said she was blown away by the idea of what Donncha was setting out to do. It’s absolutely amazing, he just contacted us through Facebook and said he wanted to do something for Abbey,” she said.

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