Brian Gallogly from Crenagh is part of a team of four members of the Defence Forces who are preparing to undertake a gruelling challenge later this month to help raise funds for Pieta House.
Starting in the village of Conegal in County Carlow on December 28, the team aims to walk the 127km-long Wicklow Way in less than 48 hours, finishing at Marlay Park in Dublin; a daunting task at the best of times, but even moreso in winter.
“My friend Ronan Guerin had gone through a bad time after his uncle took his own life a few years ago,” he said.
“I was working with him in the Curragh when he came up with the idea of the walk and decided on the Wicklow Way.
“We’re doing it in December because it’s the worst time of the year for suicides, so hopefully it’ll provide added awareness.”
Having run the Dublin marathon this year, Paul is under no illusions of the task ahead, and he is currently sticking to a strict fitness régime.
“We plan to have all the heavy training done in the next few weeks.
“Then in the week beforehand we’ll be hydrating heavily and upping our food intake.
“When you’re hillwalking, dehydration isn’t as obvious as when you’re running.”
With 48 hours to complete the task, Paul adds there will be little room for rest on the way.
“There’ll be no sleep and we’ll only have four one-hour stops for food,” he revealed. “On the first half of the route we’ll be able to pick up a bit of pace, but later on it’ll get more technical and there’ll be a lot of navigation involved.
“We set the 48-hour target in case we need to stop and rest, but we’re actually hoping to finish it in about 40 hours.”
Brian concluded by saying all proceeds from donations will go to Pieta House.
“We have sponsorship cards, so people can give the money to us directly, or they can donate online through our MyCharity.ie page.”
Anyone wishing to make an online donation can do so by visiting the following web address: http://www.mycharity.ie/event/127k_wicklow_way_for_suicide/.