Emma Greene from Edgeworthstown and her friend Rachel McGrath beat 38 other DCU students to win the college’s ‘Race to the Rebel County’ event last Friday.
The event saw 20 teams “beg, borrow or steal” their way from Dublin to Cork without spending a single penny, with no pre-planning allowed.
The pairs took off at 10am, having four checkpoints to sign in at along the way. Reaching the final check point in a time of seven hours 50 seconds, Emma and Rachel were the winning team, raising €700 in the process.
“We were very nervous before we set off,” Emma said. “But because we raised the most money we had a 15 minute head start and that calmed our nerves.”
“The first check-in point was the GPO so we got there without any real hassle, we got a free taxi. Our next checkpoint was Carlow and we got there on a bus with no real bother.”
Despite the head start, other teams soon caught up. “We realised then we were neck-and-neck with another team when we reached Carlow. I thought we would never get out of Carlow but we got a lift with two ladies called Lisa and Fiona as far as Kilkenny.”
From there they hitched a lift to the next checkpoint in Waterford and had a gruelling wait before another generous stranger, a Pakistani man called Sajahad, agreed to bring them closer to Cork.
Sajahad was due to bring his car to the garage but the mechanic called and cancelled, leaving him free for the rest of the day. “He was debating whether or not to bring us the whole way to Cork. When we told him what we were doing was for The Irish Cancer Society he said both of his parents had cancer and it was a charity close to his heart. He agreed to bring us to our final checkpoint in Cork. I think he got more excited than we did.”
As if securing the transport for the final leg wasn’t enough, the highlight of the day was yet to come; “the high of the day was when we were about half an hour from Cork City and we overtook a Bus Éireann bus and we saw the two girls who were ahead of us the whole way sitting pretty in the front seat.”
“We were ecstatic when we won, we didn’t know if we definitely had it but once we got there we were so happy”, Emma concluded.