O Muircheartaigh launches Race the Ras

Broadcasting legend legend Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh last week launched the 2012 ‘Race The Rás’ Charity Cycle in Croke Park, an event in which former Leitrim greats Declan Darcy and Colin Regan are taking place.

Broadcasting legend legend Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh last week launched the 2012 ‘Race The Rás’ Charity Cycle in Croke Park, an event in which former Leitrim greats Declan Darcy and Colin Regan are taking place.

A host of former top GAA stars joined forces in Croke Park today to officially launch the Race The Rás charity cycle. This is the second year of the race with almost 150 amateur cyclists and a host of current and former GAA stars lining up to bike across Ireland from May 20-27. All the money raised will go to the National Breast Cancer Research Institute and Aware.

Race the Rás is being kindly sponsored by Tesco Ireland and supported by AIB, Elvery’s and Renault amongst others.

The cyclists will start three hours ahead of the professionals each morning and will travel through thirteen different counties, with stage finishes in the towns of Kilkenny, Gort, Westport, Bundoran, Buncrana, Killybegs, Cootehill and Skerries on the final day.

Already confirmed to support or take part in the cycle include three-time All-Star, Eddie Brennan, Derek Lyng, James McGarry (Kilkenny), Willie Joe Padden, John Maughan (Mayo), Kevin Cassidy, Martin McHugh, Tony Boyle (Donegal), Ollie Canning. Sean O Domhnaill (Galway), Tom Brewster (Fermanagh) rugby legend Mick Galwey, Paul Earley (Roscommon), Evan Kelly (Meath), Ronan Carolan (Cavan), Eamon O’Hara (Sligo), and Ciaran Whelan, Coman Goggins and Paul Clarke (Dublin).

Broadcasting legend Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh was on hand to launch the charity race. “I am delighted to be here today to officially launch ‘Race The Rás which we hope to be an even bigger success than last year. I would ask for those to donate no matter how small as it will make a huge difference to INST and Aware.”

Kilkenny hurling legend, Eddie Brennan spoke of the endurance needed in order to undertake the cycle - “This is a serious undertaking. Each of the eight stages averages 146kms in length - 1,168kms in total - and will take over five and a half hours to complete, so the eight-day cyclists will be on the bike for almost 50 hours in total.”

Chairman of Aware, David Carton described this event as an important one for the organisation. “In many ways, the challenging nature of the Rás echoes the challenge so many individuals and families face when they journey through depression. We hope people all over Ireland will support this event and the cyclists who are taking part. We wish them well. Money raised from this will help us to get more information and support to people who need it through our website.”

Chairperson of National Breast Cancer Research Institute, Anna Ó Coinne said: “NBCRI are delighted to be associated with Race the Rás and we are honoured that they chose NBCRI as their charity this year. We wish them every success in their endeavours.”

Also taking part, former Munster rugby captain Mick Galwey said, “Race the Rás is such a unique charity initiative. I was involved last year in the race and raising so much money meant that all the hard work most definitely paid off. We hope to raise as much as possible this year for two very worthy causes.”

To register for the cycle, please log on to http://racetheras.com/event-registration/. With eight stages to choose from, cyclists can opt to do all 8 stages or a single stage or opt for a combination of 2 or 3 stages. Those wishing to donate can do so by visiting www.racetheras.com/donate.