Ricky Wynne meets ex-miner Gerard Cullen while out training for the Minders Way Ultra Marathon
The inaugural Miners Way 5k and Miners Way Ultra Marathon will take place this weekend raising awareness and also vital funds for local causes in Leitrim and Roscommon.
The Miners Way 5km family fun run/walk will take place this Sunday April 14 at 1pm. A fundraiser for the Keadue Day Centre hosted by Keadue Social Services, the event will take place on a 5km loop along the Miners Way starting at St. Ronan's Hall in Keadue. Open to all ages and levels of fitness, it promises to be a great community day out.
The Miners Way Ultra Marathon will take place on Saturday April 13, with a number of Leitrim Village and Drumshanbo natives set to run the entire distance of The Miners Way & Historical Trail as an Ultramarathon, a distance of roughly 120kms - the equivalent of running from Longford to Dublin in one go!
The primary focus of The Miners Way Ultra is to raise awareness for the Meals on Wheels services which are provided by both Keadue Social Services and Drumsna Community Resource Centre. In addition, a Go Fund Me page has been set up by those taking part, in the hope to raise some much-needed funds to split between the centres to aid their much-needed services. Ultimately, it is also hoped, that by running the Miners Way & Historical Trail as an Ultramarathon, it will highlight the potential of the fantastic trails, scenery and heritage which we are so lucky to have on our doorstep.
Speaking ahead of the event Andrew Guckian, one of the participants said: “A few years ago a few friends started exploring the local highways and byways, fields, bogs and beyond. Much of the trails that linked up the routes we chose had that infamous little yellow man pointing the way. The Miners Way & Historical Trail which we use so often has led us into the remoter parts of Leitrim and Roscommon. Because we use the area so much, but rarely meet anyone of the area we wondered how we could say a simple 'Hello & Thank You' to those whom live in such beautiful and remote places. That is where we discovered the Meals on Wheel Services.”
Drumsna Community Resource Centre covers 100km per day serving Drumsna, Killmore, Cortober, Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim Village, Annaduff, Eslin, Mohill and Kilnagross, totalling 190 meals per week. Keadue Social Services cover 125km per day serving a total of 260 hot fresh meals per week in Coothall, Ardcarne, Drumshanbo, Leitrim Village and Arigna areas.
Both centres insist on having meals cooked fresh each day and delivered that same day, with the exception of the weekend, highly valuing the importance of a fresh hot meal each day. The meals cost between €5 and €8 per day and are partially subsidised by the HSE. But escalating costs and decreasing funding are a worry.
Julie Dockery of Keadue Social Services and Lorraine Mulvey of Drumsna CRC highlight the importance of the service, both stating that the Meals on Wheels service allows people to hold onto their independence allowing them to continue to live an autonomous life in their own home. The service also serves as a "health and safety check.”
“We deliver at the same time every day, so we will always know the clients pattern/mood/ whereabouts. Families love this sense of security.” The importance of a fresh hot meal on your table daily cannot be underestimated, and having a friendly face to greet you daily, is also immensely important.
More details on both events can be found on Facebook/minerswayultra