Alan pictured with his son Adam at a previous ultramarathon event. He is currently running 119km to raise much needed funds!
A Leitrim man is undertaking an amazing feat of endurance today, Friday, May 1, all to raise much needed funds for Cavan University Hospital frontline staff and for the wonderful meals on wheels service in Drumsna, Co Leitrim.
Alan Wynne is currently completing 19 loops - each is 6.22km, all in less than 24 hours. The challenge kicked off at 5am this morning and Alan is currently still going strong.
In total, he'll be running far more than a marathon whose distance is 42.195km- in fact, Alan will have run the same distance as nearly three marathons by the time his fundraiser is complete.
Speaking with the Leitrim Observer this week, recently Alan explained the inspiration for the event came to him because his wife works as a nurse in Dublin and his family has witnessed, first hand, the pressures that frontline services are facing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Describing his wife and her frontline colleagues as 'heroes' Alan said that the toll on staff has been immense.
“My wife wears a mask in the house when she comes home and is social distancing from myself and our kids. It is hard for her and for us and this is repeated for all families who have someone working on the front line,” he said.
“Three days after the first lockdown came into effect the idea of doing a run came to me and I just couldn't get it out of my head,” he admits.
However when he put the idea to his wife she told him he was a “mad eejit” and he put the idea aside for a day or two.
“But when I put my mind to it I can't let things go. I worked out the route and then thought, what if I did 19 of these loops and raised money by doing it?”
When his wife finally gave him the green light, he initially thought of raising funds for Dublin health services but decided, to keep the fundraising local.
After being put in touch with the management of Cavan General Hospital, he decided to fundraise specifically to help provide meals for frontline staff who are working 12-13 hours with little break. And, in keeping with the local angle, he added in a second fundraising recipient, Drumsna Meals on Wheels.
“My brother and I helped raise money for Drumsna Meals on Wheels last year and before the lockdown came in I spent time with the service helping with deliveries. They are an amazing service and full credit should go to Lorraine Mulvey and all those who help with it,” he said.
As of 12pm today, May 1, Alan has already raised over €8,000 for his two chosen charities but he is hoping to raise even more.
You can make a donation to Alan's 19 loops fundraiser on his gofundme page: https://bit.ly/3bW3VYi
Alternatively you can also just search Covid 19 Loops on gofundme and you will be directed to Alan's page.