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It’s critical we take the challenge | Cork Independent

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Kathryn Sullivan, captain of the Mayo ladies football team and Dr Lisa Cunningham from CRITICAL at Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo launching a series of Hike and Bike fundraisers the first of which will be in Mayo on 13 May. PHOTO: Keith Heneghan

By Marguerite Kiely

If you are a thrill-seeker who can’t resist adventure, an emergency medical response charity has launched a bike and hike challenge that will put your physical abilities to the test.

CRITICAL has teamed up with Elite Events Management to run a series of challenges in locations along the Wild Atlantic Way in Mayo, Kerry and Donegal between May and September. The events will take in distances from 50km to 78km and include a climb of some of Ireland’s highest mountains, including Carrauntoohil, Mount Errigal and Croagh Patrick.

CRITICAL, formerly known as Irish Community Air Ambulance provides pre-hospital emergency care to critically ill and injured patients in their local communities through its network of volunteer emergency medical responders.

Speaking about the hike and bike fundraiser, Micheál Sheridan, CEO of CRITICAL said: “We believe that everyone should have access to rapid emergency medical care regardless of where they live in Ireland. Our volunteer critical care doctors and experienced medics live in these communities and fundraisers like this help us to provide them with the lifesaving equipment they need to treat seriously ill and injured people at the scene, essentially bringing the emergency department to them.”

The first Bike & Hike will take place in Co. Mayo on Saturday 13 May starting and finishing at Westport Harbour. “This challenge will put your physical abilities to the test, but more importantly, it will allow you to give back to the community in a meaningful way by potentially saving a life,” said Micheál.

There is no registration fee, instead, participants are asked to raise a minimum of €500 to support CRITICAL.

They will be provided with a fundraising pack, a training plan and guidance to help with the physical and fundraising aspects of the event.

Speaking at the launch of the event, Mayo Ladies Football Captain Kathryn Sullivan, who will be taking on the challenge, said: “I’m excited to sign up for Bike & Hike and I’m encouraging everyone who would like to take on something new to join me on the day. It is a brilliant way to get fit, all people need is a moderate level of fitness and they will be provided with guidance and support on training. More importantly, you will be raising funds for CRITICAL to kit out its volunteers so they can continue their life-saving work.”

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