Day 15: Ballycastle to Portrush

Last night I heard from my support team that David McGaffin was doing a fantastic job getting people lined up to run with me today. I went to bed happy knowing that I would have more company, as it make each run more enjoyable.

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I woke up (probably over eager to get started), but I set off running from the B&B and completely forgot about meeting the crew at the harbour. Thank god there athletics and caught up with me, as without David, Ballycastle Runners AC & Springwell Running Club, I would have been lost.

David and Mary

Today some of the views were amazing, but definitely seeing the Giants Causeway from a different angle was spectacular.

The kind people at the Sheep Island View Hostel insisted that we stop for a little break and the hospitality was amazing.

Once again my support team have done an amazing job and getting a medical check once I arrived at my destination had to be done. Fit body, Fit mind and all of that 🙂

Judy Nelson LPO at Lifeboat Station brought me to the appointment and looked after me so well. Judy also organised my accommodation tonight, look at these beautiful photos of my gorgeous apartment. Thanks again to the Antrim house for looking after me so well.

 

Stats

 

Today was another amazing day and to be honest I cannot believe how good I feel, so I departed at 9am from Ballycastle and arrived at Portrush Lifeboat Station at 3.02pm. Miles today 20.77 or 33.42kms, Total miles 344.70 or 554.74kms.

Night all x

Day 14: Cushendall to Ballycastle

As I sit here after what can only be described as an amazing day, I take the time to think about the last 13 days and my journey so far. When I came up with this mental idea I really never thought I would get so much support, welcome and to top it all off meet such amazing people. I know that I won’t get to thank everybody each day, but am so humbled by the love and support I am receiving, thanks so much everybody.

So I started my journey today where I left off yesterday evening, at Redbay RNLI station at 9am. Even though the distance today was going to be shorter I was aware that it was hilly. When I arrived at the RNLI station I was absolutely thrilled to see an all female crew who were going to run with me (Oonagh Cattigan & Glens Runners).

Leaving Redbay

We started off nicely and made good progress, below is a photo of me with Cushendall in the background. I had so many different people join me today, so thrilled with the company.

Today I was treated like a queen in Ballycastle, 1st complementary lunch in The Marine Hotel, then Sea Heaven Therapy for the beautiful treatment (Seaweed Bath), followed by The Central Bar for an amazing meal and finally J&J B&B for my lovely room.  Seriously what a town 🙂

Stats for today Departed Redbay Lifeboat 9am, Arrive Ballycastle Harbour 2:42pm
Distance today 16.38miles or 26.36kms
Stats

Not bad for Day 14 🙂 I hear from my support team that I will have company again tomorrow, I really hope so, as I think the weather is going to be against me.

Night all, sweet dreams xx

Day 13: Larne to Cushendall

Woke up today and had messages from my support team around the weather and to ensure that I didn’t take any risks. But when I looked out the window, it wasn’t pleasant but wasn’t going to stop me.

Leaving Larne

Made my way down to the Larne RNLI station and got a lovely send off and on route we found some treats which had been left by the Larne RNLI.

We made great progress and had some great company on route,  delighted to have an  opportunity to visit the Carnlough Rowing Club (another hobby of mine).

We kept a really good pace and as my support team told me, I stormed up the coast and made it to my final destination today. After 25 miles completed today, the Cushendall RNLI were out in force to welcome us.

When I reviewed my stats when we arrived in Redbay Lifeboat, I was really surprised.

Departed Larne RNLI Lifeboat Station 9am, Arrived Redbay Lifeboat 2:42pm (😮😮😮)

Miles today 25.71 or 41.37kms, Total miles 306.93 or 493.95kms

Stats

Heading out for dinner now with the Redbay Lifeboat crew, sleep well everybody xx

Day 12: Belfast to Larne

After another lovely sleep in Jury’s Inn Belfast, I was up and getting myself prepared for another busy day. My team had informed me that they had received information from a number of people re running with me today, super excited for the company.

I made my way back to Belfast Titanic area and meet up with Catriona from Pure Running, Pete from PAT 2018 – Triple R Challenge. Pete has a diagnosis of Stargardts and registered as severe sight impaired as a consequence, which makes all exercise he does more challenging. He asked me to lead him and although my sense of direction is not good, we really made great progress and had so much to talk about.

We had a great start with the weather being kind to us and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations.

My team were flooded with offers of tea, lunch, flasks and cakes from all over Whitehead. As I have said since starting this journey the kindness and generosity has been overwhelming. The Cosy Chair got their offer in 1st and nicely refuelled me for the next few hours.

The Cosy Chair

We also had an unusual form of transport accompany us for some of the journey today.

Tandem Bike

The distance didn’t seem so bad, when we got to meet so many amazing people on our journey.

We made good time and with another 30 miles completed today, I was absolutely thrilled to make it to Larne and once again the RNLI were waiting for me with open arms.

Larne RNLI

Today I am staying in a B&B, I have been told my room is on the 4th floor, so once I walk them stairs this evening, I won’t be venturing back down until tomorrow morning. When I once again head off on another adventure.

Day 11: Belfast (Day of rest)

Before I set off on this epic journey we did discuss as a team the need for rest days, but that was before we had a lot of press interest. Like all of these events until you start you don’t get the interest. So last night I received a call from my sister Hazel (another member of my support team), informing me of 2 social media engagements which had been organised.

My support team have also been able to secure some free running gear, which Claire (another member of my support team), made me aware about when she arrived at the hotel this morning. She had driven up from Redcross, Co. Wicklow as with the media engagements, getting to the shops and also a massage and visit to the chiropodists I would need some help and a chauffeur/PA for the day was hopefully going to allow me some rest 🙂

As with everything 2 social media engagements turned into 4, so we did them one after another. It was a good job that I was given a large room as it was like a media office, with gear everywhere!! Claire was also on hand to help out with my Vodafone account, as I needed to upgrade my package to ensure I wasn’t missing any calls and that my bill wasn’t going to leave me broke.

Jurys Inn Belfast were just amazing and so accommodating, but I have to call out Suzanne Bowman (Sales Manager), as she helped us with everything all day and even took a look at my new garmin tracker and helped us follow the instructions that we were given by our support team.

Jurys Inn

Pure Running was the 1st shop who had offered to help me out, and when I arrived Jenny and Paul waited on me and I felt like I was in the movie Pretty Woman. Thanks to Pure Running I got new runners, buff and hat.

Next Stop was Apex Clinic for massage and some well deserved help with my feet. Rebecca the manager looked after me so well, Ciara (physio) took me in for an hour and I came out feeling like a new woman.  Narelle worked on my feet and was pleasantly surprised that they were in good enough shape considering what they had been through over the last 10 days.

I received some good advice from the team, re changing terrain where possible, and they also made themselves available via phone/email while I’m on this journey. Claire was all set and we made our way to Podium 4 Sports next. Craig met us in the car park and when we walked in I was like a kid in a sweet shop, the shop was absolutely massive and catered for every type of sports. Craig and Ryan were fantastic and with a pair of ASICS Nimbus, thick pair of running leggings with reflectors, neon yellow running pouch, running vest with accessory pouches, a high viz vest, 1000 mile socks and protein bars and we were set.

Last stop was Athlos where Colin (owner) and Richard were ready to help me out, thermal leggings were so important as I only had one pair when starting my journey from Arklow. Reflector harness was something which Claire really insisted on and to be honest when I tried it on, it was very comfortable and smaller than the original high-vis jacket I had started off with.

Athlos

Back to the hotel now for food, working dinner, while we finalised technology and ensured all emergency medical contact was stored accurately in the event of accidents.

Food

Once again I am blown away by people’s hospitality and would like to thank everybody for making me feel so welcome and decking me out with the best of gear.

Off to bed as tomorrow is another big day, hopefully I haven’t gotten soft after 1 day break 🙂

 

 

 

Day 10: Donaghadee – Belfast

So after a lovely sleep, I’m up and ready for my run today, really looking forward to getting to Belfast.  I have a day off, not sure how much of the day will be actually taking a break though – as my team have been doing a fantastic job with the press and have some interviews lined up for tomorrow morning.

They have also informed me that some shops in Belfast have came to my rescue for essential items I need (thermal leggings, new runners, hi-vis vest etc.).

We headed off from Donaghdee Lifeboat and Gerry O’Boyle had informed me that he will run with me today, we are going to go via Bangor RNLI station, as my aim is to try and hit as many lifeboats as possible on this epic journey.  Thanks so much to Violet Davidson, Clare & Gemma & babies (running mums), Beverly, Donaghadee Lifeboat & Jeff Meredith (Belfast Times) for braving the cold & giving me a lovely send off.

Myself and Gerry ran very well and arrived in Bangor to a lovely reception and some of the RNLI crew were waiting to welcome us.

Once we were back on the road we made great progress and when we got as far as Holywood we stopped in Dirty Duck AleHouse for a well deserved bowl of soup. We then headed along Airport West to the Titanic Building.

Another 23 miles accomplished today, thanks to everybody on route for making today so enjoyable. Special thanks to Gerry O’Boyle for running with me for the full route today.

stats5.jpg

My two friends from Arklow (Jean Molloy & Padraig O’Meara) were at the beautiful Jurys Inn Belfast, City Centre, waiting for me,  with my new tracker. Jury’s Inn had agreed to covering my 2 nights in their hotel, happy days :).

Dinner with Friends

 

 

 

 

Day 9: Portaferry – Donaghadee

Portaferry Coastguards, Portaferry Coastal Rowing Club and Ferry fit were out to wave me off today. Delighted to have the company of Gerard Red Adair and Kenny McCreevy.

Leaving Portaferry

My support team are busy working in the background and thanks to their good reach on facebook, the nice folks from @byebyethecheese left me a little treat outside Millisle – seriously though how thoughtful was that 🙂

Beverly & ByeByeCheese

Gerard and Kenny made every mile so much easier, the laughs and mischief was mighty. The lovely folks in Ballywalter Tea and Craft Rooms treated me to apple tart. Today it was finding an open loo which was a bonus.

The wind once again today was tough going, but when I got to Donaghadee I had the most beautiful bedroom in Pub on the Pier | Pier36.  Donaghadee Lifeboat Crew, made me feel very welcome when I arrived and had a nice cuppa waiting for me.

Stats for today:

Departed Portaferry RNLI @ 9am, Arrived Donaghadee Lifeboat @ 3.19pm
Distance Today: 24.23 miles or 39 km

Over and out xx