Melissa Healy from Ballygar Camogie Club took it upon herself in January to run all 32 counties in Ireland, in order to raise funds for the new pitch development in Ballygar. Heading into the weekend, she’s just two counties (Armagh and Antrim) away from completing her mission.
Melissa said it has been a long road since the first run back in January.
“I started last January in Clarinbridge. The runs have to be proper runs, chipped and timed. Go Active Ireland have to be able to verify that you did the race and that you were timed.
“Around this time last year I did the New York Marathon, and then in January of this year decided that this is what I was going to do.”
It hasn’t been easy and Melissa says the most difficult part has been the constant driving around the country.
“In March, I worked one day until 10 pm then went to Clonakilty straight after, arriving at 3 am and up to register at 6 am. I ran the race and then had to get back to work that evening,” she said, before adding “the driving is the worst part, on the road very early and then you’re driving to places and getting lost while driving around looking for directions!” (laughs).
On the plus side, Melissa said she has really enjoyed seeing parts of the country she had never seen before. She has also received plenty of support from Ballygar, Newbridge and surrounding areas. Tommy Fallon helped with the admin and everyone in Fallon’s (bar) have also been supportive!
Melissa will jump in her car this weekend and head north once more where she will attempt to complete those final two counties. There will be a local fundraiser in Centra in Ballygar on November 19th, but if you would like to support Melissa in the meantime, check out Melissa runs 32 on Facebook and the fundraising site www.fuellingthefire.com.