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Anna clocking up 100km in fund-raising lock-down run

A YOUNG Whitegate woman is determined to show her support for East Clare’s older citizens during the lock-down, by pledging to run 100km before May 5.

Through her challenge, Anna Madden, who lives in Galway City, has raised over €3,000 to-date for Raheen Community Hospital. The 28-year-old is meeting her goal, while sticking to public health guidelines of exercising within a 2km radius of home, and undertook the fundraising challenge after fearing that the Community Hospital was being forgotten about in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.

“I found it a bit upsetting and sad to find that nothing was being done by way of fundraising,” said Anna. “All of the focus at the moment seems to be on the big hospitals and their facilities. My mum works at Raheen Community Hospital and almost everyone in Whitegate area has some kind of connection. They do such wonderful work and there’s an amazing atmosphere there.”

Anna admits that her fundraising ambitions were modest to begin with and that she was blown away by the support from the public once her Go Fund Me campaign went live.

“I asked my boyfriend what he thought of me aiming to raise €500 and we both thought that was quite a lot, so at first I went for a goal of €300. Last Monday, I had gotten to €3,000, and that was in just one week, so I really can’t believe it. The staff at the Community Hospital are checking all the time to see how the fundraiser is going and the patients are so happy that someone is thinking about them.”

Sticking within the public health guidelines, Anna admits, has meant that she has had to be imaginative about the route she will use to clock up 100km.

“Because I live in the city, and can’t get to Clare at the moment due to the travel restrictions, I looked for a loop route. It’s hard to find somewhere quiet, but eventually I found an estate where I can do a number of laps. I’m sure people are looking at me, wondering what’s going on!”

Since her challenge began, Anna has been posting regular updates on her Facebook page.

While she runs up to 10km a day, her goal is to knock a minimum of 4.7km off her target every day: “The aim is 4.7km per day for three weeks. As of last Monday, I had 33km done and 57km left to go, so I’m on target to reach 100km by May 5.”

Anna is hopeful her fundraising will make a real difference to residents and staff at Raheen Community Hospital: “I haven’t specified what the money should be used for. There are so many uses that it could be put to and I’ll be leaving that up to the hospital. I just want them to know that people are thinking about them.”

Anna is also happy to be keeping up with her running and putting her training towards a good cause. “I took up running a year or two ago and I had completed two of the Run Clare series before the others were cancelled. I had also planned to sign up for a few more running events, but once they were called off, I had to get more creative.”

Like thousands of people across the country, Anna is now working from home. Before she starts her day, working for Smyths Toys, she has gotten used to meeting her running target.

“The early morning is such a great time to get out and the weather has been so good. It’s a really positive thing to do during the lock-down and while it’s hard, the situation has brought out the good in people who really want to find a way to help others during this time.”

More details of Anna’s fundraiser can be found by searching for ‘100km Lockdown, Raheen Community Hospital’ on www.gofundme.com.

About Fiona McGarry

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Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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