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Clare woman takes on 250km triathlon challenge for charity

A KILLALOE woman has taken on an incredible challenge of completing a 250km triathlon within 24 hours in aid of two charities. On August 28, 27-year-old Jade Hoynes will be embark on the gruelling test which will consist of a 4km swim of Lough Derg, a 200km cycle, finally finishing off with a 46km run.

The demanding undertaking is to raise funds and awareness for two charities that are incredibly important to both Jade and her family, Samaritans Ireland and Sejare Adult Respite House, Limerick.

Jade, who works within her family business Palm Free Irish Soap had previously taken part in RTÉ’s Iron Mind series with Niall ‘Bressie’ Breslin. The series enlisted the help of experts in everything from psychology to nutrition as four ordinary people with their own mental health challenges took on the task of competing in a half-Ironman event. It was this event that encouraged her to take on this newest triathlon challenge.

Jade recalls her first experience with the Samaritans, “Throughout my teens and early twenties, I suffered from General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and trichotillomania.

“In spring 2014, things had gotten much worse. I came across the Samaritans on the internet, I decided to use their walk-in service at the branch in Limerick. It took me a while to build up the courage and knock on their door, but the staff were so reassuring, offering me tea as they showed me to one of the private rooms where I waited to speak to a volunteer.

“It was a huge relief to have had the support for those few hours. There was no rush while I was there, I could stay there and talk for as long as I needed. It was all confidential, non-judgmental and free.

“I didn’t realise at the time but that was a very important step for me, I needed to talk, and I am so thankful that their doors were open. The funds I hope to raise will help the Samaritans offer their life saving support to those who really need to talk and who are struggling with their mental health, just like they helped me all those years ago.”

The 4km swim is due to take place in Lough Derg at Two Mile Gate Park, Killaloe, in Clare while the 200km cycle will begin at the park in Killaloe, travelling to Birdhill, Portumna, Ballyshrule, Powers Cross, Gorteeny, Scariff and eventually passing Samaritans Ennis and Shannon and ending just outside Limerick city.

The 46km run will pass by both Samaritans, Limerick City Centre and Sejare Adult Respite Centre in Annacotty, passing through Birdhill and finishing off in Killaloe.

Commenting on the donation she will also be making to Sejare House, she said, “When my younger sister Jasmin was 18 months old, she was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Jasmin was always very happy, easy going and extremely affectionate when younger.

“As she grew older and especially in her later teens, her moods would fluctuate affecting her behaviour patterns. It was a challenge trying to organise a normal daily routine, requiring a lot of planning for basic activities to ensure there was no upsets.

“If Jasmin was experiencing a crisis, our plans had to be quickly adapted to cope. In 2014 Jasmin was offered a placement at the DOC Lisnagry day services, attached is a respite facility called “Sejare House”, a converted bungalow in Annacotty which offers respite to parents and families that are caring for a family member with additional needs.

“They have a fantastic, very professional nurse led team on hand and offer a much-needed break for families. At the facility they treat all the service users with respect and genuine love. Also for us a family, it allowed us to have some semblance of a normal family life, and we will be forever grateful for their support.”

100% of donations will be split evenly between Sejare Adult Respite House and Samaritans. To donate, visit the Fundraiser by Jade Hoynes : 250km Triathlon for Samaritans and Sejare House on here

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