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Stepping up to support frontline workers in Clare

AN Ennis woman and some friends are putting their best foot forward and stepping in behind the county’s frontline healthcare workers. Gillian Davis Dunphy has organised a walking challenge which will see her and others complete 100,000 steps each within 24 hours this weekend.
Funds from the endeavour will be split between Cahercalla Hospice and Sláinte An Chláir, (Clare Cancer Support) with more than €1,000 raised already.
“The people who work on the front line, they’re walking in tough shoes and the least we can do is a few hours of a walk for them. We hope that by taking these steps and putting ourselves through one uncomfortable day we can help the workers who have to do even more difficult tasks day after day for our loved ones,” she says.
“I set a target of €500, and thought if I got that I’d be delighted, but we’re way above it and donations are still coming in. I know there are a lot of fundraisers going on at the moment, and people are struggling, but anything that people can give will be a great help and very appreciated.”
Gillian will be joined on the walk by Jennifer O’Sullivan and Ollie Mullooly. They will set out at 3am this Saturday, while keeping socially distant and staying within the 5km restrictions. Clarecastle’s Elizabeth O’Gorman will also be taking on the challenge within her own 5km radius.
“I reckon it’s going to take probably 17 to 18 hours with a few breaks here and there. We’ll start at 3am and do those couple of hours in darkness and should be finished the following evening, hopefully, all going to plan. I suppose it depends on your step, but from what I can gather from people who have done something like this before its about 50 miles, or 85km, which is two marathons basically.”
Gillian explains, “It all started off with me wanting to do something, we’re all locked up and feeling a bit helpless so I thought I’d set myself a goal to raise money for charity. I used to have a gym in town called Well Fit and we still have a Facebook community running there, posting healthy eating recipes and exercise. I just put the idea out there and now the others have joined me. There are also a few other people scattered around who are doing sections of it, or doing it with their friends. It’s great we’ve gotten a lot of interest and people want to help out and do their part.”
Gillian and her fellow walkers have become a regular sight as they train for this weekend’s walk. “I’ve the legs walked off myself, we’ve been walking miles and miles. Everybody kind of knows us at this stage because we just keep walking around in circles, obviously we have to stay within our 5km and I live on the Tulla Road so we’ve kind of being doing loops around the outskirts of the town. I’ve been trying to test routes for the walk, but we don’t have a plan set. I think we’ll just go until we need a rest, and then go again.”
She continues, “Hopefully it won’t rain, we don’t get blisters. I’ve been talking to people who have done similar things and though it seems quite easy in theory, it’s the smallest thing like a blister, or an injury or something that could really niggle at you for a long time. But fingers crossed.”
Updates on their progress will be posted on the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/wellfiteatwellstayfit/ and Gillian says they welcome people cheering them on or joining in the walk, from a safe distance of course.
Donations to the challenge can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/wellfit-100k-steps-in-24-hours-for-our-frontline

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