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Wynona Grants time and effort to another epic run for charity

LAST Christmas Wynona Grant completed a 12-hour run, raising €3,000 for charity and later this year she has another extreme challenge planned.
Living in central Dublin, it is about 240km to her family home at Ballycasey. Her plan is to run all this distance over four to five days in December, raising funds for the Make A Wish Foundation Ireland
It will be a huge physical, mental and logistical challenge, which she is calling ‘Running Home for Christmas’ and it will only be possible after months of preparation are complete.
A runner can’t just take off down the M7, so Wynona is going to have to find the path she feels suits best.
“I’ll be running through towns, but I’ve yet to decide the exact route.
It’s likely to be Dublin to Kildare Town, Kildare Town to Mountrath, from there it’s looking like Nenagh, then Limerick and then Shannon.”
Already she has got some very helpful support through car sharing firm GoCar.
“They have come on board as an official partner. They’re giving myself and my friend a car any time between now and then, as often as we need to suss out the route.
“We’re going to have to drive it a few times and make sure I know the roads. For the run itself my friend will be driving just for when I need anything.”
She still has around six months of preparation ahead, but says she is already in quite good shape.
“I never took much time off after the 12 Hour Run, I was back running around three days later.
Every week I do at least a 20k run at the weekend. I’ll be increasing that over the next few weeks and months, trying to get up to the 50k mark comfortably.”
Wynona also says that the training this year won’t be that different to what she did in 2020.
“The training for this will be pretty similiar to that for the 12 hour run actually.
The run will be divided over four or five days, again, it depends on the exact route, but it’s probably going to be between 50 and 60km a day, and obviously it’ll get a lot harder as the days go on. It’s just a case of building up volume now.”
She trains every day, either running, strength training or gym work, while she expects to scale back on the gym and increase the mileage as the time gets closer.
“I will have to do a lot of back to back days, just to get used to running on tired and sore legs.”
Running the equivalent of around six marathons in just a few days is going to put huge pressure on her body, as will the training ahead of the actual event. She is already preparing for the toll it will take upon her.
“I have a physio that I go to regularly, even when I’m not planning something like this, I tend to go once a month. I’d say this idea has been in my head since January or Februray, and I did run it by him in February to make sure it wasn’t a totally ludicrous and stupid idea.
“He’s working with me on a plan and obviously he’ll work with me afterwards as well.
He usually does a lot of deep tissue massages and a bit of dry needling, which is similar to accupuncture but more in the line of sports recovery.
“I’ll be working with him quite closely, moreso as I get closer to the day, but I’ll still be seeing him twice a month for the next while.”
She says that this will be more logistically difficult than the 12 Hour Run of last December, with route planning, food stops and overnight accommodation all needing to be arranged.
“The 12 hour run took a lot of planning in terms of getting a community out, getting everyone involved and things like that, but at least it was a 10k loop around my flat. This is a whole other ball game.”
Obviously she has a real love for running, although she only started it a few years ago.
“Now, it’d be around three to four years, so in the grand scheme of things it’s not long at all. But it’s something I do adore. The competitive aside doesn’t appeal to me that much although I do races when they’re on, but the big thing for me is the community of the sport. For a sport that appears to be a solo one, it’s the complete opposite.
“I’m after starting a Sunday run club in Dublin now, and it’s not about personal best times or speed or maximum distances.
“It’s a Sunday morning 5km club, all levels welcome, we all come together and finish at the same spot every week, have a coffee and have chats for an hour. The reaction to that has been amazing, people are craving community after the last year or 18 months.”
Make A Wish Ireland exists to try and grant the wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions, and has helped over 2,600 children since its foundation in 1992.
People can donate to Wynona’s fundraiser at https://justgiving.com/fundraising/running-home-for-christmas-2021.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.
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