AN ATHLETE who is running around the country for the RNLI raised her fundraising target of €20,000 in Castletownbere.
Mary Nolan Hickey undertook a ‘Lap of the Map’ to raise funds and awareness for the RNLI, and it was in West Cork that she reached her fundraising milestone of €20,000 on March 18th.
Mary, who is 65-years old, will continue to run all the way home, back to Arklow, to complete her challenge.
Mary has the distinction of being the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon – all 38 of them – and even completed the gruelling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, which, for very good reason, is known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.
Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, County Wicklow, on New Year’s Day and after circumnavigating the country hopes to be home in time to collect her first pension payment in June, when she turns 66.
Speaking about her once in a lifetime adventure, Mary said she wanted to prove ‘age is not a barrier.’
All along her journey, Mary has been dependent on the goodwill of communities for accommodation and support.
She said: ‘The support has been overwhelming; I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way.’
Mary, who is from a coastal town, also stopped off at as many RNLI stations as possible. Expressing her deep affinity with the RNLI and the volunteers who run it, she said: ‘I have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives sea.’