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Brian’s taking on toughest foot race on Earth

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By Michelle Crean

With searing temperatures of up to 50 degrees in the Sahara Desert - local fitness expert Brian Foley is planning to take on what is regarded as the toughest foot race on Earth.

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Brian, who runs Activate Fitness on the Ballycasheen Road, is currently putting in hours of gruelling training every week for the six day 251km Marathon Des Sables event.

He's heading off on April 20, starting the ultra marathon the next day.

This multi-day race is held every year in southern Morocco with the longest single stage 91km.

"It’s roughly six marathons in six days in the desert, around 50° heat at the height of the day and around 5° at night," Brian, who writes a regular fitness column for the Killarney Advertiser, said.

The race is self supported, so he'll be carrying everything except water which is supplied.

"It's a big undertaking. I plan to have around 10kg weight on my back."

Brian set up 'Marathons for the Mind' as he wanted to help raise awareness of mental health issues and to raise funds for the vital services that some amazing mental health charities provide. So far he has raised just under €2,000 of his €5,000 target.

"The whole idea came about eight years ago when I was chatting to a girl in Australia. I did an ultramarathon on the Great Ocean Road. Then between lockdowns and having our first child last year it spurred me on a bit."

January 2022 was the beginning of the gruelling plan as Brian registered for the challenge.

"I threw my hat in the ring then but it's the last five to six months that the training ramped up. I'm doing nearly 200kms a week on The Kerry Way, Rossbeigh and Banna."

He also explained that he's building his time up to four to five hours a day in the sauna to help get his body ready for the temperature in the desert.

"This might be my last big adventure," Brian, who is due his second child this August with his wife Roisin, added.

They're holding a table quiz next Wednesday night in the Brehon at 7.30pm.

It’s €40 for a table of 4 with of plenty spot prizes on the night.

To follow Brian's journey go to Instagram: 'Marathons for the Mind'.

To make a donation go to GoFundMe: Mental Health Charities (Pieta & YSPI).

 

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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