Bray People - - NEWS - MARY FOG­A­RTY

The num­ber of cy­clists who took part in the Skoda Tour of Wick­low Sportive which raised over €10,000 for Bray Cancer Sup­port Cen­tre

‘CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS!’ an email from Skoda Ire­land roared at me on Mon­day morn­ing. ‘You are a cy­cling leg­end!’

This was af­ter the Tour of Wick­low Sportive – the sec­ond in­stall­ment in the na­tion­wide Skoda Cy­cle Se­ries in as­so­ci­a­tion with In­de­pen­dent News and Me­dia Re­gion­als.

Why, thank you Skoda! How­ever I’ll freely ad­mit that when I re­turned from my nice 60km jaunt around the Wick­low hills (weirdly more up than down), most of the 100km people had al­ready gone home and show­ered.

The em­bar­rass­ingly long time I took to com­plete the cy­cle will re­main a closely guarded se­cret, how­ever I achieved what was once the un­achiev­able – crossed the fin­ish line in one piece.

This was thanks mainly to the en­cour­age­ment of Brendan O’Leary of Bray Cancer Sup­port Cen­tre as well as Tony McWil­liams, Ea­mon Kearns, Liz McFad­den and ev­ery­one in the Satur­day morn­ing train­ing group.

Thanks also to Ever­est Cy­cles in Bray for the loan of the bike which, to­gether, we made it through with­out in­ci­dent.

The most im­por­tant thing, of course, is that Bray Cancer Sup­port raised more than €10,000 as a re­sult of the event last Satur­day, where 520 cy­clists took part.

‘Thank you to all of the cy­clists who en­tered, the mar­shals who looked af­ter the route, the vol­un­teers who looked af­ter reg­is­tra­tion and the feed sta­tions, the Gar­dai, the Bray Or­der of Malta and so many oth­ers who gave up their time to help. We ap­pre­ci­ate your sup­port so much,’ said a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the cen­tre, who also thanked Bray Em­mets GAA Club for the use of their fa­cil­i­ties as well as St. Ger­ard’s School for al­low­ing them to use their car park.

The route took me as far as Laragh and back and de­spite a lit­tle bit of rain in the early stages, it was a won­der­ful way to see a beau­ti­ful county.

I’m a na­tive, and I’d seen it all be­fore, but mostly from cars and buses. This was some­thing else.

The ex­tremely pa­tient and po­lite ladies serv­ing tea and sand­wiches played a blinder at the Brock­agh Cen­tre in Laragh, with a far big­ger crowd than they were ex­pect­ing. ‘We’ve run out of ev­ery­thing!’ one told me when I chanced look­ing for a sec­ond sambo.

I paired up with an­other be­gin­ner, and ev­ery time we felt like jack­ing it all in and ring­ing the emer­gency num­ber to get col­lected, there was an­other spec­tac­u­lar view to en­joy.

‘Slow and steady wins the race,’ I al­ways think. And while I’m sure there were some im­pres­sive times clocked up on the day, we were happy to smell the flow­ers, not to men­tion the wild gar­lic and even the silage here and there.

A cou­ple of the very ex­pe­ri­ence boyos back at the ranch when it was all over told me I’ll never find one as dif­fi­cult as that again, so it’s all up­hill from here, so to speak!

‘I’m never com­ing to Wick­low again,’ I heard one poor woman com­plain as she strug­gled up­wards some­where near Round­wood on the re­turn jour­ney. ‘It is very hilly,’ I con­ceded. Her re­ply sug­gested it was worse than that.

I started train­ing back in Fe­bru­ary and barely made it to New­town and back. Since then there’s been blood, sweat, and I’ve even been close to tears. Now bit­ten by the bug, I might be per­suaded to re­veal my fin­ish­ing time on the next oc­ca­sion!

Brendan O’Leary and Vic­tor Ed­monds strate­gis­ing be­fore the roll out of the cy­cle.

Gar­ald Her­radura, Roger Pe­ro­cho and Ed­uardo Dul­du­lao pin their race num­bers on.

Our very own Mary Fog­a­rty look­ing the part of a sea­soned cy­clist be­fore she set of on her very first Sportive.

Ni­cola Crean, Eil­ish Brad­shaw, Marie Burke, Viv Con­lon, and Pau

Der­mot and Jerome Anglin do some last-minute preper­a­tions.

Cllr Tra and town

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