Hick­sons line up a record week­end

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

BE­TWEEN play­ing foot­ball, run­ning marathons, and chas­ing sheep, the Hick­son fam­ily from Luachar, An­nascaul, grew up to be a fit bunch. And just how fit they are will be tested this week­end when three of them at­tempt to set five Guin­ness World Records.

The ac­tion gets un­der­way on this Fri­day morn­ing, May 18, when Ea­monn, who is al­ready a dou­ble Guin­ness World Record holder, at­tempts to break the record of 20 chest-to-ground ‘burpees’ in a minute. This ef­fort will be done live on ‘Kerry’s Full Break­fast’ show on Ra­dio Kerry – where Ea­monn works as a jour­nal­ist and pro­ducer - so peo­ple will be able to tune in and will him on.

Later the same morn­ing at An Riocht ath­let­ics grounds in Castleisland, Ea­monn’s brother Jason, who is a full time farmer, will be­gin his at­tempt to set a record for the far­thest ‘farmer’s carry’ of 100lb in 24 hours. With the help of a friend and O’Sul­li­van En­gi­neer­ing in Lios Póil, Jason has di­vided the 100lb weight into two 50lb tubes and he will have to carry one in each hand for a dis­tance of at least 50km to achieve the world record.

On Fri­day evening, also at An Ríocht, the lads’ sis­ter, San­dra, will be tied up with her at­tempt to set a world women’s record for run­ning a mile in less than eight min­utes - while wear­ing hand­cuffs.

The record-break­ing ef­forts are set to con­tinue on Satur­day evening in the WK Fit­ness gym in Din­gle where Ea­monn will at­tempt to do over 18 burpee pull-ups in one minute. After a good night’s sleep Ea­monn will be back in WK Fit­ness on Sun­day af­ter­noon, at­tempt­ing to beat the world record of 200 burpee pull-ups in an hour.

The Hick­sons have a record of set­ting records. In 2014 Ea­monn got into the Guin­ness Book of World Records by re­vers­ing a trac­tor 17.3km from Din­gle to An­nascaul. That he did this on an Au­gust Bank Hol­i­day week­end prob­a­bly de­served another award, but in fact his sec­ond record came in 2016 from the en­tirely dif­fer­ent en­deav­our of do­ing the most squats in a minute while car­ry­ing a 40lb pack.

The three sib­lings are hugely mo­ti­vated for their record week­end, but they draw their in­spi­ra­tion from a mixed bag.

Ea­mon (aged 31), a for­mer All-Ire­land un­der-21 and ju­nior foot­ball medal win­ner, was laid low by a se­vere back prob­lem just a year ago. “Fol­low­ing surgery, I was de­ter­mined to get back to a place where I felt fit, healthy and strong and the idea to set a num­ber of Guin­ness World Records seemed like the per­fect goal,” he says.

He also hopes to in­spire oth­ers: “I think if peo­ple see the place I’ve come from in terms of fit­ness and mo­bil­ity over the past twelve months, it’ll give them con­fi­dence to achieve their own mile­stone, re­gard­less of their cur­rent sit­u­a­tion,” he says.

San­dra (38), who is a psy­chi­atric nurse based

in Cork, won a bronze medal for the shot­put in last year’s Masters Na­tional Cham­pi­onships but her real sports in­ter­est is in marathon run­ning.

“I see the chal­lenge of set­ting a Guin­ness World Record as some­thing to take me out my com­fort zone... I want to in­spire oth­ers to set their own goals, whether it be in terms of their fit­ness, ca­reer or re­la­tion­ships - and achieve them. With self-be­lief, a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude and a good work ethic, any­thing is pos­si­ble,” she says.

Mean­while, Jason (26) says that he and his sib­lings are young and fit and, if they’re ever go­ing to set records, now is the time. But that’s only the start of it.

Along with his brother and five sis­ters, Jason grew up im­mersed in sport, and foot­ball in par­tic­u­lar. They also helped their fa­ther, Pa­trick, on the farm and he reck­ons chas­ing sheep up and down hills and over ditches did won­ders for their fit­ness lev­els.

Jason, now runs the fam­ily farm of 50 cows, but he has long been nig­gled by his fa­ther, Pa­trick’s per­sis­tent comment: “You don’t know how soft you have it”. Jason reck­ons that haul­ing 100lb for over 50km should be a pretty pow­er­ful demon­stra­tion that he isn’t soft but he agrees that his fa­ther has a point. Young peo­ple of his age are. in fact, pretty soft th­ese days and Jason isn’t impressed with them.

“I find peo­ple from 30 down have gone very soft. I see peo­ple of my age and if any­thing is any bit hard they’re cry­ing and moan­ing about it,” he says.

He doesn’t have much sym­pa­thy for the ‘snowflake gen­er­a­tion’ and be­lieves that, “be­fore they start look­ing for help from oth­ers they should get their own shit to­gether.”

He hopes to pro­vide a lit­tle in­spi­ra­tion for his peers in that re­gard. “I want to see how far I can push my­self phys­i­cally and men­tally, so if a day comes when some­thing re­ally bad hap­pens, I won’t fall apart.”

San­dra, Ea­monn and Jason Hick­son from An­nascaul who are plan­ning a week­end for the record books.

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