The Kilkenny volunteer contingent pictured in Kikambala, near Mombassa in Kenya
More than 30 brave Kilkenny souls will endure muck, madness and mayhem this Saturday morning, October 5, for the ultimate Hell and Back challenge - and it’s all for a very good cause.
The Kilkenny contingent has been under the watchful eye of Paddy McEvoy of McEvoy Movement Clinic and the entire, expert team at TJ Reid Health and Fitness for weeks and will brave the energy-sapping 8km Hell and Back course at Kilduddery Estate, Bray, Wicklow, from 11am this Saturday.
All funds raised by the 34-strong TJ Reid Health and Fitness club participants goes to the Ray of Sunshine Foundation. Ballyragget-based Paddy, his dad, Lar, and brother, Richie, all volunteered with the charity which was set up in 2013 and has built schools and community facilities in Kenya for children with visual impairments, those rescued from sex trafficking and more.
“For 2020, the aim is to go out and build another school and training kitchen for children there. The Ray of Sunshine Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation and every single cent raised goes directly into projects. It helps buy building materials and helps hire locals for the building and development works.”
Hell and Back is Ireland’s toughest mental and physical endurance challenge, is the country’s largest and most popular obstacle course run. The trail route crosses rivers and lakes, will see the Kilkenny contingent climbing hills and mountains and crawling through bogs and swamps.
“To survive, you must conquer all the elements thrown at you, whether that is the temperamental weather conditions, the gruelling natural environment or the torturous man-made obstacles. But we’ve been in training for weeks and we’re ready," explains,” McEvoy.
“We’ve even held bootcamps Tuesday and Thursday nights and outdoor sessions on Saturday mornings for weeks to get everyone ready. We’ve a great bunch of people together and while the course will be tough, we’ve the carrot of the after party at Paris Texas to get us over the line."
While the many participants have sponsorship cards, the public can also donate by dropping into TJ Reid Health & Fitness or by clicking here.