SOPHIE’S cycle takes to the roads of the midlands this weekend. The sponsored cycle is being organised by paramedics from the midlands division of the national ambulance service to raise funds for our lady’s hospital for sick children in Dublin.
The cycle is also a sign of support for one of their own colleagues who has a seriously ill child in the hospital.
Sophie Mahon has been a patient in Crumlin since she was born last October. Her parents Leona and Hugh live in Tullamore. Leona is a paramedic based in Portlaoise ambulance station..
The cycle takes place over two days, Saturday and Sunday next, May 26 and 27, and will visit all the towns in the midlands where ambulance stations are located. It is described as a “fun run” rather than a competitive cycle race with the emphasis on participants having a good time and raising as much money as possible.
Sophie’s cycle starts in Longford at 11.30am sharp on Saturday. From there it will pass through Ballymahon at 12.15, Athlone at 1.30, Ballymore at 2.30, Mullingar at 3.30, Kinnegad at 4.15, finishing in Edenderry at 5.30.
On Sunday the official opening will take place in Tullamore’s Market square at 11.30.(Cyclists to be in the square by 10.30). Baby Sophie will open the event, assisted by her parents and Robert Morton, director of the national ambulance service. The cyclists will be paraded through the town by the ambulance service pipe band before heading for Kilcormac where they will arrive at 12.15. The run will pass through Birr at 1pm and will pass through Roscrea at 2pm, Borris-in-Ossory at 2.40, Castletown at 3, Mountrath at 3.15 before finishing in Portlaoise at 4pm. Cyclists will be led by the ambualnce service band from Centrepoint Portlaoise to the finishing point at Laois shopping centre.
Times for both days are approximate and will depend on factors such as speed, number of cyclists and weather conditions.
Cyclists are reminded that head protection (cycle helmet) is compulsory on the trip. Anyone from Laois or Offaly wanting to be transported to Longford for the start of Day 1 should be at the HSE headquarters, Arden road Tullamore on Saturday at 9AM.Similar arrangements are being put in place for day 2 with details available from event organiser Gerry McKeon on 083 003746. Gerry can also be contacted regarding sponsorship or general enquiries, or by anyone wishing to take part, either individually or as part of a team.
Those with sponsorship cards are asked to bring them along, together with monies collected, on either Saturday or Sunday.
Anyone wishing to donate to Sophies cycle can do so at any branch of AIB bank.
Show your support for your local paramedics and Crumlin hospital this weekend by giving them a warm welcome when they visit your town.