Two Offaly men to run the entire length of the Grand Canal for charity

A mammoth 133km run from start to finish

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Two Offaly men to run the entire length of the Grand Canal for charity

Two Offaly men to run the entire length of the Grand Canal for charity

Two Offaly men are set to run the entire 133km of the Grand Canal in aid of Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

On June 15/16, Eamon Shields and Cathal Kelly will pull their runners on at the Dublin docklands and traverse westward along the canal to its end at the River Shannon at Banagher in Offaly.

The idea to run the Grand Canal arose over a dinner conversation two years ago. Cathal had visited Eamon in Leixlip and both had done a short run westward on the canal. Both wondered what it would be like to keep running all the way to the end. This seemingly crazy idea developed over the last year and now they have decided to complete the route in full.

Both men originally hail from Lusmagh in Offaly, and have been runners for a long time. Eamon is a member of Le Cheile AC in Leixlip, while Cathal is a member of East Cork AC, based in Midleton. In attempting this event, they have decided to raise funds for Crumlin in recognition of the support given to Cathal’s godchild, Katie Kelly, who was unfortunately a regular patient there and sadly passed away in September 2014.

Day 1 of the event will see the men cover the first 65kms as far as Edenderry. The Canal, which has a footpath all the way, starts in the docklands and runs westward through Lucan, Sallins, Robertstowns and on to Edenderry. Day 2 will be slightly longer, at 68kms, running from Edenderry, through Daingean, Tullamore and then a final 36km ‘home run’ to Shannon Harbour, where the canal joins with the River Shannon.

Neither runner has covered a distance like this in the past so it represents a mighty challenge, but they are determined to make it for such a worthy cause.

With support from Waterways Ireland and Crumlin Children's Hospital, Cathal and Eamon have created an 'idonate account' to raise money online for this adventure. You can support the run by clicking here. 

PICTURED: And they're off...Eamon and Cathal depart from Grand Canal Dock in Dublin


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