FORMER Offaly GAA players Paudie Mulhare, Eunan Martin and Colm Quinn are making a final appeal to amateur cyclists from all over Offaly and surrounding areas to join them for a stage of the Race for Rás charity cycle next month.
The three former inter-county men are joining a host of well-known ex-GAA players, plus members of the public from all over Ireland, to cycle at least one stage of the 2011 An Post Rás tour of Ireland, which takes place from Sunday, May 22 to Sunday, May 29.
The Race for Rás event is being held to raise funds for GOAL and The Irish Cancer Society.
The trio have agreed to bike the first stage of the race from Dunboyne to Portumna on the opening Sunday, a stage which passes through the Offaly towns of Kinnitty, Birr and Riverstown.
Other well-known current and former GAA luminaries joining them on the opening stage will be Graham Geraghty and Evan Kelly from Meath; Galway’s Ollie Canning, Ja Fallon and Sean O’Domhnaill; Kevin Fitzpatrick from Laois, Cavan’s Ronan Carolan, Gerry Fitzmaurice from Roscommon and Mayo’s Maurice Sheridan.
The first stage from Dunboyne will have an extra dimension with GAA President Christy Cooney setting the ‘Race The Rás’ riders off at 8am sharp.
In total, more than 50 GAA luminaries will team up with members of the public for the fundraiser to try and raise in excess of €200,000 for GOAL and The Irish Cancer Society.
The participants will set off each morning three hours before the official stage start in an attempt to stay well ahead of the professionals. After biking for an average distance of 156km, they hope to enjoy their own race to the finishing line.
Other GAA stars who have confirmed their participation include Kerry’s Dara Ó Cinnéide, ex-Kilkenny star DJ Carey, Cork great Brian Corcoran, and ex-Irish rugby international Mick Galwey.
A small number of riders will attempt to complete the entire tour, including former Dublin and Leitrim footballer, Declan Darcy; Roscommon great Paul Earley, and well-known physiotherapist and star of TG4’s ‘The Underdogs’, Eamonn Ó Muircheartaigh.
If you would like to take part in Race The Rás, and raise money for GOAL and The Irish Cancer Society, please log on to www.racetheras.com