OVER 150 cyclists from across West Limerick and North Kerry criss-crossed the local countryside on Sunday in a bid to raise thousands of euros for local charities.
The second Limerick Kerry Charity Cycle, which took place on Sunday, saw 155 cyclists traverse two tough circuits of 60km and 115km which started and finished up in Athea. All proceeds from the event will go towards the Brothers of Charity Services in Newcastle West and Listowel.
The cycle attracted a record number of both seasoned and amateur participants, while their efforts were matched by a strong turnout of volunteers that helped with everything from registration to tea making.
Yvonne O’Connor, a member of the cycle organising committee, said that things went to plan perfectly.
“The rain stayed away all morning. Everybody turned up, everything went well. We had a 155 cyclists. That was brilliant, almost double what we had last year. The majority of them did the longer route. There were no incidents or anything; everything went according to plan.”
The peloton departed from the Con Colbert Hall in Athea at 11am, and the group headed to Shanagolden, Loughill, Glin and Tarbert before splitting in two. Cyclists doing the 60km loop headed for Moyvane and then came back to Athea, while those tackling the longer 115km travelled to Ballybunion, Listowel and Abbeyfeale before returning to the start.
Waiting for them was an army of local volunteers who provided food, drinks and no little amount of encouragement.
“When the cyclists were coming back on Sunday evening, there such a fantastic atmosphere, not just inside the hall but out on the road too”, Ms O’Connor said. “A lot of locals had come down and were sitting on the wall clapping people as they came along. It was lovely, a real token of appreciation for what they’d done. The rain stayed away, and there was as much food as you could eat inside.”
Ms O’Connor said that the day could not have passed off so well without the efforts of all the volunteers, and the organisation and sponsorship of several groups, including the Limerick and Kerry County Sports Partnerships.
She added that they will be sitting down this week to count up just how much money the event raised, and hope to present cheques to both Brothers of Charity facilities in the coming weeks.