TWENTY-four Glenstal Abbey School pupils set off on the adventure of their young lives around Ireland to raise money for Crumlin Childrens Hospital this morning.
They left Murroe around 9am for their 14 day cycle around the coast, appropriately called the Long Way Around.
The transition year students have already brought in €12,500 from a number of events including a charity dinner, raffle and auction in the Dunraven Arms.
Months of work have gone into organising the cycle - the idea of Glenstal housemaster and mini-company teacher, Paul Huntly.
“Initially it was a cycle around Limerick but a couple of the lads thought lets boost this up a little bit!” said Mr Huntly.
Instead of running a business they decided to focus all their efforts towards charity.
“All the boys were split into various groups to organise parts of the cycle. It is a serious undertaking, it’s 14 days,” said Mr Huntly.
Some days they will cycle 110km and other days a whopping 140km in total.
“They will be divided into two groups of 12 - each group cycles half the distance. It’s 750kms in 11 days with three rest days,” said Mr Huntly.
And while one group cycles the others will be “bucketing”.
Mr Huntly said the aim is to get 100,000 people to give €1 and not a small amount of people giving large donations.
They will be in Limerick city this Friday morning before heading onto Foynes, Tralee and Ballybunion.
Everyone is ready to go, their only concern jokes Mr Huntly is that it might snow!
It is a massive commitment for teenagers aged just 15 and 16, but they are more than rising to the challenge.
One of the 24, is Odhran McAteer, from Cratloe.
He say they are “very happy to just have the chance to help children just like us”.
“We picked Crumlin Hospital because many of our year have had relations in the hospital and have themselves been in that hospital,” explained Odhran.
The boys have embraced new media to spread the word and have set up a website www.longwayaround.ie , Facebook and Twitter pages to follow their journey.
If you don’t see them on your travels you can donate on the website, and Odhran says they appreciate any donations, large or small, for a great cause.