All ready for the Loop the Lakes annual fundraiser this Saturday. Back (from left): Cillian O’Reilly and baby Rian, Ciaran Burns and Neil Phair; front, Lisa Kearns, Blaithin O’Reilly and Fiona Nulty.

Loop the Lakes goes virtual

The ninth annual Loop the Lakes charity run will take place virtually this year on Saturday, September 5, to raise much-needed funds for suicide awareness and prevention charities. With a reputed 365 lakes in County Cavan, organisers are appealing to people to loop a lake near them and post pictures of their run.

Due to Coronavirus restrictions, runners will not be assembling in large groups this year but people are encouraged to do individual runs and families are urged to run together to generate money for SOSAD and Pieta House.

The event has raised in the region of €50,000 over the last eight outings and organisers hope 2020 will be the best year yet. Committee members, who usually don’t get a chance to participate in the run, will also walk it this year.

T-shirts for runners are being sponsored by Ice Cream Treats and a ‘One for All’ voucher prizes will be sponsored by Cillian O’Reilly and Cavan Sports Clinic, which has just opened at Farnham Street in Cavan Town

In addition to looping a lake near you, there is also an option to cycle on the new cycle track at Killykeen. A Go Fund Me page is up and running for the virtual fundraiser and all donations will be much appreciated.

One of the organisers, Ciaran Burns, told the Celt at the Town Lake in Killeshandra on Saturday morning that he is involved in the event from the outset with a group from the local football club.

“The run has been a huge success to-date and this year the times are somewhat different. Although there is no physical race we wanted to organise something virtually. With so many lakes in the region, we are asking that people go and do their own run or walk at a lake near them, and choose whatever distance they desire – 2k, 5k or 7k. Then post a video or a photograph and make a small donation,” he explained.

A €200 ‘One For All’ voucher is up for grabs for the best video or picture uploaded. All participants will also be entered into a draw for a €100 voucher.

The charities are more in need of the funding than ever, says Ciaran: “With Covid 19 here for a number of months now, people’s mental health may be affected and may even manifest itself more over the next while. We are privileged to be healthy and do this run and spare some loose change,” he said.

Neil Phair will be taking part for the first time this year and the Killeshandra clubman, who lives in Dublin, is glad to come down and be involved for these two great charities.

Lisa Kearns is the PRO of the Killeshandra GFC and co-ordinates the social media campaign for the Loop the Lakes event. “My husband is a part-time fireman with the Killeshandra Fire Brigade and they have come on board this year to help raise funds for the two charities. They are going to do the 7k Loop the Lake of Killeshandra walk at 12 noon on Saturday donning full PPE and full breathing apparatus. They have a Go Fund Me page set up on their Facebook page as well – Killeshandra Fire Service cn19 Ireland. They are hoping many of the other fire crews around the country might come on board and raise some funds,” said Lisa.

To donate go on the Loop the Lakes Facebook page and follow the link to the Go Fund Me page.

The organisers will be in the Clubrooms from 11am to 1pm on this Saturday to assist people who are not familiar with technology to make a donation.