Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Camlough running pals back on track for Great North Run

Camlough men Pat McGinn and Larry McCabe are set to don their running shoes once again as they prepare to take part in next month’s Great North Run in Newcastle, England to raise funds for the Southern Area Hospice. Back in April the lifelong friends completed the gruelling challenge of the London Marathon together where they ran as part of a group who raised over £47,000 for the hospice.

Now they will join World & Olympic Champion Mo Farrah in September at the starting line of the Great North Run – the World’s biggest half marathon – in another fundraising effort for the Southern Area Hospice.

Explaining the significance of the hospice to local people, Larry said,

“Southern Area Hospice Services (SAHS) provides invaluable support and care to people living within the Southern Health Board Area, who are suffering from Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease and AIDS. Their services are provided free of charge and they rely heavily on voluntary donations to continue providing their special care.  Southern Area Hospice Services relies on 73p in every pound coming from fundraising to enable them to care and support patients and their families. The Fundraising Dept has to raise £2.42 million in 2016 to maintain the level of care currently available. This equates to £201,666 per month, £46,538 per week or £6,630 per day. Myself and Pat are delighted to be able to raise funds for this worthy charity”.

The two friends are determined to finish the demanding course but admit their training schedule “could be better.”

“But we will do our best to stay away from the Chip Shops for a few weeks,” joked Pat.

The hospice is a cause close to their hearts as both men have had family and friends who have availed of its caring, compassionate and professional services.

“This is a motivation in itself,” said Pat.

“We also want those who are currently facing the challenges of cancer and serious illness to know that they are not forgotten and we salute their courage in such trying times,”  he added.

The two lifelong pals will be holding “bucket collection days” in Camlough and Crossmaglen within the coming weeks and have set-up a PayPal account to receive donations.