Donnacha McCarthy is a visually-impaired paratriathlete who is aiming to represent Ireland in the Tokyo Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020. His friends and the wider community are working together to assist his efforts, including fundraising activities such as the Art O'Neill Challenge which is a 52km overnight race, taking place on the night of Friday 17th January 2020, when the competitors leave Dublin Castle, heading southwards towards Glenmalure in County Wicklow.
The event, which is run and managed by the Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team, began formally in 2006 and commemorates a historic escape from Dublin Castle that happened on January 6th, 1592. That night, Art O'Neill, his brother Henry, and Red Hugh O'Donnell broke out of the Castle and made for Glenmalure, to safety. Henry and Hugh both made it to safety but sadly Art, for whom the Challenge is named, succumbed to hypothermia along the way.
The 2020VisionChallenge team, who will be participating in this year’s Ultra Event comprises Eamonn Tilley, Pete Wedderburn, Mark Butler and Conor Duggan: we will be running through the night, self-guided on open mountains irrespective of the weather conditions in total darkness, to raise much-needed financial support for Donnacha McCarthy's efforts to represent his country on the international stage. As well as supporting Donnacha’s journey, donors will be pledging their support to Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue, without whom, the event would not take place.