Over 160 cyclists were recovering their weary limbs but with a great sense of satisfaction at the weekend after undertaking a 110km round trip straddling Clare and Galway in the Aer Lingus Charity Cycle out of Shannon Airport, which raised €10,000 for Shannon Group’s designated charities, iCAN and Abalta.
Cyclists from Clare, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Wicklow geared up for the event at Shannon on Saturday morning, having been set off on their merry way after the starter flag was raised by Rose of Clare Leah Kenny and Shannon Group Chairman Rose Hynes just after 9.00am.
In a new addition this year, another 100 participated in relays on static bicycles at Shannon Airport to help raise additional donations, among them airport employees, airport passengers and local businesses.
The cycle, now in its third year, is organised by Shannon Group staff in aid of their designated charities, which this year are the IrishChildren’s Arthritis Network (iCAN) and Abalta Special School.
This year’s cycle travelled west from Shannon, up to Gort via Kilmurry, Kilkishen Tulla and returning via Clooney, Quin and Newmarket-on-Fergus, before making it back to Shannon.
Declan Smyth, Chairperson, Shannon Group Charity Committee, said: “It was another great outing for us and this year, unlike the last two events, we were mostly blessed with dry weather, which kept spirits high. We had a great laugh along the way and the great thing is that even though there are very mixed fitness levels and capabilities, there’s always someone to bring you along and encourage you if you happen to be finding it tough.
“For those not up for taking on the 110km cycle, there was the option of the static bikes. We were delighted with the huge response from the community who really got behind us and helped us raise additional funds for our Shannon Group charities. We also had great support from Zest at Shannon Airport, who provided refreshments at the airport, and the Lady Gregory Hotel in Gort, who looked after the cyclists at the half-way point.”
Yvonne Muldoon, Director of Sales, Aer Lingus, said: “This was our first year on board and it was a fantastic experience for all our staff who participated, for everyone involved. As a company we are keen to promote healthy activity and this was a great opportunity for us in that regard. We are delighted also to have played a role in raising very important funds for two worthy causes. This money will go a long way, so it’s a win-win for all concerned.”