An inspirational couple are at the final stages of a 1,000km Wild Atlantic Relay from Mizen to Malin Head.
Paul and Karen McGovern are leading the walk to raise funds and awareness of Multiple Sclerosis in Ireland. Paul, aged 37, has secondary progressive MS, which makes this all the more challenging.
Paul and his wife Karen today began their so-called “walk of death” in Donegal as they take on 28 mile stretches before they reach their end goal at Malin Head next week.
This is the start of 4 days for the couple in which they have to 120 miles to cover to get to Ireland’s most northerly point.
“If you see Paul hitching on the road today, please just pass by, don’t pick him up,” Karen warned supporters in a video update this morning.
“No, give me a lift!,” said Paul.
“It’s going to be brutally tough, but that’s the plan that was put together and that’s the plan we have to do,” Paul said.
The couple are welcoming everyone to join them for a mile or two and show their support by donating to them along the route.
Paul is from Dunleer County Louth and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of MS eight years ago. He and Karen walked from Ireland west to east coast in 10 days two years ago, but as Paul’s condition progresses they say that this will be their last big adventure. They set off from Mizen Head on June 4th with a huge goal of covering an average of 20 miles a day to make up 990km (615 miles).
Paul and Karen’s walk is being supported by Centra and they have been making pit stops at Centra stores all along the Wild Atlantic Way. They have been warmly welcomed by communities across the west coast who have been hosting fundraising days for MS Ireland.
Paul and Karen crossed into Donegal on July 10th to arrive in Ballyshannon. On Tuesday 11th July they walked from Ballyshannon to Donegal Town for a rest day and a coffee day at Centra.
On Thursday Paul and Karen trekked from Donegal to Killybegs, where they were greeted by the triumphant Killybegs Marching Band at Hegartys Centra. This morning they embarked on their first gruelling 28 mile walk, which is expected to take them 12 hours to get to Dungloe.
On Sunday they will walk to Letterkenny, then on to Buncrana and finally Malin Head, with rest days in between.
Donations can be left into local participating Centra shops and donations can also be made on-line here: give.everydayhero.com/ie/team-paul-karen-nanook-walk-4-ms-ireland-2017