No snow will slow down this incredible Irish woman who is about to start the Donegal leg of her 'Lap of the Map' around Ireland.
Mary Nolan Hickey is a 65-year-old runner who is taking on her biggest challenge yet by running around the entire coast of the island of Ireland in aid of the RNLI.
There’s no question of ability with this running enthusiast, who is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them!).
Mary started her epic journey in Co. Wicklow on New Year’s Day and is aiming to cover 5000 kilometres while visiting RNLI stations around the coastline.
She is in Malin Head today (Thursday) on a rest day before tackling 10 days of running in Donegal. Covering distances of between 13 and 21 miles, Mary will be travelling down the Donegal coast passing through Buncrana, Mulroy, Dunfanaghy, Falcarragh, Bunbeg, Arranmore Island, Lettermacaward, Killybegs, Donegal Town, Bundoran and then south to Sligo.
Mary will then chart onwards around the coastline with plans to arrive back home in Arklow sometime before late June to collect her first pension cheque when she turns 66.
Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible on her once in a lifetime adventure. Just like the RNLI attend to call-outs in all kinds of weather, Mary has bravely faced storm Eleanor and now storm Fionn. Her determination against the elements has earned her the title of Hurricane Mary!
This mighty lap is in aid of the life-saving services of the RNLI. Mary has so far raised €5,700 online out of her €20,000 total. All money raised will be split between all of the Lifeboat Stations in Ireland.
Speaking about her journey Mary said: “I wanted to prove that age is not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save people at sea.”
Mary, who is depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.
To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page rnlilapofthemap2018