Do you remember the formidable woman who was running around Ireland for the RNLI? This week, Mary Nolan Hickey has reached her fundraising target of €20,000. But, of course, she won’t be stopping yet!

The 65-year-old Wicklow native started her epic ‘Lap of the Map’ on January 1st 2018. She set out to cover 5000 kilometres and visit RNLI stations around the coastline to raise awareness and funds for their life-saving work.

Mary Nolan HIckey

Mary ran through Donegal at the end of January. She even made it out to Arranmore Island during the fortnight of running around the north west in all types of weather.

The avid runner has captured the hearts of people in every county she visits, inspiring others to join her journey and gathering great support from locals. Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible on her once in a lifetime adventure.  As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

She has made it all the way to Cork this week, where she shared the great news about reaching her goal.

The fundraising continues as long as Mary keeps running on. She plans to arrive back home in Arklow sometime before late June to collect her first pension cheque when she turns 66.

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 station and volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s 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

Twitter @rnlilapofthemap