Two running pals from Ballyshannon are about to put themselves through their paces as they run 618 km in five days from Mizen to Malin Head.

Julie McMullin and Loretta Cullen will take on the challenge in August to support three special charities in memory of their mothers.

All funds raised will be in aid of The Donegal Hospice, The Northwest Hospice and the Irish Cancer Society.

Loretta Cullen and Julie McMullin

“Both of our mums died from cancer and we are very aware of the wonderful work that the hospice movement and the Irish Cancer Society do and their ongoing need for donations,” they said.

While Julie and Loretta are both experienced endurance runners, the Mizen-Malin challenge is no easy feat for anyone.

Starting from 18th August, they will run through eight counties, cross three provinces and aim to make it to South Donegal on the 21st to finish at Malin Head in Inishowen on the 22nd.

Julie is a Home Economics and Science teacher at St. Columba’s College Stranorlar. The Roscommon native has lived in Donegal for the past 30 years. Julie has participated in many running, cycling, swimming, triathlon and adventure races and was the first female to compete and cross the finish line of The Race in 2018.

In the past six months, she has completed The Hero 105-mile race in 24 hours alongside Loretta.

Julie McMullin and Loretta Cullen
Julie McMullin and Loretta Cullen

Loretta, who is from Ballyshannon, works in Kiernan’s supermarket in Ballyshannon and Bundoran. She caught the running bug in 2011 when working an fundraising for Oxfam. She has since completed six marathons, one back to back marathon, two thirty-nine mile ultra-marathons, a fifty-mile ultra-marathon and the Hero 105-mile race.

Not only are Julie and Loretta facing a gruelling physical challenge, but the fundraising element of their campaign has been made even more difficult due to Covid-19.

Both women had various traditional fundraising efforts planned but restrictions have led to most events being cancelled. For now, they are relying on online donations to help them raise as much as possible for the charities in the run up to August. 

If you would like to support Julie and Loretta, please visit their GoFundMe page at: