09 Dec 2021

Waterford man takes on 'the most challenging' ultra-marathon in Vietnam

Rathgormack's Paddy Flynn and Carrick-on-Suir's Daithí

Rathgormack's Paddy Flynn and Carrick-on-Suir's Daithí Harrison

Two friends from Waterford and Tipperary are cycling across 28 countries and three continents to raise vital funds for two charities – CMRF Crumlin and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

Rathgormack's Paddy Flynn and Carrick-on-Suir's Daithí Harrison kicked off their journey in August and are cycling from Sydney to Dublin in 12 months. As well as the cycle, both men are running an ultra-marathon in each of the 28 countries along the way.

To celebrate completing the Australian leg of their journey the men took part in a 50 mile race in Dwellingup, Perth Australia. After battling through the race they enjoyed one day of rest before their flight to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Paddy and Daithi travelled to the Vietnamese Island of Phú Quốc for their next ultra-marathon, where they ran a gruelling 64km route around the south of the island. “It was one of the most challenging runs to date," Paddy said. “The humidity and heat made for a tough day that we will remember for a long time. Days like this are why we love to run. Every run is different, be it a 5km or a 50km. You keep going, overcome the adversity and by doing so you build resilience and self-belief.”

They are currently in Cambodia where they will tackle their third ultra-marathon in the coming days. “One of the reasons we decided to take on the challenge was to raise vital money for two amazing charities – CMRF Crumlin and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation," Daithí said.

“We are enjoying learning about the cultures and histories of all the countries we’re visiting. It’s an exploration of the mind and a journey of the soul. We both believe that it’s our duty to be of service to the generation that follow us, especially to those who need it most.”

150,000 children walk through the doors of Crumlin hospital every year. One in 100 children in Ireland are born with a structural heart defect and 211 children are diagnosed with cancer every year. All of them are treated at Crumlin Hospital.

 “It’s really cool to think that we could be making a difference not only to the children in Australia and Ireland, but also to our local towns and our local counties, Tipperary and Waterford, bringing excitement and inspiring people from all walks of life," Paddy said.

“We decided to raise money for CMRF and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation because they do wonderful work for sick children in Ireland and Australia. Making the journey from Sydney to Crumlin will be a way of not only helping both charities but also marking a link between the two.”

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