Five years ago a little idea that came about to raise money for a hurling club and a local charity, has now in 2015 blossomed into something much bigger, more significant, something important. On a Sunday in September 2011 on what could be described as one of the worst winter days on record in Galway, 120 hardy souls took to the lonely roads in Rahoon to be part of the Tonabrucky Challenge.
The challenge then was moved to June as surely we would get a dry day then, and boy did we, for the past four years we have had blistering heat of up to 26 degrees- even at 6pm when the race starts! Over 1,800 people have taken part and €36,000 has been raised for local, national and international charities. Each year new people come to take on the hilly course with a final hill that will leave you questioning everything, including why you came. I love running, being involved in life as in really involved and not just standing by complaining why things are not being done or being a key board warrior posting instagram quotes about following and perusing your dreams but never actually doing anything.
In order for life to be great, we need to do more, do more for ourselves and for our communities and our people that we have in our life. I am very fortunate; I am 29 and healthy and have a desire to be part of life and perhaps an energy that will leave me, when life finally burns me out! But for now I know making plans, doing things and just getting stuck in is so important. The Tonabrucky Challenge was and is a huge event for me each year and one that honestly is all positive. Along with the heroes at my hurling club, we have established a great social and competitive run that challenges the serious runner and haunts the casual 5km runner as they know just how tough the course is. Although, the Tonabrucky Challenge is a run by design, it has turned into so much more. It has brought people from all across the world to Rahoon, it has showcased what an incredible facility we have at Rahoon Newcastle, it has raised money to support the running of our club that allows 250 children to learn and play hurling (and I think we all know the benefits of this), it has helped out five charities to give more and most importantly, it has brought together so many people from every walk of life.
Sometimes we look to the wrong things to fulfil us or make ourselves happy, I believe happiness comes from simplicity. Look at your life and see what really has made you feel good and in a place where things are balanced and content. It will always be at a time of giving back or gratitude, we can lose sight of this as we seek out gratification through social media or material goods. I think we need to go back to basics and really look to being part of life again, this starts within you. So the next time there is an event on or you seem to be looking for more why not get involved more, rather than shying away from being part of things, jump straight right in.
Life is too short not to care and it's definitely too short not to be happy. So do more and be more.
And of course see you next June for a 6KM that will rock your socks off.