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The Race That Nearly Wasn't: Cork teen mapping out creative runs in aid of cancer research

By Sarah Finnan

April 20, 2020 at 5:13pm

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Cork teen Ben O'Regan has been thinking outside the box with his runs - using the opportunity to get creative and map out specially-shaped routes.

Taking part in Breakthrough Cancer Research's 2k a day lockdown challenge, Ben O'Regan has been clocking the miles for The Race That Nearly Wasn't. Missing his beloved GAA something terrible, the 14-year-old is filling the void with daily runs instead.

Having lost his nana to the disease, Ben decided he wanted to do something to raise awareness and funds for cancer research - raising over €700 in the process.

Speaking of the teenager's fundraising efforts, Eoghan O'Sullivan from Breakthrough Cancer Research said:

"Ben blew us all away with his creativity when he did special-shaped runs during the challenge. We would like to say a huge thank you to Ben for his fantastic efforts and support".

The Race That Nearly Wasn't The Race That Nearly Wasn't

The Race That Nearly Wasn'tWith other racing and walking events having been cancelled as a result of Covid-19, organisers launched The Race That Nearly Wasn't as a means to continue fundraising efforts while adhering to government measures.

Still open for participants, anyone looking to get involved can do so by running/walking 2km a day for 20 days. Do laps of your back garden or look to Ben for inspiration and go for specially-shaped jogs around your locality (keeping within the 2km radius of course), however you decide to get moving, just make sure to use the app to log it all.

An opportunity to help raise vital funds for pioneering cancer research, organisers have noticed that the initiative is also a great way to foster a sense of community spirit at a time when many people may feel disconnected.

Hoping to raise €40,000 for ground-breaking research, many celebrities, ambassadors, cancer survivors and companies have already pledged their support - All Ireland winning Tipperary hurler and cancer survivor Noel McGrath amongst them.

According to Eoghan O Sullivan:

“2020 has already been a year like no other. And never has the value and need for research, and the vulnerability of cancer patients, been felt so starkly.

Breakthrough’s work is 100% funded through public donations and we have an ambitious target of €2 million for 2020.  Our work, the research we fund, and the treatments we help find are in jeopardy without continuing support from the public."

READ NEXT: Varadkar expects plan for ‘staged lifting of restrictions’ to be ready by end of April

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