24 May 2022

Modest Mick Mulcahy’s major marathon momentfor Kildare Relay for Life

Paul O’Meara reports on one of the recent Relay for Life cancer fundraising efforts

Modest Mick Mulcahy’s major marathon momentfor Kildare Relay for Life

Lisa Nagle, Liam Tubridy, Gill O'Mahony, Maeve Aldridge, Mick Mulcahy, Brenda Walsh, Niamh Curley, Orla Wallace, Elaine Hayne, Olivia Nestor

It was the day Le Mans came to Naas.

Naas resident Mick Mulcahy wasn’t trying to emulate the annual endurance motor race in France — his goal was simply to raise money for a great local charitable cause.

But between midday on August 21 and midday on August 22 he ran around Naas in 3.2km circuits.

His route covered a total of 153.8 kilometres — or just over 84 miles in old money.

Mick, 58, runs Mick Mulcahy Fitness, providing fitness training for all levels from amateur to advanced.

Apart from this, he has a pretty impressive military background.

A former member of the elite Army Ranger Wing, he was a trainer in the Cadet School and a chief instructor in the School of Physical Education. He retired from the Defence Forces after a 32 year career in 2018.

Mick was running as part of Team Songbirdies, one of a number of teams participating in the Relay for Life Kildare fundraising effort.

The team, captained by Niamh Curley, were based in Poplar Square, collecting cash and online donations for the event.

“This is not about me,” Mick said when contacted by the Leader.

“It’s about helping a cancer charity and all of us know people, often loved ones, who have had cancer. When someone is going through this, they don’t get to take a break.

“Every cent raised will go to the cause through the Irish Cancer Society, which gets only 2% of what it needs to spend from the government.

“The last two relays had to be virtual events and money has to be raised.”

The idea for this most unusual and challenging of events came from his friendship with Niamh Curley, a singer in the Newbridge Gospel Choir, whose number include Lisa Nagle. They all became friends through communal training and Mick, a native of Killaloe, County Clare, lost both his parents to cancer.

The feat wasn’t going to be easy but he had support from a quartet of Niamh, his partner Maeve Aldridge, Elaine Hayes and Gill O’Mahony.

Sure enough he encountered a few problems, principally calf injuries and one needed some treatment including reflexology along the route.

“It wasn’t easy, my calves sort of packed in, but we got through it,” he said.

And before the event concluded a minute’s silence was observed in Poplar Square in remembrance of those who have passed because of cancer.

Keen to deflect attention away from himself, he said “I did no more than anyone else, it was about raising money and I had outstanding support.

“This was about Relay for Life and supporting those with the illness. It was a special event which brought so many together.” And of course the bigger story is Relay for Life and the work it has done since 2013.

But Mick Mulcahy’s endurance run was quite the feat.

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