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  • Northside East

Intrepid Dermot is on course for a world record

Monday, 12th March, 2018 1:00pm
Intrepid Dermot  is on course for a world record

INTREPID: Dermot Higgins pictured during his adventure.

Intrepid Dermot  is on course for a world record

INTREPID: Dermot Higgins pictured during his adventure.

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A NORTH Dublin man is closing in on an extraordinary achievement in a bid to raise funds for an Irish aid charity.

Inspired by childhood tales of Phileas Fogg and his around the world trip, Dermot Higgins is set to complete a Guinness World Record by becoming the oldest person to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle.

The Rush resident has taken on this epic and incredible adventure of a lifetime headfirst, spending the first nine months of his retirement pedalling 31,000km in an attempt to break a world record all while raising valuable funds for Trócaire.

In June 2017, the retired teacher embarked on the mammoth challenge as he set off on his journey. 

At 55, the father-of-four set out to become the oldest person in the world to successfully complete the challenge while simultaneously raising awareness for UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and to raise funds for Trócaire’s work in developing communities around the world.

Dermot is currently in the US where he is pedalling hard to arrive in Washington DC just before St Patrick’s Day. On his arrival, Dermot will meet a host of dignitaries including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Following this meeting, Dermot will travel on to New York City where he will be taking part in the St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Then he will undertake the last leg of his journey from Lisbon to Madrid where he’ll be joined by a group of 12 friends to rally around and cycle the last leg of his trip, culminating in his arrival in Dublin on Easter Sunday, April 1.

Now sporting a rainbow coloured beard, Dermot will have trekked through 21 countries, kicking off in Madrid last July, travelling through Europe, Central and South-East Asia, Australia/New Zealand, across the US and back to Europe, cycling solo, camping daily, transporting all his own gear and equipment and spending as little as €15 a day.

To satisfy the Guinness Book of Records requirements, a continuous journey East-West or West-East (the latter in Dermot’s case) of at least 18,000 miles (29,000km), a total distance at least an Equator's length, i.e. 24,900 miles (40,100 km) and to pass through two approximate antipodal points (in Dermot’s case, Madrid and Wellington) needs to be made.

Through an online interview, Dermot said: “I just want to do something different, something out of the ordinary, something extraordinary.

“The notion of travelling around the world has been somewhere at the back of my mind since I was a small child. It wasn’t until I retired from my teaching job that I had the opportunity to take on this challenge.

“I’m in really high spirits at the moment though feeling a little cold travelling through Bible belt America. 

“In a week’s time I’ll be in Washington where I believe I can really make my voice heard in relation to promoting what’s really important to me- sustainability! 

“It’s fantastic that I’ve been able to raise nearly €10,000 for Trocaire. I’m so looking forward to meeting my friends and supporters when I return to Dublin on Easter Sunday.” 

Dermot added: “Completing the Round the World Cycle will be my life's ambition realised. Having the opportunity to promote Global Goals and to support Trocaire is the icing on the cake.”

Meanwhile, Nevan Corcoran (11), a past pupil of Dermot’s, from Lusk, has written a letter to US President Donald Trump passionately asking him to rethink his decision not to back the Paris Accord.

Dermot has made the letter the basis of an online petition, and is hoping to secure 100,000 signatures and present it in person at the White House (https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/keep-the-usa-in-the-paris-agreement-on-climate-change). 

•There is still time to support Trocaire through Dermot on this amazing adventure. Check out https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gogodermo to make a donation

 

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