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  • Southside

Firefighter to run through the jungle for hospital kids

Wednesday, 7th November, 2018 1:00pm
Firefighter to run through the jungle for hospital kids

Padraig Thompson, from Clondalkin, will leave for San José on January 12 and run a marathon a day for six days.

Firefighter to run through the jungle for hospital kids

Padraig Thompson, from Clondalkin, will leave for San José on January 12 and run a marathon a day for six days.

A SOUTHSIDE firefighter is in training to run over 100 miles in six days through the jungle of Costa Rica to raise funds for sick children.

Padraig Thompson, from Clondalkin, will leave for San José on January 12  and run a marathon a day for six days. Padraig has been involved in a number of fundraising challenges with CMRF Crumlin over the last two years. He is keen to raise funds through physical challenges to support families going through their toughest emotional challenge in the hospital.

“I’ve done a few crazy things over the years to help raise awareness of CMRF Crumlin,” Padraig said. “I ran a marathon blindfolded before. Last year I ran about three marathons in one go – so that’s about 116 kilometres.I started the Saturday night before the actual race and ran straight into the Dublin Marathon. I raised money for CMRF and also did it as a mark of respect and to raise awareness of the rescue helicopter 116 that went down last year. I ran the 116 kilometres in memory of the team on the helicopter.

“A couple of years ago I gave myself a really good challenge. I’m a firefighter and we use mannequins to train with, so it gave me an idea. I ran the Dublin City Marathon with one of the mannequins on my shoulders for the entire race.

They weigh about 40-50 kilos and it represented the weight on your shoulders when you’ve a sick child in hospital. I actually stopped during the race when I was passing my girlfriend, who was cheering me on, and I proposed to her then. It was a really special fundraising experience because thankfully she said yes. She thought it might happen when we were in New York a few times for the marathon for CMRF, but it was a surprise for her in Dublin. We didn’t realise until that evening that my proposal had gone viral and was online and on TV too.”

In August, Padraig was part of the #Run100Miles challenge. During the 31 days of August 100 peo-ple ran a mile and added it to the total. The funds went to CMRF Crumlin and cancer awareness. At the end of July Padraig lost his mother to cancer and the challenge was in her memory.

In January 2019 Padraig will fly to San José with 15 other runners to take on the Costa Rica Challenge. He’ll stay in local houses with a guide to bring him through the jungle. Padraig has taken part in the Dublin Marathon and he’s also run the New York Marathon to raise funds for CMRF.

“The reason I keep going back to CMRF is because of the incredible relationships I have with the staff there,” Padraig said. “Antoinette, Gerry and any of the team I work with have always been incredible. There’s a sort of family feel to it. I mightn’t see anyone for a year until we get to New York for the marathon, but suddenly it’s like being reunited with family. This feeling makes it so easy to fundraise with CMRF again. In 2010 we had some American firefighters visiting us at work and we brought them for a tour up to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

“My son was born that year too and it hit me that I could help the families in the hospital. As firefighters, we expect ourselves to be able to handle tough situations in our job, but when we have to help children it be-comes a very emotional experience, so, I was inspired to fundraise and do my bit to help the children and families who are going through difficult times.”

Padraig’s father passed away before the New York Marathon in 2017, but with the support and encouragement of his family and friends he still completed it.

“The training for the Costa Rica now is hard too, having only lost mam in July.” Padraig revealed. “But when I put my runners on and get out the door I get into it and I keep going. I’ll be ready for Costa Rica on January 12 to help the families in the hospital.”

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