Over the upcoming May Bank holiday weekend, 10 staff from Carrigaline Community School will be attempting to complete the 4x4x48 Challenge (running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours). They are hoping to raise awareness of the Sanctuary Runners - a growing movement that have branches in many counties all over Ireland.
The Sanctuary Runners enable Irish residents to run alongside, and in solidarity with, asylum seekers and refugees in Direct Provision thereby fostering friendship, positivity and respect while bringing greater awareness to the migration system. A non-profit, and multi-award-winning movement the Sanctuary Runners use running to build sustainable bridges between communities and to show that we are all equal.
The staff of CCS have been building up the training miles over the last few months. The organiser of the challenge is Gene Cahill, who teaches Politics & Society in the school. “I wanted to do something myself to survive the lockdown and being restricted to 5km from home, the options were quite limited. I heard about this challenge online and thought it might be a bit of fun."
"Over the two days we will run 48 miles which is a bit above most people’s comfort zone. I knew a few other crazy people on staff who I thought would be interested in it and they were up for it, and some even roped in their partners!”
The challenge is as mental as it is physical and the staff are expecting to have tired minds and bodies by the end of it all, especially with them unable to get a proper sleep over the 48 hours. Because of the public health restrictions in place, they won't be able to run as a group so if you see a few solitary runners in blue t-shirts running at all hours of the night next weekend, you'll know the reason why!
Gene first got involved in the Sanctuary Runners through his teaching of Politics & Society. “I came across this group who ran together every week at parkruns and other races around the city, while researching the Direct Provision system for my own teaching.
I contacted them and attended a few Parkruns and ended up running a marathon and a few half marathon distances wearing the blue running top of the Sanctuary Runners.” With this 4x4x48 Challenge, the staff of CCS are hoping to raise more awareness of the Sanctuary Runners and start a recruitment drive ahead of the Cork City Marathon. The Sanctuary Runners are hoping to sign up over 1,000 members to run a relay leg (8km), a half marathon (13.1 miles) or a full marathon (26.2miles) over the June Bank Holiday weekend.