Run to the End of the Earth for Ronnie
908km across Spain along the camino Frances to Finisterre on the Atlantic coast

The start line at St Jean Pied de Port

The start line at St Jean Pied de Port

Here we go!

At the start line of St Jean Pied de Port. There’s a long way to go!

The Start Line at St Jean Pied de Port

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The End of the Earth

Finisterre 0KM. Nowhere left to run!

Finisterre 0KM. Nowhere left to run!

I made it.

22 marathons to the end of the earth for Ronnie and Brain Tumour Ireland. It has been a tough 3 weeks, full of highs and lows but there was an overwhelming sense of relief to finally reach Finisterre with literally no where left to run.
At the "End of the Earth"

At the “End of the Earth”

It was physically and mentally demanding to get up and running every morning but the Camino seems to bring something out in people to dig deep and keep going.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but it was definitely worth it. Although the Camino had been a personal achievement, the real success was the amount of awareness generated for Brain Tumour Ireland through the outstanding support from everyone back home.

So from myself and on behalf of Brain Tumour Ireland I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has shown their support.

 

 

Finisterre CrossroadsTo Muxia and the last sunset run of the challenge.

At a bit of a cross roads today! You can see the Camino de Finisterre signs pointing in two directions. Chose the long route through Muxia to round off 65kms in one day.

The pic below shows my last sunset run of the challenge. Last day tomorrow Muxia to Finisterre – just 29km left to go!

Last Sunset Run

 

The Road from Santiago to The End of the Earth (Finisterre)

There was a sense of fulfillment and achievement leaving Santiago but it was bittersweet as I  knew this was not the end. Moving on from Santiago towards Finisterre and leaving all the other pilgrims behind, has been one of the most difficult stages of the trip so far.

There is a certain camaraderie along the Camino which really lifts your spirits, whether with a 70 year old man cycling up the hills to stay fit for his grandkids, or a school tour of children cheering you on as you go by.

The path to Finisterre is a different journey. The weather has changed and I haven’t met any pilgrims along the track so far. Every kilometere is still tough and it’s not over until I reach that llightouse in Finisterre.

I’m quite literally on my last legs today but still pushing on for Mom and Brain Tumour Ireland.

I cannot thank everyone enough for all the support, messages and donations from back home. It is really keeping me going. Nearly there now. I hope to make it to Finisterre today or tomorrow.

Niall Reaches Santiago!

Niall arriving into Santiago de Compostela this evening

Niall arriving into Santiago de Compostela this evening

Niall has arrived into Santiago de Compostela this evening, 21 long days after he started this epic challenge.

A message from Margo (Niall’s one woman support team!) told us they were in great spirits arriving into the city this evening. She said the Cathedral was closed off to all tourists and a short mass and get together was held for the pilgrims arriving into Santiago. Niall and Margo joined about ten other pilgrims for this, each person reaching the end of their own personal journey.

But not Niall! His journey is not quite over yet as he embarks on the final leg of the challenge- to the end of the earth for Ronnie. Niall will set off for Finisterre (end of the earth) early in the morning, and we are all wishing him well on the home straight.

Niall at Santiago Cathedral

Niall at Santiago Cathedral

 

 

For now however he will do a quick interview with the Irish Independent, and according to Margo have a glass of champers to celebrate the brilliant achievement in getting to Santiago; followed by a good rest tonight!

Niall sends his thanks to everyone who has donated to Brain Tumour Ireland and sent supportive messages to keep him going through the last few weeks. Onwards and upwards to Finisterre!!

 

Niall In Galicia Today

Galicia

Niall with a nice bit of Galician Granite, just like Wicklow!

 

Making great progress now since the injury and passing through the Galicia  region!

Into Leon

Into Leon. An update from Margo- aka Niall’s Camino Support Team!

600 Km – DONE!

Hey everybody. After a long week and injury demons looming- Niall made it to Leon!

Niall at the Cathedral in Leon

Niall at the Cathedral in Leon

Muchisimas Gracias a David Casado Medina, the best physio in the world, for getting us through an incredibly challenging week of injury.

David Casado Medina the best physio in theworld!!

David Casado Medina the best physio in theworld!

Unfortunately, after a week of amistad, esperanza y bromas the best and worst feeling was having to move on without your support.

 

Of course, after arriving in Leon we made sure to celebrate with a delicious Peregrino Menu del Dia. We then continued to move on from town to town, with Niall knocking KMs off the clock.

Taking a break!

 

 

 

 

Cruz de Ferro (the highest point of the Camino).

Cruz de Ferro (the highest point of the Camino). An update from Margo- aka Niall’s Camino Support Team!

Today Niall reached the Camino’s highest point Cruz de Ferro, one of the pilgrim trail’s most sacred spots.

Niall at Cruz de Ferro, the highest point of the Camino.

Niall at Cruz de Ferro, the highest point of the Camino.

Like most Pilgrims who carry letters, stones, jewellery, poems etc. Niall carried a rock from Ronnie’s home in Dunlavin with him all 540kms to La Cruz de Ferro. We said a little prayer, lit a candle and left his rock on the hill below the cross.

Leaving a Stone from Dunlavin on the Camino

 It is believed that by carrying the stone through El Camino, all your losses, sins, pain, sorrows, weaknesses, insecurities, unanswered prayers etc. are symbolically embedded within it during the walk. By leaving it behind in La Cruz de Ferro, you shed those things we no longer need to “carry” through life.

 

 

 

Niall broke the 600km milestone today. Onwards and upwards to the End of the Earth for Ronnie and Brain Tumour Ireland.

One Week and a Third of the Way Along the Camino!!

RunningOne week and a third of the way through the 908km run the entire length of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela !!

So far I have run 318km, just over a third of the distance. I am pretty wrecked; the average day in the life of the Camino is tough going. However I’m clocking up 40-50km per day and I’m happy with the progress so far.

I am overwhelmed by all the support back home. I barely told my family about this journey before I left. Now just a week in and with 318km down the news has spread and is creating incredible awareness for Brain Tumour Ireland. I honestly can’t believe it. Mum was a big supporter of charity events for friends and family over the years and she would be incredibly grateful.

It was in tribute to her strength and determined spirit that I took on this challenge which I have called “To the End of the Earth for Ronnie and Brain Tumour Ireland.”

The feedback on Facebook is really giving me a boost so please keep the messages coming! I am also really grateful to everyone who has donated to the cause and so far over €2,500 has been raised for Brain Tumour Ireland.

Anyone wishing to support the challenge by donating to Brain Tumour Ireland can do so at Niall’s My Charity Page.

 

4 Days in- nearly a quarter of the way done!

Nearly a quarter of the way down in just four days and there’s still time to play in the snow!

Thanks so much to everyone back home for all the support.

Snow!

Snow!