Participants to set their own pace in Iron Month challenge

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

It is said that life is a marathon, not a sprint and that philosophy is reflected in An Saol’s Iron Month challenge, which is returning this May with the message that people of all abilities can reach the same goal by moving at their own pace.

The Dublin-based charity for survivors of severe Acquired Brain Injury (sABI) is welcoming participants to undertake the month-long challenge, which involves completing a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42km run over the month of May.

Reinhard Schäler, CEO of An Saol Foundation, highlighted the importance of inclusivity in this challenge. “The Iron Month serves to remind us that everyone has different abilities and capabilities in life. Some people may be able to complete the whole challenge in one day, others may take days or weeks”, he stated.

The An Saol Foundation is a registered charity that was established in 2014 by the family of Pádraig Schaler to provide neurological rehabilitation and ongoing support to people with a sABI.

Last year’s fundraiser saw hundreds of participants independently raise almost €23,000 in aid of the charity’s vital work.

This year will involve an additional event in the form of a TRYathlon, which will be hosted in conjunction with Triathlon Ireland. Scheduled to take place in the Sports Ireland Campus on May 1, this in-person event will launch the beginning of the Iron Month.

The TRYathlon will consist of a 500m swim, 20km cycle, and 5km run or walk, followed by music, food and a festival atmosphere. Participants of all abilities are encouraged to sign up and can choose either to complete the challenge in one day or over the course of four weeks.

“All efforts are equally valid and inspiring, with all of us working towards a common and profound goal together. The Iron-Month Challenge is the first event of its kind to promote physical activity for those who have long been left behind and forgotten, those with severe neurological injuries or conditions, especially those with a severe Acquired Brain Injury.

“We hope this event will bring about a change of heart and mind in society, to help us to recognise that everybody benefits from physical activity, no matter how independently you pursue it”, Mr Schäler commented.

Participants are invited to sign up now for the challenge and to document their progress over the month of May on social media using #IronMonth22. Supporters can donate to An Saol Foundation through its GoFundMe page.

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