Derry best friends to run 30 half marathons in 30 days

Two Derry men who have been best friends since they were children are teaming up in their biggest challenge ever, to raise money for charity.

Stephen Quigley and Seamus Crossan will run 30 half marathons in September taking on a 13.1 mile challenge every day. By the end of the month, they will have clocked up an impressive 393 miles through the 30in30 challenge raising money for Foyle Search and Rescue and the Danny Quigley Fund through Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum.

Both men are members of STAR Running Club in Derry which was founded in 2012 to support local people to become more physically active, as well as look after their mental health. Last year Seamus and Stephen ran 100 miles over 24 hours to buy a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for Belmont Cottages. The pair were inspired to take on the challenge after watching fellow sportsman Danny Quigley compete in ten ironman challenges over ten consecutive days last year.

Seamus said: “Danny’s attitude and determination encouraged us to take on a challenge of our own, but we aren’t as brave or as fit as Danny, so we have taken on a bite-size challenge rather than a 5-course meal.

Best friends and running mates Stephen Quigley and Seamus Crossan prepare for their 30 half marathons in 30 days.

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“All the runs will be in and around Derry City and if you feel like you can run a mile or 13.1 miles please come along and join us, we would be grateful for the company and chat and it’s a great way to show how much we appreciate the work of Foyle Search and Rescue and the Danny Quigley Fund.”

Stephen added: “The charities we have chosen to support are very important to us. As well as the Danny Quigley Fund we are also supporting Foyle Search and Rescue. Our club members run along the river 4 or 5 times a week and we often see the volunteers while they are out patrolling in all types of weather and late into the night. They are always friendly and enthusiastic, and we wanted to find a way to support them and acknowledge the hard work that they do, this challenge is our small way of doing that.

“We don’t see ourselves as runners or athletes, we see running as an opportunity to connect with others, to have a chat and to get some fresh air, to achieve goals, and to have some craic along the way. It’s a way of keeping healthy and keeping in touch.”

Rachael Dobbins Fundraising Coordinator at Foyle Search and Rescue said: “We are delighted to be a chosen charity for the 30in30 fundraiser. The awareness that will be raised for each charity through this will be beneficial for us all. We would like to thank Stephen and Seamus for choosing to support us and we would like to wish them both the best of luck with their fundraising efforts.”

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Aisling Hutton, Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum added: “We are very grateful to Seamus and Stephen for choosing us to be the beneficiaries of their fundraising. All proceeds will be invested into the Danny Quigley Fund which is providing much-needed mental health services to all in our community. Events like this and the fundraising behind them are the reason that the Danny Quigley Fund will continue and thrive from strength to strength.”

The two runners would love to see people join in and support them along the way. Routes and times for each run will be published on Star Running Club’s Facebook page with regular updates on Foyle Search and Rescue and Bogside and Brandywell’s Social Media channels.

If you want to support Seamus and Stephen, please click on the link to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/star30in30