Derry IronMan Danny Quigley going strong in epic 10 day challenge
A Derry man who is on course to complete an astounding 10 Ironman challenges over 10 days was still going strong seven days in today.
Danny Quigley has been pounding the pavements, doing lap after lap in the pool and racking up the miles on his bike every day since last Friday to raise funds for mental health services delivered by local organisations Pieta House and Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum (BBHF).
The 30-year-old local man has been training for months for the mammoth deca-IronMan, which he decided to undertake in memory of his triathlete father Colm, who died by suicide a decade ago.
The fitness instructor has been swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles and running 26.2 miles every single day over the past week - and he’s not done yet.
Danny has been supported all the way through his training and crucially over the past week by friends, family and well wishers who have joined him at various stages. Many have also been gathering to cheer him over the finish line each evening along the river walkway beside Destined.
Danny’s sister Enya said they were all so proud of him and delighted with the levels of support from the local running clubs, community sector and local people.
Speaking to the Journal earlier today as Danny was completing his second round of cycling to Benone, Enya said: “It’s been unbelievable. We always knew if anyone could do it it would be Danny but he has just surpassed any of our expectations and we didn’t realise just how well he was going to deal with it.
“It’s unbelievable the support he has got, from his cycling mates who he races with, to the running clubs - I think all of them have been out at this stage - to the general public, people on Facebook sending messages of support, to local businesses sending down water, energy balls, everything. The support has been amazing.”
Enya said her brother found Day 4 tough but rallied quickly over Days 5 and 6. “Daniel’s attitude and mind-set has been positive throughout. He is tired but by Day 6 he was back laughing and joking away and in great form.”
To date Danny has more than surpassed his initial fundraising goal of £10,000 and as of yesterday had raised over £22,000 for Pieta House and BBHF, and Enya said both organisations did incredible work. “This couldn’t be going to a better cause and they have a special place in our hearts. Every year the BBHF runs the Colm Quigley Jog in the Bog and Daniel worked there and it is an amazing organisation.”
Enya also praised the BBHF’s support for Danny before and during the challenge. “They have been brilliant and Georgie Harkin from the Forum is out running with him every day.”
Aileen McGuinness from BBHF said they were so proud of all Danny has achieved and also praised Georgie’s commitment to supporting him.
“It’s brilliant to see the support for Danny and there is a real family feel about it.”
Aileen said the funding for BBHF will go to our one-to-one counselling service, which is not funded externally, and which ARC founder Gary Rutherford earlier this year donated his £20,000 Community Champion prize towards.
The Colm Quigley Jog in the Bog proceeds also go towards running this service.
Last year the 1-2-1 service supported around 120 people and Aileen said they have seen a massive increase in the number of people using the mental health service.
BBHF also praised O’Neills Sportswear who sponsor the Jog In The Big and provide T-shirts and are also supporting Danny’s epic challenge.
Good luck Danny - and as many have said this week, you are already a Derry legend!
To support Danny you can donate at: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/DannyQuigley10*For anyone needing support or in distress, Lifeline can be contacted on 08088088000, Samaritans on 116123 and the Derry-based CCIS on 02871262300.