Back 2 Back around Ireland – 2 miles. 26 counties. 26 hours. Saturday, September 24th

Back 2 Back is the action-packed challenge you’ve been waiting for – run two miles in each of the 26 counties in just 26 hours – in aid of the Mercy Hospital Foundation. Back 2 Back is the brainchild of Tralee woman, Brenda Doody, who last year ran 12 marathons in eight months for the Mercy.

Join Brenda on the Back 2 Back team bus on Saturday, September 24th, and travel the length and breadth of Ireland, running two miles in each county, covering 52 miles on foot around the country.

The challenge, which was officially launched by athlete and Rio Olympic hopeful Michelle Finn, will begin at the Mercy Hospital early on Saturday, September 24th and the aim is to arrive back to Cork within the 26 hours.

This innovative endurance challenge will raise funds for a new Fluoroscopy X-ray Unit for the Regional Centre for Gastroenterology at the Mercy University Hospital, which will assist doctors in staging and treating patients with tumours in the oesophagus, stomach, bowel, pancreas and liver.  Fluoroscopy is the method that provides real-time X-ray imaging that is especially useful for guiding a variety of diagnostic and interventional procedures.

Dr Martin Buckley, Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Mercy University Hospital said “There is an urgency and a demand for the new Centre for Gastroenterology to accommodate an increased volume of patients. The Fluoroscopy X-ray Unit will help to reduce waiting times for people requiring treatment. Currently many patients have to travel to Dublin for these procedures as the necessary endoscopy equipment is not available here. While we have the skills and the expertise to perform this treatment at The Mercy, we need critical investment for this equipment which will make a significant impact on the cancer journey for those affected all over Munster.”

In 2015, Brenda undertook her first epic challenge for the Mercy, completing 12 marathons in eight months, raising €30,000 for the Mercy University Hospital, where her husband Pat was successfully treated for oesophageal cancer in 2014.

Speaking about her upcoming Back 2 Back challenge, Brenda said “I got so much out of last year’s Marathon Challenge, and since I finished I was on the hunt for my next one. Back 2 Back is a challenge that I can share with a core group who are as passionate about helping the Mercy as I am. The care that the team in the Mercy gave my husband Pat was second to none, and I am eternally grateful to them. I am inviting anyone who’s up for the challenge to join me on September 24th for what promises to be a fun and fulfilling 26 hours, covering all corners of the country!”

Encouraging people to join the Back 2 Back team, Micheál Sheridan, CEO, the Mercy Hospital Foundation said “Our mission is to inspire people to support advancements in research, diagnosis, treatments and care of patients at The Mercy University Hospital, the People’s Hospital. It’s not often we get to take a life-saving action… an action that will impact and directly improve your life or the life of another. By participating in Back 2 Back with Brenda Doody, you will help provide the Centre for Gastroenterology with a life-saving piece of equipment, so I urge you to rise to the challenge.”

To be part of Back 2 Back, participants must raise at least €350. The first €50 covers the registration fee, and the remaining €300 and anything further raised goes towards funding the new Fluoroscopy X-ray Unit.

For more information please call (021) 4274076 or visit

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