Magherafelt adrenaline junkie prepares to go Coast to Coast

Paul McErlain
Paul McErlain

Magherafelt man Paul McErlain is pushing himself to the limit once again in aid of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.

Having successfully completed the Iron Man challenge in December last year, Paul is now preparing for his third challege inside a year, said to be one of the hardest in Europe!

Paul is going to undertake the ‘Coast to Coast’ challenge on Saturday May 17. He will set off from Enniscrone Beach where he will complete a 5k beach run, then a 108k cycle.

This will be followed by 26k kayaking after which he will get back on his bike to complete a further 139k cycle before completing a gruelling 38k run on Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland’s highest mountain.

As a member of Triangle Triathlon Club and Magherafelt Harrier’s Running Club, Paul is certainly no stranger to long distances.

He said: “I have been training very hard over the past few months for the challenge. I feel a lot stronger mentally and physically having completed the Iron Man Challenge back in December, so it has been a case of building on that.

“This challenge is completely different as it involves kayaking. I am used to swimming in open water but kayaking takes a lot of getting used to, but I love a challenge and I wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone and overcome my fear. I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie in that respect.”

Paul continued: “I have been very fortunate to get guidance from Chris Madden, who has been kayaking for over 30 years. He has been teaching me and getting me up to speed for the challenge. Chris has actually given up his time voluntary as a contribution to the charity. So I would like to thank him for that.

“With this being my second challenge this year, it has been very tough training and it takes a lot of dedication but to have your health is a privilege. I think that everyone that is fit and healthy should do everything that they can to help those that are in a less fortunate position. I have a great support network of friends and family that motivate me to keep going.”