Tyrone man takes to the roads on 40-mile a day challenge for charity

Cookstown man Barry Conway is continuing his 40-mile a day trek on the roads of Mid Ulster to raise funds for the work of Draperstown-based STEPS.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 4:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 4:48 pm

A painful shin splint has forced the motivational coach to take to his bicycle to complete parts of the 40-day walk during which he hopes to raise £10,000 for the charity.

The sum collected so far is just under £5,000 but Barry, who is now on day 30, is hoping this amount will increase as he nears the finish line in Draperstown.

“People have been stopping and giving me money along the way,” he said. “There’s been great support and there have been people out walking with me on stretches of the route.”

Barry Conway.

Barry describes the walk - covering 1,600 miles - as a continuation of his Wild Atantic Way challenge last summer which he had to abandon because of injury after 17 days.

With the Covid restrictions still in place south of the border, he decided to do his walking in Mid Ulster district, starting off in Fivemiletown.

“I’ve doing all the towns and villages on my way towards the finish at STEPS in Draperstown,” he explained.

A van driven by a helper follows his progress each day and lifts him after he has covered 40 miles.

Then it’s back home to Cookstown where he puts ice on his shin splint and rests up for the next day’s exertion.

Walking 40 miles takes Barry approximately ten hours to complete.

Since he went on to the bike he has been completing his 40-mile challenge in half a day, although he admits to not being a fast cyclist.

He will be on the roads around Magherafelt before heading to Cookstown, so give him a “toot of the car horn” if you meet him.

“All public support is very welcome,” he said. “It keeps me going.”

Barry’s progress in the challenge can be followed day-by-day in his Facebook page and Instagram, where the link for his Justgiving page can be found.

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