Athletes Eamon Murphy and Seán Quinn are calling on all Isolated Runners, Cyclists, Walkers, Hikers, Dog Walkers to get out into the fresh air as part of their one exercise a day and to maybe consider donating to Run for Autism H.A.N.D.

During the current Coronavirus pandemic regulations state you can leave home for one form of exercise a day and the pair feel that this is as much about keeping the mental health and wellbeing right, as anything else.

Explaining the idea behind the initiative Sean says " I've had messages from parents and carers who are already getting it very difficult now that their special needs kids and family members are ‘staying at home’. Many kids are unable to go to school or to their day care and their parents and carers are now therefore getting no respite or ‘me time’ putting a lot of serious strain on them.

"I know too well what it is like to be tied to the house with nowhere to go and nowhere for your special needs child(ren) to go. Our daughter never fitted the criteria for respite, nor day care, nor special school, so she has spent most of her life at home with her mum and dad and things haven’t changed now that she is 27. It has had a huge impact on us both physically and mentally.

"I can see people getting into great difficulties at home now with their kids not being able to go anywhere. We can't go into people's homes to help you, but we can inspire you to get out and have a little much needed ‘me time’. You are allowed to go out of your home once a day to do some form of exercise during these uncertain times, so make sure and do it. Take it in turns to go for a walk or a run, that’s how we try to keep our mental health and wellbeing managed best we can – every little helps."

Eamonn Murphy out on his Isolated Run
Eamonn Murphy out on his Isolated Run

Séan emphasises that Eamon and him have started the campaign, not just to make a few pounds to help those with a learning disability and or autism but to help inspire everyone to get out and get motivated. As he explains "This campaign is for everyone so we can all support each other, share our photos, our exercise ideas and keep in touch during these difficult days."

Séan adds "We have never been here before, this is all new. As runners, cyclists and walkers we aren’t sure what to do. What we CANNOT do is run or walk or cycle together in groups. 

"What we CAN do is run, cycle or walk alone, and we can also make something special happen as a result to help make a difference. We need a focus, a motivation. 

"Become an isolated runner or cyclist or walker - go any distance - but go ALONE"

Séan Quinn

Eamon and Séan suggest you record your run, cycle or walk on Strava (or other apps) and post your distance and route with (optional) photo. Set a target if you wish or a challenge, we are all in this together for the next few months. You can start with a 5k and build up your miles... it's up to you!

Séan adds "All we ask is that you help us make a difference at the end of this Pandemic (hopefully that will be soon) by making a one off small donation, how much is up to you. What we do know at the end of this many vulnerable children and adults with autism and learning difficulties will be greatly affected, if not already. For those who care for a loved one with autism and/or a learning difficulty they feel isolated most of their lives so this current situation we all face today is not new to them. We just want to make a difference to those that will need it most in the months that lie ahead. We want to help them by donating funds to help them get back to normality again. 

"I hope we, as runners, cyclists or walkers can find this as a motivation and a focus to keep us moving physically and mentally, while also contributing to autism charities and learning disability support groups across the District Council areas of Armagh, Banbridge Craigavon and Newry, Mourne and Down."

Concluding Séan adds "All proceeds raised will help kick start groups and clubs to get going again when we get to the end of this pandemic. Many groups haven't the capacity to fundraise now because of so many restrictions imposed upon them. So please can you help us by promoting this page and invite your friends to follow this page; become a leader not a follower, become an isolated runner or walker and we all can make a difference to the world together."

Check out their Just Giving Page for more and feel free to donate WWW.JUSTGIVING.COM

See the Isolated Runner Facebook page here WWW.FACEBOOK.COM

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