Ulster Cycling News

Mizen Mission (60 Years Later)

End 2 EndOn the 26th June 1955 Isabel Woods set out on a 386 mile cycle from ‘Mizen Head’ in Cork to ‘Fair Head’ in Antrim, hoping to set the record for this “Irish End to End”. She completed the journey in 23 hours and 3 minutes. Isabel held this record for 52 years until in 2007 when it was broken by Rose Leigh Albeit, by an 18 mile shorter course.

During June 2015 some of Isabel’s relatives will repeat the journey, the difference being age and fitness. The aim of this ride is to complete this trip finishing on the same date 27th June 2015, sixty years later.

Some of the participants hope to complete this cycle in eleven days, others in six days and two in four days.

The idea for this adventure occurred at Christmas 2013, it was meant to be a fun run for most. Many of the eleven day group have had very little cycling experience, to the local shops and back would have been their limit, and to add to the challenge some are in their 50’s and 60’s, and a few did not even possess a bicycle.

Taking these facts into consideration and the limit of time to prepare, 18 months including two winters it is quite a mammoth task! Some friends will join this event for brief periods along the way.

Each of the groups aim to arrive at fair head together, where Isabel and Peter will be there to congratulate them.

Accommodation is booked for all at the Marine Hotel in Ballycastle, where a big celebration will be well deserved.

Donations can be made to the two chosen charities: Macmillan Cancer Support and The Boom Foundation.





One of the charities chosen was Macmillan Cancer Support, which played a large role in caring for friends and family of the participants.

When Isabel was asked which charity she would like supported, her choice was “The Boom Foundation”. This is the lesser known charity, which was set up as recently as 2013. What drew her attention to it was, that her very good friend May Farrar has been and still is, fighting a very rare cancer called Angiosarcoma (soft tissue). It was May who encouraged Isabel to write her autobiography “Wheels of Change” in 2008 and May was the driving force behind the publication of “re-cycled” memories in 2010 which allowed cyclists from the 50’s and 60’s to contribute to this worthwhile book which captured the spirit of cycling down the years.

The family and friends of a young man battling with a Sarcoma Cancer, noticed that there were gaps in the support for him. Unfortunately he died in March 2013 at the age of 24, just seven weeks before his wedding day.

This charity was set up in his memory and hopefully will help to; draw attention to the need for more support for this rare cancer. When Philip was enjoying himself, he would greet his friends with a “high five” accompanied with the word ‘Boom’, hence the hand logo.

The two charities Macmillan Cancer Support and Boom.

Posted By Marian Lamb



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