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Belfast runners commence 32 county challenge

02 Aug 2018

Call for amateur, professional and budding runners to join Team CCU32

A group of ambitious and determined runners have today commenced their grueling 32-day challenge in aid of The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity.

The ‘CCU32’ runners will be attempting to run 32 marathons over the next 32 days in each of the 32 counties of Ireland. They completed their first marathon in Portadown today, which they dedicated to local schoolgirl, Serenity Joubert (10) who sadly passed away last week following a battle with cancer.

Paul Tyrell from the team explained the rationale for the challenge and called on the support of the public. He said:

“There was a real excitement today as we kicked off our challenge in Craigavon and we were thrilled to see so many people waiting to join us here when we arrived. Today’s run was particularly poignant, not only because it was our first, but because we dedicated it to a very special girl who recently lost her battle to cancer. We were thinking of little Serenity and her family and that helped get us through to the end.

“The runners behind CCU32 all have healthy kids and we don’t take this for granted, so we wanted to give something back to families less fortunate than ourselves.  I have been working at The Royal Victoria Hospital for 24 years, so we decided to raise money for their Children’s Cancer Unit.  I am using all my annual holiday leave, but it’ll all be worth it, especially if we can raise our target.”

Paul also encouraged members of the public to get involved.

He said:  “We will be taking each day and each run at a time, focusing on the distance as opposed to times. For that reason, we would really love if members of the public would come out to cheer us on or join us on any of the runs in their area – even if only for a mile or two – as that would really help spur us on and get us over the line each day.”

The team are aiming to raise £100,000 in order to buy a new ultrasound scanner for the Children’s Cancer Unit at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. Speaking at the start line, Jacqueline Wilkinson from the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity said:

“We are really excited and equally nervous about the colossal challenge that the CCU32 team are undertaking. Without their efforts and their support, we could not continue to assist the medical team and staff at the Children’s Cancer Unit or help to create a more welcoming and comfortable environment for their young patients and families.

“The ultrasound scanner that they are raising funds for is a vital piece of equipment that is greatly needed at the Unit, so we are incredibly grateful for their plans to reach such an ambitious target. The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity wishes the team the best of luck and we will be cheering them on the whole way.”

CCU32 will begin their second day in Cookstown at 10am tomorrow, followed by Derry on Saturday at 9.30am. Details on all races and routes can be found at

The CCU32 team are appealing for the public to help them raise their target of £100,000 by visiting their Just Giving page at or by simply texting ‘CCUC99 £2’ to 70070, to donate £2 to their cause.