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CRITICAL, a charity providing pre-hospital emergency care to critically ill and injured patients in Ireland, has teamed up with Elite Events Management to encourage adventure seekers to take on a unique challenge. The Bike & Hike challenges will take place in picturesque locations along the Wild Atlantic Way in Mayo, Kerry, and Donegal between May and September. Participants will cover distances from 50 km to 78 km and climb some of Ireland’s highest mountains, including Carrauntoohil, Mount Errigal, and Croagh Patrick.

The volunteers of CRITICAL, including critical care doctors and experienced medics, are tasked by the National Ambulance Service to attend serious incidents. Their rapid response vehicles are equipped with specialist medical equipment, allowing them to perform complex and often life-saving medical procedures at the scene. However, the charity aims to bring critical and advanced levels of care to more rural and urban communities in Ireland. Fundraisers like the Bike & Hike challenge will help them provide the lifesaving equipment necessary to treat seriously ill and injured people on the scene.

Micheál Sheridan, CEO of CRITICAL, believes that everyone should have access to rapid emergency medical care, regardless of where they live in Ireland. The charity’s volunteer critical care doctors and experienced medics live in these communities, and fundraisers like the Bike & Hike challenge help them provide the necessary equipment to treat people at the scene, essentially bringing the Emergency Department to them.

There is no registration fee for the Bike & Hike challenge, and participants are instead asked to raise a minimum of €500 to support CRITICAL. Each event will be fully supported with bike mechanics, mountain safety, and medical assistance throughout. Participants will be provided with a fundraising pack, a training plan, and guidance to help with the physical and fundraising aspects of the event.

The first Bike & Hike will take place in Co. Mayo on May 13th, starting and finishing at Westport Harbour. The 50 km event includes a 7 km climb to the summit of Croagh Patrick, offering breathtaking views of Clew Bay. The second event takes place on June 3rd in Co Kerry, starting and finishing at Killarney Brewery. It includes a 12 km climb of Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil, and a 66 km cycle taking in Lough Acoose and Lough Caragh before returning to Killarney. The final Bike & Hike will take place on September 23rd in Donegal, starting from Gortahork. Participants will climb Mount Errigal, Donegal’s highest mountain, and cover 68 km before returning to Gortahork.

Mayo Ladies Football Captain Kathryn Sullivan and Dr. Lisa Cunningham, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Mayo University Hospital and CRITICAL Board Member, launched the event. Kathryn Sullivan encourages everyone who wants to take on something new to join her on the day. She highlights that it is an excellent opportunity to get fit, as participants only need a moderate level of fitness. They will be provided with guidance and support on training throughout too. More importantly, participants will be raising funds for a vital charity helping CRITICAL to kit out its volunteers so they can continue their lifesaving work.

The Bike & Hike challenges offer adventure seekers a unique opportunity to get fit and give back to the community by supporting CRITICAL. Participants will be able to enjoy picturesque locations and breathtaking views while raising funds for a vital charity. Registration is now open, and anyone interested in taking part can sign up on the Bike & Hike website –