FIREFIGHTER Podge Thompson is continuing his marathon fundraising attempts into 2019 as he prepares to run 160km over six days in the Costa Rica jungle.
On January 12, Podge will have to contend with high altitude and humidity as he takes on 160km of the South Pacific Jungle in Costa Rica to raise awareness of and funds for CMRF (Children’s Medical and Research Foundation) Crumlin.
Living in Clondalkin, Podge is well known for his fundraising feats, which has seen the dad-of-two run marathons blindfolded and carrying a 40kg child mannequin.
He was also part of a team that ran 116km in tribute to the crew of Rescue 116, the members of which tragically lost their lives when their helicopter crashed in March 2017.
This month, Podge, who was based at Tallaght Fire Station before being recently transferred to Dublin Fire Brigade HQ, will lace up his runners for a mammoth challenge in Costa Rica.
“I will be running with a guide but it is a challenge due to the altitude and humidity, but I am focused that I can try to do some good,” Podge told The Echo.
“I’ve been training and tried as best I could considering the difference in climate and terrain here in Ireland.
“I’ve been working all over Christmas, so was training in between shifts.”
Looking back over 2018, Podge said: “I’ve had a tough year, I didn’t get to run the 2018 marathon in Dublin as unfortunately only a few days after getting married I lost my dad tragically in a road traffic accident and then a few short months later my beloved mam passed away due to complications with her treatment for cancer.
“I’ve been lost and I’ve searched deep to find answers and to be strong for my young family.”
Podge said that through his work as a firefighter he has been inspired by what many “wonderful” children and families connected with Our Lady’s in Crumlin go through every day, and the great work of the hospital staff.
“I would love to give more of my time to help out but I can’t, so the only answer is to put on my runners, lace them up, smile and hit the pavement.”
Podge has also started an online campaign to get people moving in 2019 called #run20minsfor20days – which encourages people to run or walk 20 minutes for 20 days in January.
For further details and to support Podge and Crumlin hospital donate on the events section of the CMRF.org website.
By Mary Dennehy, From the Echo