BRUFF man Jason Hayes returns from a six-month tour of duty in South Lebanon this week.
But there will be no R&R for the tireless military man as he immediately gears up for the Dingle Adventure Race on June 9.
Jason and his friend, John Anthony Thomas, who is also serving with the Irish Defence Forces in the Middle East region, will compete in the gruelling 48-kilometre event in aid of Pieta House.
The Dingle Adventure Race takes in some of the gems of the Dingle peninsula such as biking over the spectacular winding Conor Pass, climbing to the top of Ireland’s second highest Mountain range, Mount Brandon, running country roads and kayaking in Dingle Harbour.
But Jason and John Anthony are not fazed, and even intend to make this arduous task a little more difficult for themselves.
“We have decided that we are going to do it while wearing a full Irish Defence Forces uniform and backpack. All the funds we raise will go to help Pieta House’s fight against suicide in Ireland,” Jason told the Limerick Post from his base in South Lebanon this week.
“We both agreed that the work Pieta House are doing for men and women our own age around Ireland is amazing, and very important as most of us have been affected in some way or another by suicide. With both of our communities heavily affected, we chose Pieta House because they were the most well-known suicide prevention organisation that people looking for help turn to.
“As 90 per cent of Pieta House income comes from fundraising events like this one, they rely heavily on the support and encouragement of volunteers and friends. So we wanted to support them by raising as much funds as we possibly can,” Jason explained.
The Bruff native has been working for the Irish Defence Forces for the past six years.
“Right now we are both in South Lebanon on a six-month tour of duty with the Irish Army. We have been here since November 17 last and are due home just in time for the race.”
The hardy soldiers have already raised over €6,800 and are looking for further support to reach their target of €7,500 for Pieta House.