ULTRA-cyclist Joe Barr will pass through Limerick six times in seven days next week as he attempts to beat the Guinness World Record for the furthest distance cycled in a week.
Joe’s efforts are also in support of Cancer Fund for Children (CFFC) and their plans for a new therapeutic short break centre, Daisy Lodge, in Cong, County Mayo. Joe is taking on the challenge to beat the current record cycle of 3,580 km in 168 hours/seven days as a tribute to his son, Ross (15), who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2007.
Daisy Lodge, Mayo is a much-needed therapeutic short breaks facility on the shores of Lough Corrib, which will provide respite for children with a cancer diagnosis and their families.
Off the back of an incredible professional cycling career of over 45 years, Joe (62) is taking on the mammoth challenge of beating the Guinness World Record for the most miles cycled in seven days, currently held by Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley.
Whilst Joe always had a passion for cycling, his motivation to compete in his first endurance cycling race in 2009 was in honour of his son and to raise funds for Daisy Lodge.
Against the odds in 2008, Ross got to celebrate his second birthday, having been diagnosed at just five months old with a malignant brain tumour. Following numerous rounds of treatment, Ross is thankfully now a thriving 15-year-old.
In the early years of Ross’s cancer diagnosis, he and his family were invited to Cancer Fund For Children’s short break centre in Newcastle for some much-needed respite from the constant hospital appointments, tests and treatments and all that goes with a cancer diagnosis in the family.
“Every family in Ireland with a cancer diagnosis should have the opportunity to experience Daisy Lodge, It’s a fantastic place,” said Joe.
“Whenever you go down there, they just do everything for you, so effectively it’s a home from home and it allowed us to be together as a ‘normal’ family again and that’s why I’m so motivated to raise as much funds as I can.”
Joe retired from professional cycling in 2004, but got back on the bike in 2009 to fundraise for Ross, and is still going strong. He has competed in numerous endurance races around the world, including the 3,000+ mile Race Across America.
He has also won the 1,500-mile Race Around Ireland twice, and holds multiple endurance World Records in Ireland. This seven-day Highest Mileage Guinness World Record will be his most ambitious record attempt using the very challenging route of Malin Head to Mizen Head.
He has collected hundreds of medals and trophies over the years, including a medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games.
To donate to Joe’s charity Guinness World Record effort visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joeguinnessworldrecord