Tipp Duo To Summit Kilimanjaro For Threshold
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Standing almost 20,000ft high Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world and the greatest mountain in Africa. It’s reputation precedes it around the world as the ordinary man’s Everest, however there is still a high percentage of people of fail to reach the summit.
Hopefully this won’t be the case for Tipperary duo Mark Crawford, Roscrea and Tony Walsh from Tipperary town who are amongst a group of four Irish volunteers hoping to reach the top to raise money for the charity ‘Threshold’.
Threshold is a nationally based housing organisation established over 25 years ago, has worked on all aspects of the housing system in Ireland. Although founded as an organisation dealing with the private rented sector, Threshold has contributed to all aspects of housing policy - private rented, social housing, homelessness, housing legislation and housing rights. They have three regional centres in Cork, Dublin and Galway.
Tony the manager of Wellworths in Tipperary town is looking forward to the challenge. ‘I am not really into climbing mountains. The Galtees are the only mountains I have climbed and they are only 3,000ft high. I keep fit though and I go to the gym and the pool every morning,’ explained Tony. He said the reason he decided to do this was that it was both a personal challenged and he also he like to raise monies for charities and has previously raised money for the victims of the Tsunami and is also a very active member of the IFAW (International Federation of Animal Welfare).
Originally from Ballyfermot in Dublin, Tony came to Tipperary in 1976 as manager of the local Woolworths Store. Tony had previously worked in England for the firm. When Woolworths decided to pull out of Ireland, Tony was offered a managerial position with Chadwicks in Navan. However a local business man John Joe McCormack decided to purchase the Woolworths building and approached Tony about managing the business and so Wellworths was born.
Mark Crawford, of Carrolls Row in Roscrea preparing
for the trek to Kilimanjaro.
Tony is now well settled in Tipperary and is married to Maureen Walsh (House of Merlin) with whom he has two daughters Emma and Kay. ‘I don’t miss the bright lights I was never really a city person. I do have to travel frequently to Dublin for business but I have always considered myself to be a bit of a country bumpkin. but when I see the Rock of Cashel I just know I am home.’
Speaking about the challenge ahead Tony explained that while he is looking forward to the trip on the 6th September next the eight and a half hour flight is less than appealing. ‘I am not the best traveller and I don’t really like long haul flights and have always managed to avoid them for holidays. Whats more we when we arrive we have a three to four hour trek in a four wheel drive to our camp that night but I am looking forward to the challenge which will take us ten days in total.’
To participate in the challenge Tony needs to raise more than 5,500 Euro. ‘I have to say I have done very well so far. I wish to say thank you to all those who have contributed so far but I still have some way to go. So we have organised a variety concert in the Marian Hall for Wednesday 30th August at 8pm. Acts will include award -winning performers John Murphy, Emma Walsh and Bernie Longeran and many other talented local acts.
While at the opposite end of the county 21-year-old Horticulture Graduate, Mark Crawford, of Carrolls Row in Roscrea is also preparing for the trek to Kilimanjaro. Asked why he is taking on this challenge, Mark explained that the poster advertising the challenge caught his eye. ‘Some of my friends and I saw the poster in the College in Blanchardstown. I like doing charity work and this was something different so the three of us, Keith Ranalow from Clare and Rory O’Brien from Cork and I decided we would take up the challenge,’ explained Mark.
During the ten days the trekkers will journey through rain forests, near volcanos, plateaus, snows and be treated to some of the most fantastic views in the world.
Speaking about the preparation for the challenge Mark said that they are training every weekend climbing Carrigtuhill or the Galtee mountains. ‘I also go running and I play football and soccer so I would be fairly fit,’ added Mark.
However he said they don’t believe that it is going to be easy as there are some days they will be treking for up to 15 hours and will be required to get up in the middle of the night to start their trek for the day . ‘We know this is going to be tough and we are going up the longest route. From what I understand though it is the route that allows us to acclimatise the best.’
Continuing he said that they still have some money to raise for this and he and his two friends have been trekking around the countryside bag packing where ever they can.
The youngest of three children of Vivian and Alex Crawford, Mark has two older sisters Jane and Rachel.
The four will set off on the 6th of September next and hope to return on 17th September. During the ten days the trekkers will journey through rain forests, near volcanos, plateaus, snows and be treated to some of the most fantastic views in the world.