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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Epic triathlon event ‘Legend of the Lough’ to raise vital funds for Air Ambulance NI

(L-R) Neil McCready, Wendy McIlmoyle (AANI Volunteer), Stuart Kyle, Alderman Stephen Ross (Mayor of Antrim & Newtownabbey Council), Neil Galvin, David McIlmoyle (AANI Volunteer), Frances Murray.

On Saturday 24th September Brown Shoes Triathlon Club will be hosting Ireland’s first off road sprint triathlon!

‘Legend of the Lough’ will take place at Shane’s Castle from 11am and will consist of a 750m swim, a 20k bike ride and 5k run!

Brown Shoes have been avidly supporting Air Ambulance NI since 2020, so if you want to take on a challenge this September, this is the challenge for you!

Neil McCready, Race Director and member of Brown Shoes Triathlon Club committee said:

“We would like to encourage everyone to get behind our challenge, as its sure to be an amazing day! Whether you are a regular triathlon participant or this will be your first triathlon, there is still plenty of time to get some training in before the event!

We as a committee are excited to be organising our first triathlon after a number of years of hosting virtual events and as this event is a first for Ireland, we hope that this challenge will provide something really unique for participants. You can sign up to the race through the Triathlon Ireland website,

“We have some fantastic support from the local community, including the mayor of Antrim & Newtownabbey Council and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their wonderful support.

“As we are all road users, we appreciate that we never quite know when the assistance of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service team will be required and I appreciate the value this lifesaving service can bring to areas with extended travel times, for specialist emergency care.”

The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) responds on average to 2 incidents daily, somewhere in Northern Ireland. Since the service first launched in July 2017, the HEMS has been tasked on over 3,080 occasions.

The charity Air Ambulance NI, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, provides the HEMS for Northern Ireland. The HEMS team attend patients who are seriously ill or injured, bringing emergency pre hospital care direct to the casualty, with the aim of saving lives, brains and limbs.

Grace Williams, Area Fundraising Manager said:

“The Brown Shoes Committee are a real inspiration, organising this unique fundraising event, combining their passion for triathlons and support for their local Air Ambulance. We are just so delighted that they have continued to support Air Ambulance NI in this unique way.

“As a service we rely heavily on charitable donations to keep the medical team in the air, delivering critical care to patients who have suffered trauma throughout Northern Ireland - without continued support, the team simply couldn’t fly. Every single penny counts.

“With a daily fundraising need of £5,500, we are so grateful to the club for this wonderful opportunity. I would like to encourage everyone to support their fundraising event on Saturday 24th September, as it is sure to be an amazing day!”

Air Ambulance NI needs to raise £2million each year to maintain this service so public donations are crucial. If you would like to support this life-saving service, there are a number of exciting upcoming events you can participate in including a Christmas abseil, Belfast City ½ Marathon or you could organise your own event with the charity’s support.

Find out more and sign up to a challenge that suits you by visiting alternatively you can contact the charity directly by emailing or calling 028 9262 2677.


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