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Markethill’s Carolyn smashes summit climb time to raise cash for Special Olympics club

The challenge involved practically no sleeping  - just driving and hiking - and Carolyn's team have now become the second fastest overall to complete the challenge

32 county Carolyn McKinney

A Markethill woman has hiked to the 26 highest summits in Ireland – for the second time – to raise money for Armagh Special Olympics Swimming Club.

Carolyn McKinney became the first woman to complete the County High Point Challenge last August, along with Leitrim man Michael John, Ben Scott of Wicklow and driver Brendan Barrett from Co Galway.

However, she was disappointed in their time of  87 hours and resolved to do it again – only faster this time.

Their latest attempt, which began on Mount Errigal on April 8 and covered every county in Ireland, smashed that time.

It was completed in less than three days – in an amazing time of 69 hours, 25 minutes.

The challenge involved practically no sleeping  – just driving and hiking – and Carolyn’s team have now become the second fastest overall to complete the challenge.

Writing on the GoFundMe page she said: “Could not have achieved this without the fantastic team we had. Brendan’s driving and logistics were absolutely spot on.”

The appeal has raised almost £2,000 for the club.

Speaking in January, Carolyn said she been “itching” to do the challenge again, and that the team had been training and setting challenges for each other.

Carolyn chose the swimming club to benefit as her mum used to coach at the leisure centre and set up the club along with a friend.

“I just thought it would be a good idea to raise funds for them, as they are always in need of money as they take the team through the UK to compete,” she said.

Carolyn’s sister, brother and niece are also involved in coaching at the club.

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