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HomeDairyRoscommon dairy farmer’s ‘2 Canal Challenge’ 330km run
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Roscommon dairy farmer’s ‘2 Canal Challenge’ 330km run

Ultra runner and dairy farmer, Ed Payne, from rural Roscommon will this weekend undertake his toughest challenge to date, when he runs 330km along the Grand and Royal Canals.

Starting at 6 pm on Friday evening, Ed will set off from Shannon Harbour in Offaly, along the Grand Canal towards Dublin, and make his way along the Royal Canal to Cloondara on Sunday.

Ed will then detour up Sliabh Bán, through Strokestown, and homeward to Tulsk.

The #2CanalChallenge is Ed’s latest effort to raise much-needed funds for two local causes– Tulsk National School’s Astroturf pitch, and South Roscommon Family Resource Centre.

Ed is a parent and recognises the ever-increasing needs of children in our changing world.

With that in mind, he is asking the public to support him to assist the people who are creating facilities and opportunities for children to access physical and well-being services and helping children to “live their best lives”.

Ed hopes to complete this run in around 48 hours but says “It will take as long as it takes”.

This is his longest continuous run and expects to take 10- or 20-minute naps as required.

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He says he will be relying on locals along the way to come out along the route to run or cycle with him, or simply to give him a cheer to keep him motivated.


As much of the canal route is along farmland, Ed is hoping that fellow farmers will come out and show their support.

His journey, and that of the support vehicle can be followed through a tracker for those who would like to see where and at what time he is likely to be passing.

Ed’s wife, Jennifer, will be accompanying him over the weekend and has asked that anyone wishing to give practical support could come along to any point on the route and bring along water, fruit, or a meal.

They have told that they would both be “delighted with company for any duration, as that will keep us both motivated through this massive feat of endurance”.


The challenge will take place during the period for which Met Éireann has, today (Wednesday, September 6th, 2023) issued a high-temperature warning for the country, with highs of 27 degrees expected.

The warning is effective from 8am on Thursday, September 7th, 2023, to 8am on Saturday morning, September 9th, 2023.

The national forecaster has warned of potential impacts, including heat stress, uncomfortable sleeping conditions and a risk of water-related incidents.

If you wish to support the cause, you can make a donation via this link.

For more details, follow 2CanalChallenge on Facebook and Instagram.

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