Teacher walks 2,000km in bare feet for charity

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The mere idea of walking over 2,000km sounds like a daunting task to most, but one man has decided to up the ante – by doing it in his bare feet.

SOLE SEARCHING: Eamonn Keaveney was over 100 days into his journey when he arrived in Sligo last weekend. Picture by Alan Finn.
SOLE SEARCHING: Eamonn Keaveney was over 100 days into his journey when he arrived in Sligo last weekend. Picture by Alan Finn.

Mayo native Eamonn Keaveney is undertaking a record-breaking trek around the country this summer and reached Sligo, one of his final stops, last weekend.

Eamon spoke to The Sligo Weekender during his stopover about his journey to date and what prompted him to take on a fundraiser that has now seen him on the road for over 100 days.

“It all came about when I was reading about world records and when I saw the longest barefoot journey, I thought to myself ‘I could top that’ I will concede that there are people who have walked virtually their whole lives barefoot, but it just hasn’t been recorded. The Guinness Book of Records require all sorts of evidence like GPS, videos and photos to confirm the exact distance, that the person did it and that they haven’t taken any lifts along the way or anything.”

Walking barefoot provides many challenges. While the inevitable pain and blisters immediately spring to mind, the 24-year-old teacher has encountered much broken glass along roads, with the journey also opening his eyes to litter problems that still exist in certain parts of the country.

“When you walk along the side of the road there is litter absolutely everywhere. There is a lot of glass, the big pieces are no harm because you can see them, but you feel the tiny pieces you wouldn’t notice on the ground. I don’t understand why people travel around such a beautiful country and then decide to toss their take-away bag out the window, you know it shouldn’t be there the minute you throw it away, it does no harm to hold on to it until you find a bin.”

The trip which began in his home of Claremorris is also due to conclude there today (Thursday), with over €17,000 raised in aid of Pieta House.

Donations are still open until the end of August and can be made by visiting www.give.everydayhero.com/ie/baring-my-soles.

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