Jason Williamson

Castle: 1000km solo ultra marathon across the Emerald Isle for a Children's Charity

Fundraising for Children’s Health Foundation Crumlin
raised of €6,000 target
by 100 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Solo ultra marathon run: 1000km, across Ireland, 3 June 2023
We do #WhateverItTakes to to give every sick child the best chance



Follow the live tracking of the run here: https://live.primaltracking.com/irelandway23/

Run starts June 3rd 2023 in Castletownbere, Cork

The staff at Temple St Children's Hospital saved my son's life.

It’s because of them that our 14-year-old son, is still with us today.

It's why I have decided to add this fundraising element to my intention of running the length of Ireland via "The Ireland Way" as fast as possible, solo and supported by a team of wonderful people.

In 2011, when Aaron, our oldest child, was just 2 years old, we were doing some work on our home in West Cork. Toxic resin hardener left by the workers found its way into Aaron’s small hands. His curiosity got the better of him and he decided to try drinking some. What followed was a week of chaos and anguish, that left its mark on my wife and I forever and opened our eyes to the magic that goes on in Ireland's Children's Hospitals.

As Aaron reacted to the poisoning he was rushed to our local doctors, from there he was put into an ambulance, placed into a coma and taken to Cork University Hospital. After being stabilised, he was taken to Dublin and eventually arrived at the Temple St Children’s hospital. Even today, Aaron still recalls clearly an out of body experience during the ambulance journey, where he was looking down at the paramedics taking care of him. Hearing him talk of this still gives me goosebumps and brings tears to my eyes. I was working abroad at the time, and rushing home on an overnight flight, I was able to call the Doctor in charge of Aaron at the hospital during my transit in Paris. He told me then, "Jason, prepare for the worst, these kind of poisonings do a lot of damage and cause fatalities that might not happen for several days." I wasn't prepared for a Doctor to tell me to get ready for my son to die. It carved memories and scars into us that we will carry for a lifetime. It illuminated so brightly for us, how precious our little children are, and how fragile and delicate they can be.

Temple St staff brought their care, their love and medical expertise to our son as well as my wife and I as we settled in for the long wait to eventually bring him out of his coma. Doctors warned us that the damage done would not be evident until, and if, Aaron woke up. If he survives, he may be blind, he might have sustained damage to his brain, he may not be able to talk or walk – there was no way of knowing until he regained consciousness. We spent the days and nights by his bedside. Watching him breath and listening to many other children and parents fighting through their own battles through the nights. Life in the hospital was like another world. A bubble of existence, removed from the outside world. Children and their families all fighting and battling their own wars. Some winning and some not.

Aaron was brought out of his induced coma several days later, and as we stood by his bed and watched his eyes flutter open and start to look around, I will never forget that relief as it slowly became clear that he might be ok. He was at least alive and conscious. He could talk, he wasn’t blind, he seemed ok! When he finally climbed out of bed, he couldn’t walk properly for a day or so, after being bedridden, but what a delight to watch him moving and finally playing with toys in the hospital toy room not long after that.

There are countless stories in Irish homes across this country, and beyond where our Children’s Hospital have played a huge role in taking care of our precious children.

Ultra running is an incredible sport. It is physically challenging and mentally and emotionally gruelling at times. It can force us to look inside at who we really are and what we have or are able to access within when things get really tough. There is never any guarantee of success or achieving one's goals in this sport. It has taught me to be patient, to not doubt my resilience and to not listen to the limits my brain sets me in that moment in time. It has taught me the limits we set ourselves in all parts of our lives are just self imposed limits. We are all capable of more than what we allow ourselves to believe we are and for me, ultra running is a way of exploring this concept and enjoying the benefits of being physically and mentally more healthy than what I would be if I wasn't doing this.

I am a firm believer that if we aren't moving forward in life we are going backwards. If we aren't making progress, we are regressing. We all have it in ourselves to be better versions of what we are today, but it takes hard work, consistency of that work and patience to move forward.

Running from the bottom to the top of the island of Ireland along established route, "The Ireland Way", theirelandway.ie in the fastest time possible for me is a massive personal challenge that can only be done with the support of an incredible team of people who have elected to pause their own lives, join me on this journey and help me try to accomplish this. Using my run as a platform to raise awareness and much needed funds for the Children's Hospital is an opportunity that I can now return to them.

This is an extreme athletic endeavour for me that is now layered with an opportunity for Ireland to support another of its unsung heroes, taking care of the most vulnerable of our young in society. Running The Ireland Way is a journey that will test me in ways I haven't yet imagined. My intention is to embrace each moment for what it is and be grateful I have the health and capacity to be outdoors in this beautiful country, pushing my own limits and sharing the experience with like-minded friends and family and supporters.

With this journey already becoming so public, I am finding new strength in being vulnerable to public scrutiny. Where I once thought I would like to do this quietly and privately, to avoid or limit the fallout if I fail in my endeavours, I have found new strength in knowing people I don't know or haven't met are watching and knowing they support what I am doing.

I'm so aware that while this journey will be gruelling and painful, it has an end for me, it is something I have chosen to do. Unlike so many of the battles taking place inside our kids hospital's across Ireland today, where many of them don't know when their ordeals might end so they can find comfort and peace in a normal daily life.

If you are able to donate something to the Children's Health Fund and recognise the amazing work they do for our children, the future of this country, you have my eternal thanks.

Thank you to Six West Aviation for their continued support. It is only for you that this run can even take place."

Jason Williamson


Jason’s run will be live tracked via this link: https://live.primaltracking.com/irelandway23/

For those interested, Jason’s training and running data can be found here: https://www.strava.com/athletes/85976628

Daily updates, live broadcasts and regular story posts will be here on Instagram leading up to and during the run: https://www.instagram.com/jasonwilliamsonultra/

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About the charity

Children's Health Foundation Crumlin provides urgent funding where it is needed most across CHI at Crumlin and National Children's Research Centre – from funding essential equipment and patient and parental supports to making new services and ground-breaking paediatric research possible.

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