Polar Circle Polar Bear Challenge.
UCC student Eamonn Cashin finished in 7th place overall in the 2015 Polar Circle Polar Bear Challenge in Kangerlussuag, Greenland in late October and became the first ever Irish person to achieve the Polar Bear Challenge.
Commonly referred to as “the Coolest marathon on earth” this was no simple race as Eamonn had to complete a marathon and a half marathon on back to back days across a course lain with snow, ice and rock with a mixture of uphill and downhill running, across glacier tongues, moraine landscapes and the soundless arctic desert, a test to the physical and mental limits of all the competitors. Eamonn was faced with temperatures ranging from -10 to -15 degrees throughout the event.
Eamonn Cashin had to overcome a serious challenge to his life before as the Waterford native was knocked down while cycling in December 2013. “I had to reassess everything, I was a teacher for 13 years, but now my focus is on recovery” said Cashin who is now a first year student in UCC on the Sports Studies and Physical Education course.
Eamonn suffered a vast array of injuries in the accident “I have brain injury, reduced hearing in my left ear, I am now 1/4 blind in both eyes, have a damaged left knee and right ankle, vertigo, and had a damaged coccyx” However just ten months after being knocked down Eamonn completed the 2014 Dublin City Marathon in 3hrs 33minutes, and furthermore he went on to finish third in the Dover Marathon in March 2015 with a time of 3hrs 14 minutes with Cashin explaining that he has received huge help from Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and the staff and classmates he has in UCC.
Eamonn said he succeeded in this event thanks to thinking of all his loved ones “I succeeded in this event for my wife Claire, my infant Paddy, my parents Eddie and Jacinta, my brothers Thomas and Philip, and my sister Clíodhna”
“It certainly was a brilliant experience lacing up on both days, back to back,
everyone has their own challenges, but it is how we face them, that is what truly defines us “said an inspirational Cashin on his return, a man who is certain to rise to more challenges in to not to near future.