It all started with a bit of bar room banter between two Bunclody friends, James Bodels and Tony Redmond, with each man claiming to be fitter than the other. Eventually they decided to put it to the test. That was in 2001 and to date the genesis of the Rubberman Challenge has raised over €266,000 for local charities.
The 2019 renewal of the Rubberman Challenge which embraces 12 miles of cycling, two miles of road running and 18-holes of golf at Bunclody Golf & Fishing Club, home to the GPA Championships which take place there next week, takes place in Bunclody on Saturday, with more than 80 participants taking part this year. They meet at Bunclody Swimming Pool grounds from 9.15 am for registration. They will set off between 10.15 am and 10.30 am.
Speaking to WexfordToday.com, organiser James Bodels said; “We talked about the idea of a race every time we met for a pint – but after a while I (James) began to suspect that that was as far as it would get. Tony decided to force the issue by seeking sponsorship and raising some money for a good cause. My sons, Campbell and Christopher both have Cystic Fibrosis, so we should raise some funds for that. Campbell sadly passed away in October 2008.”
And so the challenge was on! To date over €266,000 has been raised, and while Cystic Fibrosis Ireland has been the main beneficiary, monies have also been diverted to other deserving causes, such as Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Slaney Search & Rescue, Bunclody & District Home Care Cancer, The Make a Wish Foundation, Bunclody Day Care Centre, Meningitis Trust Ireland, and Irish Epilepsy Association,
“Everyone that is involved in the organising of the Rubberman wants to pass on their sincerest thanks for everyone that participates, sponsors, marshals, and generally supports us, without you we do not happen. Thanks also to many generous sponsors and to the Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club for the use of their superb facilities,” concluded Mr Bodels.