Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Piker's next run is for two good causes

Robbie Marsh's first run of the winter will be in the name of two good causes.

The Northern Ireland-based piker is taking part in the Dublin Marathon on October 29, to raise funds for the PAC and our featured charity CLIC Sargent, which supports children with cancer and their families.

Robbie, 31, said: "A friend of mine has run several marathons and raised thousands of pounds for charity, I was impressed by his commitment and by the support he recevied from the general public.

"As I was looking for a way to get fit I thought that there was an opportunity to raise money for a good cause."

Finding the time to train isn't always easy with a young family. But Robbie reckons to be up at least four times a week at 6.30am to pound the pavements - before he goes to work.

"I entered the relay during the Belfast Marathon in May to prepare for Dublin," he said. "And I managed to run the first two legs, which were 9.5 miles.

"I couldn't have run another step but it gave me confidence that with the right exercise plan and weight loss that I would have the ability to complete a full marathon."

Cardiff-born Robbie moved to Kilkeel, Co.Down, at the age of 12. When he's not running, working or fishing, he has 15-month-old daughter lauren to keep him occupied - and his wife Evelyn is expecting another additoon to the family in November.

"CLIC is the PAC's chosen charity, as I have children of my own this charity would be as close to me as any," he said.

"I'd like to be able to support both the PAC charity and Region 43 to help fund the good work that goes on.

"Gordon and the remainder of the comittee have impressed me with the amount of work they have done to protect our environment and pike fishing in general, unfortunately this work requires funding which at present has been self funded by the comittee members.

"Funds are a valuble asset, they would help use to push back on environmental issues as well as help to promote the PAC in Northern Ireland - after all the more members we have on board the bigger the voice.

"I see our Region as more than a bunch of pikers but as a bunch of guys that want to protect our environment and pike fishing so that we can continue to enjoy the sport we love."

The PAC is going from strength to strength in Northern Ireland, which is the club's fastest-growing region.

"This is my first year as a PAC member and I have been fortunate to meet some real genuine pike anglers both home and across the water," Robbis said.

"The majority of my pike fishing is done off the beaten track with not another angler in sight, I am spoilt for choice in Ireland and even though the pike fishing in most places is in decline there are still a few waters producing excellent catches.

"My PB is 24.5lb, last season I managed 14 fish over 17lb, four of which were over 20lb. The best day this year resulted in 5 doubles 13lb, 17lb, 17.25lb, 17.5lb & 23lb all falling to ledgered herring.

"I don't really have a favourite method as I believe variety is the key to success, if you focus to much on the one method you will find that you're missing out.

"I've only started lure fishing over the last 12 months and have found this to be a breath of fresh air, it can be an exciting method that keeps you active all day and on its day it can be hard to beat.

"I've yet to catch a twenty on a lure and envy all pikers that have reached this milestone but I believe its only a matter of time."

***Watch this space for details of how to sponsor Robbie's Run...