They call it the mini-Camino walk of the northeast and this morning more than 900 people set off on the annual Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge through three counties in a bid to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

The event is the brainchild of Moylagh GAA club in Co Meath and the walk got under way from Oldcastle at 6am making its way through Meath, Cavan and Westmeath, taking in megalithic Loughcrew, the majestic forest of Mullaghmeen and the seven wonders of Fore before returning to Oldcastle in what is being described as the second largest fundraiser of its kind for the cancer charity.

The challenge, which has been compared to Camino de Santiago, inherits its name from an endurance test first handed down by John F Kennedy to the military to cover 50 miles on foot within 20 hours.

Many of those taking part have themselves been treated for cancer in the past and others have chosen a variety of special reasons for taking part. 

The event is expected to raise €100,000 for the Irish Cancer Society. To date the event has raised nearly €500,000 already.