Tallaght family go the distance in bid to be Ireland's fittest

By Mary Dennehy

A FAMILY from Tallaght is representing their hometown in a nationwide, televised competition that puts families through extreme endurance challenges.

Ireland’s Fittest Family has returned to RTÉ, with the Mandiangus family from Brookview among 15 families competing for the coveted title.

Irelands Fittest Family Mandiangus compressor

Gilmar, Blair, Nathalie and Lariche

Nathalie Mandiangus (53) is competing with her three children, Lariche (32), Gilmar (27) and Blair (24) – who went to local schools in Killinarden and Brookfield.

The family, including dad Nindja, has always been into keeping fit and active, with mam Nathalie an avid walker and runner.

Daughter Lariche, a mother-of-three, lives in Lucan, has a background in athletics, while Gilmar plays football for Bluebell United and enjoys the gym.

Blair, the youngest of the family, plays for Crumlin United.

After a time test in the first episode the family made it through to Coaches’ Selection, with former professional track athlete Derval O’Rourke teaming up with the Mandiangus.

Speaking with The Echo, daughter Lariche said: “We are very competitive as a family, so we thought we’d put our skills and strengths together and go for Ireland’s Fittest Family.

“This is all about teamwork, so we are trying to train together as much as we can.

“We are enjoying ourselves and having a bit of a laugh as well as competing.

“It’s very important [for families] to do activities together and have fun . . . and as a family get up and get out.”

She added: “We are 100 per cent representing our hometown . . . and would love all of the Tallaght people and Lucan people to get behind us.

“We’re shocked with all of texts, messages and support from people so far . . . we’re overwhelmed.”

Ireland’s Fittest Family is hosted by Mairead Ronan alongside coaches Anna Geary, Davy Fitzgerald, Donncha O’Callaghan and Derval O’Rourke.

The challenges this year will range from steep sand dunes to airports and Irish bogs, to the sheer gradient of Kilternan’s 180 metre ski slope.

Once again all roads lead to Croke Park, where the four surviving families will battle it out in the final to be crowned Ireland’s Fittest Family 2019.

Tune into the show on RTÉ One on Sunday at 6.30pm.

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