Saturday 3 December 2016

'Antarctic marathon made my eyes freeze'

Ed Carty and Mark Hilliard

Published 08/12/2011 | 05:00

AN Irish ultra-marathon runner has braved some of the coldest temperatures on the planet to set a new record of running 100 miles a day in virtually impossible conditions.

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Galway businessman Richard Donovan famously sued 'Forbes' magazine over an article that alleged safety concerns in the operation of his annual North Pole Marathon in 2006.

But last weekend he set his mind to a completely different battle -- running 24 hours and 35 minutes through wind-chilled -25C in Antarctica.

"I did feel one of my eyes freeze and I certainly had blurry vision for a short time, but nothing much came of it," he said, explaining that he only suffered minor injuries during the run.

Bloodshot

"I thought I'd have a little snow-blindness as my eyes were completely bloodshot at the finish, but nothing developed.

"In fact, my lips and nose appear to be the only body parts showing the physical impact of the cold -- they are swollen, scabbed and weather beaten, but will heal in a few days," he said from Chile on route home to Ireland. Two other competitors in the Antarctic challenge were put on intravenous drips after the race.

Mr Donovan, who has run the length of Ireland in just over five days, dedicated his historic run last weekend to his brother Denis, who died suddenly last year.

The polar-running expert was the first person in history to run 26 miles at both poles in 2002 and two years ago he ran seven marathons on seven continents in a world record five days, 10 hours and eight minutes.

In 2007, he brought legal proceedings against 'Forbes' Magazine. In an interview last April, Mr Donovan said he took exception to claims made, particularly in relation to safety. It is believed he settled the action.

Irish Independent

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