Kieran's marathon warm-up? A 140-mile cross-country cycle
IT'S a warm-up like no other. As 14,000 runners amass at the starting line for the 32nd Dublin Marathon next Monday morning, one of their number will have already spent the previous night cycling across the country.
Kieran McCarthy has set himself his own Ironman challenge of sorts, which will see him complete a 1.8-mile swim on Sunday evening, before jumping on his bicycle and pedalling almost 140 miles from Shannon, Co Clare, to Dublin overnight. He then faces a gruelling 26-mile run around the capital.
"I might be sleep-walking at the end of this marathon," joked the runner as the made his final preparations.
The father of one, whose daughter Aoibheann (3) has cystic fibrosis (CF), is undertaking the feat to raise money towards the construction of a CF unit at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick and also for the Clare Crusaders Clinic, which provides free speech therapy and physiotherapy to children with special needs.
"The cycle is going to be staggered, so I'll probably stop every 30km for a few minutes so I can stretch my legs," he explained.
Kieran (32) will travel across the country in a convoy of family and friends. He competed in last year's marathon and has kept up a strict training regime ever since, including taking part in the Barcelona marathon earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Mary Hickey Nolan (59), from Arklow in Co Wicklow, may be nursing tendonitis in both feet but insists that she will take part in the marathon in order to keep her perfect record of competing in every Dublin city marathon
The coffee shop owner and fitness instructor said: "This will be my 32nd marathon in a row."
Another veteran, Dave Brady (61), from Rathcoole in south Dublin, will be notching up his 200th marathon on Monday.