Wednesday 20 September 2017

Marathon men to make tracks

ALISON O'RIORDAN

A marathon is a feat of near superhuman endurance -- but attempting to run 32 marathons, in 32 counties, in just 32 days is plain "nuts" according to outspoken Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary.

Two Mullingar men will be pounding a lot of pavements when they attempt this fundraising feat starting on July 2.

The brainchild of Gerry Duffy and Ken Whitelaw, these men will put themselves through unspeakable and public agony running 26.2 miles each and every day -- the entire length and breadth of the Emerald Isle.

"I've certainly been told many times I'm mad, but it has been done before, though not by anyone in Ireland. I have a background in running marathons so endurance is something I'm well used to, and I see this as the ultimate endurance," said Gerry.

Lending support to the whole lycra-clad herd are a number of Ireland's leading sports stars and celebrities who will act as race starters in each county.

Michael O'Leary has committed to running two half-marathons, one being the Dublin race on the second day of the fundraising event, and another half-marathon on day 32, when the race is due to finish up in his home county of Westmeath.

"I'm in rigorous training at present: four pints a day, copious amounts of cigarettes and regular sex," he laughed.

A fan of triathlons, running 13 miles should be a breeze to the airline boss.

He said: "It's for a very good cause and I hope they are going to raise a lot of money for their charity Irish Autism Action. Because the boys are from Mullingar I'm very happy to help them."

Keith Duffy and Brian Kennedy have also committed to running the full 26.2 miles one day, and the current Rose of Tralee, Charmaine Kenny, has been persuaded to run a half-marathon in her home county of Kildare.

All are welcome to be a part of this fantastic event.

However, each runner is required to raise funds to participate, with full marathon runners being asked to raise €1,000 and half-marathon runners asked to raise €600.

see www.32marathons. com for more information on how to participate.

Sunday Independent

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