Several months ago, I highlighted the need for event organisers to be different in order to fill new starting lines.
In recent times, organisers have encouraged people to dress up as cows, covered runners in varying colours of ink dye and served potatoes at the finish line to align with an event titled 'The Spud Run'.
Solo challenges are also seeing new and ever extreme adventurers conjure up new and unique adventures. Here are three that I have recently become aware of.
Already in the bag and earning well-deserved kudos are Carlow-born Wesley Reilly, Longford native Mark Neilon and Englishman Richard Hart. Intriguingly dubbed the 'Up and Over Triathlon', the three lads did exactly that.
Starting on day one, these three musketeers swam 7.6k in a pool in Co Laois. This was just a warm-up, however. The 'up' was a cycle from Mizen Head to Malin Head – Ireland's furthermost points at 654k apart.
Finally, they did the 'over' – a run from Galway to Camden Street in Dublin (a distance of 214k).
Later this year and on the eve of the October bank holiday, Declan O'Flaherty will be running from his house to Dublin. He plans to arrive in time to hear the gun go off at the start line of the 34th Dublin Marathon in Merrion Square. Declan then plans to run the entire 26.2 miles on top of what he has already done.
When I tell you that his house is in Co Westmeath, you have some idea of what this solicitor has signed up for. €100,000 for charitable causes is a staggering ambition. So is the run of four consecutive marathons. His twitter is @26s4Muireann.
Sandwiched in between the two is Englishman and Kerry resident Paul Gosney. Again the menu is of gargantuan proportions and it will take all of this adventurer's experience and mental strength to get him to his finish line.
Paul (45) has an impressive CV. In the past, not only has he swam the three largest lakes in Kerry (13.2k), he has also ran the entire Ring of Kerry, a distance of 180k. Next up is his greatest challenge yet.
In support of Bee For Battens – a charity set up to help families and children with extreme illnesses – Paul will attempt an event in the UK called the LLD.
Starting on September 26, Paul will cycle from Land's End in Cornwall to London, a distance of 336 miles. This, he predicts, will take him 24 hours non-stop.
Most of the 11 attempting the challenge will take at least four hours just for that portion.
Finally, competitors are then required to run from London to Dover in the south-east coast of England, a distance of 77 miles. Ouch! His Facebook page is 'Paul Gosney running for rare disease'.
He might need a few 'spuds' to get him though that challenge!
Gerry Duffy is a motivational speaker and endurance athlete. www.gerryduffyonline.com