MARATHON runner Willie Guiney has a very simple message for us all: Just do it!
Off to run his 33rd marathon in London next Sunday, Willie is a great example himself of the benefits of the sporting life. Approaching his fifth decade, he is as fit as a fiddle and not even a serious ligament ailment on his hip two years back was enough to stop him.
"There's a lot of negativity around today because of the economy, but really, when you look at it we have a lot to be grateful for and there's nothing like just getting up and doing something to make you feel better," Willie said. "It doesn't matter what it is, walking or running or anything at all, just do something as it is great for mind, body and spirit."
Willie is running his 33rd marathon in aid of Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, a cause he first ran for nearly ten years ago as part of a campaign with fellow runner Eamonn Coghlan. He has received massive support from across north Kerry and expects to raise over €3,000 by the time his fundraising work is complete.
"I love the London marathon and this will be my fifth time running it," he said. "It's one of those special marathons, up there with New York as nearly 40,000 people take part in it." This year London marathoners will trace the Olympic route. Some of Willie's key training for the event took place as he completed the recent inaugural Tralee marathon - one of the toughest he said he ever raced.
"It was a real endurance course and test of stamina. I would now like to dedicate my London run for the people of north Kerry who have been of such huge support, like they always have."