independent

Saturday 20 September 2014

Local athletes gear up for marathon

Published 16/10/2012 | 11:01

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YOU'LL NOT get a Jaffa cake, fig roll, jelly baby, lucozade sport, PowerAde or High 5 Iso Gel between here and The Liffey Valley this side of October 29th .... and as for the bananas they were bought during the weekly "Big Shop".

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Why could this be? Because the lads from the 7:57 club are fuelling up for the Dublin City Marathon, like a bear going into Union Wood hibernating (Where most of them have been hiding since January), For most Sligo people they go to Dublin for 3 reasons, the airport, the zoo and Lady Gaga concerts, but these boyos aren't most people - they are marathoners so they add in a trip the last weekend in October each year, and some have said it's a lot less painful than having to go up shopping "so it's not that bad after all".

But on a serious note all these lads have put in a huge commitment and have dedicated huge amounts of time and effort to training for the Marathon. From the outside looking in you may think that they have done so many marathons that they just turn up, but that is not the case.

Early mornings, rescheduling of family plans, missed nights out, watching what you eat and drink are all par for the course. Lads getting out of their bed hours before the runs and driving miles out of their ways to leave out water bottles for us all along the route and back again to collect them after.

Morning and evenings when you wouldn't put a dog out these boys took to the roads to stick to their schedules encouraging one another along the way.

No prima donnas or Billy big times here everyone was there to help the other along and although an individual sport they did it with team spirit and encouraged and persuaded any new comer that they could do it too. Ordinary people doing extra ordinary things

Among the male athletes gearing up for the Marathon are Enda Dineen, Eamon Dunbar, Mark Burns, Ciaran Donnellan, Enda Whelan, Damien Kennedy, Kieran Coleman, Joe Davey, Richard Gorman, Paul Deering, Fintan Whelan, Mel Casserly, Nickey Davey, Padraig Scanlon, Jonathan Hill, Paul Davey, Ian Howard and Roy Kelly.

Like their male compatriots our ladies have put in the hard slog for the 26.2 miles juggling their time and other commitments to build the mileage necessary for completing the task.

Many a mile was put in the race course on Saturday mornings and that's not an easy place to do your long runs mentally or physically. Building steady mileage over the summer months on the road's to culminate in the completion of the marathon has paid off. Good luck also to Linda Higgins, Aisling Kennedy, Aisling Gillen, Sharon Dineen, Vanessa Foley, Sarah McCaffrey, Deirdre Deering, Cathy McCarthy, Fiona Melvin, and Edel McGowan.

Some of these athletes are seasoned Marathon runners and others are what is known as Marathon virgins but the one thing is that each and every one of them have completely committed themselves to this magnificent challenge, and some times this can be over shadowed by the "what time do you hope to do it in" question, which immediately puts you under unneeded pressure, as the most important thing is to enjoy and soak up the adulation you deserve for achieving what you have just accomplished, a statistic to keep in your mind is that only 1% of the worlds population will ever complete a Marathon, so on Monday October 29th these individuals will become members of a very elite group and for that they are to be saluted.

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