Sunday 11 December 2016

Beer key to ultra runner's success

Published 06/02/2012 | 04:49

Richard Donovan in Sydney, Australia after he became the only man to run seven marathons on seven continents in less than five days
Richard Donovan in Sydney, Australia after he became the only man to run seven marathons on seven continents in less than five days

An Irish ultra runner has revealed a bottle of beer helped him become the only man on the planet to run seven marathons on seven continents in less than five days.

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Richard Donovan broke his own record by completing his final run in Sydney, Australia, setting a new time of four days, 22 hours and three minutes.

The 45-year-old admitted sleep deprivation, running, and travelling through different time zones and temperatures took its toll on his body.

"I was absolutely wrecked. I wasn't even able to keep down water," he said.

"We came to desperate measures in Sydney and I chanced a beer. I had one bottle of Heineken during the race for some carbs and one at the end of it. It was the first time something stayed down in days."

Mr Donovan, a father-of-one from Galway, began his epic quest in the extremes of Antarctica last Wednesday, running the first 26-mile leg in minus 20C at the Russian Novo science base. He has since ran 183 miles and flown 27,055 miles.

His round-the-world marathon took him from Antarctica to Cape Town in South Africa, to Sao Paulo, Brazil; Orlando in the US; London, UK; Hong Kong and finally Sydney.

His last record stood at five days, 10 hours and eight minutes.

Mr Donovan completed the endurance challenge on a shoestring budget out of his own pocket to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. Money raised through online donations at www.worldmarathonchallenge.com will go to aid agency Goal.

Travelling alone and flying economy class, he said the hardest part was concentrating in airports and catching flights while tired.

Press Association

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