Sunday 27 May 2018

Marathon love affair of Dingle's runaway bride and groom

BORN TO RUN: Tony Sharpe and Catherine O’Donoghue
BORN TO RUN: Tony Sharpe and Catherine O’Donoghue
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

An athletic couple living in Sydney are really going the distance for love as they prepare to race down the aisle after running this year's Dingle marathon.

Known as the 'runaway bride and groom', Tony Sharpe, from Yorkshire, and Catherine O'Donoghue, from Killarney, say crossing oceans to celebrate their nuptials will be worth every single mile.

"Killarney is her home and the most romantic place we could ever think of to get married, so it really had to be Ireland," said Tony, an avid long-distance runner.

"We figured it was easier to organise a whole wedding in Ireland while in Australia than trying to organise for our families to make the trip out here to Sydney," he said.

The couple, who met through their shared passion for trail running and yacht racing, said the opportunity of running the Dingle Marathon around the same time as their wedding was "just too good to miss.

"It's a tough course, but voted one of the most beautiful in the world. We both really enjoy the buzz of distance running, so we picked up the whole wedding and moved it by two weeks so that we could take part in the marathon first," said Tony.

And the energetic pair will be in good company every step of the way. After announcing their plans to friends Down Under the lovebirds expected just a few would be able to join them in Ireland.

However, a wedding party of 25 will cross the finishing line with Tony and Catherine in Kerry next month.

"It is the most beautiful accolade by our friends that so many are making the journey to join us in Dingle and Killarney. That's before we even include the locals from Ireland and friends and family from the UK and US," said Tony, adding that their hen and stag parties will kick off after the race.

"We've certainly put the work in to train. We've been building up for some time and bringing our friends along the way," he said.

The annual marathon around the spectacular Dingle peninsula takes place on Saturday, September 5. Registration will close at midnight next Thursday, August 27.

Sunday Independent

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