Donna claims the Irish 24 Hour Running title
For the vast majority of people who are long term or were even short term smokers the idea of running long distances is about as appealing as a holiday in their workplace but for one Wicklow resident, running over 100 miles in a day is pretty much a regular thing to do.
Last week Donna McLoughlin, who lives in Bray, became the Energia Irish 24 Hour Running Champion in Belfast after running 113 miles in 24 hours. An unbelievable achievement by any stretch of the imagination.
Donna was delighted with the result:
"I was just so over the moon, to reach my target and qualify for the Irish team was just brilliant, I'm looking forward to a bit of a rest now to be honest," laughed the Irish champion.
Having smoked for 20 years the feats of Donna McLoughlin are made all the more impressive.
"I wanted to give up smoking two years ago and I needed something else to do and so I started running 10K's and that kind of thing and then I progressed to the 100 mileage mark," says Donna casually.
Ten kilometre races are a tough task for the majority but for Donna, who last ran in school but not competitively, she says she feels like a performer and is very interested in studying the sports psychology around performance.
"I'm very interested in the mental side of running, my sister and her friends ran the Western Way recently (114 miles in 31 hours) and she loves the mountain running whereas I prefer the track and I hate training but I love racing and I'd love to look deeper into the psychology of it and explore the sporting mind," says Donna
The runner is looking forward to a long rest too.
"I'm feeling a bit banjaxed at the moment and I am in need of a rest, it feels like I had years of energy built up and it's all being released now but I am going to rest up for a few months and then hopefully head for the world championships in Turin next year,".