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I'm mad into running, says Craig ... and I want to do the marathon in 3.5 hours

Fitness mad Craig Doyle has revealed how he has become hooked on running and is aiming to compete in next year's London Marathon.

The TV presenter said he has notched up a number of marathons but knows he must improve before the 'big one' in London next year.

His vigorous training regime involves running and cycling the scenic trails near his home in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

The 41-year-old father of five said he also tries to "get as many sprints as possible" when he trains with his local tag rugby team. He said his team-mates think he's an "over-eager idiot", but admitted that to him it's fun.

As much as he enjoys it he also likes to challenge himself and is always trying to beat his personal best.

"My PB is s*** -- I have managed to dip just under four hours, barely. I did that in New York in 2000."

He ran the Dublin City Marathon in 2002 in a time of four hours 14 minutes. However, he said it was a 'disaster' as he wanted to finish in three-and-a-half hours.


"It made me realise that anyone can saunter around a marathon in five hours, but when you try and put in any kind of respectable time, it's bloody hard," Craig told FIT Magazine this week .

The very high bar the athletic TV star has set for himself got him into trouble when some Dublin marathon competitors took offence at his comments.

One offended (Aine McGuinness) reader criticised the comments in FIT magazine on the Craig Doyle Live Facebook page: "Didn't think ur comment in fit magazine today was appropriate regarding the fact that anyone can saunter around a marathon in 5 hours. Deeply insulting to all the dcm(Dublin City Marathon) runners on Monday who 'sauntered'."

However Craig's agent explained: "This part of the article was aimed at people that run with a club, the question was in the context of Craig running with his running club."

Indeed the RTE presenter encouraged people not to obsess over times, but to focus on achievement and enjoyment.

"Sometimes, I think we all get too bogged down in times and we forget just to enjoy ourselves."