Thursday 21 November 2019

Record-breaking Irish runners endure -41C at North Pole

Ed Carty

Two Irish runners have set records at the North Pole for their marathon endeavours.

In -41C they were among 44 athletes, including several Irish people, who endured 12 laps of a tough 3.5km course of ice and snow around the Russian-operated Camp Barneo yesterday.

Paul Grealish, owner of the King's Head pub in Galway city, set a new record in his own endeavours - he has now run four marathons at the pole, more than anyone.

The youngest competitor in the UVU North Pole Marathon - 18-year-old Tanj Donovan - was challenging for a top three spot in the women's race when she was forced to withdraw on medical grounds after her body temperature fell as low as 34.3C, bringing on mild hypothermia.

But the daughter of former Irish Olympian Paul Donovan was credited with becoming the youngest person to complete a half marathon on the Arctic ice cap.

"I'm delighted with it. Maybe I'll come back and do it another time," she said.

Paul Grealish from Galway
Paul Grealish from Galway

Race organiser and the teenager's uncle Richard Donovan toasted the young athlete's achievements and he said it was a learning curve.

Other Irish competitors who completed included Gary Seery (36) and Tony Mangan (57) from Dublin.

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