Whyte triumphs after finding a 'new world'
a stand-out performance at Sunday's Pat the Baker Longford Marathon Promotion was that of Ultra-Marathon (39 miles) winner Keith Whyte from Ennis Track Club, who completed the course in 4 hours 16 minutes 57 seconds.
The 31-year-old Clare man is a relative newcomer to running, having taken up the sport only three years ago to assist him breaking his 30- cigarettes-a-day habit.
On Sunday, Whyte went clear in the closing miles to beat the more experienced Russian runner Vasiliy Neumerzhitskiy, who finished close behind in 4:18.59. Joe Walsh placed third in 5:10.22.
Three years ago Whyte ran 3:24 for his first marathon in Dublin after only eight weeks of serious training.
Keith's wife, Bernadette, encouraged him to give up his smoking habit and the father of two is now delighted with his new lifestyle that makes him a great role model for his two children, Eva and Ryan.
"I ran the first Dublin Marathon as a fundraiser for the Clare Crusaders Team and I later discovered that I had an ability to go even further than the marathon," Whyte said.
"I was delighted with my victory in the Longford Ultra-Marathon and I am now looking forward to representing Ireland in the World & European 100km Championship in Winschoten, Holland in three weeks' time."
A typical day for Whyte begins at 5.30am with a 20-mile training run before heading for work as a tyre fitter at Pat Foudy Tyres in Ennis. An evening run of 10 miles completes the training and Whyte says that he has never been happier.
He often completes a 40-miles plus training run at weekends and has found a new freedom and passion through running.
"Running has opened up a whole new world for me and I find that the longer the race, the better I like it," Whyte added.