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Ollie's 'nice jog' 550 times around the garden for heroes

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This weekend Oliie McHugh will run an ultra marathon in his garden in Tenure, Co Louth to raise funds for frontline workers as a way of saying thank you for all their hard work over the Covid-19 crisis. Picture Ciara Wilkinson

This weekend Oliie McHugh will run an ultra marathon in his garden in Tenure, Co Louth to raise funds for frontline workers as a way of saying thank you for all their hard work over the Covid-19 crisis. Picture Ciara Wilkinson

This weekend Oliie McHugh will run an ultra marathon in his garden in Tenure, Co Louth to raise funds for frontline workers as a way of saying thank you for all their hard work over the Covid-19 crisis. Picture Ciara Wilkinson

An ultramarathon runner will be going round in circles this Easter to help support frontline staff.

Ollie McHugh, who has run 30 marathons as well as a number of ultramarathons, said he will do 63km, which is a marathon and a half.

He said it was easy to complain about not being able to leave your home, but then he saw a news report "about frontline staff trying to get their kids minded, and I thought, 'Look at the hardship they're going through'.

"We have nothing to worry about.

"We're here in the sunshine and can go out into the garden, and all the time they're still doing their full work, trying to go home to their own families as well, and all the risks they're taking."

With encouragement from his youngest daughter Sarah (13), Ollie decided he would run an ultramarathon.

He would normally complete a regular marathon of 42km in three-and-a-half hours, and said he will not feel under pressure while going for 63km.

"I'll take my time. It will be a nice jog about 550 times around the house and garden," said Ollie, who lives in Tenure, Co Louth, with his wife Helen and three daughters.

"I know quite a number of people who work in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital."

Ollie and Helen have lost people they know to cancer in recent years, and would like some of the money raised to go to the hospital's oncology unit.

He has a target of €5,000 - of which nearly €1,800 had been raised last night -but has asked that no supporters stand by his fence or blast their horn.

"Any support should be through the GoFundMe page HERE. I want everybody at home," he said.

Herald