A Limerick man looking to lose 300 pounds in weight has completed the Dublin marathon – in almost 11 hours.
Event organisers were taking down the final barriers and buntings when Gary Kirwan crossed the finish line on Monday night.
It took the wannabe father 10 hours and 46 minutes to complete the 26 mile trek around Dublin but his ultimate goal is more long term.
Anxious to start a family with wife Michelle, Business Studies student Gary is on a mission to lose over half his body weight.
He started his mission weighing 650 pounds currently weighs 450 and wants to reach 250 pounds.
Aided and abetted by Today FM radio show host Ray D’Arcy, Kirwan’s story has touched the Irish nation.
He celebrated with champagne on D’Arcy’s Tuesday morning programme as floods of texts arrived to congratulate him.
“It was the best and sorest 11 hours of my life,” said the 31-year-old as he crossed the finish line on Monday night.
“It was unbelievably tough but the people in Dublin were unbelievable. I was sore the whole way through but I never thought I wouldn’t make it.”
Radio presenter D’Arcy, himself a keen athlete who finished Monday’s marathon in just over four hours, ran the final stages of the race with Kirwan.
“I’m in tears; he is just amazing; that is the power of the human spirit,” said D’Arcy.
“He was never going to give up; it’s truly inspirational what he has done.”