An ultra runner has smashed the record for running from one end of Ireland to the other.
Eoin Keith ran from Mizen Head on Cork’s most southerly tip to Malin Head on Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula in only three days, three hours and 47 minutes.
The previous record set by British athlete Mimi Anderson was a full 11 hours slower at three days and 14 hours.
Speaking to The Times the Corkman said he was “ecstatic” about his new record.
“I’ve got a lot of good results over the years but I think this one clocks in at number one. I always hate sleep deprivation but we managed to keep it to a minimum. That was the worst bit, there were very few low points.
“In my case, the reason for the 8am start time was that I would get a full day’s running and I knew I would be able to keep going through the first night. Then when the sun came back up it woke me up so that got me all the way through until about 10pm the following day.”
Eoin Keith ran Mizen to Malin in 75 hours 47 minutes. In complete awe.
Front page of Irish newspaper sports sections? RTE crew at finish? pic.twitter.com/hc3TON0GWR— Conor O'Neill (@conoro) May 2, 2017
The weather after he set off on Saturday morning was mostly wet and windy, with conditions similar on Sunday. In traditional Irish way he was held up by a herd of cows on Saturday night but emerged Monday morning into bright sunshine.
In total Keith only took about five hours off for sleep - twice breaking for what he dubbed “luxurious sleeps in the back of the camper van”.
“I didn’t sleep really until about 10pm the following day, so I didn’t sleep until the second night. I put a good 36 hours in before I slept, so that allowed a lot of running,” he said. “I had a few power naps anytime I was feeling low, I may have had two of those before the first big sleep.”
“I would say 99 per cent of the time I was running, I don’t really slow to a walking pace,” he added. “Generally if I come to a stop it’s because I need to pick something up, change clothes, get a head torch. But my support crew would have been handing me drinks so I wouldn’t have to slow down.”
Hi favorite part of the run was in west Cork where the mountain scenery was spectacular; incidental where he began because the hilly terrain would be easier to handle at the beginning of the run.
With a new record under his belt, Keith’s next challenge will be in Belfast this July where he will be competing in the World 24-Hour Running Championships.