Two Irish runners have done the seemingly impossible: run 32 marathons in 32 counties in as many days.
Mullingar men Gerry Duffy and Ken Whitelaw did the amazing feat in the name of charity, and battled illness, fatigue, and physical exhaustion along the way.
In doing so, though, they’ve managed to raise over €500,000 for Autism Action Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society.
The amazing feat of sportsmanship attracted the support of many top flight Irish athletes. Even Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary was on hand to join the runners for a half marathon yesterday and took part in another marathon in Dublin in early July.
Ray D’Arcy, Keith Duffy, Eamonn Coghlan, Brian Kennedy and Kathryn Thomas of RTE also joined the duo along the way.
Gerry Duffy, one of the two runners, said that he was “half sad, half relieved” that the challenge was over: “Yesterday was the toughest day I had. I had a bit of knee trouble and then I was quite sick last night. I got a bit of food poisoning,” said the 42-year-old runner
But despite all the obstacles, the pair made it.
“The joy here today, it has brought half the town of Mullingar out. I am absolutely humbled to pieces. There are 200 people running with us today,” said the other exhausted runner.
“We have been training for a year so there was always a little bit of doubt at the back of our minds whether we could do this or not. So there was always a question mark over whether our legs could do it, whether we would get injured or not, whether we would go over a little stump of a tree or something but thankfully we have made it so the relief is tremendous,” he added.