I’ll run 32 marathons in 32 counties …in 16 days

alex o shea in full fire fighter uniform with two puppies

As new year resolutions go, running one marathon might seem like a hefty task but a Cork city fireman is planning to run 32 marathons, in 32 counties in just 16 days and all of this is to raise money for us!

Alex O’Shea, a well-known ultramarathon runner and member of Cork City Fire Brigade’s Blue Watch, is currently putting a number of the logistics in place.

Alex previously broke the world record for running a marathon while in full firefighter attire – steel-toed boots, overalls and helmet included – in three hours and 41 minutes in 2014, beating the previous record by almost an hour.

Over the next few months, he will be assembling a team of people to help with his latest challenge, building a webpage and organising events in each of the 32 counties. Do you think you could help – Let us know!

Irish athletes Gerry Duffy and Ken Whitelaw famously completed 32 marathons in 32 counties in as many days in 2010 — and Alex is looking to double that achievement.

“While I don’t think the 32 marathons in 32 counties has been attempted in this time frame before, it’s not a record attempt in the strictest sense of the word,” said Alex.

“It’s a huge charity and personal challenge, which I hope people will embrace and get behind. You don’t have to be an experienced runner to join in a little run and everyone will be welcome and we will embrace all suggestions and offers of help. As I will be running unofficial marathons and travelling the country, we will look at using parks and tracks, with the option for people to join me along the way.”

Alex will have to hop between counties each day during the challenge and says getting to the start line of the second marathon on time each day will be a major hurdle.

“The first marathon of each day should start on schedule because we will cut sleep if needed to keep on schedule but after that, we will be very much up against the clock to get to the second location and will be fighting fatigue, possible injury and delays,” added Alex. “If this happens, the timeline for the second marathon of each day could be affected and only time will tell for sure. Marathon two is entering into the unknown.”

Alex is now seeking sponsors to help with transport, fuel, accommodation, food and providing gear.

He attempted to break the record time for running between Malin and Mizen Head in three days, 15 hours, 36 minutes and 23 seconds set by Mimi Anderson in 2015 but was forced to retire through injury. He has also represented Ireland at the 100km World Championships and last year competed in the national 24-hour road race championships in Belfast.

If you would like to support Alex in this challenge and become a sponsor or volunteer your time and skills let us know. Contact Anne Burns at: anne@guidedogs.ie or call us at HQ today at: 021 487 8200.

Adapted from a piece that originally appeared in the Evening Echo on January 6th, 2018, Access the original piece here


Guide Dogs 12.01.2018 

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4 hours ago

Alex runner

Winter training is never easy as we all struggle with motivation
Let’s face it getting out the door in the cold and wet is not the most inviting!
But it can be overcome
Shorter days
etc etc...
Beat the Cold wrap up
consider some treadmill sessions or cross train inc bike pool work, it doesn’t all have to be outdoors this time of year..
Shorter days so add hi viz gear or extend your day by using artificial lighting- gym workouts
Wet weather again a lightweight reflective running jacket & hat 🧢
Ice consider running latter in the day when it’s had time to thaw out or consider a treadmill work out..
It might be hard to get out the door this time of year but it’s well worth it..
Now is the time to lay the foundations for your 2019 goals..
Tip of the day
Join a club train with others a mile shared is so much easier than training alone...
What are your 2019 goals?
Write it down look at it tell people make it happen.

Last night I was fortunate to finish work in time to join my running club St Finbarrs for a hill repeat training session.
Today a Treadmill session
Tonight some stretching & Back Baller
Tomorrow morning quick swim session followed by a check up with Carbery Chartered Physiotherapy kids and treadmill in the evening..
Thursday back out on the road no matter what the weather...
... See MoreSee Less


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Great to run and chat with you Monday evening Alex 👍

Sorry couldn't help myself 😆😆😆 eagleac.net/membership/

Great piece Alex. Thanks for sharing

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