Alex’s experience at running long races is admittedly quiet recent & limited. But that said it has been a fast learning curve.

Going from 1st marathon & Guinness World Record, to representing Ireland at the 100km World Championships and reach the international qualifying A standard for the 24hr event all within 4yrs.

So will 32 marathons in 16 days be a challenge?

Most certainly, yes, the biggest challenge he has faced to date. But thats what makes it interesting and drives him to train hard and succeed. When asked why would he even attempt a challenge like this he simply replied “I love challenging myself and pushing boundaries and doing so for a good cause makes it all worth while. That said I know this will be the most difficult running event I have ever contemplated. A single marathon can be difficult but two in one day will take a toll physically and mentally as I won’t have the luxury of adequate rest and recovery. It will also be difficult to consume enough callories in a day to fuel both marathons and the bodys recovery.

I know there will come a day that I won’t be able to contemplate such things and when that day comes I will look back at some amazing adventures. Alex said he looks forward to embracing the challenge and the only certainty is he will give it 100% on the day every day. He looks forward to meeting some great people along the way.


To donate to this great cause click here.

Alex Pictured with some former Colleagues.

Pic with Olympian Rob Heffernan The Man that can walk faster than most of us can Run.

Alex & Daithi O Se

Pic with Fellow Irish Guide Dogs Ambassador Roy Keane

Pic with fellow Irish Guide Dogs Ambassador Sonia O Sullivan. Also pictured Gerry Duffy, Frank Grealy, Gavin Hennigan, Ray o Connor & Joanne Murphy

Paschal Sheehy Reporting From Blackrock Castle Cork

Alex O’Shea is a 44 year old married, father of 4, originally from Carrigaline now living in Ballineen, Co. Cork

  • Alex ran his first marathon on 2nd June 2014 at the age of 40 (never to late to start) & becoming a Guinness World Record Holder in the process. (Fastest Marathon in Full Fire Gear) 3hrs 41min 10sec.
  • Alex Competed for Ireland at the 100km World Championships In Spain 2016.
  • Silver Medals in 50km & 24 hours national championship events 2017.




  • Alex works as a full time fire fighter with Cork City Fire Brigade since leaving the Naval Service in 2005.
  • Previous to 2005 Alex served in the Irish Naval Service for 11 years. Alex was deployed with the United Nations in Lebanon and served on many of the Irish Naval Service Vessels.
  • In the last few years Alex has developed a love of running and has pursued many personal running challenges and goals meeting some great people along the way.
  • Alex runs for Cork City Council in the BHAA (Business House Athletic Association) races. Alex is also a member of St.Finbarr’s Athletic Club in Cork & is affiliated with Marathon Club Ireland.

Alex did not start out with any great running ability far from it and as a child the focus was very much on not finishing last. But as Alex grew older he returned to running and it was not long before his interest turned to running longer events. That said it wasn’t till he turned 40 that Alex ran his first marathon. This was something he had wanted to do since the age of 15 but after a years training he was deemed to young and he parked the idea and all but gave up running as a result.

25 years on Alex’s first marathon was certainly memorable. At 40 years of age after training for a year Alex ran the Cork City Marathon in full Fire Gear Breaking the then Guinness World Record by almost 1hr. Running a time of 3hrs 41min 10 sec dressed in full fire gear (fire boots bunker pants jacket and helmet) all in aid of The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and his local playground in Ballineen West Cork. It would be a year before Alex ran his next marathon which quickly lead to longer events more marathons and challenges.

Puppies IGDIrish Guide Dogs

Garda Ollie O Sullivan Joins The Team

Alex a Fire fighter from Cork will be joined on his challenge to run 32 marathons in 32 counties in 16 days by Garda Ollie O Sullivan. Ollie will be a vital part of Alex’s team. Ever before the challenge start Ollie will be working with Alex behind the scenes on all aspects of the challenge. Along with crewing for Alex Ollie will take on his own personal challenge to run 50km of the 84 km a day every day of the challenge. So we have a fireman a Guard now the question is who else will be joining them.

For those of you that don’t know Ollie, he Is a native of Tralee Co Kerry, Residing in Tralee & Currently Stationed in Abbeyfeale Which is in the District of Newcastlewest Co Limerick. Ollie was also Previously stationed in Anglesea St, Henry St and Asketon. Ollie is married to Catherine, and has 3 kids Jesse, Amy and Dani.Ollie is a keen runner and member of Stazza Stable running club, while this challenge is a huge challenge for Ollie his commitment and dedication is unquestionable. We would like to welcome Ollie to the team, thank his family for their support and all his friends for the messages of support. Remember it all starts on September 1st in Ollie’s home county of Kerry with the Dingle Marathon before traveling on to Limerick. For more check out our routes page and like the Facebook page for live updates.

About Alex


2017 saw Alex compete in various races of marathon and longer distances culminating with his proudest running moment of 2017 a second place finish at the National 24hour Championships. Alex was to finish 1st in the open race, 2nd in the national championship and 6th in his age category in the World Masters event and has put himself in a good position for future team selection.


2018 Alex has two huge athletic focuses. Alex hopes to be selected to represent Ireland for the National 24hr ultra running team for the European championships to be held in Romania in late May.

Then come September Alex will embark on a huge charity challenge in aid of the Irish guide Dogs for the blind.  Alex will attempt to run 32 marathons, 32 counties in just 16 days. Thats 0ne in every county Two marathons a day. Why not join Alex and show your support.


2014 Aged 40 Alex ran his first Marathon. Cork City marathon in a time of 3Hrs 41min 10sec Achieving a Guinness World record by taking nearly 1Hr off the previous record for the fastest time to run a marathon in a full fire mans uniform. (boots fire leggings, Tunic and helmet)


2015 and another Guinness World Record attempt but this one was to be unsuccessful. Alex renewed his links with the Irish Guide Dogs & attempted to run Malin to Mizen (the length of Ireland) Alex had to pull out at the end of day 1 due to an injury at 100 miles. While this was a big personal disappointment not to achieve his goal or at least finish the challenge Alex now views it positively and draws strength from all the positives and support he received.


2016, Stared slow as Alex returned from injury. But he put in some good performances & with the year all but over Alex got a surprise call up to represent Ireland at the 100km World Championships in Spain. Alex said it was a huge honour to represent Ireland and somthing he will never forget.

Register your interest

Facebook Posts

This message is only visible to admins:
Unable to display Facebook posts

Error: (#10) To use 'Page Public Content Access', your use of this endpoint must be reviewed and approved by Facebook. To submit this 'Page Public Content Access' feature for review please read our documentation on reviewable features:
Type: OAuthException
Code: 10
Click here to Troubleshoot.