‘It’s just you and the road’

Each week we profile one of the runners taking part in the ‘Irish Examiner’ Cork City Marathon this June

Niall Kavanagh will run as Batman in the marathon

Don’t be surprised if you see Batman running past you in Cork in June— it’s just Niall Kavanagh taking part in the Cork City Marathon.

Niall, 26, hopes to raise awareness around mental health, and this year he will be taking part in his first marathon in aid of the Cork Mental Health Foundation.

“I want to raise some awareness about mental health,” said Niall.

“I’m actually going to run the marathon dressed as Batman. If that doesn’t get people’s attention I don’t know what will.”

Niall first began speaking out about mental health in Ireland last year when he wrote about his own experience in a blog. He said the post went “semi-viral” and people he had known for years were suddenly opening up to him after reading it.

“That blog was called ‘Superheroes’. A lot of people came up to talk to me in the weeks after it was published and mentioned how they could relate to it.”

Encouraged by the response to his blog, Niall combined his love of running with his desire to raise awareness.

“I find running very therapeutic. When you’re running on your own everything else just falls away and it’s just you and the road,” he said.

Niall has so far taken part in a number of shorter races, such as 10 mile runs and half marathons. He is also a member of Ballymore Cobh Athletics Club, which has been a great help for training.

“It’s always been on my bucket list to do a marathon, and there’s no better place to do it than in your home county and being cheered on by familiar faces as you cross the finish line,” he said.

He just hopes he’ll see that finish line through the Dark Knight’s mask. “If I was running normally I’d probably hope to finish in four and a half hours, but since I’ll be roasting in a costume I’ll just be happy to see the finish line.”

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