Runner of the Week: Mary Murphy to complete 200th marathon next month

Each week, Denise O'Donoghue profiles one of the runners taking part in the ‘Irish Examiner’ Cork City marathon this June

This June, Cork woman Mary Murphy will take part in her 200th marathon.

Mary, 60, first ran a marathon in 2002, when she joined a work colleague at the Dublin Marathon.

“I started running in 1996. In 2002, my co-worker Andrew said he was doing the Dublin Marathon. I thought if he could do it, I could, too. I survived a half-marathon, first, and then committed to the Dublin Marathon.”

While she usually runs 12 marathons a year, Mary wanted her 200th marathon to be in a place close to her heart.

I’ve done 15 marathons a year in the last three years. I planned it so my 200th would be in Cork. It’s my hometown, so it’s special.

She loves the Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon route, which used to pass her own front door.

“On the old route, I used to pass within 100m of my front door in Glasheen. The new Cork route is lovely; there’s a nice mix of hill and flat. The finish, on St Patrick Street, is fabulous; there’s a lovely atmosphere.”

Mary hopes to use her milestone marathon to raise funds for charity Enable Ireland. “I’d like to raise money for the Cork branch of Enable Ireland. They do great work.”

Mary has taken part in marathons on five continents, in cities such as Boston, Beijing, Paris, and Berlin.

By the time you finish one, another comes along a week later.

She says she enjoys the great sense of unity among marathon runners.

“When I was in London, people next to me on the Tube were very chatty when they saw I was taking part. Usually, no-one even makes eye contact on the Underground.

“At the airport, on the way home, there were others wearing their medals, too, and it felt like a lovely community.”

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