He’s the determined ultra-athlete who’s about to push his body to the absolute limit as he attempts to run 24 marathons in 24 days.

But Shane Finn insisted there’s one vice he won’t be giving up as he sets off on his punishing charity trek around Ireland tomorrow —his beloved pizza.

The Kerryman — who successfully completed 12 marathons in 12 days three years ago — said he’s in the best shape of his life ahead of the gruelling challenge, through which he hopes to raise €100,000 for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland.

However, the 25-year-old stressed he won’t be cutting the calorie-laden fast-food favourite from his diet, as he bids to complete the 628.8-mile feat by July 15.

“I enjoy eating real food, and that works for me. I use my food as my fuel, and if I didn’t eat the way I eat, my body wouldn’t recover.

“I do eat my share of pizza, and I particularly enjoy it after a hard week’s training. The diet I have works best for me.

“I’ve been training extremely hard and I honestly feel in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I’m feeling very confident, but at the same time I’m very respectful of the huge challenge that lies ahead of me.

“Things will go wrong on the way, and it’s going to take a lot of guts to complete this,” he conceded.

“But I’m very, very motivated and feel I’m in the physical condition I need to be to succeed in this challenge, which is literally twice as difficult as the one I did in 2014.”

Like his 2014 multi-marathon event, Shane said his motivation for his latest feat comes from witnessing the daily struggles of his cousin Mary, who suffers from spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

“The daily problems and complaints I or most other people have are completely trivial and insignificant when compared with the day-to-day challenges faced by people living with these conditions.

“It’s a massive motivation for me to try and raise as much money as possible to at least try and make a difference in the lives of sufferers.”

Shane’s epic trek will take him through 24 counties from tomorrow, starting in Donegal and running 26.2 miles each day before finishing up to what is expected to be a hero’s welcome in his native Kerry.

And on the eve of the mammoth feat, the gym instructor — whose efforts will be recorded by a small film crew — vowed failure was not an option. He added: “Nothing — not even a bullet — will stop me from making it back to Dingle on day 24 of the challenge.”

For more information, and to make a donation, see www.24marathons24days.ie.


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