A Limerick man has become the first person in the world to complete 20 marathons in 10 days back-to-back.
Thomas Shanahan from Caherdavin Heights in Limerick is also hoping to raise awareness of the work done by Limerick Animal Welfare charity.
The 30-year-old made it through the last marathon with all the strength he could muster late on Monday night, and became first person ever to have completed such an endurance session, which he ran in Orta in northern Italy.
Thomas said: “It feels amazing to have finished. I received an amazing reception when I stepped over the finished line. I want to say from the bottom of my heart thank you to everyone who supported me. Thanks for all the donations and all the support. It was definitely the most difficult challenge I’ve attempted with moments of sheer pain desperation and also ecstasy and bliss.
“Limerick Animal Welfare are very pleased with all the donations and raising money for them helped me dig deep on days five/ six when the going got tough. It feels great to have a world record claimed for the Irish,” he said. Thomas, who is in the middle of completing his Masters in Quantity Surveying at Limerick Institute of Technology, has completed dozens of marathons in Ireland, Spain, Holland, Belgium and Israel.
Thomas said he started running at 8am every day, leaving a short space between the two marathons each day. He repeatedly ran the same 9km (6 miles) route daily until he reached the marathon distance:
“Running the same six miles over and back wasn’t really monotonous because the landscape is so nice here and the locals so helpful. I’m lucky that I had a lot of fitness built up before I attempted this as I run 70 miles weekly; do yoga; and run marathons all the time.”
Thomas’s sister Michelle arrived in Italy on Friday to support him.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved