Marathon man Liam takes long route for charity

A YOUNG Kerryman is taking a walk on the long side — from Tralee to Dublin to be exact — to take part in next Monday’s marathon.

Liam O’Connor, 30, from Ballyard, near Tralee, was pounding the pavements between Killaloe and Nenagh yesterday as part of his 230-mile walk-a-thon to raise funds for cancer research.

He began his marathon fundraising adventure in Tralee last Sunday and has already passed through Abbeyfeale, Adare and Killaloe, about 70 miles.

He hopes to stroll in to Dublin city on Sunday and get a good night’s rest, before joining the thousands of others on the start line for Monday’s Dublin City Marathon.

He was inspired to undertake the event following the death of a close friend, Padraig Halpin, who died in 2006 of angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects the blood vessels, aged just 27.

“Padraig, being Padraig, never let it get him down and was really positive throughout his treatment,” Liam said.

“We all have very fond memories of Padraig who was a true lover of life and was full of energy.”

His fundraising target is 15,000 and he has encouraged people to dig deep.

“Each year in Ireland there are over 20,000 new cases of cancer and over 7,500 cancer deaths, accounting for almost one quarter of the annual death toll,” Liam said.

“Faced with such facts we must do everything in our power to combat the disease.”

Speaking on the roadside yesterday, Liam, who works at Blackhall Stud in Kildare, said he is feeling strong.

“It’s all going well so far. I’m still going strong,” he said.

“I’m walking about four to five miles an hour and I hope to do the marathon at about the same pace.

“The legs are fine so far. I just make sure that I get good therapy at night and put the feet up.

“Padraig’s sister, Aisling, will be joining me for the marathon so that will be nice.”

Donations can be made to www.mycharity.ie/event/liam_o_connors_event.


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