Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy aims to compete in a marathon although it will be much different to that of his Olympic silver medal-winning performance in 1984.
A longtime friendship with another former athlete, Richard O’Flynn of Courtmacsherry, Cork, resulted in Mr Treacy launching the Great Wild Atlantic Marathon Walk, a fundraising event for the Courtmacsherry RNLI.
The marathon walk is due to take place on August 11. At a launch in the Hayfield Manor, Cork, before attending the Cork City Sports on Tuesday last, Mr Treacy acknowledged Mr O’Flynn and himself go back a long way.
“Indeed, he was a big part of my success in 1984. Richard always spoke about the scenic beauty of his beloved Courtmacsherry and I am delighted to launch this event,” said Mr Treacy.
He added: “Unfortunately, as it happens this year, I will be in Berlin at the time of the marathon walk but there is no doubt about it, I will make it another time.”
The Courtmacsherry RNLI is one of the oldest stations in Ireland and last weekend responded twice to bring two yachts to safety. Last year’s inaugural marathon event raised just over €7,000 and attracted 350 walkers, many of whom did the entire 26.2 miles while others took the optional versions of a one-way half marathon, 10k or 5k walk.
Mr Treacy continued: “People are out being active and being part of the community and what you people are doing is fantastic, doing it for the Lifeboat is a great cause. You are out there helping your community, helping people out that may come into trouble. It’s fantastic to have the GAA involved as well.”
He concluded: “I will come down some year to do part of it, I probably wouldn’t be able for all six hours.”
The involvement with the local Barryroe GAA club highlights the Respect the Water campaign through the partnership between the GAA and the RNLI who aim to halve coastal drowning by 2024. Participants for the Great Wild Atlantic Walk Marathon Walk can enter on online at eventmaster.ie.
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