At least one student will not be picking up a beer after putting down his pen following college exams this weekend.
Instead, 21-year-old Waterford student Alan Corcoran will be putting on his runners to do just one lap — of Ireland.
Alan hopes his bid to become the first person to run a lap of Ireland will raise money for the Irish Heart Foundation’s lifesaving campaign, Act FAST, to raise awareness of the risk of stroke. He will set off from the People’s Park in Waterford City on Sunday.
Alan will be running the equivalent of 35 marathons back to back as he takes on the 917-mile challenge for a cause that is close to his heart.
“My dad suffered a stroke in March last year which left him wheelchair-bound and facing into months of rehabilitation,” said Alan. “Thankfully, by recognising the symptoms of stroke, he got to hospital in good time and has almost made a full recovery.
“Over the coming weeks I will run 917 miles around Ireland, but each mile, no matter how difficult, will be nothing compared to the gruelling journey thousands of stroke victims face every day,” he said.
Alan stressed the dangers of stroke and called on people to get behind his run and donate funds to support the campaign.
Despite facing a marathon of another kind in Poland, Ireland football manager Giovanni Trapattoni found the time to offer his support to the young student.
“I admire the dedication of Alan Corcoran to run 35 marathons in 35 days to complete a lap of Ireland,” he said. “It is an incredible test of endurance and fitness. In particular, I admire that Alan is putting himself to the test to raise funds for the Irish Heart Foundation’s campaign.”
The final-year town planning student at DIT, whose father Milo is a member of the FAI board, is also hoping to encourage other marathoners to join him for the final leg of his lap of Ireland attempt, at the Viking marathon in Waterford on June 30.
“One of the things I’m looking forward to most is running home to finish in my hometown of Waterford City,” he said. “I’ll be on my last legs at that point and I’ll need all the support and motivation I can get.”
For more information on strokes, see www.stroke.ie, or talk to an Irish Heart Foundation nurse in confidence on the its Heart & Stroke Helpline 1890 432 787, Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved