TETHERED together for more than 26 miles, matching stride for stride, two men became unlikely heroes yesterday after smashing the world record for the three-legged marathon.
After 20 miles of the Cork City Marathon, Fermoy-based solicitor Colin Carroll hit the infamous “wall”.
He admitted his running partner, John Meade, pulled him through, along with the support of the crowd.
“Over the last 100 metres the crowd were absolutely incredible. It must have been up there with the Munster team’s homecoming,” said John.
What makes the feat even more remarkable is that the men only met six weeks ago and John, a civil engineer from Whites Cross, Co Cork, had only competed in one marathon before.
Colin’s original running partner, Carl Williams, pulled out two months ago with a torn hamstring. He appealed for a replacement and found John’s stride was a perfect match.
Yesterday they completed the race in 3hrs 25mins — shaving 15 minutes off the previous record set in London 10 years ago by identical twins Nick and Alastair Benbow.
“This record is for the people of Cork and made by two people from Cork. We really wanted to do it here and the crowd really helped us,” Colin said.
He’s no stranger to headlines, with bobsleigh, the elephant polo championships in Nepal and the world sumo wrestling championships on the list of his previous sporting achievements.
“As you can see I take being silly very seriously,” he quipped afterwards.
More than 8,000 athletes competed in the marathon. Roy Fahy from East Cork AC was the winner in a time of 2hrs 33mins 55secs.
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