Runner of the Week: Professor George Shorten

George Shorten will run the marathon to help ICU in CUH.

Professor George Shorten will be running the Cork City Marathon for a cause close to his heart.

This year the CUH Charity is raising money for the hospital’s intensive care unit, the department he works in, with a ‘Run for your life’ initiative, encouraging fundraisers to take part in the marathon.

George is Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine in the department, and he splits his time between the ICU and his other duties in UCC’s School of Medicine.

“The charity that the CUH is supporting this year is the ICU, which is my department,” he said. “We fund-raised independently for the ICU in previous years, and Dr. Dorothy Breen had led that.”

George jumped at the chance to run the marathon for his workplace, having been a keen runner since his youth.

“I’ve run for many years. I was involved in running as a kid and later as a young adult in athletics and in Leevale. Mostly sprinting, that kind of thing.”

He appreciates the flexibility of running, and he used it for his own health and to train for sport events that are even more challenging than traditional marathons.

“Running in a marathon is a convenient form of exercise for me. I’ve been using it to train for ultramarathons. These are similar to traditional marathons but involve more distance or maybe a different time frame.”

George has lost count of how many marathons and ultramarathons he has taken part in; he even ran an ultramarathon in Africa.

“One that really stands out was the Sahara Marathon: a week spent in the western Sahara. The aim of the marathon is to bring attention to the plight of the local Saharawi people and to show solidarity with them,” he said.

“My main motivation is that running and marathons are enjoyable. It’s an extremely simple activity - you just need a pair of running shoes.”

Denise O’Donoghue

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