Meet marathon man Alex O’ Shea from Ballineen, Cork. Alex is not your normal long-distance runner.
His latest challenge, starting Saturday, will involve him running roughly 13 marathons (an estimated 100 miles a day) in under four days from one end of the country to the other - Malin to Mizen Head.
An injury has unfortunately ended Alex’s challenge. Alex and his wife Audrey have issued this statement:
"Alex’s Malin to Mizen Challenge ends abruptly. Alex covered 100.7 miles yesterday which was followed by a night in hospital. Alex developed some knee pain at 75 miles. At 80 miles the physio looked at it and strapped it.
" The next 20.7 miles Alex pushed his body to what we thought was to but proved to be beyond its limits.
"Alex feels very disappointed and would like to express his gratitude to his family, his team on the day who did a great job, his sponsors and to everyone that supported him along the way.
"It’s been a long day and night and we’ll be in touch over the next few days."
8pm Sunday: Alex has now covered 80 miles and is still on track to complete the Malin2Mizen challenge
Alex O’Shea at the Malin to Mizen start line
Alex completed his second full marathon at 2pm today. He has taken a quick break for physio and food and is heading back out on the road.
Alex O’Shea speaks about his Malin to Mizen head challenge. He’ll attempt the run the length of Ireland in under 4 days. Video by Larry Cummins.
Very few people have ever attempted this feat. The current record time for the distance was set by Mimi Anderson of the UK in 2012. She completed the mammoth task in three days, 15 hours 36 minutes and 23 seconds.
Alex is attempting to beat that time and enter the Guinness Book of World records.
His training started at 70 miles a week and has peaked at 130.
A recent winner of the Tralee Ultra Marathon, Alex is no stranger to endurance running.
Alex O’Shea speaks to Robert McNamara about his training and motivation ahead of the Malin2Mizen challenge. Video by Larry Cummins.
In 2013 he broke the world record for running a marathon in fireman’s gear in Cork in three hours 41 minutes and 10 seconds.
Cork firefighter Alex O’Shea with his sons Leon and Noah
Where does he find the motivation to do it all?
"If you ask my wife, she’d day the stubborn streak helps," says Alex, tongue firmly in cheek.
"I’m very goal orientated and goal driven. If I didn’t have this big event I’d find it very hard to motivate myself to get out early every morning and go training."
Ultra marathon runner Alex O’Shea speaks to Robert McNamara about eating right while training and running gear. Video by Larry Cummins.
You’ll be able to follow Alex on his challenge with a live Irish Examiner blog from September 6.
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