ROSSCARBERY man Shane Goggin completed his second ever marathon recently and in the process raised vital finance for Lisheens House, Preventing Suicide and Self Harm.
Shane completed his virtual marathon in a time of 4:06:50, which was 42 minutes faster than his previous marathon.
The fitness enthusiast told The Echo he was delighted to complete the gruelling 26 miles trek.
“It was tough going. Doing it on my own also ensured it was tougher than normal. It is a pure mental and physical battle.
"My body effectively shut down after I had completed 20 miles. There are so many variables you have to get right on the day with regards pacing and timing,” he said.
The West Cork man has transformed his lifestyle in recent months. He has quit alcohol and cigarettes, and in the process has become an avid runner.
Shane whose father Sean passed away suddenly earlier this year, credits his family for their support, in helping him to prepare and finish the virtual marathon last Sunday.
“They were brilliant. We had everything planned to perfection. They were stationed at certain points during the marathon handing me out nutritional drinks and foods.
"When things were tough during the race, their presence gave me an extra pep in my step. My sister Aoife ran the last six kilometres with me which was very poignant and special.
"My mother was there when I finished the race and it was a very emotional moment. Losing my father was devastating to us all. We have all grieved together and came out of this so strong.
"Dad was with us all during the race and it was a family effort.”
Shane decided to embark on the virtual marathon to raise funds for a cause which is very close to his heart, Lisheens House, Preventing Suicide and Self Harm.
Shane who has previously suffered with bouts of depression, has raised €3,300 so far for his chosen charity.
He is delighted his marathon raised so much.
“It is an unreal figure. I was hoping to raise around €2,000 so to raise this amount is great. I got great support from my friends and all within my local community.
"The Rosscarbery people really got behind me which also meant a lot.
"The work Lisheens House do has resonated with so many people in our area. I am very passionate about mental health.
"I spoke at length with Noreen who is involved with Lisheens House. They are doing great work and providing such a vital service. All the money raised goes back into the charity, helping people by providing free counselling.”
Despite his vow never to run another marathon in the immediate aftermath of completing last Sunday’s virtual marathon, Shane is now fully refreshed and ready to go again.
He is looking forward to more adventures next year. “During the last few miles of the marathon, I pledged never to do one again due to the pain. I am fully rested up now however and I am already thinking ahead to Ultra Marathons and Ironman challenges in the future.”
Mick Kearns who is the manager of Lisheens House, paid tribute to Shane for his very successful fundraiser.
“The money will be put to great use, but it is the journey Shane has successfully come through which is so special.
"It might influence just one other person to emulate his great achievement and journey. His story might prompt one person to reach out and get help.
"People only think they are struggling on their own. It is only when they reach out, they realise there are plenty more out there who are also struggling unfortunately.
"Making the first step for people is massive.”
Lisheens House are a community-based mental health charity that provides free counselling, training and support throughout Cork city and county.
Lisheens House, who are based in Skibbereen, don’t receive any state funding and the finance raised from fundraisers held annually is much cherished by the organisation revealed Mick.
“All our services are provided through fundraising. We are delighted people have bought into what we are doing. We are providing a great service, especially in rural areas.
"We are available on people’s doorsteps which is ideal. We provide an essential and accessible service.”
Lisheens House was established six years ago. They have provided a valuable resource and support mechanism to many people who have required their service in Cork.
They provide question, persuade and refer training for suicide prevention to social, sports, community and work groups.
They have established a panel of counsellors in both the city and county.
They provide a very simplistic and effective model revealed Mick: “We are not reinventing the wheel. If someone is in trouble, we sit down and talk to them. We try to make sense of what is going on within their lives."
Mick added that their services are being required more each passing year. This year in particular due to the surreal nature of 2020, has resulted in a huge number of cases for Lisheens Houses to deal with.
“The calls to us have increased on an annual basis. This year has seen a huge increase. The world has changed. People who never suffered with any form of anxiety are worried.
"Certainty in life has gone out the window. Some people are not able to handle it.
"People’s jobs have been affected and people are struggling to pay bills. It is a different world all of a sudden.
"Some people just need a bit of reassurance. We are on their doorstep and always willing to help.”