RUNNING firefighter Alex O’Shea began his challenge to do a marathon in every county over the next 16 days with his first race in Dingle this morning.
The Ballineen man is the world record holder for completing a marathon in full firefighter gear and is taking on two marathons a day – a whopping 52.4 miles per day - in an effort to raise funds for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.
The current Irish record is 33 marathons in 33 days set by Dubliner Mike Conlon but these runs were completed over three counties.
The complete county record was set by Gerry Duffy and Ken Whitelaw who completed 32 marathons in 32 counties in as many days in 2010.
Alex, a firefighter stationed at Anglesea Street, expected to cross the line in Dingle sometime between 1pm and 1.30pm on Saturday. He had about 40 minutes to rest before he got in a van to be driven to Abbeyfeale in Limerick to take on his second marathon.
The van will be driven by Alex’s crewman, Garda Ollie O’Sullivan, who also plans run 50k a day with Alex.
The challenge will make its way up the west coast into the North and down into the midlands and east coast before finishing on the final day with marathons in Waterford and the finale in Cork on September 16 at Irish Guide Dogs HQ on the Model Farm Road.
Alex wants the public to come out and run with him in their own counties. Anyone who registers at www.alexoshea.ie/register-to-run and raises €50 will receive one of the specially commissioned medals Alex has had designed for the challenge.
You can donate at www.alexoshea.ie.