Marathon man Alex targets 32 marathons in 16 days

FRESH from winning the Tralee marathon at the weekend, an athlete known as the 'running fireman' is turning up the heat for his next challenge.

Ballineen ultra-runner and firefighter Alex O'Shea plans to run a stunning 832 miles this September in aid of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

He will take on 32 marathons, completing two per day from September 1 to 16.

The runner, who is hard in training at present, has announced the itinerary for his challenge, which will see him run in two counties per day, taking in all 32 counties in just over two weeks.

Alex will kick off the first of his marathons at the Dingle marathon in Kerry on September 1 before making the two-hour journey up to Limerick where he will take on his second 26.1 mile run of that day.

The route then goes west to Clare, Galway, Sligo and into Northern Ireland before looping back down to the east coast on September 9 before going through the Midlands and then back into the east with legs in Wicklow, Wexford and Kilkenny.

The last day of the challenge will see the St Finbarr's AC member tackle Waterford before a homecoming in Cork later that day.

The runs will take in parks, greenways and hotel grounds.

Alex has admitted that the task will be especially difficult to complete.

“I love challenging myself and pushing boundaries and doing so for a good cause makes it all worthwhile. That said, I know this will be the most difficult running event I have ever contemplated. A single marathon can be difficult but two in one day will take a toll physically and mentally as I won’t have the luxury of adequate rest and recovery," he said.

“It will also be difficult to consume enough calories in a day to fuel both marathons and the body's recovery."

Alex is no stranger to taking on seemingly impossible human feats. In 2014, the broke the world record for running a marathon in full fireman gear - boots and all - in three hours and 41 minutes – knocking almost an hour off the previous best.

Alex's website is now live at www.alexoshea.ie.

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