THREE hundred and sixty-six 5km runs in 366 days to raise funds for Pieta House will be the feat Corkman Brian O’Shea will have achieved this year, finishing his fundraising efforts with one last 5km dash at the New Year parkrun in Ballincollig.
Speaking to The Echo, 11-and-a-half months into the endeavour, Brian said there have been some tough days, but all in all, he has got the hang of heading out for a run every day.
“November was tough, although the weather has been kind enough. There were one or two days that were horrendous, I thought I might go to the gym.”
The 46-year-old, who is a quality manager in the medical devices industry, lives in Carrigaline with his wife Janet and two children, Ronan and Isabelle.
Brian said he has got a few niggles over the past 11 months, but nothing too serious.
“Tired legs and a sore knee, nothing a rest wouldn’t sort out, but that’s not an option,” Brian joked.
One of the toughest aspects of the challenge for Brian has been working his running into his busy days and of course, the fatigue.
“The tiredness at this stage, with no rest day, it builds up.”
Brian is a coach with Carrigaline United, training U16 soccer fanatics as well as coaching with Carrigaline Athletics.
“I’m coaching three nights a week and working two days a week from the office. There are some long days when you factor everything in.”
Chatting about the monotony of running his local 5km route day in day out, Brian said he knew every bump in the road at this stage and also said he does try to vary his route.
“I do the Carrigaline to Crosshaven greenway a lot and I find the Ballincollig parkrun very motivating.”
Brian said he was supposed to finish his fundraiser on December 31, but was invited along to the New Years Day parkrun in Ballincollig and couldn’t say no.
One good thing to come from the challenge, aside from raising money for a worthy cause, is being able to keep busy and occupied throughout the pandemic and improving his fitness levels.
“I’m definitely fitter than I was, there is no doubt.”
Looking ahead to next year, Brian said he wants to swap the regular 5km runs for longer distances and a few rest days.
“I’m hoping to do a half marathon next year and the aim is to do a marathon before I turn 50.”
Mentioning the charity for which he is fundraising, Pieta House, Brian said the organisation has been brilliant, checking in regularly and asking him how he has been getting on.
Brian said his community has been very supportive of his fundraiser and he has managed to raise €4,000 for Pieta House.
“I’ve raised €4,000, would love to get to €5,000, but I’m not sure if I’ll get there.”
The runner said he was glad he took on the year-long endeavour but he was looking forward to putting the feet up.
“A lot of people thought I was stone mad committing to a year, but I’m glad I did it for them.
“I never understood why people ran for charity but it adds a different dimension.”
- To donate to Brian’s fundraiser and support Pieta House follow this link: www.gofundme.com/f/28mt11dydc