Twenty-seven year old teacher Mark Coady, from Youghal, has raised more than €10,000 for charity by completing a 24-hour triathlon on Monday.
While most of us were still recovering from excessive consumption of chocolates and mince pies, Mark swam 10km, cycled 300km, and ran 62km in a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society.
The primary school teacher, who has been a member of his local triathlon club since 2018, said he decided on the extreme challenge after his father, Kieran, was diagnosed with cancer in September 2020.
“They found a tumour behind my father’s eye, during a routine eye test here in Youghal. The local optician spotted it and told him to get it checked out.”
The South Coast Triathlon Club member was in training for Ironman Youghal last year and when the event was cancelled in May, he wanted to put his efforts to a good cause.
“I wanted to do a charity event, but I didn’t have one picked and then, after my father was diagnosed with cancer, I decided to pick the Irish Cancer Society.”
The event kicked off at 6am on Monday, January 2, with a three-hour swim at the Club Vitae pool in the Quality Hotel.
Mark swam 10km and his younger sister, Laura, swam with him for an hour. Mark then hopped on his bike and cycled 300km in two 100km loops and two 50km loops.
“There were at least six people with me on the bike at all times,” Mark said, “The club is great and the support has been amazing from them.”
After the cycle, Mark ran for nine hours, racking up 62km, split between 10km and 5km loops around the town.
“I was doing 10km loops, but the body was getting stiff and I needed to stop more frequently to get physio from my uncle, Peter Coady, and my gran uncle, Brian Fitzgerald.
“My coach, John Ennis, picked a loop that cut out any inclines and that made things a bit easier.”
After the 24 hour triathlon, Mark said he was stiff, but he thought the body would feel worse.
“I was stiff, the hips and my neck were bad, and my knees were sore, but I thought it would be worse.”
After completing the challenge, Mark headed for a shower, followed by a hearty feed.
“I wasn’t sleepy, the adrenaline was going, it was the afternoon before I went to sleep.”
Mark said he was overwhelmed by the support he had received from his friends and family.
“My fiance, Chloe Walsh, was out supporting me all day and she did a lot of the running with me as well.”
The young athlete said he wouldn’t rule out taking part in another charity event, but he said it would have to be something different and said it was the Youghal community that came together to get him over the finish line on Monday.
“The amount of people who offered me support and all the people who ran and cycled alongside me, I would have really struggled without their help.”
To donate to Mark's fundraiser click here.