Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Cork runner hits the 100 Marathon mark!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cork runner hits the 100 Marathon mark!

If you go to any big Marathon, you may well notice some people wearing singlets with the words '100 Marathon Club' on the back. When I first saw these, I was a bit suprised to say the least! One Marathon is hard enough for a lot of people but 100?!?! Anyway, I went digging and sure enough, it's a UK based club and they have their own website.

I heard recently that a local Cork runner Michael Haydon has been clocking up the Marathons with an aim to achieve the magic 100 mark. Michael, who lives in Ballygarvan and works in UCC finally achieved his final target by running in the Cork City Marathon on the 7th of June despite carrying an injury. Having started on this path in 1999, it took 11 years to complete this journey.

Here is part of his journey....

My name is Michael Haydon, also known as Micheal O’hAodain. I live in Ballygarvan, Co. Cork and I am involved in teaching youth and community work at the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork. I ran my first Marathon in October 1999 in Dublin. I had been doing a bit of running since 1993 when I had been forced to quit playing soccer due to injuries and had got ‘brave’ and thought I could take on the ‘marathon’, that is, an organised run over a measured distance of at least 26.2 miles or 42.195 km. 

That first marathon was tough and no amount of training could have prepared me for the actual experience of ‘going the distance’. I was completely drained, physically and emotionally, at the end, and as I recovered over the weeks following the marathon I promised myself ‘never again’. However, come October 2000 and the Dublin Marathon, there I was at the start line again, a bit better prepared and again involved in doing some fundraising. This time I was left feeling less devastated by the marathon experience and the physical and emotional fallout was much less severe – so much so that I entertained the thought of maybe running another marathon.  

And so I ended up at the start line of the Belfast Marathon on the May Bank Holiday 2001 and I suppose that was the real start of this journey that culminated with my 100th marathon completed in Cork on June 7th 2010. 

Since that May Holiday in 2001 I have completed another 96 marathons in various places across Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, France and Spain. While most of the marathons have been on the road, a significant number have also been multi-terrain, off-road orienteering, and even a couple of mountain runs. The common thing is that they have all fulfilled the distance requirement of being at least 26.2 miles in length. While every run has been tough, I think that the toughest run I have done was the Mont Blanc marathon in 2008. It is difficult to say which was the easiest, although Dublin in 2004, when I was reasonably fit and ran a personal best time, was tremendously satisfying. 

As I realised that it was a real possibility that I could manage to make Cork the one hundredth, I thought about something or anything that I could do to mark this event in my life. Thinking back to my first couple of marathons when we managed to raise some funds in conjunction with the running, I again decided that it might be possible to have a fundraising effort connected with the marathon. When it came to deciding on a beneficiary for any funds raised there was no contest as I have had a long involvement with the Bishopstown Senior Social Centre, a voluntary organisation that provides a centre and a range of social activities, supports, opportunities and services for older people in the wider Bishopstown area. Opened in 2001, they are a non-profit organisation depending on a mixture of statutory funding received mainly from the HSE, and voluntary fundraising in order to keep providing their services. 

Where and when is the 101st???

1 comment:

Evin O'Keeffe said...