There’s no stopping Clondalkin man, Mark 

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett

The Dublin Marathon will be the 200th official running challenge for Mark Conlon (40) who runs with his local club, the Clondalkin Flyers.

Last month, he completed 10 marathons in 10 days in scorching temperatures in Italy – and all to support Children’s Health Foundation Crumlin (formerly CMRF) and Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street.

On August 3 last, the former army man set off for Lake Orta to compete in his toughest challenger to date.

“When I got there. I was asked to take part in a 50k a day over 10 days in Italy. It’s never been done before so 1 agreed to give it a go.

“I was one of only four to finish the 500k challenge which ran from August 5-15. An Italian man had a heart attack on the second day. A French runner saved his life; the only three girls dropped out on the third day, one from Australia fell and broke her leg. Another girl was rushed to hospital with kidney pains. It was a real struggle in 33 degrees heat.

“The runners who dropped out stayed on to cheer us over the finished line on the last day! It was amazing to be the only Irish man to ever complete this event, along with an English runner and two Italians.”

Don’t be under any illusions either that Mark was resting in luxury accommodation after each testing 50k runs.

“IT was not a ‘relaxing’ experience,” said Mark. “I stayed in a school hall, sleeping on the floor all week with only cold showers and miles to walk after the 50k everyday in search of food and water, and other supplies.

“I was covered from head to toe in very painful mosquito bites. It was too hot to sleep at night so I got an average of three hours per night of sleep. I often was asleep at the start line.

“My brand new white runners were destroyed in dirt and I had grown a beard, as there were no mirrors in the school so I couldn’t shave. When the other runners arrived to warm up, I’d be asleep on the ground till five minutes before the race start!”

But giving up wasn’t an option for Mark who recovered years ago from a bad belt of Covid 19.

“I was in Crumlin Hospital when I was younger, and they looked after me so well. I only had fluid on my knee but when I think about the other sick children there who would never get the opportunity to do what I do, I just couldn’t give up!”

Over the past 15 years, he has run for numerous homeless charities, Cancer Research, SVP, Pieta House, Ronald McDonald House and several hospitals. Last Man Standing, 12 hour challenges and now 50k per day, 10 marathons in 10 days, how does he keep going?

Having competed the Longford Marathon recently, Mark now looks forward to the Half Marathon and full Dublin Marathon. And it’s all going towards the Children’s Health Foundation Crumlin and the Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street.

Mark hopes to raise at least €5,000 and to visit the hospital staff with a few little treats, to acknowledge their incredible dedication. You can donate to Mark’s endeavours and the hospitals at

“Every euro counts,” said Mark “Thanks in advance to all who support.”

Mark wishes to thank his generous sponsors Dublin Bus, the Rite Bite Deli, K Factory Printing. Clondalkin Enterprise Centre and the Lazer Clinic, Hume Street, and Asics in Kildare Retail Outlet. 

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