Mark Conlon has completed his epic quest to break the Irish record for consecutive daily marathons, finishing his 33rd marathon in 33 days.
As well as breaking the record, the Bawnogue man’s main aim was to raise awareness of Dublin’s homeless crisis and money for the Peter McVerry Trust.
The Dubliner set off aiming to complete an unspecified number of the 26 mile runs. He had, however, always had the Irish record of 32 in mind as he looked at how his challenge might conclude.
His plan to reach the 33 leaked around day 18, and, surprisingly, the former soldier found life easier as he went on.
Conlon is hoping – with the help of Eoin Ó Broin – to bring a message to the Dail in the coming weeks, ideally before the break, and present his thoughts on the homeless crisis.
He has already raised over €2,000 in sponsorship, an amount he’s slightly disappointed with, but plans to leave sponsorship open for at least another month.
“It was getting easier every day. I had a bit of a thigh strain that needed three days of physio to get over, but then I was fine,” Conlon explained.
“It was actually getting easier every day. It felt amazing to finish.”
“I literally slept for two days,” he said of the marathons finally finishing up. “My legs were okay, to be honest. I felt like I could have done 100. I could do more but the record is enough for now, I need to get back to work!
“The 32nd was really special as I ran it with Dublin Bay Running Club and the East of Ireland Marathon people [both of whom have helped in Conlon’s efforts], as well as my family, and that was the one to equal the record.
“I ran the last one with just one friend, but my family came down and there was champagne at the end. I’m recovered now. I’m going to be releasing a video of me running in the next few days, which shows a bit more of what went on.”
Of course, things aren’t over. They never are for a distance enthusiastic of Conlon’s nature. “I’ll be running the Longwood Marathon in Meath in two weeks,” he tells us. “Then in the Dublin Marathon, I’ll be going for a personal best. These runs are about time, not like the ones I just did. Then I’m planning something really big for next year. Bigger than this.”
Our legs ache just at the thought.