Sub 3 Hour 15 Minutes Pacing Group 2022:
Alex O’Shea: (The Running Fireman)
Running club: St Finbarrs Cork
First marathon: Ran Cork in 2014 Did so in full fire gear for charity breaking the Guinness world record in a time of 3.41.10 The support was amazing & what I didn’t know then was that was only the beginning & opened the door to running more marathons & longer ultras events.
Fastest Marathon: Dublin 2hr 34min achieving national team & age medals.
Favourite Marathon: Cork is very special being my first marathon & is hard to beat having something for everyone & being very accessible to supporters to cheer you on. Having a Full, Half & Relay there’s a challenge for everyone.
That said it’s also great to set off abroad on running adventures. Siberia’s Lake Baikal ice marathon was pretty amazing.
How many marathons have I’ve run? Lots, I guess I got a bit hooked. One challenge saw me run 32 marathons running in 32 counties in 15 & 1/2 days for charity so plenty of experience at pacing and digging deep to achieve a goal.
Marathon advice: Join a club and train with friends if possible. Training builds confidence and improves ability. Set realistic goals. Train in the kit you will run in & practice taking drinks don’t over hydrate.
Proudest moment: Representing Ireland in European and World Championships at 100km & 24hr. I am sure In time I will change this to running Cork Marathon with my children.
Name: Stephen Rooney
Club: Watergrasshill AC
First Marathon Dublin City Marathon 2005 (I swore never again, it was a bucket list item)
I completed Cork in 2011 in under 4 hours and decided that was enough for me and continued playing soccer until it was time to retire.
I started back running in 2015 when I turned the Big 40 and took part in the Limerick marathon and got hooked. A goal of 4 marathons for my 40th year was set and I haven’t stopped since.
Overall I have competed in 20 marathons to date with 4 of them sub 3 with the latest being in Berlin 2021 in 2hrs 49mins.
My favourite is between Manchester and Rotterdam as the crowds in Rotterdam are everywhere on the course.
My biggest achievement so far is not in the world of running but I was the youngest player to play for the Irish Junior soccer team at 17 years of age. It was even better that it was in my home town of Sligo.
Earlier this year I spent two weeks in Kenya training at altitude trying to learn how the Kenyans train so well. Its an amazing simple life and they really follow the motto of “Train, eat, sleep repeat”.