McGroarty is aiming to be ‘Last Man Standing’

Ed McGroarty in confident mood

AFTER sealing his national age group title at the Energia Belfast 24 race, Ed McGroarty has immediately set himself another daunting target of being the ‘Last Man Standing’.
On the weekend of June 23 and 24, the Raphoe man won the male 40 category at Victoria Park after covering 222km (138 miles) in 24 hours, which was enough for fifth overall and fourth in the National Championship standings.
However, not content with that feat of endurance, Ed, who competed in Endurance Ultrarunning Team Finland’s indoor 24 hour race in Helsinki in March, has decided to tackle an even longer event at the start of September.
The Lifford Strabane AC member will travel to Florencecourt in Enniskillen for the ‘Last Man Standing’ race, which is a real test of body and mind, while also being incredibly cruel.
Participants will tackle a 4.2 mile trail loop, which they have an hour to compete – sounds simple doesn’t it? Here comes the rub, though.
Entrants have to keep doing the loop within that time frame for either 48 hours or until there’s only one competitor left.
To add an extra kick in the teeth, if there is more than one runner left at the 48 hour stage, no-one wins and those remaining, like anyone who drops out, receives a Did Not Finish medal!
“I’ve been keen to try to get beyond 24 hours, so this is a safe and controlled way to do it,” explained Ed, who is a chef at Buncrana Community Hospital.
“I’m feeling good after Belfast – I’ve recovered better than ever from it, so I’ll do some more miles in the build-up to Florencecourt to get ready.”
One thing he won’t have to prepare for is heat, though. Even if we get an ‘Indian Summer’ and the high temperatures of late persist into September, Ed has shown he can cope.
The 41-year-old perfected a technique to deal with the heat ahead of the Belfast race, which proved effective as he raced to the age group title.
“The last few weeks in the build-up were quite warm, so I was able to get used to the temperatures and learn how to cool down while running it,” he explained.
“I was running around Raphoe with cold water and sponges to keep cool and I was able to use that technique in Belfast where I was delighted with my results.”


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