PRAYERS, good cups of hot tea and an endless supply of Jelly Babies…
This proved to be the winning formula which spurred Pat O’Loughlin to finish this year’s Dublin Marathon.
And while an 81-year-old completing a marathon is an remarkable venture in itself, even more impressive is that it was Pat’s 38th Dublin marathon to-date, and in recent months he has been fighting a virus which has caused him to feel tired and limited his ability to train.
Pat completed the 26.2 mile marathon in 8 hours, 27 minutes and 43 seconds, and the Castlederg ‘marathon man’ said that he was driven to make it to the end in his bid to raise as much money as possible for MS research.
But he didn’t go it alone: Pat’s son Ciaran, running partner Jenny McMenamin and her daughter, Rachel walked with him throughout the marathon, and his other son, Patrick and Jenny’s husband, Sean kept the illustrious ‘Team Pat’ quartet fuelled with tea and sugary sweets.
“I was certainly relieved to make it to the end,” Pat laughed. “We took it easy, as I wasn’t as fit this time round. I could feel it in the soles of my feet, and my body was becoming tired.
“I kept breathing deeply to get the glucose through my system to keep my muscles going.
“But the most important things was that we finished, because we didn’t want to let any of our sponsors down.
“Someday there will be a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, and everyone who has helped us fund-raise will have played their part in it,” he added.
“So I wish to say thanks to each and every person and local shops who continue to support and sponsor Team Pat.”