Day eight and marathon eight of Shane Finn’s epic 24 Marathons 24 Days journey came to an end in Ardee on Thursday afternoon – as runners from Ardee & District Athletic Club joined the Kerry man on the last leg of his run into town.
Seven days after beginning his 24 day undertaking, Shane began the day in Castleblayney and ran to Ardee , via Carrickmacross. He started his 26.2 mile run at 9.45am and completed it shortly after 3pm on Market Street, where a crowd of supporters gathered to roar him home.
As ever, Shane’s father Timmy accompanied him along the way as did local man Alan Landy who cycled with Shane from Castleblayney and ran the last 8km to the finish. The trio were joined on that stretch by a group of senior and juvenile athletes from Ardee & District Athletic Club who added to the group and certainly helped attract spectators.
Coming from the N2, Shane ran onto the Link Road and to Hale Street where the 16 strong Ardee contingent joined the group and headed towards Sliabh Breagh, Rockfield, John Street and then back towards Market Street were the finish line was situated at Callaghans.
Even then Shane wasn’t quite finished. He ran on further down the street to ensure every last metre of his race was run. Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie back at the finish line, he said “I feel like I’ve just run a marathon!”
In fact, he’s ran eight in eight days and is now a third of the way towards his 24 marathon goal. To date, Shane and his supporters have already raised over €40,000 and with 16 marathons to go, he remains hopeful he can reach his €100,000 fundraising total.
“Shane is continuing brilliantly. He’s an absolute marvel,” Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland chairman Peter Landy told us in Ardee. “He ran another tough marathon today, especially with the rain falling as it did in the last hour. He’s doing us all proud and long may it continue.”
Landy took the opportunity to thank the people of Ardee for their generosity in contributing to the cause and supporting Shane whilst he also expressed his gratitude to volunteers, collectors and stewards who helped on the day.
“As ever, we always get great support in Ardee and today was no different. I’d like to thank everyone who came out to watch Shane’s finish and especially those who gave generously to our bucket collections, text a donation or gave online. It’s an epic journey and Shane is powered by the goodwill and support he receives from people in every town he visits.
“Thanks to NOSH Cafe Bistro for their kind sponsorship of the event and for looking after some of Shane’s support team today and of course – to the team from Ardee & District Athletics Club for their support,” Landy added. “Weekdays are not the most convenient and the weather was unfortunate – but the club turned out in great numbers and we’re so very appreciative to Trudi, Deidre, Pauline and all of the juveniles.
HE’s COMING! pic.twitter.com/vDcSJ7tyzb
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“Special mention too should also go out to all of the local businesses who have responded to our call for sponsorship for the event. We are humbled by the generosity of businesses – especially local ones – who have come up trumps in support of what we and Shane are doing.”
Next up for Shane is a run from DKIT to Bettystown tomorrow, before he heads off to the Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Resource Centre in Dublin on Saturday. He is due to finish up his 24 Marathons 24 Days effort on Saturday July 15th at his own WK Fitness gym in Dingle, Co. Kerry.
To coincide with Shane’s arrival in Ardee, a Country Music Benefit Night is being held tonight at The Hunterstown Inn at 8.30pm. Among those on the bill are Claire Dillon, Matt Leavy, Ray Murtagh and more. Tickets are €5 on the door and all funds go towards Shane’s fundraising total for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland. For more information about the 24 Marathons 24 Days or if you’d like to donate or sponsor Shane, you can call Peter Landy on 087 2555 801.
We’ll have many more photos from Shane’s run into Ardee on ThisIsArdee.ie later – so keep an eye out.
You can find much more information about 24 Marathons 24 Days – including how to donate, fundraising information and tracking Shane’s progress live – on the website by clicking here. You can also text GIVE to 50300 to donate €4. ThisIsArdee.ie is proud to be a media partner of 24 Marathons 24 Days in aid of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland.