Marathon man Shane Finn completed his remarkable 24 Marathons 24 Days at home in Dingle on Saturday afternoon – and smashed through his fundraising target of €100,000 in the process.
Shane began his extraordinary journey way back on Thursday June 22nd and has ran a marathon every day since, taking in every one of the 26 counties on his journey and finishing yesterday. His cousin Mary, who has Spina Bifida and is the reason Shane is a regular fundraiser for the organisation, was there to greet him at the finish line.
She was joined by hundreds of people as Dingle came out to welcome their hero home. You could hardly notice Shane coming across the finish for all the confetti and crowd that swarmed in close to greet the runner.
“It was great. The first person I saw was my cousin Mary, she was there waiting for me,” Shane said in his final video dispatch on Facebook. “The whole thing just blew my mind. We’ve absolutely smashed our 100 grand target. That is why I started this and I’m back in Dingle in one piece.”
“We’ve blown past the target now. I think the minute we hit it was the minute I crossed the finish line. It was phenomenal. Shane had people to greet and media duties to complete upon his arrival, and remarkably for a man who had just completed such a feat, he was in his usual chipper mood, more than happy to some and chat and pose for photos.
Shane presented everyone who completed a marathon or half marathon with on his journey with medals before making his way back home to parents Tim and Josie’s house for a hearty meal. Today, the family have held a BBQ for family, friends and members of the SBHI association, including national chairman Peter Landy from Ardee.
On day eight of his 24 day journey, Shane can from Castleblayney to Ardee, taking in Hale Street, Slaibh Breagh, Stoney Lane and John Street before finishing on Market Street. Athletes from Ardee & District Athletic Club ran the last leg with Shane and gave him great support to get over the line.
Speaking back at home on Saturday, Shane said, “Running for me is part of my life. Growing up, I was a quiet kid. I always struggled for confidence growing up. I would have been very self-conscious and worried about what people were saying about me.
“Everything changed when I ran my first marathon when I was 17. I lied about my age to get in but I raised €8,000 for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland. Nobody else was running marathons at my age,” he continued.
“Running made me figure out that I can do things for myself and do things that I can be proud of. That was very important, it was the thing I needed at that time. The greatest journey any man can ever make is the 18 inches between your heart and your head. If you make that journey and you find something that ignites your fire, you become unstoppable.”
On the subject of whether he’d do it again, Shane was adamant what the answer would be. In 2014, Shane’s tremendous efforts for 12 Marathons 12 Days raised €31,640 for SBHI. This year, for double the task, he’s trebled the amount raised.
“If it meant raising €200,000, I’d head back to Donegal in the morning and do it all again,” he stated. “Don’t even tell me I can’t do something. Because I’m stubborn as fuck.”
“Life is tough. The people I did this for – their life is tough every singe day of their life, January to December. When you put it in perspective, what’s 24 hard days for me? It’s the least I could do for an amazing organisation.
“I’ve made an awful lot of friends and I have a much bigger family now.”
Landy, who’s daughter Hannah lives with Hydrocephalus, was part of the support team that will travelled around the country with Shane on his journey. Peter (pictured above) is the national chairman of Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Ireland and takes a hands on role in many fundraising efforts for the association – including Shane’s marathon undertaking.
You can still donate to 24 Marathons 24 Days by texting the word GIVE TO 50300 to donate €4. You can also log on to 24Marathons24Days.ie and donate there. ThisIsArdee.ie is proud to be a media partner of 24 Marathons 24 Days in aid of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland.