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35 Marathon Man: Alan Corcoran becomes first to run a lap of Ireland

The 21-year-old has completed his 917-mile roundtrip to raise funds for stroke awareness.

Alan Corcoran completing his 35-marathon run.
Alan Corcoran completing his 35-marathon run.

WATERFORD MAN Alan Corcoran has become the first to run a lap of Ireland having run 35 marathons in 35 days.

The 21-year-old crossed the final finishing line today in Waterford.

The 917 mile (or 1,476 km) roundtrip was inspired by his father, former FAI president Milo Corcoran, who suffered a stroke last year.

Alan decided to do something a bit different in raising funds for the Irish Heart Foundation Stroke Action campaign, the National Rehabilitation Centre and the Football Village of Hope charity and embarked on a 35-marathon campaign.

He set off on his run from Waterford on 27th May with encouragement from Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni.

However, he got off to a tough start when he was struck with severe leg and back pains, some of which felt like stress fractures.

“Earlier this year I knew I wanted to take on a big challenge and in my head I thought I understood the scale of what I was undertaking,” he said of his campaign. “But the reality was so intense at times with a lot of pain, that looking back it’s hard to believe I have actually done it and that I’m here.”

“My timetable stayed almost the same every day depending on the weather and my injuries, which may have resulted in more walking and longer finish times,” he said.

“My worst day was in Sligo on my 17th marathon. My Achilles tendon was playing up and it was agony. Even walking was painful but I had no choice because I couldn’t run up the hills. But the highlight for me was day 25 in Limerick when I saw my first sign for Waterford. I was struggling up hills that day but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face after seeing the sign. I was nearly there!”

The marathon man said that he was dedicating his lap of Ireland to his father, who has made almost a full recovery following the stroke which left him wheelchair-bound.

“I’ve always been competitive and into athletics but my dad’s stroke was the deciding factor in my decision to take on 35 marathons back to back. In fact, I am dedicating this lap of Ireland to him and to all patients battling to recover from stroke,” the student said.

“I faced my fair share of battles on this journey both physically and mentally and I hope my effort will go some way to help raise awareness of stroke.”

Corcoran has raised €7,000 of his €10,000 target and hopes that his marathon runs will have raised stroke awareness. Donations are still being accepted online.

Further information about strokes can be found on www.stroke.ie, including advice on the Act FAST campaign to respond quickly to stroke symptoms.

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